You know, I have never met Andy Murray but I admire anyone who is the best in the world out there busting his or hump. Everybody was like, "Yeah, Murray's great but he can't win the big one." It's a frustrating thing. He's busting his butt every day but he's playing against probably three of the top 10 tennis players who ever lived. Think about it: Murray is one of the four or five best players in a 10-year period and he happens to playing against three of the best players ever. So when he finally got over the hump, I was so happy for him.
2 of 19Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic; Simon Bruty/SI
Shout out to my neffew Usain Bolt -- my choice for tha 2012 Sportsman of tha Year. He did his thang at tha 2012 Olympics by bringin home gold medals n leavn his competition in tha dust, ya dig?!? He is tha fastest human being on tha earth and ain't no one in 2012 on his level. Jah Rastafari.
3 of 19Bob Martin/SI
There were plenty of people who wrote off Roger Federer once he turned 30. He had his kids, he had gotten married, he was going downhill as a tennis player. But this year he came back and had an incredible year. He won his seventh Wimbledon title, he passed Pete Sampras to become the record-holder for the most weeks spent at No. 1, and he took a silver medal at the Olympics. The way he keeps fighting back to dominate his sport personally inspires me, and that's why I'm choosing Roger as my Sportsman of the Year. I think he's legitimately one of the greatest athletes of alltime.
4 of 19Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
He is a world-class athlete who ignored everything a disability is supposed to be. I love that his mother would tell his brother, "Put on your shoes, and Oscar, you put on your legs, and let's go out, I don't want to hear another word about it." That's the whole attitude he has in life. It's not only him being the kind of person he is, but what he has accomplished with what most of us would call a handicap. It's just ... beyond.
5 of 19Robert Beck/SI
My pick for SI Sportswoman of the year is Missy Franklin. She won five medals in London -- 4 gold and 1 bronze. Amazingly, she won & broke the American Record in the 100 backstroke in London, just 16 minutes after swimming a 200 Free semifinal. She also won the 200 backstroke in London in world record time. What may have been most impressive, though, is that Missy is only 17 years old. She had never made the Olympic team previously, and with the media attention and hype that had been thrown in her direction in the lead-up to the Trials, there was almost no way she would be able to come through. Yet, that is exactly what she did. And she did it all with a wonderful, team-first attitude and a smile on her face.
6 of 19Damian Strohmeyer/SI
The way Gabby handled the Olympic spotlight didn't surprise me. She did exactly what she needed to do to convince the judges she deserved it. There's always pressure in anything that you do, just in life in general. So to be competing in a sport you practiced all your life, sometimes that pressure seems to go away and you're able to deal with it on a different level, so it almost becomes fun. That's what I saw during the Olympics, when Gabby won gold medals in the individual all-around and team competitions. She was ready.
7 of 19Nigel Kinrade/SI
I would say Peyton Manning. His work ethic impresses me. To take a year off and come back as a top-five QB with a different team and new system is impressive.
8 of 19Christie Goodwin/Redferns via Getty Images
She always been true to herself and true to where she comes from. She's always represented her community and represented her struggle. She's put her story out there. Not a lot of people would do that, not being in such great health. But that's being true to herself, knowing that her story can help somebody else survive no matter what situation they're in. The amount of drive that she has, to overcome the roadblocks and obstacles thatshe's had in her personal life and to see through her dreams and to still get where she wanted to be, that's what separates Serena from everybody else. And that's what makes her my pick for Sportswoman of the Year.
9 of 19AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Bob Weir and Phil Lesh
What makes Tim our choice for Sportsman of the Year, however, goes deeper than helping the Giants to a second championship in three years. Last offseason Flannery put on two benefit concerts for Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who spent months in a coma after he was attacked at Dodger Stadium in 2011. The concerts sold out before they were even promoted and he raised more than $60,000.
10 of 19Mark Davis/WireImage; Robert Beck/SI
Eli has the mark of a champion. Like Michael Jordan. When things count, when things are on the line, he wants the rock in his hands. He can bring his team back and that's the mark of a champion. He's the dagger! The dagger! It's the same thing Joe Montana had. There can be three seconds left on the clock. He's in the huddle, everybody is worried, everybody is saying, "Where we going to eat after this?" Well, Eli's going to Disneyworld. This is what's on his mind.
11 of 19Terry Rice/Getty Images
He took a team that looked like they might not even make the playoffs and led them to their second Super Bowl in four years and earned his second Super Bowl MVP.
12 of 19Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Because he is a life warrior.
13 of 19Bobby Bank/WireImage
As a Mets fan, my heart tells me R.A. Dickey, CY Young winner and the only light on another very dark Mets season. As a sports fan, my head tells me King James. Lebron was regular season MVP, NBA champion, NBA finals MVP and Olympic Gold Medal Winner. Done. And I heard he's a hell of a dancer.
14 of 19 Jerod Harris/WireImage
After injuries that would put most people on the side lines forever, still playing, still blocking the plate and leading the Giants to a World Series victory.
15 of 19Michael Buckner/WireImage
Forever in the shadow of his older brother Peyton, Eli is the only Manning to have two Super Bowl rings and two MVP's. He bested the superhero Tom Brady not once, but twice in the big game. He has built a reputation for being clutch when the heat is on. Most of all, Eli is quiet, humble and all about the game. He speaks softly and carries a cannon for an arm. Two Super Bowls in four years, dethroning the mighty Tom Brady in both: You cannot spell "Elite" without the E-L-I.
16 of 19MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
Even though they didn't win the World Series, the Tigers still had people on their team that did truly amazing things. First, Miguel Cabrera getting the Triple Crown this year was absolutely brilliant. Then, even though he didn't win the Cy Young, Justin Verlander had an amazing season. I just wished we would have won the whole thing for the city of Detroit, but even this was great.
17 of 19Scott Heavey/Getty Images
I don't think anything will ever top what Manchester City was able to give their supporters last season. It was perfect. To be honest, I think United expected us to beat QPR in the last game. I think United fans had given up. I think they thought, "City's definitely going to beat QPR at home." And then we went down 2-1. Had we lost, I wouldn't have been able to show my face. It would have been absolute torture. We never would have lived it down. It's as if we teased them, we tormented them, we gave them that little glimmer of hope until the last 20 seconds -- and then we snatched it away from them. That's what hurt them more than anything. And it's what made it perfect for us.
18 of 19Johnny Nunez/WireImage; Al Tielemans/SI
Sportsman of the Year, in my opinion, hands down has to be the Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin lll. He's young and new to the league, but week after week, he's making sure his presence is felt each time the football is in his hands -- every pass, touchdown and rushing yards. Check his stats: With the short amount of time he's been in the league, RG3 has already proven that he can play with the best of the best and be a dominating force on game day. The NFL needs more players like him.
19 of 19Getty Images
My pick for Sportsman of the Year is Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers. Probably because he won the Triple Crown, it's a pretty big deal and he was so huge for the Tigers all season long. I'm a huge Detroit Tigers fan and I've been a huge fan of his ever since he's been there. He's been a professional and, in my opinion, he's the best player in the league.
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