Broncos: Peyton Manning, S.I. Sportsman of the Year

Published: December 16, 2013, 2:01 pm, by Paul Klee

Good choice?

Bad choice?

First thought: If this is a lifetime-achievement award, super. If that’s the case, Peyton Manning absolutely deserves it, whether this year or in 2014 or in 2015 or whenever. 

If the award is simply a recognition of his first two seasons with the Broncos, in which the Broncos have been arguably the NFL’s best team but haven’t yet won a championship, the pick would be tough to explain. 

Turns out, this is a sort of lifetime-achievement award. So, good on you, SI.

“I don’t like the idea of narrowly defining a Sportsman based on what he’s done in the last 12 months,” Sports Illustrated managing editor Chris Stone said today at Dove Valley. “I think you can take somebody’s collective body of work and everything they’ve established throughout their careers.”

The Sportsman of the Year cover story was written by the excellent Lee Jenkins, an alum of The Gazette. Stone, who mentioned David Ortiz and Miguel Cabrera as other possibilities, said the voting process consists of 17 senior editors with Times Inc. coming to a consensus.

Other names? I’d say Serena Williams or Nelson Mandela would have been near the top of my list for 2013. I don’t know SI’s stance on international selections, so I’m not sure if Mandela fits the criteria.

But it’s tough to argue with the Peyton pick.

“A couple of weeks later, the Red Sox won the World Series the way that they won it, and we rethought it a little bit,” Stone said. “But we’re very comfortable and confident in our selection.”

One final thought: here’s a suggestion the state of Colorado could be in for another Sports(person) of the Year honor in the near future, when Missy Franklin takes on the the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.  

Twitter: @Klee_Gazette