"I've never been to New York before," said Ty Detmer, "I'm seeing things I've never seen before."
The BYU quarterback was not referring to a new kind of pass defense. But, rather, to, well, to things he's never seen before.Like, for instance, the suspicious looking character who approached the stretch limo he was riding in on the way from the airport and asked for a lift to the nearest gas station.
Or, for that matter, like the stretch limo.
New York is the home of the Heisman Trophy. This is the week New York gets a good look at its newest Heisman Trophy winner; and the newest Heisman Trophy winner gets a good look at New York.
"Normally, I prefer a pickup," said Detmer, whose home town is San Antonio and adopted home town is Provo. "But here, I think a limo is a good idea."
That way, the newest Heisman Trophy winner didn't have to hassle with the aforementioned suspicious looking character, who apparently had no idea he was asking to hitch a ride with the newest Heisman Trophy winner when he banged on the glass on the driver's side as the limo sat at a stoplight in Brooklyn and said, loudly, "I need a gas station!"
The limo's driver, John Hutton, gave him directions. "Then he said he wanted a ride," said Hutton. "He said his car was stalled. But I don't know about that."
Sitting in the back with Detmer was his girlfriend from BYU, Kim Herbert, who was thinking, "Maybe we won't make it to get the trophy after all."
But then the light turned green and the limo was safely off into the night.
Detmer, his family, and friends, are seeing as many sights as they can crowd in around ceremonial Heisman breakfasts, lunches and dinners. On Wednesday they went to the Rockefeller Plaza, saw the Christmas tree and ice rink, went to Trump Plaza, the Empire State Building, Times Square, and the world's most ostentatious toy store, FAO Schwartz. They ate at the Hard Rock Cafe and bought some T-shirts there.
Except for the limo, they've looked like any other tourists in town for a week, or until their money runs out.
"People have been real nice," said Detmer. "We've been treated great."
On Wednesday night, prior to a dinner with former Heisman Trophy winners and members of the Downtown Athletic Club, Detmer was sworn in as a member of the Retired Detectives Assn. of New York City - an unexpected bonus award on his way to picking up the Heisman.
"We're a long way from the Heisman," said Edward J. O'Connor, president of the Retired Detectives Assn., whose group met in a banquet room located just two floors above the Heisman banquet room and arranged for Detmer to make a guest appearance. "But we're glad to add to his honors.
"We won't work him too hard," said O'Connor, winking. "But anytime we need some running, we'll use him."
O'Connor was told Detmer was an accomplished hunter in the Rocky Mountains.
"I'm glad to hear he's a good shot," he said.
The newly deputized Detmer thanked the detectives for their support . . . and then told them about this guy hassling cars in Brooklyn.
Actually he didn't, he was too polite for that. He signed autographs and then joined the reunion of Heisman Trophy winners down on the 13th floor, also known as the Heisman Floor.
"Meeting the other award winners makes you start to realize what it is that you're a part of," he said, sidling off to have a conversation with Jim Plunkett, the 1970 winner.
"I really don't think it's quite set in, what's happened," said Detmer. "When I get home I'll have time to let it all set in. Right now, everything's going too fast."
Thursday night, Detmer will see something else he's never seen - himself in a tuxedo as he accepts the formal presentation of the 1990 Heisman Trophy. An audience of more than 3,000, at $100 a plate, will be in attendance at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square.
Only in New York could they get 3,000 out for dinner to watch them give you a trophy. You can see things here you've never seen before - especially when you've been named the best college football player in America.