Utah County was feeling mighty blue (as in Cougar blue) Monday - in fact, you might even say that residents were deep into Detmer or feeling all Ty-ed up.
But they were anything but tongue-tied. After the day was proclaimed Utah County Ty Detmer Day - yet another honor for Brigham Young University's first-ever Heisman Trophy winner - by the County Commission, more than 4,000 slightly more than interested spectators braved what was predicted to be earthquake conditions to show their support for the record-setting quarterback.Crowding Cougar Stadium's south parking lot, which was already stuffed enough with the largest bonfire in the university's history and a hot-air balloon, the crowd heard local leaders pay tribute to the lanky Texan, who in only his third year of collegiate play, won the prestigious Downtown Athletic Club's 56th award and has claimed many of the NCAA's passing categories as his own.
Presenting Detmer with a key to Provo City, Mayor Joe Jenkins said the city has presented such an honor only twice - "to the vice president of the United States and to Ty Detmer."
County Commissioner Gary Herbert presented Detmer with an engraved copy of the proclamation approved by the council earlier Monday morning, saying "Ty Detmer has exemplified, on and off the football field, the qualities of good sportsmanship, courage and integrity."
Detmer himself had praise for his teammates and coaches, with whom he credited at least part of his success. Football is "definitely not a one-man sport," he said. "It's great for this program and great to see the Heisman here in Provo."
Though Cougar Coach LaVell Edwards and Athletic Director Glenn Tuckett were already in New York, where Detmer will be the guest of honor at a dinner Thursday night, both were in Provo in spirit, according to KZOL 96-FM announcer Danny Kramer, who emceed the event, which was joined in progress by the syndicated "Donahue" talk show.
Kramer said quarterback coach Norm Chow told him that only three things were necessary in life: "A great wife, a great set of golf clubs and a great quarterback, though not necessarily in that order."
"This is a great day for BYU - this is the first time this has ever happened to Ty Detmer and to us," BYU President Rex Lee said before giving Detmer the Brigham Award, presented to only three students during any one school year.
"This may not be the last time it happens for either one of us," Lee said, alluding to the fact that Detmer has indicated he will return for his senior season on the Cougar squad and for another crack at the award, unlike 1989 winner Andre Ware of Houston and 1988 winner Barry Sanders from Oklahoma State, who left their respective schools after their victories to turn professional.
Should Detmer again win the award, he would become the only other player besides Archie Griffin to ever become a repeat winner. However, two of Detmer's closest competitors, Ismail and Houston's David Klingler, will also apparently return to their schools.