My Sportsman: Alexander Ovechkin
Because of that face. It is not a pretty face; better yet, it's not close to being
Because Washington, D.C., is usually a city impermeable to fun. It's a hanging-judge sober, self-important town, and so, its NFL Redskins own the sports scene and make it a deadly dull succession of stories about losing,
Because he's foreign. Better yet, because he's Russian at a time when the most prominent sporting Russian is karate-chopping, torso-exposing, saber-rattling, ex-KGB aspiring czar
Because, of course, of what he did on the ice. In the 2007-08 season Ovechkin scored 65 goals -- the first player to do so in 12 years -- broke the NHL scoring record for a left wing, tallied 112 points and won the Hart Trophy. Along the way he reversed the Capitals' seeming inevitable dive to the standings' basement, led the team into the playoffs and scored the game-winning goal in his first postseason game. But he wasn't just about numbers. Ovechkin did all that
Because I was in Beijing. I saw
Because of all that, Alexander Ovechkin is my choice for 2008 Sportsman of the Year. Because if you disagree, I half-suspect I could ring him up and let him know and I wouldn't be surprised, even, if he showed up on your doorstep. Just for the fun of it.