Canadian Athlete Of The Year Award

This week they announce the Lou Marsh award for CAnadian athlete of the year. Cindy Classen should win hands down.

But I’m just curious if Brent Johnson of the BC Lions will get even one vote? I mean all he did was win best CAnadian, best defensive player, and a Grey Cup in the same year. That should be worth something, shouldn’t it?

But I bet he’ll be lucky to get a vote, and if he does, he’ll probably finish below some NCAA athlete or some professional poker player.

So sadly I’m sure Johnson will be ignored. No surprise there really, considering our media doesn’t respect athletes who aren’t successful in the good old USA. But if Classen doesn’t win this thing hands down, it will make the media look even stupider than they are.

They should have two awards, one for pro athlete and another for amateur athlete I think. I agree though that Classen would be a fantastic choice for sure.

I think Cindy Klassen has already won the Lou Marsh.
Excellent choice!!

How about Steve Nash?

http://i.esmas.com/image/0/000/002/906/deba0901_Nash_N.jpg

Steve Nash won it last year.
The last football player to win was Russ Jackson in 1969.
The one before that was Joe Krol on 1946.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lou_Marsh_Trophy

Cindy Klassen should be a lock but I think you all missed the second place, which will be Justin Morneau who just won the American League MVP(that's baseball) and is from New Westminster, BC.

Cindy Klassen WAS a lock.....she was announced much earlier this morning, but I'm with cfleskfan - Morneau would have to be my second choice.

This vote was closer then it should have been. Then again considering most of the voters were based in Hogtown, I was surprised they even knew who Cindy Klassen was.

But Steve Nash? How is it this guy has so many supporters considering most people in Canada don't even care about the NBA. And really, enough of baseball and basketball players and golfers winning this thing.

And as expected no CFLer or hockey player had a chance again. Brent Johnson should have gotten at least a few votes. Maybe for the CP award he will, becuase that is more of a national vote.

But he had no chance in this one, considering guys like Bob Macoun and Steven Brunt where involved in the voting. Too bad.

Certainly not like all the speed skating fans in this country.

And don't forget all of TSN's and Sportnet's coverage of kayaking too.

Should definitely be Klassen ... even if Brent Johnson were included. She dominated on a world stage. And no, dominating in the NBA, MLB, NHL or CFL does not qualify as dominating on a world stage. But I agree more CFL players should be up for consideration ...

I don't follow baseball enough to comment on Morneau, but Steve Nash is definitely a dominant player in the NBA. I don't think many Canadians are dominant in the CFL ... Brent Johnson is really good, for example, and should definitely be the one to consider from the CFL, but I don't think he's dominated enough for athlete-of-the-year consideration.

But I really hope they do take CFL stars into account. Just because the players are smaller and paid less does not necessarily mean they're worse athletes ...

I disagree. Steve bettered his performance of last year when he won the Lou Marsh.

To dominate and win MVP of the NBA is to dominate the world's best league of basketball. Furthermore it is done over a long and gruelling 82 game schedule that lasts a good chunk of the year and takes its toll on the body.

Conversely, I think it's easier to dominate the Olympic speed skating scene becuase you have less competition and for all intents and purposes it's a competition that lasts a mere few days.

Having said all that, to be Canada's most honoured Olympic athlete ever, is indeed something to recognize.

I think you are selling speed skaters and Olympians a little short Capn'.
First, speed skating is very popular in many countries with skaters being treated as national heros in most of the Scandinavian nations. And personally I'd rather watch speed skating than the tedium known as NBA basketball.
And the skaters do have a long season of competition--it is not just the one trick pony of the Olympics--and between competition and training, I imagine they work harder longer than the average basketball player.
And the Olympics are the biggest stage in sports, so dominating it is bigger than being the MVP in the NBA.

