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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sportsman of the Year

Brett Favre received Sports Illustrated's "Sportsman of the Year" award earlier this week, and there was some grumbling about it by a few folks because he didn't win a championship, or lead the league in statistical categories.

For those who have an issue with it, I'd have to point you to this video, of Favre getting his second award of the week, the Make-A-Wish Foundation's Chris Greicius Celebrity Award. He was given the award for the 65 times he's granted wishes to kid's to meet him through the charity. On stage with him is Anna Walentowski, who's wish was granted in 2004. (bring a tissue)

The video, to me at least, shows the definition of humility, and caring by a guy who could just as easily travel with an entourage and ignore the media and be an ass, like Barry Bonds.

The Sportsman of the Year award shouldn't be just about on the field accomplishments, if it were, Bonds should probably be this years winner for besting Hank Aaron's home run record. Roger Federer is a popular choice among those bitching in SI's comment about Favre winning it; and in a purly sports sense, is probably very deserving.

However, if it is about "just sports" Favre has still done plenty this year to earn it, eclipsing the NFL's career TD pass mark, career wins by a QB, he'll have the yardage mark in a few days, career interceptions (okay, not a great mark, but you don't get in one season, either). None of them were "short term" records, that get eclipsed every year. In fact, Peyton Manning at his current rate needs about 7 more seasons to catch most of them, if Favre quit today and Manning doesn't have any setbacks.

But again, I go back to the off the field things he's done, and because of his popularity caused to be done. The Fourward Foundation gives away hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to developmentally disabled childrens causes in Wisconsin and Mississippi.

The Door County Gulf Coast Relief Fund started out as a party on Packer's bye weeks. A bunch of guys making a pilgramage to see Favre's home town. Since Katrina they've made 20 trips, with electricians, carpenters, and other tradesmen to help put people back in the homes. Had Brett languished on the bench in Atlanta for his entire career it probable that wouldn't have happened.

SI made a good choice, whether the six people who still watch men's tennis agree or not.

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