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And the Sportsman of the Year is...(19 posts)

And the Sportsman of the Year is...JimF
Dec 11, 2001 2:12 AM
...once more a crock!

I don't know why I was even mildly suprised. I guess it's to be expected from a magazine that covers athletics but features cigarette ads.
Did you really think...bike_junkie
Dec 11, 2001 5:25 AM
That Lance or any other cyclist stood a chance? Joe six-pack could care less about Le Tour (or any other bike race) and that's who subscribes to the mag in question.

Besides, Schilling/Johnson deserve it. They dethroned the Yankees (woo hoo!) and are the best pitching duo since Drysdale/Koufax.

Think outside the box, cycling isn't the only sport in the world.
Did you really think...ANYONE CARES????
Dec 11, 2001 5:31 AM
Narrow minded, eh?bike_junkie
Dec 11, 2001 6:02 AM
You guys are so one-dimensional. If you can't appreciate the skill and athleticism of a great pitcher, goalie, bowler (yes, bowler) you need to open your eyes. I love watching pro bike racing, I love riding my bike, but I also enjoy a good game of hockey or baseball, and to think cycling is the only sport worth a darn is absolutely ignorant.

You clowns excluded, I know there are some more well-rounded forum participants.

See, there's a reason other forums laugh about the junior-high maturity level of the average rbr poster, and you're and example of that.
pretty funnydissenter
Dec 11, 2001 6:57 AM
When there's a dissenting view the alleged victim usually jumps up on the holier than thou soapbox. What's really funny is that cares was agreeing with the junkie!
Dec 11, 2001 7:10 AM
What makes you say he was agreeing? How can you tell? All he was basically saying was 'who cares'.

What's funny is all the anonymous turds that come out of the woodwork with a handle they made up today, eh dissenter?
my 2 centsweiwentg
Dec 11, 2001 7:42 AM
I don't have any aptitude whatsoever for ball games, so I'm a bit biased. BUT I think coming back from cancer to win the TDF, and to win it again last year, should have garnered Lance the award. TDF is MUCH tougher than baseball, from what I can see. some of the stages are on par with a full Ironman.
That's prob a lot to do with it....muncher.
Dec 11, 2001 8:00 AM
Identifying with the sport. Most poeple don't/can't ride a bike - they have no idea - it was easy when then were kids -no more thought. However, eveyone can identify with throwing/kicking a ball.

I'm not a particularly great Lance fan - nothing against him, just not a Lance groupie, but I can see that his achievements knock almost everything else into a cocked hat, save perhaps round the world yatchsmen who survive hedious conditions etc, because I understand what is needed even without the cancer element to the equation. Difficult to appreciate that if you spend most of your sports exposure time with a beer in one hand and a cigar in the other...
my 2 centsTJeanloz
Dec 11, 2001 8:02 AM
The perrenial cyclist argument is that cycling is much tougher than any other sport out there, except maybe Triathalon- and then only if the bike leg is really long.

Just, for example, think about baseball. If Lance (who, don't get me wrong, I admire very much and think the world of) played baseball, he'd be pitching once a week in AA ball, only to go up to the majors for the playoffs and smoke guys who have been playing day in and out since April. A single game of baseball doesn't appear that hard, but we're talking about an event (the World Series) that comes at the end of a 162 game season. That's a lot of games. People think the Tour is gruelling- but it's only 21 stages over 23 days.

Compound this to the fact that Armstrong appears to be head-and-shoulders above his opponents and we EXPECT him to win. I expect him to win anyway. Johnson and Schilling beating the Yankees? We acknowledged that it was possible, but not likely. I don't think Lance was the sports story of the year- especially considering the nagging intimations that he may be dope-enhanced (I'm not saying that I think he is). Johnson and Schilling accomplished the impossible this year- knocking off a dynasty. Lance merely did what he's done twice before- proven that he has no equal in the Tour.
re difficultyDog
Dec 11, 2001 8:28 AM
Yes, racing a bike, particularly at the highest levels, is extremely difficult. But, as several have noted, other sports can be just as difficult to master and win in their own ways.

