Cindy Klassen got my Lou Marsh vote.
As one of the 11 people given the privilege on Monday of voting for Canada's athlete-of-the-year, I was only too happy to give my support to Klassen, although Steve Nash would have been a great choice, as well.
There was a great boardroom debate over the two athletes, evidence of the terrific year for Canadian athletes that was 2006.
But there was also an interesting discussion within a discussion, and that concerned the built-in bias against hockey players that I believe exists when it comes to the Lou Marsh Trophy.
Really, given that Joe Thornton received almost no support after a year in which he won the scoring title, took MVP honors and almost singlehandedly lifted the San Jose Sharks into the Stanley Cup playoffs, it's worth wondering what a hockey player could possibly do to win the Lou Marsh.
Despite the unrivalled prominence of the sport in our country, no hockey player - male or female - has won the prestigious award since Mario Lemieux in 1993.
Indeed, only seven hockey players - Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Bobby Clarke, Guy Lafleur and Maurice (The Rocket) Richard - have ever received this distinction over the past 70 years.
In the past quarter-century, only Lemieux and Gretzky have been so honored, and that seems to have created an artificial level of excellence that no hockey player is likely to meet in the forseeable future.
Gretzky and Lemieux are at the very least two of the top five players to have ever played the game, and there's no Gretzky or Lemieux in the game today.
But that's apparently the level a Canadian hockey player would have to reach to win the Lou Marsh.
Joe Sakic, with all his achievements in the sport, hasn't had a sniff. Ditto for Martin Brodeur, and all he's done is win three Stanley Cups, two Vezinas, a World Cup, an Olympic gold medal in the past decade. Rod Brind'Amour was sensational last year in leading Carolina to the Stanley Cup and he wasn't even considered this year.
Hayley Wickenheiser, meanwhile, often gets a quick mention, but never serious consideration.
Other Canadians in other sports, meanwhile, don't have to meet the same levels to be seriously considered or even win.
Mike Weir isn't among the greatest golfers to ever lift a club. Not even close.
Ditto for Jacques Villeneuve among auto racers, Mark Tewskbury among swimmers, Daniel Igali among Olympic wrestlers or Adam van Koeverden among kayakers.
They all won the Lou Marsh, however, and deserved it.
But it's almost as if the history and popularity of hockey in Canada are held against shinny artists, as though they must achieve much, much more to be considered worthy of consideration as Canada's top athlete. There's a sense that hockey players receive more than enough recognition and attention, and thus are essentially shunned when it comes to the Lou Marsh.
Klassen deserved it this year. But based on recent history, it's going to be a long, long time before an athlete wearing skates AND carrying a stick will be recognized as Canada's top athlete.