During every taping of ESPN's College Gameday, Desmond Howard invites two kids from the town the show is visiting to come to the set and see whatever they want to see.
University of Michigan football legend Desmond Howard is on the receiving end of a lawsuit that could pass for unnecessary roughness -- or unsportsmanlike conduct. At least that's how Howard sees it. The former NFL and Michigan Wolverine star is speaking extensively for the first time about a lawsuit he was hit with in January involving the photo of his iconic 1991 Heisman pose.
For as long as Michigan has played football, it has dipped into Ohio to find some of the best players in school history. That included 25 years ago this month, when Michigan -- and many others -- sent coaches to Cleveland to recruit a 5-foot-10 athlete named Desmond Howard. At the time -- February 1988 -- Heisman glory couldn't have been predicted for the diminutive speedster. "He was fast, good hands, and we thought he could really contribute to us early and we needed a couple gamebreakers, believe me," former Georgia Tech coach Bobby Ross said.
Just maybe Desmond Howard should have taken the knock at his hotel door the morning of Super Bowl XXXI as a precursor. But instead the Green Bay Packers return specialist accepted the visit from the Disney folks who had stopped by to explain MVP protocol as a nice gesture. Special teams players don’t win MVP and get to announce “I’m going to Disney” following the NFL’s grand finale. “I was flattered by it, but that was the furthest thing from mind,” Howard recalls some 15 years later. “I was just trying to win the game and get a ring. We are out there playing for that jewelry.
Let’s take a look at why Desmond Howard is a perfect UPS ambassador. For starters, he’s a game-changer. From the play that ended in his iconic pose at the University of Michigan to the 99-yard return on professional football’s biggest stage that made him the game MVP, Desmond always performed with a consistency that couldn’t be deterred or contained. His game-day success was the result of preparation and precision performance. Training enhanced his natural talent.