Drew Brees named SI 'Sportsman of the Year.' Who else could have been picked?
Drew Brees, who led the New Orleans Saints to a Super Bowl win in February, has been selected as 'Sportsman of the Year' by Sports Illustrated. Does Drew Brees deserve it? Who else could have been so honored?
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A perennial candidate is Kobe Bryant of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant was selected MVP of the NBA Finals in June as the Lakers outlasted the Boston Celtics in seven games for their 16th NBA title.Skip to next paragraph
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Major League Baseball brought a pair of interesting sportsman candidates. Coming back from substance abuse, Josh Hamilton of the Rangers, offers a compelling narrative. He was overwhelmingly voted the American League MVP, posting monster offensive numbers as he helped Texas reach its first World Series. Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds also had a stellar year at the plate as he won the National League MVP, the first Reds MVP since 1995.
Of course, this is not an award for "Athlete of the Year." It's "Sportsman," which brings a values and compassion component into the decision. Sports Illustrated quotes NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Brees' inspirational role off the field: "He symbolizes the people of New Orleans in many, many ways. Drew believes in that community. He believes in doing what's right. He's one of the most genuine people I've ever met.''
You can look back at the varied list of past SI sportsman winners and see men and women who were champions and gave back to their community, country, and world. Rafer Johnson, Arthur Ashe, and Johann Olav Koss are some prominent examples.
SI didn't say who else it considered this year. But in the end, I yield to their choice. Drew Brees is worthy of joining such select company.
Who would you choose?