On Monday, Sports Illustrated will announce its Sportsman of the Year. The decision has become relevant around here because of a brief, vague report on Gawker saying Derek Jeter will be the choice. It’s hard to put a ton of faith into a two-sentence story that’s based on a email, but it makes some sense.
Usain Bolt, Jimmie Johnson and Tim Tebow stand out to me as strong candidates, but Jeter would be a nice choice. In a sport that’s seen its share of negative stories for the past decade or so, Jeter remains an absolute positive. Outside of Boston, he seems to be a player who’s generally liked and respected throughout the country, and this season was one of his personal bests. And, of course, it ended with a championship.
If I may add one other Yankee to the list of candidates, what about Alex Rodriguez? I’d probably rather see Jeter get the honor, but Rodriguez seems emblematic of how far an athlete can fall and how high he can rise in the span of a single year. I think he’d be an interesting choice.