As previously reported, the Hi-Top Investigators have uncovered some pretty big truth bombs regarding the 1956 Heisman Trophy “won” by Notre Dame’s Paul Hornung.
Well folks after an even further examination of the evidence some additional addendums might just be in order.
Mainly, the following question has now arisen amongst our esteemed Hi-Top Investigators Crew – Was the 1956 Heisman Trophy win by Paul Hornung an elaborate way to cover up a season long fix by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish?
Let’s take a look at the facts. In 1955 Notre Dame was an 8-2 team that finished the season ranked #9. In 1956 they inverses that record and went a paltry 2-8. Pretty big swing for a team boasting the supposed best player in the nation.
And let’s discuss said player, one Paul Hornung. As we reported, Hornung’s 1956 Heisman winning campaign was shall we say less than eye popping. Most glaringly, the QB was responsible for 13 interceptions as well as unidentifiable amount of fumbles. Now while the numbers itself seem quite large what might be even more damning is the timeliness of a lot of these turnovers. As the Investigators Team combed through the annals* of the 1956 Irish season it became quite clear that Mr. Hornung had a peculiar ability to lose the football around the End Zone:
*Source of the following is screenshots from the 1956 Notre Dame Scholastic Football Review
Other times Hornung’s passes led directly to opposing touchdowns:
And still more instances were just Hornung turning over the ball at precisely the wrong moment of the game:
In isolation these might simply be bad plays, miscues, innocent mistakes. But on the whole these interceptions and fumbles seem to represent a pattern of consistent negative play by Hornung in a way that was clearly affecting the outcomes of games.
Now perhaps the 1956 Notre Dame squad simply was not very good. Certainly there’s truth there as well as the fact that the team was beset by injuries throughout the year including instances were Hornung himself sat out parts of games.
Again, taken individually perhaps all of this is just bad luck. But when you start to combine all the puzzle pieces what you see is opportunity. Opportunity to manipulate scores in a situation where the errors and miscues and overall bad play can be chalked up to other factors. It’s the perfect cover.
Let’s go back to Hornung. As we know, it’s a fact that he would go on to be suspended by the NFL in 1963 for gambling and association with “unsavory” individuals or simply put mobsters. That is not up for debate. What is unknown is how far back his association with the Mob goes? Did he meet these characters after he turned pro and started playing for the Green Bay Packers? Perhaps Green Bay, Wisconsin is a Mafia Haven? A Little Italy in the Midwest? Maybe Hornung was dining at the local Italian delicatessen and become friendly with the owners. They knew a guy who knew a guy who did a thing. Bada Bing bada bam Hornung is knee deep in the gambling and “female escort” scene. Sure that’s one way it could have gone down.
But here’s another way – Paul Hornung was born and raised in the Horse Racing Capital of America. His life long dream was to run a horse in the Kentucky Derby. The Mob and horse racing go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s not hard to think that that the local sports hero who’s not exactly squeaky clean became fast friends with the guys around town who had the flashy cars and pretty women. In his Packer years Hornung was well known to be hobnobbing with the likes of Frank Sinatra (who nicknamed Hornung Pablo) and even Jimmy Hoffa. No Mob connections there, right?????
Here’s another fact – The Golden Boy was never the Captain of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. A little peculiar isn’t it? The biggest star in College Football, the Quarterback of Notre Dame, isn’t the Captain of his team. Ask yourself why that was? Maybe his teammates didn’t think the Golden Boy was so golden after all.
So folks, let’s take this whole shebang to its logical conclusion. Let’s say that Hornung was mixed up with Mob guys all the way back to his Notre Dame days. Let’s say Hornung knew the 1956 team wasn’t going to be competing for a National Championship. So if you’re going to lose anyways, why not make some decent cash while you’re at it. Hornung plays just well enough to keep his star shinning but more than makes sure that whatever bets are being laid are going to cash. And to top off the rouse and keep the Golden Boy glittering in unimpeachable fame and goodwill, the Mafia makes damn sure that their guy wins the Heisman Trophy.
Fits together pretty perfectly don’t you think?