The first club of football men in this country, the Touchdown Club of New York, last week presented its 19th annual award—to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's Herman Hickman.
The award goes to "the individual who has rendered an unusual service or made an outstanding contribution of permanent value to the game of football." The roster of its previous winners defines quite simply, I think, its high standards. They include Alonzo Stagg, Lou Little, Grantland Rice, Andrew Kerr, Glenn Warner, Robert Zuppke, Admiral Halsey, General MacArthur, Charles Caldwell, W. W. Heffelfinger, Dana Bible and, last year, Herbert Crisler.
In making the presentation, Jack Mohr, president of the club, said: "As a player in college, an alltime All-America as a guard at the University of Tennessee in 1931, as a professional player with Brooklyn, as assistant coach at Army and head coach at Yale, as an interpreter and reporter of the game on radio and television and as a writer, Herman Hickman has more than met the conditions of this award. The facts I have mentioned about him are familiar to everyone who knows football and who knows Hickman. And I should add that it is not possible to know one without the other.
"There are further reasons for our award to Hickman this year. As a member of the staff of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, he wrote last August a two-part article, The Crisis in College Football, which squarely and constructively faced the threat of professionalism to college competition. And he conceived SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's Silver Anniversary All-America, which later this month will honor 25 college lettermen of 25 years ago who today have added to their success as players the even greater accomplishment of distinguished citizenship.
December 17, 1956
"For all these things it may be truly said that Herman Hickman has rendered unusual service to the game."
And next week, in its special year-end issue, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED will announce the selections by the 24-man board of judges, Herman Hickman, chairman, for the first Silver Anniversary All-America.