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Sportsman of the year poll in SI you can vote in...(59 posts)

Sportsman of the year poll in SI you can vote in...ClydeTri
Dec 3, 2003 6:37 AM
vote at :

article had a nice photo of lance
It always amazes me...wspokes
Dec 3, 2003 6:48 AM
The way we view certain sports...look at the choices. Baseball? Football? is a bit baffling. I am not saying they are not talented but...there is a bit of lack when it comes to pics of actual ATHLETES...there is a fair number of other sports figures that would be more favorably considered athletes in my book...cyclists, triathletes, swimmers, runners...sports that require consistent prolonged efforts or persistent attitudes. But that's ok, it is Sports illustrated and we must continue to have idols for the millions...where's the nascar athlete on that list...those fire truck polishing, softball playing, beer drinking, cigar smoking, overweight armchair athletes are gonna be p*ssed if you don't get Dale Jr up on that board...

Off the soapbox. Enjoy a ride.
You forgot bowlingpurplepaul
Dec 3, 2003 6:55 AM
and the upper class version, golf.

Skilled? Absolutely.

Athletic? Ha!

I wonder if anyone, anywhere ever managed to break a sweat with those two "sports." And, no, carrying your golf clubs up a hill doesn't qualify. That sport is taken; it's called walking.
I disagreekevinacohn
Dec 3, 2003 6:57 AM
(Until any of these people is PROVEN to have taken steroids, let's leave that out of this discussion...)

What Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have done this past season in baseball is nothing short of amazing. Barry Bonds just won his record sixth MVP award, and his third straight. He's 39 years old. Imagine Lance winning the Tour de France when he's 39... that's essentially what Bonds is doing.

Is hitting a home run as hard as winning the Tour? Absolutely not. But the amount of conditioning and preparation that Bonds puts in before every game is amazing, and he shatters records because of it.

Similarly, Roger Clemens is retiring from baseball while he's still a dominating pitcher. I was at the game against the St. Louis Cardinals where he both struck out his 4,000th batter (only the second man to ever do so) and won his 300th game (the 26th, and the first since Nolan Ryan in the early 1990s).

Both of these men had an amazing year. So did Albert Pujols, who is simply one of the best players that baseball has seen in the last 40 years.

When all's said and done, however, I believe that Lance was the true Sportsman of the Year, and that will without a doubt be confirmed this Sunday.
Whoa...time out...wspokes
Dec 3, 2003 7:06 AM
you said:
Imagine Lance winning the Tour de France when he's 39... that's essentially what Bonds is doing

Comparing Bond's accomplishments (grin) to winning the TOUR...No. I don't think so. I am not going to name call. I enjoy a good conversationary differences (just to say this ahead of time, nothing is said to offend). I just can't even remotely call running the bases and standing in the sun waiting for someone to hit a ball to you so you can exert yourself to throw it...not the tour...not a a time trial where the heart rate is buzzing out the chest...Now you did say later that it can't be compared so I will grant you that...I just can't stand Baseball and the way the country pumps money into these sports that just seem to healthy promotion what-so-ever. And notice, I left steroids out because with the drugs in the is best to leave them out.

Like I said, I believe they have talent...I just get tired of the promotion of sitting around and watching..for me. I get motivated watching the tour...motivated to get my butt in shape and feel better for myself. In regards to football and baseball...motivation for the armchair fans to get up to get another beer and hot dog.
Clearly our opinions differ (which is fine)kevinacohn
Dec 3, 2003 7:39 AM
Again, I find the Tour to be the most difficult challange in all of sports. But that doesn't mean that accomplishments on a baseball field are any less impressive, just in a different way.

The way I see it, there are two kinds of sports (of course, this is subject to opinion, and therefore, debate): the kind where physical fitness and mental toughness rein (the Tour, for example), and the kind where skill, precision, and ability often outweigh fitness (baseball is an example).

Greg Maddux is one of the greatest pitchers of the last 20 years, and he's never throw a ball over 93 miles an hour in his life. Yet he's on the verge of winning HIS 300th game, an amazing accomplishment for a man who relies not so much on physical fitness and raw strength, but skill and cunning.