Plus, these Olympic athletes work for years, sacrifice everything to build up to that once every 4 years that is the Olympics. Then they go out and perform or not.
They don't get 82 games to redo, retry, reload.
It's now, or never. Basketball players never see that kind of pressure--or at minimum, it is a very different pressure.
Steve Nash and his team can try to win again tomorrow or next year.
Athletes like Klassen often only get one Olympics.
From a pressure standpoint, it is comparable to playing in the NBA Chamionship if it were held only once every 4 years.

So giving the award to Klassen should have been a no brainer and I can't imagine what the sportswriters who made the vote close were even thinking!!

So I agree with you that she should have been honoured, but also like the fact that she is not the first Olympian to be so honoured.

I certainly wasn't trying to. I was trying to make a comaparison with NBA basketball (if that's even possible because they are so different)

First, speed skating is very popular in many countries with skaters being treated as national heros in most of the Scandinavian nations.
"Many countries"? I wonder how many.

"Most Scanadanavian countries"? That would be two out of three countries

And personally I'd rather watch speed skating than the tedium known as NBA basketball.
That's cool. I prefer basketball. I'll only watch speed skating when it involves Canadians in the Olympics.
And the skaters do have a long season of competition--it is not just the one trick pony of the Olympics--and between competition and training, I imagine they work harder longer than the average basketball player.
Hmmm... I wonder about that too. I suppose it's possible, but I would imagine that they both have short off seasons. Just a guess on my part.
And the Olympics are the biggest stage in sports,
The summer Olympics are. The winter Olympics are a much smaller event and there are other events that dwarf it.

From the official Olympic website:

[i] TURIN 2006

XXth Olympic Winter Games

A record 2,508 athletes from 80 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) competed at the Turin Winter Games, and 26 NOCs took home medals, another record. [/i]

The past three summer games have had over 10 thousand participants each.

The World Police & Fire Games has about 10,000 particpants too. Frtom Wikipedia:

Held every two years, the Games offer approximately sixty sports (and almost 80 disciplines), including Angling, Wrestling and Pistol Shooting. Participation is approximately 10,000 entrants, slightly fewer than the Summer Olympic Games, and exceeding the third position holder, the Commonwealth Games

Then there are the Asian games that are currently going on. From Wikipedia:

The 15th Asian Gamesto be held in Doha, Qatar, from December 1-15 will be the biggest ever, with some 7,500 athletes from 45 countries and regions participating.

Pan Am games form Wikipedia :


The first Games were scheduled to be staged in Buenos Aires in 1943, but World War II caused them to be postponed until 1951. Since then, the Games have been held every four years, with partipication at the most recent event at over 5000 athletes from 42 countries.

and the 2007 Rio Pan Am website/:

The organization expects 5,500 athletes

...so dominating it is bigger than being the MVP in the NBA.
My point was that one speed skater does not dominate the entire winter Olympic games. there are many medalists

I respect your opinion, but I think dominating one sport in an Olympic games that lasts a couple of weeks is not the same thing. And I fully realize that it is an impressive feat that takes lots, and lots of training that requires peaking at the right time. An NBA player doesn't have the luxury of shooting for just a brief peak period in order to succeed.

They don't get 82 games to redo, retry, reload. It's now, or never. Basketball players never see that kind of pressure--or at minimum, it is a very different pressure.
Sure they do. I can give you two examples.
  1. Basketall is an Olympic sport
  2. NBA playoffs / finals
Steve Nash and his team can try to win again tomorrow or next year.
But winning the MVP of the NBA requires that you perform at a very high level for a very long time for an 82 games season that lasts seven months and then prepare for the playoffs.
Athletes like Klassen often only get one Olympics.From a pressure standpoint, it is comparable to playing in the NBA Chamionship if it were held only once every 4 years.
But it's not, because the NBA MVP has nothing at all to do with the NBA championships.

Statistically speaking I think there are many, many more aspiring pro basketball players than there are elite speed skaters. I wonder how many kids are speed skaters in this country. I have never known any. Convesely, I've known and know many, many basketball players.

