Dick Harmon: Johnny Football could take a lesson from BYU's Ty Detmer on how to sign autographs

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  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Aug. 20, 2013 7:10 a.m.

    Ty became a lot of magnificent things, and his time at the Y contributed greatly. Yes, great people emerge from other schools, and not every BYU athlete is the model of true Christian (wo)man-hood, but we seem to get more than our share.

    Good call with Eli Herring, too. Not many things in common, but the traits they do share are the ones we want more of.

  • Brent S Sandy, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 6:32 a.m.

    When I was playing football in High School in Kansas, my brother lived in Provo and sat behind Ty at a BYU basketball game. I soon received in the mail a basketball program, with the words written, "Dear Brent, Good luck in football. – Ty Detmer".

    So awesome for a kid playing football who loved watching BYU.

    Ty was not only a class act, he was the most fun I've ever had watching football. Never felt like you were out of a game with him at quarterback. Fiery competitive on the field, but humble when you hear him talk to the media.

    Recently saw him at a quarterback camp at our local high school, coaching up young players. I wondered if they knew how great he was? If my son attended, I think I'd have to get together a long list of highlights to help them appreciate the opportunity to train with him.

    Thanks Ty!

  • atlcoug Atlanta, GA
    Aug. 18, 2013 8:43 p.m.

    For Scott Farcas:

    My brother-in-law and I were playing golf at Riverside CC, when we noticed Steve Young with a friend, hitting golf balls at the driving range. My brother-in-law called his wife and told her to bring the pictures they had of Steve, and see if she could get his autograph. When she approached him with a picture and a regular pen, he said sure, but that pen would never do, because autographs with marker pens would last longer and be worth more. He thought he had one in his car. He left the driving range to look for it. He couldn't find it, so they went into the clubhouse to borrow a marking pen, which he used to autograph every picture she had, before he returned to the driving range. Count Steve Young as one of the good guys.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Aug. 18, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    Ty is awesome for sure. But let's include Eli Herring in this group of humble athletes we look up to. Eli did something incredible in foregoing a high NFL pick and salary to avoid playing on Sunday. There's someone to whom money and fame mean absolutely nothing!!

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 4:02 p.m.

    I want to say that my post above is called; The Saint Nickels Theory. Named after Santa Claws. Gifts are still gave by him, and that's what he was remembered doing and others wanted to give a good gift without the other stuff, you know what I mean.

  • water rocket Magna, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 3:41 p.m.

    I respect Max Hall, but I admire Ty Detmer. This story is about last year's Heisman winner, and how different he is compared to Ty Detmer. I would have to say that the true difference is maturity, and Ty Detmer always had it.

  • BYU78 McLean, VA
    Aug. 17, 2013 3:01 p.m.

    Big time players who have this level of class aren't just limited to the Y, but in truth there are altogether too few of them across the sports world, both at college level and pro. Too often these guys quickly forget their roots, or just feel that they have no obligation to act as role models in the first place. Like it or not, they are in fact role models -- whether their behavior influences young people for good or for ill is their only choice in the matter. It's great to recognize folks like Detmer who step out of their way to treat kids this way, and represent their sport and their team so well. In this great age of rampant commercialization, greed, and out of control narcissism, we have altogether too few of such people. Detmer was and is exemplary. Even at 5'11", as an athletic role model and example to kids, no one ever stood taller.

  • Marklar38 LEHI, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 3:00 p.m.

    Similar to 'Humbly Yours', I'll be 40 this January, and Ty has been the most profound sports figure in my life, hands down. I immediately fell into the wrong crowd when I moved to Utah in Jr. High, and I'll never forget sneaking into a back room at a party, and turning on the BYU/Miami game (the first BYU football game I had ever watched). Needless to say, from that moment BYU athletics became my addiction (still is). My druggy friends were all very protective of my choices, and I graduated High School having never once experimented with drugs or alcohol. But I was a full-blown Cougar addict, and haven't quit ever since!

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 1:56 p.m.

