Monday, December 21, 2009

AP Athlete Of The Year

It is nice to know that the The Associated Press has the pulse on the sports world when they named Jimmie Johnson as Male Athlete of the Year. They are at least better then the people at SI. SI named Derek Jeter as Sportsman of the year, I guess that is slightly different then Athlete of the Year but not relay that much. After not just winning the NASCAR title not Once, Twice or even Thrice but nailed down an unprecedented quad title to his resume. Finally that was enough to be recognized for what he managed to accomplish. Johnson received 42 votes from editors at U.S. newspapers which are members of the AP. Tennis star Roger Federer (30 votes) and Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt (29) were the only other athletes with totals in the double- digits.

It was too bad that SI couldn't get their lips off the "Ace" of the New York Yankees long enough to appreciate exactly how special Jimmie Johnson has been to not just his team but to the sport as a whole. This is probably even more impressive then winning all 4 Grand Slams in either golf or tennis in one year but for whatever reason does not get the same love in the media. Jimmie had the hurdle of proving that it wasn't just a car winning the award but that he was a worth candidate.

After NASCAR made up so much of the gap between itself and the rest of the main stream sports over the years you would think that it would be above being treated as a second class citizen. In the US it raised itself into the top 4 in the major Pro Sports landscape both in terms of fans but also main stream media and sponsors. I is also nice that New York City mayor’s office designated a "Jimmie Johnson Day" earlier this month, the champion suggested "everyone should have the day off and go have margaritas."

In any event I am glad that Jimmie is finally getting some good pub outside of just his sport and is being rewarded for just how special the run that he is on truly is. Congrats to Johnson and the entire Lowes 48 Team...with a special nod to Crew Chief Chad Knaus who is the architect of this dynasty. Perhaps Chad is overlooked in this whole thing but he is the driving force and the relationship between himself the owner the team and the driver.

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