Sportsman/Women Of The Year
In a matter of days, Sports Illustrated will share with us their selection for Sportsman of the Year.
Trying to guess the honoree each year makes for good sport itself. The topic makes for a relatively lively and safe (in this election year) conversation on Thanksgiving Day, and it gives a reason to review the year's activities.
The New York Football Giants won the Super Bowl, Eli Manning's second.
Kentucky's transient freshmen took the college basketball championship.
LeBron James' Miami Heat (finally) won the NBA crown.
The Summer Olympics had a bevy of stars, but absent a duplication of Michael Phelps' 8 Gold Medals in 2008, no single American's performance stood out - although Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt's brief and breathtaking victories electrified and awed the world-wide audience.
MVP Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers led the American League in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in - the Triple Crown, the first since 1967. But his team was swept in the World Series by the San Francisco Giants, whose Buster Posey won the NL MVP award, made all the more remarkable given his comeback from a horrific knee injury suffered during the previous season.
This year's Sportsman recipient may come from those listed above.
My choice (and prediction), though, goes to a group - not an individual or a team, but a group.
This year the Sportsman of the Year will need a name change; to the Sportswomen of the Year.
Hand the prize to this year's American female Olympians.
From the Beach Volleyballers to the Soccer, Basketball, Swimming, and Gymnastic teams, this year's American women manifested the destiny that was created by the enactment of Title IX back in the 1970's.
Their performance dominated this year's Games like no others.
The ripple effect of their accomplishments will take years to discern and could prove incalculable.
For every Gold Medal that was awarded to an American woman in London this summer, there are a million American girls who imagined themselves standing one day on the Victory Stand and hearing our National Anthem played in their honor.
We get to watch those young athletes today as they strive to make their dreams come true, from the peewee levels all the way up through High School and College competition.
Some will come from the town where you live.
And while most will fall short of their greatest aim, they will all be better off, and our world a better place, because they aimed high.
And because they had this year's Olympians to show them that their dreams can come true.
There's no question about it.