    Oops, my bad on Danny Ainge

  • Scott Farcus Beaver, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 1:08 p.m.

    DEW Cougars
    Ty was not the only one with great example. Steve Young, Danny Ainge and Jimmer.

    I agree with you on Ty but not Danny Ainge, I witnessed him turn down young kids seeking his autograph and seeing the disappointment on their faces.

    Detmer; class act
    Ainge; No class
    Young; Don't know
    Jimmer; not famous enough

    It is what it is

  • Goldminer Salem, ut
    Aug. 17, 2013 12:06 p.m.

    Yes, he did the same for us, too, when he came to the Sports Fireside at our Stake. He even took the time to speak to both my wife and me....twice. He IS a model of what we need a LOT more of in Sports and society.

    Thanks, Ty!

  • Making Sense Herriman, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    Just this week our 9-year-old son asked, "How did you get Ty Detmer's autograph?" I inquired if he had found our Ty Detmer book written by Brenton Yorgason. He replied that he's doing a book report on it. I described how my good friend worked at the BYU bindery in the late 90's and made a delivery to the athletic offices. Ty was there visiting LaVell Edwards and the secretary asked if my friend wanted his signature. Thankfully my friend asked if he could get 2 autographs; one for him and one for me that I keep in the book. His autograph sparks discussions about great Cougar football moments AND admiration for a great person who won a Heisman as a QB at BYU. Thanks Ty!!

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Aug. 17, 2013 11:02 a.m.

    It's the difference between a BYU player and one from other programs. When values and character are a recruiting priority you get class. When others things are the priority you get different results.

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 10:15 a.m.

    Ty was not the only one with great example. Steve Young, Danny Ainge and Jimmer.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 9:36 a.m.

    They broke the mold with Ty.
    Also experiencing strange moisture from my eyeballs at this time.

    If Ty is the only BYU Cougar to ever win the Heisman Memorial Trophy, I'm so glad it was him.

    No other BYU QB has been the standard bearer for BYU that Ty has been.
    He has no equal.

  • Humbly Yours Camas, WA
    Aug. 17, 2013 9:25 a.m.

    I'll turn 40 this December, and to this day Ty Detmer remains my one, true sports hero.

    My years in high school matched his years in college. I was a junior when he won the Heisman and remember exactly where I was when I heard the news. I followed his first years in the NFL by reading newspaper clippings as a missionary in Ukraine.

    As a young boy who loved sports more then, than at any time in my life, he was the example to me of true greatness and I've admired, loved and respected him ever since.

  • thebigsamoan Richmond, VA
    Aug. 17, 2013 7:05 a.m.

    There are role models, and then there are models that just rolls, for the almighty dough that is! Glad to know Ty was real and genuine in that role.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 6:32 a.m.

    Good people give good gifts. The ultamet gift is your present. you become immortal by how long your presents is appreciated after you've left. the difference between mortals and immortals is reason. The reason is, is because you matter. You matter, that's the spirit of things. The name of the spirit is Jesus who was a gift from God because He so loved the world. Love gives you wings because you'll never know where your heart will take you, it's more than an emotion, it's the ability to get into the spirit of things. So, up till now the past is determined, the future is uncertain, the present is what you've got.

    Aug. 17, 2013 6:24 a.m.

    Beautiful story. Detmer was (and is) obviously a class act.

  • CP Tooele, UT
    Aug. 17, 2013 3:45 a.m.

    I have always liked Ty Detmer. He is genuine and he didn't let awards, or status go to his head. Many athletes should follow his example. He played the game because he enjoyed it not for the money, and he wanted other kids to enjoy it too. What a great article.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Aug. 16, 2013 10:15 p.m.

    And this is why I want my kids going to a Utah or church college.

  • TN Cougar Johnson City, TN
    Aug. 16, 2013 9:42 p.m.

    Ty Detmer came to our Pack meeting in Davis County when I was a boy. He was great with all of us and signed anything we wanted. He has been an example of goodness and greatness his whole life and will always be my favorite BYU player.