It's that time of the year again when SI gives out its Sportman of the Year (SOY) award. Last year it went to Mike Krzykewski and Pat Summit, both deserving for their bodies of work even though neitherthe championship. In prior years some winners have been very deserving (Tiger Woods in 2000, Micheal Phelps in 2008) but some winners leave you scratching your head (Derek Jeter in 2009, Dwayne Wade in 2006).
This year here's who won't get my vote (not that I get to vote on it, even though SI should seek my advice): Eli Manning or any of the NY Giants. They did win the Super Bowl and Manning played great, but realistically they were the better team. Even though the Patriots had the better win-loss record most of us knew from 2008 that NY would pull it out somehow. No other NFL player or coach has done anything this year to put themselves into the debate.
Who else whon't get my vote? Any NBA player. These guys are so collectively unlikeable that they really shouldn't even be in any discussion of Sportman of anything (sportmanship is part of the debate). Any Major League Soccer player. The game they play may require tremendous agility and athleticism but it's still tremendously boring. Who wants to watch a 2 hour 1-0 game or a 0-0 game decided by penalty kicks? Not this guy.
Who should be considered but not quite good enough to win? Lots of Olympians. Phelps clearly showed he's still the most dominant olympic athlete ever, Usain Bolt again showed the world he's the fastest human ever, and Misty May and Kerri Walsh showed that grit and determination can win championships even against younger, better players. Additionally Gabby Douglas, Mo Farah and Andy Murray gave the whole world real feel-good stories.
Runner up for SOY is actually Sportwoman of the Year, Lindsey Vonn. She absolutely dominated the world in women's skiing last year. She didn't just dominate the downhills,she also racked up major points in her non-specialty events, the slaloms. She established herself as the most dominat woman winter sport athlete in history.
So finally who should get the SOY? The obvious choice is Buster Posey. It was Posey who provided the biggest spark to the Giants world series title. Along the way he lead the league in hitting, knocked in over 100 RBI's, all while playing the most difficult position on the field (catcher). One need only to look to 2011 when the Giants failed to make the playoffs while Posey was injured most of the season, and then compare that result with 2010 and 2012 to see how valuable Posey is to his team. Plus you can't discount how far he came back from that 2011 injury. Initially his leg was so severely broken the doctors didn't know if he'd ever be able to play again. Posey obviously put in all the rehab necessary and then some. Finally Posey still remains the humble player he was in 2010. I dont' recall him ever jawing with an umpire or getting thrown out of a game.
Thus, based on his play on the field, his demeanor, and his leadership Buster Posey should be SOY. Agree? Disagree? feel free to chime in.