A quick search of speed skating links showe dme that there are 17 speed skating ovals in Canada with 47 clubs in Ontario.

I could not find basketball numbers for all of Canada, but from the Basketball Ontario webiste I found this:

Basketball Ontario has over 230 Affiliated Basketball Clubs throughout the Province of Ontario. Each club may run a Houseleague (recreational) and/or a Rep Team (competitive) program.

So as far as canada goes, statistically speaking it would be more difficult to make the national basketball team than it would be to make the national speed skating team.

Now keep in mind that making the national basketall team does not translate directly into making the NBA. That's a whole other step and now you have competetition that not only invloves the basketball juggeranut of the USA, but the entire world.

There are 61 memeber countries of the ISU (International Skating Union)

From the FIBA website:

[i]Key numbers:

  • FIBA, the world governing body for basketball, is an independent association formed by 213 National federations of basketball throughout the world.

• A global study, conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide in April '97 based on 35,000 interviews, showed that 11% of the world plays basketball.
Basketball has even replaced football as the most popular sport in areas like Asia and Australia and is on the way to surpassing football worldwide.

• Over 450 million people play basketball on competition and grassroots level in 1998, but the number of licensed players has also risen drastically since 1992. [/i]

So giving the award to Klassen should have been a no brainer and I can't imagine what the sportswriters who made the vote close were even thinking!!
I guess some were thinking like you , and some were thinking like me. Very diffeent sports with very different trains of thought. Discussions like these is another example of what makes sports so great.

Boy, did you make me waste my time this morning. :wink:

I sure digressed in my surfing / research and learned a lot.

So to summarize, I don't think Klassen is a bad choice at all as Canada's most decorated Olympic athlete, but given a vote, I would probably have voted for Steve Nash, especially when one considers he won the Lou Marsh last year, and then went on to better that performance the next year.(takes breath after an awkwardly long sentence in an awkwardly long post) They are both amazing Canadian athletes.

(Now for some decaf)

http://i.esmas.com/image/0/000/002/906/deba0901_Nash_N.jpg

CAptain Kirk:
I won't criticize your opinion, just for the fact that it must have taken you at least five hours to put your thesis together.

But the bottom line is what Klassen did made millions of CAnadians proud. What has Nash or Morneau done for CAnada? Compared to Klassen? Or Brad Gushue or Marty Brodeur for that matter? The answer? Squat. And thats why they don't deserve to win.

Sheesh! You're not kidding. I was sitting in front of my computer waiting to make a last second bid on an eBay item only to have my winning bid rejected by the system because I'm not in the U.S. That was a first. What a waste of time, but criticize all you want. I can take it.

What has Nash...done for CAnada? Compared to Klassen? Or Brad Gushue or Marty Brodeur for that matter? The answer? Squat. And thats why they don't deserve to win.
Irrelavant. Those are your own criteria. The Lou Marsh is awarded to Canada's top athlete.

As for Nash doing squat, and since you asked...:

Again, form Wikipedia:

[i]Nash set up the Steve Nash Foundation in order to help underprivileged kids in all aspects of their lives. In one story recollected by his father, Nash was told to cut down on his philanthropy since he had already given half a million dollars to charity. Nash replied that "there was so much more he could do".

He also went on a humanitarian trip to Central America. Nash also makes time meeting sick children in hospitals.

Another aspect of his life that has caused Nash to stand out more from other NBA players is his keen interest in art, politics, and the world around him. For one, he is a discerning reader, tackling the works of such authors as Immanuel Kant and Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Nash also has a passion for travel, saying that "Whenever I travel, I feel almost calm. I love people. I love the world."

Nash's interest in politics led to controversy during the lead-up to the Iraq War when he chose to wear a custom-made t-shirt that stated "No war -- Shoot for peace" to the 2003 NBA All-Star Game. Nash explained his position by saying that the United States had provided insufficient evidence that Iraq was a threat and that the UN inspectors should be allowed to complete their mission.