Like I said, this is clearly a hot topic for debate... and again, I don't disagree that the Tour is the most difficult of all sporting events. I found it... amusing... when USA Today stated that the most difficult thing in all of sports was to hit a 90 mph fastball. Winning the Tour was listed as 8th hardest or so. I can hit a 90 mph fastball, but I obviously cannot win the Tour. I found that so stupid that I now refuse to read that pile of crap.
We basicallywspokes
Dec 3, 2003 7:59 AM
Think alike in some senses and I really have to agree with the Here here post below...there are two distinct athletic types. Good post.
Yah, throw someafrican
Dec 3, 2003 8:13 AM
fast balls at me and I will eventually hit one, I will never ever do the tour.
But throw fast balls at you at 95mph with accuracy...NatC
Dec 4, 2003 5:56 AM
and you may never hit one. A pitch at that speed is hard to even keep your eye on.
No waykevinacohn
Dec 4, 2003 7:12 AM
If Randy Johnson threw me 100 95 mph fastballs, I'd hit at least one of them. So would you, probably. Give me 100 starts to the Tour and I'll burn out before the end of the first 10 km, every time.
Don't know if you're still following this thread, Kevin...NatC
Dec 6, 2003 7:21 AM
but I'll post just in case you are.

I see above that you state you can hit a 90 mph fastball. That means you have some baseball experience, yes? I played baseball through high school varsity but stopped there. I highly doubt that two decades later I could even get a bat around by the time the ball crossed the plate at that speed. If you're thinking that statistically just by putting your bat out in the way of the pitch you'd eventually hit one, then I'm still doubtful you could do it. You can't hit the ball if it passes you before you swing the bat.

While only a handful of people could hit a 90 mph fastball, the majority could not. Take a random sampling of people at the mall or in traffic for example. How many soccer moms do you think could hit a fastball?

Likewise, while a handful of people could keep up with the Tour briefly, the majority could not.

Out of curiosity, can you really hit a 90 mph fastball, or are you just surmising? If you're saying you could hit one because you've spectated a lot of games and are used to seeing a lot of pitches from the stands, then that's no different than someone saying he could ride the Tour because he's seen a lot of bike racing (from the side of the road). If you genuinely CAN hit a 90 mph fastball, then more power to you, because you're better than most.
Here Hereeschelon
Dec 3, 2003 7:44 AM
The English language needs new identifiers as to identifying clearer language as to what sport is considered an athletic endevour and what is a skilled athletic endevour.
It has been provenSpecialTater
Dec 3, 2003 7:44 AM
At least 5% of major league players tested positive for steroids. It is about to get ugly.

But I do agree that baseball and football players are athletes. You can make an arguement for any sport that requires speed and power. It is more difficult to make this arguement for golf (and I play).
Totally agree... baseball players juice, big timekevinacohn
Dec 3, 2003 7:49 AM
But I'm leaving that out of the discussion because

(1) Cycling, aside from Track & Field, is definitely the sport with the largest steroid problem in history.
(2) While it's obvious that many players ARE using steroids (Jason Giambi, anyone?), I won't belittle anyone's accomplishments until they're proven guilty.
True...good pointSpecialTater
Dec 3, 2003 8:09 AM
and I'm a big Cards fan too. Pujols was robbed of the MVP IMHO.
Pujols had an AMAZING seasonkevinacohn
Dec 3, 2003 8:19 AM
But consider these statistics:

Pujols hit a home run every 13.744 at-bats. Bonds hit one every 8.667 at-bats.

Pujols had an RBI every 4.766 at-bats. Bonds had one every 4.333 at-bats.

The Giants made the playoffs (clearly only because of Bonds); the Cardinals (sadly) did not. Bonds reached base at a .529 clip; Pujols at .439. So Bonds made an out only 47.1% of the time. Pujols made an out 56.1% of the time. That's a big difference...

Also, remember Bonds became the first 500/500 man in history this season... if that's worth anything...

Pujols had a great season, but he was second best in my book... and I HATE Barry Bonds. He's an ass.
Totally agree... baseball players juice, big timedotkaye
Dec 3, 2003 2:51 PM
cycling, T&F have a problem because they actually have rules about taking drugs, and tests in place. Baseball and football have 'no problem' only because because they don't do any drug testing.. the player's unions voted against it, so it doesn't happen.
Speed and powerMel Erickson
Dec 3, 2003 8:13 AM
These are also requirements for golf. Not leg speed but clubhead speed. Power, certainly, that's one of the reasons Tiger Woods dominates. He's learned and taught others on the Tour that conditioning and strength is a winner (Gary Player, too). You forgot finesse, mental toughness, playing under pressure. Yes, golf is a sport. I think we do a disservice to many sports by limiting our definitions. Last I heard the brain is a pretty important part of our body.
What amazes me...Dwayne Barry
Dec 3, 2003 7:31 AM
is that Armstrong wasn't even the cyclist of the year, but than again most Americans couldn't even name another cyclist.
Lance isn't even the American cyclist of the yearSpoiler
Dec 3, 2003 9:13 AM
No, Tyler is theDwayne Barry
Dec 3, 2003 9:29 AM
North American Cyclist of the year, haven't you seem the Velonews awards? Kind of funny that in their article on Jeanson being the N.A. female cyclist of the year they talk about her dominace of north american cycling, did Tyler even race in the US this year?

