The Lou Marsh Award: As much about why as who
Sometime today, the greatest minds in Canadian sports journalism – with one notable exception, mind you – will sit down to decide who wins the Lou Marsh Award as the country’s top 2011 athlete.
It is not, nor will it ever be, an easy task – although it would be made easier with the presence of one other guy, mind you – because there always are so many worthy candidates, each of whom is deserving of some monstrous accolade.
But one of the most burning questions – and it would be more easily answered by the addition of one guy to the panel mind you (okay, end of shameless self-promotion) – doesn’t have to do with who wins it.
It’s why does he or she win?
It’s one of those impossible questions to answer and why debates, in whatever room those Tall Foreheads occupy or whatever saloon you and your buddies are sitting in, and it is, in my opinion, one of the essences of sport.
Should it be someone who had a breakthrough year; can it be someone one dominated a sport not widely played; can it be a member of a team or does it have to be an individual; is it for career achievement or a one-time accomplishment; does greatness over time count for anything.
Tough one, no?
Some of the worthy nominees are here in this excellent slide show someone with some technical acumen at our place put together and you can see the breadth of our sporting excellence.
But could you vote for, say, Patrick Chan, whose world figure skating title is an incredible feat, even if half the world doesn’t, you know, figure skate?
How about George St. Pierre, who is as much pitchman for a sport as pugilist but whose athletic skills cannot be denied?
How about John Axford, who only got his opportunity at fame because his baseball teammates put him in a position to do it and who plays a sport entire foreign to a great part of the globe?
Same with, say, Dwayne De Rosario, who dominated a second-rate league?
All good choices, all a tad flawed in my opinion.
Me? I’m coming down to Milos Raonic or Dylan Armstrong.
The former was brilliant at times in a sport played around the world, who defied convention to become a Canadian tennis star, something in short supply if you look through our history books. But there is the fact he missed a huge chunk of 2011 because he was hurt and that’s not his fault but it’s a fact.
Armstrong? Well, a Pan-Am Games gold doesn’t hold much significance to be because the field is not too deep but a silver medal in a world championship, against competitors from pretty much the entire world is an accomplishment that needs to be recognized. As does his fighting against sporting convention to be a Canadian star in a sport not associated with our country.
Yeah, Armstrong would get my vote.
If I was in the room, that is.
Hey, wanna know what an old friend is doing?
Okay, this is a tad self-serving but, man, do I think I’m going to be glad the HOTH signed Anthony Carter.
In this “all about me” world – and, yes, it’s all about me and us – finding a go-to quote on a team you cover is like finding a $100 bill stuck in an old pair of jeans just when you’re headed to the saloon.
We had Oak and we had Reggie and we had Jalen and when we were going down this year’s roster, we had good guys who were relatively, um, uninteresting quote-machines.
And then Carter arrives, a grown up, self-confident, well-spoken.
A few snippets from yesterday:
On his willingness to speak his mind:
I tell them all the time, you ain’t got to like me off the court but you’ve got to play with me on the court. I’m your friend on the court, off the court, I ain’t got to see you. I’m going to yell at you, I’m going to do what I’ve got to do and you do the same to me. Off the court, I don’t have to hang with you. I can go back to my place but when we come in this gym, we’re going to get the job done then you go your way and I’ll go my way.
What kind of coach does he like to play for?
I think a defensive coach is better for me because I’m like a coach out there. If I’m playing for a defensive coach … nothing against New York but that was an offensive team and I didn’t feel comfortable because we didn’t hold guys accountable for their actions on the defensive tend and I felt like I wasn’t really getting into it. But here, it starts with the defence.
What he does for teammates:
These guys can play defence, they just need someone to motivate them and that’s me. It starts with the point guard.
He’s a beaut.
It’s Dec. 13?
Christmas is soon, right?
Well, we better start doing this kind of thing every other day or so, no?
Today, if the mail delivery worked well, should be Gary Forbes day, when we find out if the Denver Nuggets will match the offer sheet the Raptors gave him.
Reggie Williams, linked some tweet I saw yesterday, is a legit possibility, they like the scoring prowess of the young small forward who played at Golden State last season.
There is a modicum of interest in Andy Rautins, waived or about to be waived in Dallas, if he’ll take a non-guaranteed deal.
But I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be wise for Bryan to leave the 15th spot open, just in case something else presents itself in the next couple of weeks.
Anyway, should be some resolution in the next 24 hours and then they’ve got the team they’ll open the season.