Take baseball. Anyone ever try to even get a ball across the plate in the strike zone from 60'6"? Not easy. Now try doing it at 90+ mph. Or, anyone every try hitting a 90 mph ball, which sometimes appears to be coming right at your head before dropping? It ain't easy.

Some sports are less sweat and more skill. Baseball, golf, bowling, etc. Most people still think of them as "sports" just the same.

I think this is the key difference between major sports and minor sports - arenas. People like to sit around in a big group and watch other groups competing. All major sports take place in arenas. Cycling doesn't (except a little track). Cyclists ride all over several counties. Spectators see them for a few seconds. Hard to collect money for tickets for that. People don't seem to enjoy individual competitions as much as team efforts, too. While many cycling events are team efforts, most people just don't get it - it certainly isn't as obvious as watching football. I'd bet that if you polled Americans, over 99% would think that the Tour is an individual effort -- Lance Armstrong won, not Team Postal.

Dec 11, 2001 8:59 AM
Although things like golf & bowling are more of a game than a sport, and cardio fitness is not really a factor, I respect the guy that bowls a 300 game under pressure or pitches a no-hitter.

I'm not saying ball sport athletes are superior, only that they deserve some respect for their skills. They attitude that only cyclists are true athletes is narrow minded at best. Cyclists don't need much in the way of coordination, for example.

Some folks just need to think outside their little world, that's all.
my 2 centsbike_junkie
Dec 11, 2001 8:50 AM
I'm with you, TJeanloz, Lance deserved sportsman of the year in '99 when he won the Tour after his battle with cancer, maybe in '00 as a repeat to prove it wasn't a fluke against a weak field, etc. But not this year. I'm a fan of Lance and most U.S. pros for that matter, but he's got a dynasty of his own going. If he wins six consecutive Tours, then he deserves it again, but that's a long way off.
How's that work?muncher.
Dec 11, 2001 9:08 AM
Surely each succesive victory is more of an achievement, in combination, than the last - if he deserved the first then he deserves all of them, unless he is "trumped" by someone in the meantime?
Not really,Tjeanloz
Dec 11, 2001 9:11 AM
The cynic will say that consecutive tour wins just demonstrate the lack of real competition within the field. And that the streak will end once a real contender is found.
Fair point, but....muncher.
Dec 11, 2001 9:33 AM
One could argue that's the whole point - there is no one out there that comes close - a man truly above the competition = more deserving than ever (given we know it's not a duck shoot)?
Dec 11, 2001 9:09 AM
Lance did deserve Sportsman of the Year honors in 1999- after his miraculous cancer comeback. The problem is that he didn't win it in 1999- the US Women's Soccer team did. And a lot of cycling types are still grumbling about that, and think that Lance deserves the recognition that he didn't get in 1999.

In 2000, Tiger Woods was deservedly SOTY- what he accomplished would, in cycling terms be winning all three Grand Tours, the Olympics, and the World Championships in the same season. Lance had a good Tour- but he didn't have nearly the palmares that Tiger had.

Lance's only shot at SOTY comes in 2004, when he will have the opportunity to win a record 6th straight Tour, and an elusive Olympic (gold) medal. Then, kudos to him. Until then, there are lots of great athletes.
YEAH, everyone knows John Force should have won! Just kidding. natomicwedgie
Dec 11, 2001 9:32 AM
re: And the Sportsman of the Year is...Me Dot Org
Dec 11, 2001 12:40 PM
I certainly would not be objecting if Lance won, but several people have won three consecutive TDFs. The award is for sportsman of the year, not athelete of the year. If that were the case, we would just measure VOX and be done with it.

Personally, I think Barry Bonds had arguably the greatest offensive season in the history of baseball. Yes, the ball is juiced and yes, the talent pool is too thin, but Babe Ruth never had to face relief pitchers or play most of his games at night.

Lance's story is heroic, maybe even epic. But that doesn't mean that others aren't deserving.
You're not the only ones,TJeanloz
Dec 12, 2001 8:41 AM
Tony Kornheiser of ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption" said last night that it was a journalistic "embarrassment" that Lance Armstrong was not picked.