(Feel free to move this to IMHO if necessary - I put it in The Game Room as it is sports-related)
Any thoughts on who’s going to be SI’s Sportsman of the Year? I think it’s announced on 12/5.
I divide this up into three “categories”:
Who I think should win - NBA titlist and Olympic gold medalist LeBron James.
(Why I think he won’t win - I am convinced that a significant part of deciding who gets it is, “How much hate mail and/or threats of subscription cancellations would we get?”)
Who I think will win - despite this being an Olympic year, I think it’ll go to Eli Manning.
Who I would choose - a share between Usain Bolt and Gabby Douglas.
(Why neither of them will probably win - Bolt isn’t in a major sport (or golf) competes for Jamaica; Douglas doesn’t have the “it” factor that, say, Mary Lou Retton did.)
Wild card: Andy Murray. Wimbledon finalist, but he didn’t win when many thought he could finally break through. Then won the gold at the Olympics, and followed it up with a US Open championship, so there’s redemption. I’m not sure what kind of person he is though (i.e. does he do tons of charity work, etc?). He wouldn’t be my pick, but I could see it happening.
Another possibility: The USA “Women’s Olympic Team”. IIRC, more USA gold medals were won by women than by men in 2012.
“The version I heard was,” there was serious consideration of doing this in 1996, and again in 2000; who would have thought that those would be the two years when Tiger Woods (the only two-time winner) would really stand out?
Good call on Messi. It’d be strange if he won it the year that he was the leading goal scorer, but Barca didn’t win La Liga or the Champions League, and Argentina didn’t have any tournaments for him to participate in. Maybe SI has it in the vault for 2014 in case Arg. wins the World Cup. Barring injuries, it seems a safe bet that he’ll continue to produce for Barca at the insanely high level of the last 4 years. Maybe he’ll have fewer goals, but that just means he’s only getting 50 per season instead of 75+.
Detroit Tiger (US baseball) player Miguel Cabrera won the triple crown, so he may get some consideration.
Messi is a good call, though. He doesn’t stand a chance though. Other than that, I don’t see any stand out candidate. They may go the curve ball route, and pick some sports person who does good deeds or overcomes obstacles. Think Oscar Pistorius or others.
I was thinking about this earlier today. Often with the Olympics, they pick one man and one woman (Mary Lou Retton was picked with Edwin Moses), so I was thinking Gabby Douglas plus…someone. Usain Bolt makes perfect sense, and the choices would mirror those of 1984.
I don’t think it means everything, but I think it means something – and since Sportsman Of The Year is already a comparisons-across-sports sort of thing, we’re already in kind of a weird place: how does a solo boxing title stack up against winning the Super Bowl by quarterbacking a team? Do we give Murray bonus points for winning at the Olympics and on the pro circuit, or do we cut the quarterback a break since the Olympics don’t feature his sport?
We’re kinda sorta down the interdisciplinary rabbit hole to begin with – and so looking at how much Phelps dominated his sport, as compared to how much anybody else dominated theirs, seems like it should count for something. (Again, not everything; but, again, it’s already a tough nut to crack.)
There are almost always a bunch of worthy contenders.
I’d probably vote for Usain Bolt… but if the award goes to LeBron James, Michael Phelps, Miggy Cabrera (or Mike Trout- pace, Sabre geeks!), Rory McIlroy, Serena Williams, or any number of other people, I won’t lose any sleep over it.
If Andy Murray had won Wimbledon, I’d say him. He’d have won Wimbledon, the Gold Medal, and the US Open, three consecutive big tournaments. Then again, I think Federer and Djokovic should have had the award before now(though not for 2012).
However, since he actually lost Wimbledon, I’d go with someone else.
When was the last time a player who is entirely new to his sport has been champion at the highest level in his first season?
A 19-year-old, 5’11" redhead from Houston, Dalton Smith took up Ultimate last summer to play at Texas A&M. His blazing speed and vertical ability (he can dunk) immediately made him a major target and a top defender for Dozen. After winning the regional Freshman of the Year award, he navigated the tryouts for the elite Austin-based “Doublewide” club team.
When the U.S. club championships rolled around, Smith wasn’t on the bench for Doublewide. He was on their starting defensive line when they upset top-seeded Ironside from Boston. In the final against San Francisco’s “Revolver”, Smith had a flying, horzontal interception on the first point. That led to his photo being placed on the Ace of Spades in a recent Ultimate playing card deck.
I know that SI is hardly likely to look beyond the USA but that borders on the ridiculous.
A better option might be Bradley Wiggins, only man to win TDF and Olympic gold in the same year and a great role-model for a rather troubled sport. It would be a good chance for SI to erase their 2002 award as well.
F1 racers are always in shape and that should tell you something.
My vote is Lebron. Noone else is even in the conversation for me. The best at what he does (sorry Durant, Kobe) by a wide margin and proved it last year with a championship, that he got killed for not having, and that he is largely responsible for.