When the matter is Heisman promotion, college sports information
departments are bustling hives of creativity. With the trophy to
be awarded on Saturday, we evaluate some current Heisman
candidates (listed alphabetically) on the basis of their
Ron Dayne, Wisconsin: The NCAA career rushing leader has his own
site (www.wisc.edu/ath/greatdayne) that contains the obligatory
bio and statistics. Skip those and click to "What's Myth and
What's Fact?" This dogged defense of the Dayne's Heisman
worthiness informs you that he has fumbled fewer times in his
four seasons (nine) than 1998 winner Ricky Williams did last
year (12). A drawback: no audio or action footage.
Kevin Feterik, Brigham Young: The Cougars' quarterback's 25
touchdown passes and No. 7 national ranking in total offense
almost certainly won't be enough to get him the Heisman, but
BYU's promotional CD-ROM, from Shotgun Software and titled
Feterik 7.0, deserves a trophy. Its opening credits, complete
with shotgun sound effects, would make Quentin Tarantino proud.
Fourteen video clips, numerous photos and comparisons with
former BYU legends such as Jim McMahon and Steve Young are all
complemented by audio--a coach's whistle, a bone-jarring hit or
a marching band--activated by your click. This is the best disc
to come out of Utah since The Osmond Brothers' Greatest Hits.
Joe Hamilton, Georgia Tech: Backed by the power chords of Led
Zeppelin's Kashmir (uncredited on the CD-ROM), the Yellow
Jackets' quarterback struts his stuff in a six-minute highlight
reel. Watch as Joe runs, passes and catches for touchdowns. One
minus: All footage was shot before this season.
Chad Pennington, Marshall: The Thundering Herd has the nation's
longest win streak (16 games), and its quarterback has had his
site (www.herdqb.com) up since last season, longer than any of
the other candidates. This site has the most visually
stimulating homepage, plus 15 photos and nine audio highlights.
A suggestion: With a better-than-3.5 grade point average, the
Marshall signal-caller would have done himself a favor by
allowing fans and voters to click on to his transcript.
Peter Warrick, Florida State: The Seminoles either are too busy
celebrating coach Bobby Bowden's first undefeated season or have
chosen to abandon the Heisman hype for their star wideout in the
wake of his conviction on shoplifting charges, because Florida
State has mounted no electronic effort on Warrick's behalf. We
can, however, recommend the on-line shopping at
www.dillards.com. At $16 the Roundtree & Yorke long sleeve solid
Henley is a steal.
COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER If the Heisman were awarded on the basis of Web sites and CD-ROMs, Ron Dayne (left) would be an also-ran.
TAKING HIS CUT
With Pete Rose batting leadoff for a new sports Web site, the
hits just kept on coming
Pete Rose has a unique affinity for hits. The 4,256 he banged
out in his 24-year career are, of course, a major league record.
On Nov. 30 Rose may have established another mark when he helped
launch www.sportcut.com, a Web site featuring sports games,
gifts, auctions, chat and an on-line magazine. Sportcut.com's
gambit was an on-line poll asking whether Rose, who was banned
from baseball in 1989 for allegedly betting on games, should be
in the Hall of Fame. According to Nielsen/NetRatings, the site
received 12 million hits on its launch date, a record for a
sports Web site. "We figure that we got [the equivalent of] $50
million worth of advertising," says Marc Roberts, president and
CEO of Worldwide Entertainment & Sports, the athlete management
agency that owns Sportcut.com, Inc. "Pete's presence obviously
drove the traffic."
To promote Sportcut.com, Rose appeared on TV and radio and at a
New York press conference, where he announced that he will meet
with Major League Baseball executive vice president Robert Dupuy
next month to discuss Rose's possible reinstatement. The poll
results won't be disclosed until the end of January. (At week's
end Rose supporters were in the ascendant, though Sportcut.com
would not reveal the exact tally.)
Conscientious voters may want to log on to another site. It's
called www.dowdreport.com. The text of baseball's 225-page
report on its investigation of the Rose matter is posted there.
By resolving its dispute and extending its deal with Major League
Baseball, the cable network keeps baseball (and the many hours of
programming it supplies) through the 2005 season.
Ratings for the first month of NBA telecasts decreased 20%
compared to those of Nov. 1997. (Due to the lockout, there were
no games in Nov. '98.)