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Did Peyton Manning Deserve To Be Named The Sports Illustrated 2013 “Sportsman of the Year”?

Submitted by on December 16, 2013 – 2:54 pmOne Comment
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Peyton Manning just added yet another award to his already-crowded trophy case. Over the weekend, Sports Illustrated announced that Manning was the winner of their “Sportsman of the Year” award this year. And really, it’s difficult to argue against Manning. This season, he’s been the best player in the NFL, has thrown nearly 50 touchdowns, and has turned the Denver Broncos into the favorite to win the Super Bowl in February. But because this is sports, we can make an argument—a pretty strong argument actually—against Manning winning SI‘s award this year. Because if you ask us, there are plenty of other people who deserved it more.

Take David Ortiz, for example. The Boston Red Sox slugger guided his team to a World Series victory this fall, just one year after they finished in the basement of the American League East. Additionally, Ortiz spoke up shortly after the Boston Marathon bombing back in the spring and told the world that Boston was not going to lay down and be a victim after the bombing. He inspired the city. And that continued well into the summer and fall as he led the Red Sox on their World Series run. He was a factor for the team and the city of Boston both on and off the baseball diamond.

Speaking of the Boston Marathon bombing, you could also make a case for any and all victims of the bombing to be the “Sportsman of the Year” in 2013. What those people went through was tragic. But the comeback that many of those people have made from it has been inspirational. SI could have honored those affected by the bombing by making them the “Sportsmen of the Year.”

And those aren’t the only two submissions we would make. What about Mariano Rivera? The New York Yankees didn’t have a great season, but Rivera had a terrific end to his career. Johnny Manziel also could have been a dark horse candidate for the award. And hey, what about LeBron James?! All he did was lead his Miami Heat to their second straight championship and continue to turn himself into the biggest athlete on the planet.

Now that we think about it, maybe Peyton Manning wasn’t the right candidate for the “Sportsman of the Year” award. He’s a great football player and all. But there have been other sports people who have had a bigger impact in other areas of their lives this year. So why weren’t they given more consideration? Manning is the safe pick that will get SI a lot of attention. But we think others deserved it more.

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