And Tyler and Petacchi were runners-up to Lance for international cyclists of the year. I think they forgot Bettini. Kinda hard to argue that a guy who won more world-cup races in a single year than any rider before him and naturally the world cup, and is the world #1 (50% more points than Armstrong), not to mention raced throughout the year including doing great team work for Virenque at the Tour wasn't the year's best cyclist. I think Petacchi was the only other legitimate runner-up. Simoni, Vinokourov, van Petegem, Hamilton and Armstrong should have just gotten honorable metions.
Requirements for a great sportContinental
Dec 3, 2003 7:40 AM
A great sport needs to challenge all aspects of athleticism--Agility, quickness, speed, stamina, strength, power, coordination, and fluid intelligence. Very few sports meet these criteria. My ranking--1. Boxing 2. Football Quarterback 3. Soccer 4. Basketball 5. Tennis 6. Football positions other than quarterback. Sorry wspokes, but cycling, running, swimming don't test the full range of athleticism to the extent of these challenging sports.
Baseball? It has all of that... nmkevinacohn
Dec 3, 2003 7:41 AM
Dec 3, 2003 8:04 AM
LMAO...good one. You are joking right! So cycling isn't a sport..that is basically what you are saying! Challenging sports? You forgot to mention Nascar racing too. It would has all those aspects...dart throwing...there's plenty more. Cycling, Running, Swimming contain all those aspects. Every single one of those are involved in them. Enough about that..I will let you get going, I am sure there are some online pharmacy sites you need to peruse before you run out of your meds...
Of course cycling is a sportContinental
Dec 3, 2003 8:44 AM
And elite cyclist are athletes. Competitive cycling requires stamina and power, with some quickness, agility and fluid intelligence but it is heavily weighted toward stamina. If you objectively look at the requirements for agility, coordination, quickness, strength, and fluid intelligence you will conclude that some sports are more challenging to these athletic skills than competitive cycling and other sports are less challenging. A 100 meter dash is a sport and the runners are athletes, but I don't rank it as a great sport because it is so one dimensional. Competive Cycling has more dimensions than running sprints, but it doesn't rise to the level of a sport that challenges all aspects of athleticism.

Recreactional cyclists like myself are not athletes, but many are deluded into thinking they are. These delusional cyclists tend to get very defensive when their perceived athleticism is attacked in any way.
We agree to disagree...wspokes
Dec 3, 2003 8:56 AM
I guess we just agree to disagree which is each our privelage. Regarding the subtle...
but many are deluded into thinking they are. These delusional cyclists tend to get very defensive when their perceived athleticism is attacked in any way.

I agree. I just get tired of the way cycling is viewed in the states as subordinate to and not equal to the popularity sports that you favor. If you are a recreational cyclist and do so to maintain health, great. By definition. An athlete is a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina. Please note the words OR. By your aren't an athlete, others who think the opposite consider themselves athletes by meeting those aspects of the def. Cheers.
football positions........african
Dec 3, 2003 8:19 AM
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ..... Warren Sapp comes to mind. Lets see.

Agility... guy can't wipe his own butt
quickness... slow as an ox
speed... read above
stamina... ha ha ha ha ha none
strength... ok I give him this he is strong
power... ok he is powerfull, but there is a lot of fat there
coordination... give me a break
fluid intelligence... enough said

Any more.....
Any pro Rugby player is more a sportsman than any pro Football player.
I agree, I personally look down on football nmkevinacohn
Dec 3, 2003 8:22 AM
You're grossly underestimating Mr. SappContinental
Dec 3, 2003 8:57 AM
You'd be amazed at the the agility, quickness, speed, coordination and fluid intellignence of pro football lineman. I played intramural basketball against some top tier college football lineman at Ohio State who never made the Pros. These 300 lb guys could run the floor, dribble, pass, shoot, move without the ball and make lightning fast decisions. Then, when the game was over they'd show off by doing handstands and walking on their hands. But they weren't good enough to go up against Warren Sapp. He's way more than a slow, dumb ox.
Dec 3, 2003 9:20 AM
Sapp might be the fastest most co-ordinated intelligent 300 pound man around. But, but a regular sized athlete will put him to shame. Lets see Sapp do a marathon or triathlon or ride a road bike. Or heaven forbid sail a boat alone around the world - now that is a sport worthy of mention.
Sailing alone around the world is not a sportspluti
Dec 3, 2003 9:25 AM
Apples are not oranges
Dec 3, 2003 9:35 AM
you go do it and when you come back then you tell me if it is or is not.

