ESPN's new '30 for 30' looks back at 1997 Heisman Trophy race
On the night of the 2023 Heisman Trophy, ESPN is taking a look back at one of the most talked-about Heisman races in the award’s history. The latest “30 for 30” is titled “The Great Heisman Race of 1997” looking at the race between Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson, Ryan Leaf and Randy Moss.
Peyton Manning returned to Tennessee for the 1997 season and was the clear preseason favorite to win college football’s top individual award. Charles Woodson captured the college football world’s attention as a standout defensive back who also saw time at wide receiver for Michigan. Randy Moss was one of the sport’s most dominant players as a wide receiver at Marshall, putting up monster numbers. At Washington State, Ryan Leaf reminded everyone that Manning wasn’t the only standout QB.
“As a long-time college football fan, the 1997 Heisman race is one I will never forget,” director Gentry Kirby told Variety. “The debate that surrounded it stayed with me over the years and I’m thrilled to now be able to tell this story with an archival approach that highlights the passion from that season.”
The film will focus on archive materials, giving college football fans the feel of being taken back in time. It is set to air Saturday, Dec. 9 following the 2023 Heisman Trophy ceremony.