Heisman Hero LbNA # 22685
|Placed Date||Jun 1 2006|
Recent find: 6/12/09
Bruce Smith is the first Minnesotan and the only Minnesota Golden Gopher to have won a Heisman trophy. (Chris Weinke of St. Paul also won it as an FSU Seminole.)
Leading the Gophers, as their star running back and captain,
the team had perfect back-to back 8-0-0 seasons in 1940 and 1941.
Under legendary coach Bernie Bierman, the team also won the mythical national collegiate championships in both of these years.
Earning the Heisman was the highlight but not the end of Smith's brilliant career. He was the MVP in the 1942 College All Star Game against the Chicago Bears of the NFL, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1972, and, in 1977 was the first Golden Gopher to have his jersey number (#54) retired. Enlisting in the U. S. Navy, he served his country as a fighter pilot during WWII. During this period he also won Player of the Year in Armed Forces Football and starred as himself in the movie "Smith of Minnesota." After the war, Smith was able to turn pro, playing for the Green Bay Packers and ending his career with the Los Angeles Rams.
Smith died on August 28, 1967 after a five-month battle with cancer. Even during his last months, Bruce's heroic ways continued. He visited children around the state who were also suffering from this disease. After his death, his mentor during these trips, the Rev. William Cantwell, nomiminated him for sainthood. His nomination is still being pursued. He needs two miracles; one would think the two national championships would suffice.
Park in North Alexander Park directly between the Cannon River/Lake and the scoreboard which bears Smith's name. Proceed to a tree (to be identified below) between the parking and the reservoir.
Recover the container from under a tree which rhymes with his name. Entering thru a "doorway" on the south side you'll find a cammo'ed container near the trunk.
Unscrew the top. Inside there is room for a log, a pencil, a stamp, and a few small trade items.
Consider visiting the Rice County Historical Museum here in the northeast corner of Alexander Park. Included is a replica of the 1941 Heisman trophy. (At a recent auction, the original garnered over $300,000 for the Smith family).
Eliminate all but the first letter in each paragraph to identify the tree in which the container is hidden.