'Sports Illustrated' names Peyton Manning its Sportsman of the Year

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Honest, non-sarcastic question: Do you care who wins the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award? I guess on some level you do, because you're here, reading the story. But, I mean, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Lance Armstrong all won the award, which is given to "the athlete or team whose performance that year most embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement."

So, yeah. Again, not me ripping the award. Just wondering how much people care about sportsmanship these days.

Anyway, Peyton Manning won the award this year. That's a little bizarre considering that Manning's really impressive achievement was last year, when he actually returned from four offseason neck surgeries. But he is putting up ridiculous, mind-bending statistics in 2013, so there's some viability to it.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated said on Sunday night that Mariano Rivera of the Yankees and David Ortiz of the Red Sox were also considered.

And apparently it's kind of a lifetime achievement award too. SI managing editor Chris Stone told Gray Caldwell of DenverBroncos.com that the mag is "taking a measure of Peyton's entire career."

"The imprint he's left not only on the team but the community is undeniable," Stone said. "To some degree, we're taking a measure of Peyton's entire career, dating back all the way to college."

Good for Manning and good for the Broncos. He's a good guy who does good things in the community and he's probably going to set the record for passing yards in a single season and touchdowns in a single season. From a pure "athletic achievement" standpoint, he's certainly a worthy winner.

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