"Around Alone is the greatest mental and physical challenge in any sport. Only those with the highest proven stamina and mental toughness should enter for what is the ultimate classic ocean race - the ultimate sporting challenge."
Dec 3, 2003 10:15 AM
A race with two competitors against a clock or a method of scoring points is "sporting criteria".
Sailing a boat, around the lake or around the world alone doesn't qualify as a sport unless of course it is timed or scored.
that was fuzzy math......african
Dec 3, 2003 10:30 AM
yes, If I sail a boat around the world, it would be for the adventure or experience not a sporting event. But there is a race around the world, single handed, and that to me in my opinion is one of the toughest sporting events in the world. This is the race I was refering to.

But I have sailed in races and it is darn hard work and certainly sailing in a race is a sport more so than some other events, especially when you can easlily lose your life out there.
that was fuzzy math......spluti
Dec 3, 2003 10:36 AM
I spent 20 years racing hydroplanes(stink pots)..I know how "physical" what appears to be a boat ride can be.
I'm happier as a serious recreational bicycle rider.
Dec 3, 2003 10:52 AM
bike riding is a sport. And you ride a bike, so by default are you not a sporty type of person. You participate in a sport??? So you are a sportsman.

Do you know where I can read up on the history of football? as much as it seems I don't like it, I do watch a game here and there and I enjoy sport, most sports actually.
Comparing Hydros to Ocean racing is likeDave Hickey
Dec 3, 2003 10:53 AM
comparing cycling to motorcycling. Not even in close.

I spent 15 years racing sailboats around the Caribbean and Great Lakes. A four day ocean race is very demanding both mentally and physically.
which Islands???african
Dec 3, 2003 11:05 AM
I have sailed from Martineque to the Grenadines, many years ago. My Dad is currently waiting for a window to head to the BVI. Sadly I can't make the trip, but if he gets delayed enough I might be able to pull something off.

I just bought my first sailboat a few months back, a 26 columbia, needs lots of work but I have done a lot allready.
Now thats a sport, cleaning up a boat sheeez, Sapp would not fit on my boat he will sink it.
BVI, USVI, PR and Antigua..Dave Hickey
Dec 3, 2003 11:12 AM
Business still takes me to the Caribbean 4 or 5 times/yr. Sadly, I don't get to sail as much as I used to. During college and for about 5 years after, I was pretty much a paid hand. I was pretty good at racing and a guy hired me to work at his company just so I would race for him.
I'd like to see anyone who can run a...Dwayne Barry
Dec 3, 2003 9:55 AM
marathon or triathlon or race a bike with any ability, not end up a quivering pile of pulverized humanity after trying to play a quarter of NFL football as a defensize lineman. The reason you don't have athletes who can do both is that the physical traits that allow one to do endurance vs. power sports are mutually exclusive.

To take the extreme there will never be an athlete who can both squat 1000 lbs and run a sub 2:10 marathon.
Except the most amazing all-rounders of them allMel Erickson
Dec 3, 2003 10:09 AM
Decathletes. These people are amazing swiss army knife athletes. No, they won't beat any of the specialists at their game but their combination of power, speed and endurance is astounding.
Except aren't 9 of the 10 events...Dwayne Barry
Dec 3, 2003 10:15 AM
power events? Really the only endurance event is the 1500 meter and even that is about as short as it gets in endurance events. I know there are charts for doing it, it would be interesting to figure out their projected marathon times from their 1500m times.
Let's see the marathon, tri-guy or road geek line up in footballMel Erickson
Dec 3, 2003 10:04 AM
Different atheletes for different sports. Pro football players are selected specifically for their physical characteristics as are pro cyclists. You'd be amazed at how agile, quick and fast a 300# lineman in pro football is. I guarantee they will hold their own against a regular sized athlete and obviously beat them at football. Most of these linemen can run a 40 under 5 seconds. No, it's no marathon but it's what the sport demands. Just like a marathoner doesn't have an extra ounce of fat a lineman has many extra ounces because they come in handy when trying to move a mountain or resist being moved. It's all in what the sport demands.
so why all the pads and helmets in football?? nmafrican
Dec 3, 2003 10:34 AM
Dec 3, 2003 11:07 AM
they are wusses...if they didn't wear the equipment and didn't take so many BREAKS they would be considered REAL athletes in my book but we would call them RUGBY players. There is a real football (soccer).
Jesus Christ, didn't any of...Dwayne Barry
Dec 3, 2003 11:37 AM
you guys play backyard football as a kid or pee-wee/high school football?

