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Meet Ryan Kasmiersky, the guy who guards the CFP trophy

Touching the trophy is only for champions. Earned, not given.

Wescott Eberts

ARLINGTON, Texas — There’s only one way in which one should be able to get their hands on the 35 pounds of 24-karat gold, bronze, and silver that is the College Football National Championship trophy — win it.

Well, at least that’s the goal.

As you’ve likely seen during various college football broadcasts, the National Championship trophy travels across the country from week to week throughout the football season, and in good fun, fan photo opportunities arise. But fans will be fans, which oftentimes means someone will be caught trying to steal a quick touch on the trophy.

That’s where CFP trophy manager Ryan Kasmiersky comes into play.

“We don’t mind people getting up there and act like they’re going to hug it, act like you’re going to kiss it,” Kasmiersky told Burnt Orange Nation’s Wescott Eberts at Big 12 Media Days. “But the one goal we have is for as few people as possible touching it, including us.”

For Kasmiesky, he carries two plush sacks that fit on either end of the trophy before it gets placed in its carrying crate. So he never touches it with his bare hands, either.

Only the champions.

Just moments removed from the interview, despite Kasmiesky’s best wishes, a cheerleader who was told that the trophy wasn’t for touching immediately expressed the urge to do so. A decidedly human urge for many people, especially drunken tailgaters, probably the most dangerous place for the trophy as it travels across the country.

Such is life in Kasmiersky’s world, though, as has been the case throughout the previous decade, “dating back to the crystal football,” he said.

The crystal football needed even more care — the cost of its materials and construction totaled $30,00. A truly fragile object.

In an ideal world, though, this trophy isn’t for fans to leave their fingerprints, either, or even for playoff-hopeful programs to pose with and uplift in anticipation prior to the culmination of the college football season. But it is more robust.

The thing is, If you want to be allowed to touch this trophy, you have to win it.

“Truly it’s priceless,” Kasmiersky said. “You have to win it. You can’t go buy it.”

College Football National Championship trophy.
SB Nation: Wescott Eberts

How does one even secure the sacred and ever-essential job that is guarding and transporting the National Championship trophy?

In Kasmiesrsky’s case, he came across the opportunity through connections he’d made while attending Oklahoma and working within the Sooners’ athletic department for a couple of years, a program that he once called home before going on to graduate from North Texas.

And despite the intra-conference dominance and a trio of trips to the College Football Playoff, Oklahoma is yet to secure its own opportunity to touch the title trophy. Same with Texas — it was the fragile crystal football that Vince Young and the Longhorns hoisted at the Rose Bowl.

In fact, no Big 12 team has touched the National Championship trophy in its current form.

Both Texas and Oklahoma will enter the 2019 campaign with at least semi-legitimate odds of snapping that extended streak and sniffing the College Football Playoff. But to touch that trophy, as Kasmiersky reiterated, they’ll have to win it.

Earned, not given.

For the gold, bronze, and silver price.