Two-Time Heisman Trophy Winner Archie Griffin on 'Hannity & Colmes'

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," December 12, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Tomorrow marks the 74th annual Heisman Trophy presentation celebrating college football's most outstanding player. We caught up with two-time winner Archie Griffin, the only man to win college football's most prestigious award twice. Let's take a look.




Video: Watch Sean & Alan's interview

HANNITY: It's an honor to meet you. Only person to ever win back-to-back Heismans.

GRIFFIN: I was pretty fortunate and played on some great teams while I was at Ohio State, and I give them the credit.

HANNITY: Well, you know what, I think you have a lot of talent yourself so I'm going to give you a lot of the credit here. There's a chance by the way that you have a little competition coming up this year.

GRIFFIN: Tim Tebow.

HANNITY: Great quarterback.

GRIFFIN: He's an outstanding quarterback. Had a tremendous year last year and a great season this year, and as they're getting ready to play in the national championship game, and he's got a shot at it.

HANNITY: Where do you stand politically?

COLMES: As his attorney, I can step in, he does not have to answer that question.

HANNITY: Do you like politics?


HANNITY: Sports and politics are a lot alike, aren't they?

GRIFFIN: Absolutely.

HANNITY: You win some.

GRIFFIN: And you lose some.

HANNITY: I know all about that recently. I was supporting John McCain and Alan of course was supporting Barack Obama. Tell me what — because I have young children who play sports, and I think the greatest experience in life is playing sports because it prepares you for a lot of what life is about. The ups, downs, disappointments .

GRIFFIN: Absolutely. And I think the most important thing that you learn from sport, and I don't care what sport it is, is how to get up once you get knocked down because that's what's most important. It's not the fact that you might have gotten knocked down, but do you get back up? Because that's how you become successful, getting back up. You might have to get back up a lot of times, but you get back up.

HANNITY: I agree with that. Do you have any friends in Michigan?

GRIFFIN: Absolutely. I had a lot of friends who went to Michigan that I played against.

HANNITY: I was kidding you. It really is — that is the life experience, though, that we can bring to our kids, and one of the things that frustrates me, I've watched from a distance a lot of athletes, and they ruin their lives. They can't handle success, they can't handle the fame, the good part of being talented. Why? And you never had these problems.

GRIFFIN: Well, sometimes I think — sometimes you get so much publicity, and you begin to believe all those things that everybody's saying about you, that you're truly great.

HANNITY: But you're not.

GRIFFIN: And you're above the law and above all kinds of things and you've got to be grounded some sort of way.

HANNITY: You broke nearly every Ohio State rushing record that existed, two Heisman Trophies. What is that made it possible for you to stay out of the fray. I don't ever remember reading that much negative .

GRIFFIN: I think a lot of it had to do with my family. My mother and father, and we're a pretty religious family.

HANNITY: That helps.

GRIFFIN: And I certainly believe in God.

HANNITY: I get on my knees.

GRIFFIN: And I always believe that he gave me the talent that I have, and it's my job to glorify him through it, and I think that kept me pretty grounded.

COLMES: And you are also the only player to ever start in four Rose Bowls. You're very humble about it.

GRIFFIN: Well, you know, I think you have to be because I truly believe — everybody talks about the two Heisman Trophies, but I truly believe that I was at the right place at the right time with the right people at Ohio State.

COLMES: How about being good?

GRIFFIN: I was pretty decent. I had some good people helping me out. But I always talk about — you've got to have confidence in your own ability.

COLMES: You had 12 finalists chosen from 34,000 applicants for this Wendy's Heisman — what is this...

GRIFFIN: That's exciting. The Wendy's High School Heisman is really exciting. It's something I've been involved with since 1994. As a matter of fact, Dave Thomas, the founder, got it started because he believed young people ought to be recognized for the great things that they were doing. Too many times we hear about the negative things, but he believed we should recognize them for some degree. He got were the Heisman Trophy trust, and they developed a Wendy's High School Heisman, and what the Wendy's High School Heisman does is it honors young people who are doing great things in athletics, doing great things in the classroom, they have to have a B grade point average or better.

COLMES: And that motivates them, too.

GRIFFIN: And that motivates them. I think what you're finding, this year over 34,000 people who applied for the Wendy's Heisman.

COLMES: Down to 12 finalists.

GRIFFIN: But over the years there's been over 200,000 kids who have been recognized through the program, and that's tremendous. Because you come up with are well-rounded young men and women who are going to be a credit...

COLMES: Do you see yourself as a role model?


COLMES: I know that's a tough question that no one likes to hear but...

GRIFFIN: I like to live my life in a way that my kids are going to be proud of me and that my mom's going to be proud of me. I've got a responsibility.

COLMES: You've got a responsibility as someone who's achieved what you've achieved to kind of be a model for another generation of kids.

GRIFFIN: Oh. Absolutely. I think that's so very, very important.

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