In May of 2006, Nash was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. In the accompanying write-up by Charles Barkley, Nash was lauded for his unselfishness on the court, and being "just a nice guy" who had paid for a new pediatric cardiology ward in a Paraguayan hospital

On Saturday, July 22, 2006, Nash hosted his second annual charity basketball game (previously held a year ago in the Air Canada Centre in Toronto) known as the Steve Nash Foundation Charity Classic, at the General Motors Place in Vancouver.[/i]

From an article entitled The World According To Nash

For Canadians, there is the additional inspiration of his performances with the national team, especially at the 2000 Olympics. Nash didn’t only insist on flying economy to Australia and sharing a room; he also provided each non-NBA player on the squad with $2,500 out of his own pocket to enjoy Sydney. When he wept after the quarter-final loss to France, he became instant folk-hero material.

http://www.canoe.ca/2000GamesNashImages/nas10-cp.jpg

He also had the guts to speak out against the war in Iraq

The Steve Nash Charity Foundation

Boy, did you make me waste my time this morning
That wasn't my intention, so sorry.

Olympic basketball was once one of my favourite Olympic sports.
Then they let the American pros enter the competition and it became an absolute waste of my time, more so than the time you feel you wasted researching your thesis.
I watch a little college ball now and then, but find the pro game almost, but not quite, as entertaining as watching paint dry.

And I suspect that is my point.
You would have voted for Nash, not just because you think what he accomplished was so great, but because you prefer basketball to speed skating.
Not everyone agrees with you in that, but it should be irrelevent to the sports writers.
I was quite happy Nash won last year, but would not have been pleased if he had won this year.
The fact that the Winter Olympics features fewer athletes than the Police games, or that 11% of the world plays basketball are also irrelevent statistics.
The Winter Olympics is the baby brother to the Summer Olympics, but in terms of world recognition of its athletes, and the world stage, nobody cares or knows about who won any/5 medals in the police games, but everybody in Canada knows about Cindy Klassen.

Just to add some details to the Klassen accomplishments, she is also the reigning 2006 World champion, which means she was consistant for the entire season.
She is the current record holder in 3 events, and the speed skaters have a ranking system (to complicated for me, but...) that lists Klassen as the greatest female speed skater of all-time.
One of the beauties of a sport like speed skating is, that it is very clear who won, who is the best.
Essentially, while I agree that Steve Nash is likely a fine basketball player, what you are suggesting is that because he won one popularity contest, he should then win another. Because would you have voted for him if he had not won the MVP?
Or in other words, his greatest accomplishment is winning popularity contests.....
I'll take 5 Olympic medals over that anyday.

I was only kidding. No need to apologize. I'm my own worst enemy for wasting time on the computer. It's interesting discussions like these that make it that much easier to waste time. :wink:

Just to add some details to the Klassen accomplishments, she is also the reigning 2006 World champion, which means she was consistant for the entire season. She is the current record holder in 3 events, and the speed skaters have a ranking system (to complicated for me, but...) that lists Klassen as the greatest female speed skater of all-time.
Hmmm...A very good agument.
Because would you have voted for him if he had not won the MVP?
This is an excellent question and that exact same question that was brought up and discussed at length on the radio the other day. Fascinating!
Or in other words, his greatest accomplishment is winning popularity contests..... I'll take 5 Olympic medals over that anyday.
Hmmm. more convincing argumets.

However, wouldn't you consider that winning the Lou Marsh is winning a popularity contest as well. And IMO, it's easier for Steve Nash to win the Lou Marsh than it is to win the NBA MVP.

Neither pick would have been an undeserving one.

Wow Captain, that's some pretty impressive work you put together ... I tried to read it all but it appears my attention span failed me :wink:

I did pick out a few things I wanted to write back to, though ... although the Winter Olympics may have as many athletes in it as the Police/Fire games, and although it doesn't match the popularity of the Summers, it is still one of the top three sporting events (popularity-wise) in the world (the others being the World Cup, and the summers). Not to mention it takes the best winter athletes on the planet ... ie, you don't have to be a fireman or policeman in order to participate.

