The Washington Post Sports Figure of the Year is American Pharoah – Washington Post

In 2015, a chase for sports history captivated us across three continents and four countries. Football’s biggest win came not in the Super Bowl, but in a New York court room. A president was brought low, and a king’s rule ended. On the diamond, a phenom touted since his teens delivered on his promise in emphatic fashion. And on the ice, a criminal investigation forced a reconsideration of a star’s sensational performance.

These are the names that most impacted their sport and the sports world as a whole … for better and for worse. Chief among them, however, is a name that will go down in history. After 36 years, a feat that seemed impossible was again attainable, reminding us all of the magic of sports.

The Washington Post’s Sports Figure of the Year: American Pharoah

Hadn’t the very concept of the Triple Crown rotted into obsolescence in this century of diminished equine stamina? Shouldn’t we change how we do it? Then, a colt foaled in Kentucky in February 2012 already bounced around at age 2. That colt, American Pharoah — son of Pioneer of the Nile, grandson of Empire Maker, great-grandson of Unbridled — would hone a stride that seemed more like floating.

***

Sports Figures of the Year Finalists: Football | Baseball | Basketball
Hockey | Soccer | College Sports | Individual Sports

***

Sports Figure of the Year – Football: Tom Brady

With apologies to Stephen Curry, Riley Curry, Serena Williams, golf’s young new triumvirate and even his “good friend,” Donald Trump, no one dominated sports headlines like Tom Brady in 2015, thanks to a little thing called DeflateGate. Cam Newton may have eclipsed him in Most Valuable Player voting as the NFL season wore on, but Brady clearly was the year’s Most Visibly Published, for good and for bad.

***

Sports Figure of the Year – Baseball: Bryce Harper

It was, for Bryce Harper, the year hype met reality, the year he put the sport on notice that he’s as good as they said he would be, back when he first appeared on Sports Illustrated’s cover as a 16-year-old. Scarier, he might be better than that.

***

Sports Figure of the Year – Basketball: Stephen Curry

With one lightning fast flick of his wrist after another, Stephen Curry shot himself into the history books, carried the Golden State Warriors to their first title in 40 years and himself to the top of the sport, supplanting LeBron James as the straw that stirs the drink in the NBA.

***

Sports Figure of the Year – Hockey: Patrick Kane

As every twist and turn in Patrick Kane’s curious legal case and stunning on-ice success unfolded, the sports world wrestled with the question of how to regard a star athlete dominating his sport amid an ongoing rape investigation.

***

Sports Figure of the Year – Soccer: Sepp Blatter

It was a year no one in soccer will ever forget, thanks to disgraced FIFA President Sepp Blatter. The 79-year-old Swiss national went from declaring himself “the president of everybody” to having “finished … [his] work in football” in a matter of months. This staggering downfall captivated the world and likely stunned Blatter, who presented himself as — and largely was — untouchable during his 17-year tenure.

***

Sports Figure of the Year – College Sports: Urban Meyer

Certainly influential coaches dotted the map, from Dabo Swinney at No. 1 Clemson to Jim Harbaugh at resurgent Michigan to Mark Dantonio at pugnacious Michigan State, but all operated in a landscape dramatically rearranged by Urban Meyer’s Ohio State.

***

Sports Figure of the Year – Individual Sports: Serena Williams

No one, perhaps not even Serena Williams herself, could have predicted a span in which she nearly completed the first Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988. A player who has dominated women’s tennis since she arrived on tour in the mid-1990s, the 34-year-old Williams reached a level of support and success that easily elevated her into one of the biggest sports figures of the year.

Comments

Write a Reply or Comment:

Your email address will not be published.*