Who am I?

I'm from Houston, a graduate of the University of Texas, a fan of the Houston Astros and Houston Texans. But this blog will be about the "greater sports", whatever that means.

Follow me on Twitter: @lhd_on_sports


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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sportsman of the Week - 200 weeks

The mainstay of my blog the last four years has been the Sportsman (or Sportswoman) of the week.  With just a few exceptions, I've managed to publish a short piece highlighting a strong sports performance over the previous week (always Monday through Sunday).  My criteria was simple.  Think broadly (not just the core four sports), favor the unsung over the famous, avoid repeats to the maximum practicable extent, winning your game is of the utmost importance, choose only one sportsman (only violated once), always include an action photo (which becomes my Twitter avatar for the week), and make it fun.

So here's a brief synopsis on how it's played out:

I only missed five weeks over nearly four years.  2/19/2012, 9/1/2013, 2/2/14, 3/16/14, 3/22/15.  Sometimes it was so late or I was on vacation or there wasn't a strong candidate, I just let it go.

Only once did I double up.  Just couldn't decide and decided I'd make the rule.  It was 1/5/14

That makes 196 awards Sportsmen and Sportswomen of the Week starting January 1, 2012 with Keith Price, QB from Washington.

Baseball has had the most, but remember how long the seasons are and the summer is void of hoops and football.  Even archery and dog racing got in the act:

By Sport:
MLB: 49 (note the long regular season w/o competition from football)
College Football: 20
NBA: 17
Golf: 14
NHL/Hockey:12 (Olympic hockey included)
Tennis: 11
Soccer: 7
Auto Racing: 6
NCAA Basketball: 6
Cycling: 5
Horse Racing: 4
Archery: 1
Swimming: 1
Track and Field: 1
Boxing: 1
Skiing: 1
Cricket: 1
Dog Racing: 1

And was there a regional bias? Judge for yourself (remembering that New York, LA, and Chicago have a lot more professional teams). 

By Pro City:
New York: 12
San Francisco:  9
Los Angeles: 7
Denver: 7
Washington, DC: 5
Houston: 4
Oklahoma City:4
Pittsburgh: 4
New Orleans: 3
St. Louis:3
Philadelphia: 3
Milwaukee/Green Bay: 3
Kansas City: 3
Tampa: 2
Atlanta: 2
Seattle: 2
San Antonio: 2
Cleveland: 2
Oakland: 2
Fulham (ENG): 1
New Jersey: 1
Barcelona: 1
Phoenix: 1
Minneapolis: 1
Montreal: 1
Portland: 1
Ottawa: 1

Not all awardees are on teams, for tennis, golf, Olympics, etc., there are countries represented by individual or Olympic team sport athletes.

By individual's country:
USA: 23
Italy: 3
England: 2
Mexico: 2
Kenya: 2
Germany: 2
S. Korea: 2
Australia: 2
Colombia: 2
Scotland: 1
Belarus: 1
Russia: 1
Jamaica: 1
Serbia: 1
Dominican Republic: 1
Brazil: 1
France: 1
Canada: 1
Northern Ireland: 1
Sri Lanka: 1

And lest we forget colleges, including some of my favorite team's rivals who sneaked in there more often than they should

By College:
Texas A+M: 2
Oklahoma: 2
Alabama: 2
Wisconsin: 2
Ohio State 2
U of Washington: 1
Florida State: 1
Baylor: 1
Michigan State: 1
Army: 1
South Carolina: 1
Miami: 1
Florida Gulf Coast: 1
Fresno State: 1
Navy: 1
Auburn: 1
Pittsburgh: 1
Clemson: 1
Iowa State: 1
UConn: 1
East Carolina: 1

And which conferences? Pretty even spread:
Big 12 4
Big 10 4
Service Academies: 2
Other 2
Big East/AAC: 2
Pac 12 1

And as I stated, I avoid repeat winners when possible.  But sometimes the performance dictates.

Here are the complete list of repeat winners:

Three time winners:
Peyton Manning (2013, 2014, 2014)
Aaron Rodgers (2013, 2013, 2014)
Drew Brees (2012, 2015, 2015)

Two time winners:
Le'veon Bell (2012, 2014)
LeBron James (2013, 2013)
Russell Westbrook (2013, 2015)
Bubba Watson (2012, 2014)
Kevin Durant (2012, 2014)
Carey Price (2014, 2014)
Ezekiel Elliott (2015, 2015)
Nelson Cruz (2014, 2015)
Chris Froome (2013, 2015)
Serena Williams (2012, 2015)
Tom Brady  (2015, 2015)

And there are just some oddities that result from such an exercise.  Here are a list of odd facts throughout the years.
  • The first ever winner was from the Pac 10, never one since.
  • Only cities with more than 5: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver
  • Noteworthy colleges with none: Texas, Stanford, Michigan, and Florida (note that Florida Gulf Coast got one)
  • Wisconsin the only college to have a winner two sports (football and basketball)
  • Le'veon Bell the only athlete to win in college and pros
  • Cities without: San Diego, Buffalo, Charlotte, Nashville.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder the only team with two multiple winners
  • Thirteen Sportsman of the Week have been for no-hitters
  • There's been twelve Sportswomen of the week (eleven individuals plus Serena twice)
  • 28% of the time, the winner is not from baseball, football, basketball, or hockey
  • Besides the Unites States (23), no other country has won more than 2 besides Italy.  The United Kingdom has up to six, Bradley Wiggins and Justin Rose (England), Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland), Chris Froome twice (Kenyan, but British by ancestry), and Andy Murray (Scotland).
  • Froome (British), Nelson Cruz (Dominican Republic) and Carey Price (Canada) are the only two non-Americans to repeat.
  • Nelson Cruz the only baseball player to repeat.
  • Golf (14) is the top sport outside of the Big four (actually ahead of hockey).
Most of all, I want to thank you, the faithful readers of the Blog.  It's fun to come up with a Sportsman.  I can't promise to have one 98% of the time the next 4 years, but I'll try!

- Longhorndave

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