Also, arguing that being the MVP of the premier basketball league in the world is like being the best basketball player in the world definitely makes sense ... my side is, it's still not on a world stage - just a North American stage. Most of the players Steve Nash competes against are American, whereas most of the athletes Klassen competes against are from different countries. There might even be (basketball) players in other countries that could dominate the NBA, but don't want to leave their home country, for example.

(yeah, I know that last line is a little far-fetched :wink:)

But, there are plenty of basketball leagues all over the world, so all I'm saying is it's harder to prove that Steve Nash dominates the sport of basketball than it is to prove that Cindy Klassen dominates speed skating.

But, maybe for that reason a football player should garner more attention. Football is really only played in North America (as a side note, I wonder how minor football programs are doing in Germany?). So, dominating football in North America is really the same as dominating it worldwide - especially since I doubt there's a single NFLE player who wouldn't go to the NFL ASAP.

I was going to say the same thing about baseball, but I guess baseball is about as worldwide as hockey ... (all arguments over whether baseball counts as a sport aside :wink:)

But, my uber-point is that I really, really, really hope that those who select Canada's athlete of the year don't exclude the CFL because they think it's inferior to the NFL. First of all, CFL players are still in the top echelon of football players in the world. Second, even if CFL players get cut from NFL teams (and there are plenty that don't), you have to keep in mind that the Canadian game is quite different from the American game, and hence a player can be better at one type of game than the other. Third, most pro Canadian football players play in the CFL. Fourth, the CFL is the CANADIAN League - the only pro league that is 100% in Canada, and one of three pro leagues that have 50% Canadian players (NHL, NLL) and for that reason alone should be considered as much as any other league.

Put differently, I hope the selection people don't bypass a Canadian who dominates the CFL in order to wait for one to dominate the NFL. But, I don't think they would, considering they did pick Russ Jackson ... (the other problem is, they'd probably only pick a QB, since they likely don't realize there's 23 other players on the field ... ).

If the following were Canadian, I would say they could have won the award:
-Doug Flutie
-Mike Pringle
-Geroy Simon
Maybe:
-Dave Dickenson
-Ricky Ray
-Damon Allen
-Allen Pitts

etc. (It's not an exhaustive list ... )

I was only kidding. No need to apologize. I'm my own worst enemy for wasting time on the computer. It's interesting discussions like these that make it that much easier to waste time.
I know you were kidding. Otherwise it would be the kettle calling the pot black....

Anyway...
Absolutely the Lou Marsh is a popularity contest.

But one can hope that the sports writers actually put some thought into it and try to come up with the athlete that best represents the intent of such an award, and that is to recognize outstanding Canadian achievement in sport.
I think you are likely correct that it is harder, in some ways, for Nash to win the MVP than the Lou Marsh.
But again, I hope the sports writers voting for Nash do so because they think he was the outstanding Canadian athlete, not because our big brothers, America, thought he was good. I do think that without the MVP, he could not win the Lou Marsh, which I think is unfortunate.
What I also think is unfortunate, is that the view of Nash is somehow that, as one of only a handful of Canadians in the NBA, and Canada not being a basketball nation, somehow makes his accomplishments even more striking.
It makes those accomplishments more interesting, but not better.
If there were dozens of Canadian athletes in the NBA, the writers wouldn't vote for Nash? I don't get it!
For example, why didn't Joe Thornton get the votes?
Well I guess because it is normal for a Canadian to win the Art Ross and the Hart? I still don't get it!

Anyway, as I said, good on Nash to win last year, and even Mike Weir in 2003 (no one will ever convince me golfers are athletes)
But Klassen deserves it this year. Without doubt!

Well put! Exactly my argument over considering CFL players ...

Also a great point. Consider too what Thornton did for Cheechoo ...