Sports Illustrated will be announcing its pick for 2009 Sportsman of the Year on December 1. Until then, SI contributors will be offering up their nominations for the post. “How about Andy Roddick?”, asks writer Albert Chen. “Why?” you ask. Because he almost beat Roger Federer at Wimbledon, of course! (Click here to read the piece.)
If Roddick is an SI Sportsman for losing to Roger, what does that make Roger, exactly?
Probably not Sportsman of the Year. Before winning the French this year, Roger’s most prominent appearance on the SI cover commemorated the 2008 Wimbledon final, when he lost to Rafael Nadal:
It seems like Roger losing – or almost losing – at Wimbledon is more newsworthy to SI honchos (the lovely Jon Wertheim excepted) than him winning, say, three majors in a season (he’s done it three times), completing the career grand slam or surpassing Sampras’s record of 14 Major singles titles. And the odds are against him getting the magazine’s year-end nod. Since the award’s inception in 1954, tennis players have taken the title a scant 3 times: by Billie Jean King and Chris Evert in the 70s and most-recently by Arthur Ashe in 1992. (Click here to check out SI’s past Sportspeople of the Year.)
Who knows, maybe the magazine’s editors are trying to psych us out with the Roddick nomination? Why else would they ignore Roger, who confirmed his GOATness this year with the added touchy-feelies of getting married and fathering twin girls? If Federer doesn’t make it this year, Lord knows what superhuman feats are required to make a non-American tennis player a shoe-in. I guess beating Roger Federer is a good place to start (SI Sportsman, Julien Benneteau?)
Feel free to state your piece with SI, here.
P.S. While I do think Roger’s been unfairly passed over in the past and would love to see him honored by SI this year, I wouldn’t storm the magazine’s offices over this. Roger’s won the Laureus Sportsman of the Year Award four times, an honor much more prestigious than anything a provincial American sports magazine can offer. SI’s Sportsman of the Year Award is a cover, not a coronation. And this cover is all I really need: