It’s that time of the year where some of the Total Sports Bloggers submit their picks on who they think the Sportsman of the Year are. This year, every one of the writers that submitted a pick had a different choice. There is no set criteria for TSB’s Sportsman of the Year other than the fact that it has to be one individual. So without any further ado, here are our selections.
Former Tulane University Safety Devon Walker. Devon Walker was a determined student athlete that pushed his way into the starting lineup at a division 1 college. First started as a walk on, then a starter, then a team captain. A horrific injury almost cost Walker his life on the football field. While Walker survived, the injury paralyzed Walker from the neck down. Even though he is no longer able to walk or function without assistance, he continues to push himself everyday. Even though his body is crippled, his spirit is strong and Walker now wants to help others that have been in his situation. After the injury, he returned to college to finish up his degree. Instead of being down on himself and being upset about his situation, he is using his situation to help others. Now that is what I call a hero.
NASCAR Krissy’s choice for Total Sports Blog’s 2013 Sportsman of the Year is David Ortiz
David Ortiz’s Boston Red Sox weren’t picked to win the 2013 World Series. Heck, they weren’t even picked to make the playoffs. However, the Red Sox defied the skeptics. They started from the bottom and rose to the top. After the Boston Marathon bombings, Ortiz gave a pre-game speech that might not have been as clean as some would have liked, but it managed to rally the city and inspire fans across New England and around the country in the wake of the horrific attacks. It was emotional, organic, and genuine. Classic Ortiz! When the Red Sox were on the verge of a tough ALCS Game 2 loss to the Detroit Tigers at home, Ortiz responded by crushing a game tying eighth inning grand slam over the outstretched glove of Torri Hunter. Ortiz was named World Series MVP after Boston wrapped up its eighth championship over the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park. Ortiz hit a monstrous .688 with two honors, six RBIs, and eight walks in 25 plate appearances during the World Series. Nobody in sports had a better year than David Ortiz. It took the wreck of the 2012 season and the tragedy on Marathon Monday to bring out the best in him. For what he does best is to lead.
Mike Lucas’ choice for Total Sports Blog’s 2013 Sportsman of the Year is Lebron James
The athlete of 2013 is without a doubt LeBron James. The King added a second NBA Championship to his resume, a fourth MVP award, and has made at least a bizillion dollars in endorsements from Nike, Samsung, and others. LBJ is without a doubt the best basketball player on the planet right now and is making up serious ground in his voyage to reaching the NBA’s GOAT Michael Jordan. In 2013, LeBron conquered his late game shot making phobia and led the Heat back in Game 6 of the NBA Finals for what was probably the best game of the year (I’ll listen to the Alabama/Auburn game but those are 1A and 1B). 2013 was the year of the King. LeBron dominated the game on the court and off the court, and it’s about time all the haters get off this guy’s back. Was “The Decision” stupid? Yes – but that was a few years ago and this guy has done nothing to deserve the hate he gets on a regular basis since then. He’s the best right now, and he made 2013 his b*tch.
Hook’s choice for Total Sports Blog’s 2013 Sportsman of the Year is Peyton Manning
I’m going to go against the grain by not selecting LeBron James as athlete of the year and instead nominate the record smashing Peyton Manning. LeBron may have won his 2nd championship and 4th MVP in 2013, but the Heat would have been ousted had it not been for Ray Allen saving their asses. Manning, who almost retired a few years ago due to serious nerve damage in his neck, put together the best season of all time at the quarterback position in the NFL. Manning obliterated the single season passing TD record while eclipsing the single season passing yards record at the same time. A Super Bowl win in 2014 would be the icing on the cake.
EDIT BY BAGGYDIZZLE: He shot up my rankings for all the good work he’s done for Papa John’s and how he’s made liking cardboard pizza so mainstream.
Baggydizzle’s choice for Total Sports Blog 2013 Sportsman of the Year is Alex Rodriguez
I was this close to picking Lebron James. You can’t really see how close because this is a blog post and you can’t actually visualize how close my fingers are to each other but just use your damn imagination. It was close. I mean, I am extremely biased towards basketball and Lebron James is not only the best player in the sport by a golden mile but a very good case can be made that he’s the absolute best athlete in all of sports. However, while I was thinking everything over and I asked myself “Who had the most impact on the Sports community?”, I’d be hard pressed to say it wasn’t Alex Rodriguez. Yeah, I know. He only played a quarter of the season for the Yankees this year because of injury. He also didn’t put up huge numbers. However, good guys don’t always finish first. Every story needs a villain and A-Rod played the role beautifully this calendar year. The steroid shadow still loomed large over baseball and he is the face of it. While rehabbing arthroscopic surgery on his hip, Major League baseball suspended him for a record 211 games, which he appealed, of course. However, one of my favorite sports moments of the year, was when A-Rod joined the Mike Francessa show for an impromptu interview after an arbitration hearing and put on a Kanye-esque performance:
Whew! This is a guy that is tired of the hypocrisy of the bureaucracy in baseball (I’m not a fan of A-Rod by any means but MLB loves scapegoats when they are as equally to blame as the players) and is willing to make the commissioner look foolish in the process. Everyone hates A-Rod too. EVERYONE! And he doesn’t care. He goes about his life without a care. And I was completely fascinated by it. It’s like rubbernecking during a car accident. Everyone slows down to look at the accident and everyone’s disappointed if it’s not an absolute catastrophe with blood splatters everywhere….and that’s how A-Rod comes through. There’s always blood splatters. So for the mere fact that he accepted the role of being Skeletor for the 2013 calendar year is the reason why I feel Alex Rodriguez is my sportsman of the year.