Without pads you'd break bones, get concussions, etc. if you played football the same as without pads. Without pads you have Rugby, where they really don't hit or block like they do in football. In Rugby you basically pull people down you don't knock them down like you can do in football. The impacts in these two sports are entirely different.
Exactly, football is contact. Rugby is not(nm)spluti
Dec 3, 2003 11:45 AM
wrong, go play a game of rugbyafrican
Dec 3, 2003 11:54 AM
and tell me if you get some contact or not. If you don't get contact in rugby you are gay and not there to play the game. Besides you come from a country that is not a major rugby playing nation, so what do you know about the sport?
blasphemy...... and....african
Dec 3, 2003 11:49 AM
no I never ever played backyard football as a kid, but I did grow up playing Rugby.

So you played rugby and football?
No, but I've...Dwayne Barry
Dec 3, 2003 12:10 PM
played enough back-yard football (i.e. no pads) and watched enough Rugby (Fox Sports World carried it) to see that the way people tackle and contact each other are the same.

I played football as a kid all the way through high school. In football you can literally try to run through people and just wind-up and run full bore into people because of the pads. If you tried this without pads you'd break your collarbone or give yourself a concussion depending on whether you hit shoulder or head first. Unless the physics are different in Rugby I can't see how playing football without pads is any different than Rugby. BTW, I'm not saying Rugby isn't tough or not a contact sport, simply that you can not possibly hit someone the same way without pads as with pads and that football without the pads would be played in a different manner.
I assume you don't know how American football evolvedMel Erickson
Dec 3, 2003 1:00 PM
When football was in it's infancy the players looked much like rugby players. No helmets or shoulder pads, maybe some slight padding built into the pants or sewn into the jersey shoulders. Helmets and other pads started to come on the scene when they literally started to kill and maim each other. People were dieing from head injuries and had numerous broken bones. Helmets and pads were needed to allow the game to continue. It's evolved to the point we have today. The collisions and forces are so violent that without pads and helmets someone would probably be dieing every game. Even with all the protective equipment there's some pretty guresome injuries and even some deaths each year. It's a burtal sport. Many retired pro players end up crippled in their 40's and 50's from injuries sustained playing football.
You're grossly underestimating Mr. SappshrEd
Dec 3, 2003 1:53 PM
I once saw a special about William "The Fridge" Perry when he was in his prime, around 310 lbs. He was able to jump on and off a table from a stand still repeatedly. I can do that once, if I'm lucky. It was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen. Put football players in persepective - they are amazing atheletes for sure!

Don't confuse popularity with skillspluti
Dec 3, 2003 8:13 AM
This SI poll is a popularity contest. The discussion relating skills derived from differing sporting activities is irrelevent.
If you can compare cycling with baseball then lets throw in flyfishing and poker.
Adding fuel to the fire...kevinacohn
Dec 3, 2003 10:19 AM
Here's a rough breakdown of every Sports Illustrated cover. I searched SI's covers database by these terms, and these are the results I got. Understand that there are bound to be some errors here... for instace, if there's a blurb on a football cover about a baseball trade, it will come up as both.

669 - Football
522 - Baseball
473 - Basketball
142 - Boxing
100 - Track and Field
96 - Hockey
49 - Skiing
27 - Skating
17 - Soccer
11 - Sailing
3 - Wrestling
2 - Bowling

Feel free to add more sports by searching for yourself...:

I can't find my Covers issue of SI, in which every cover was reproduced and they gave exact counts for each sport...
all that that tells me is.....african
Dec 3, 2003 10:33 AM
football sells. To me SI has always been a magazine about football, baseball and basketball.
How about SI swimsuit babes?greatest athletes of all nmContinental
Dec 3, 2003 12:13 PM
I knew we would agree on something ; ) nmwspokes
Dec 3, 2003 12:21 PM
NO NO - a Podium girl special edition..... mmmmmm nmafrican
Dec 3, 2003 12:43 PM
86 for Tennis, including the one of Anna Kournakova and a pillowdjg
Dec 4, 2003 1:19 PM
I guess that counts. Could be a sport of some sort.