Sidney Crosby voted most Influential Athlete in Canada
While figure skater, Patrick Chan, took home the Athlete of the Year honors, Sidney Crosby was named Most Influential Athlete.
Patrick's achievements are worthy of the title, given that he is undefeated this year, winning his fourth consecutive Canadian Championship, his first world title, and breaking three world records in the process. Sidney Crosby wasn't able to play for much of the year, because of his concussion. In fact, he is out of hockey once again, for an undetermined length of time. Crosby only played in 8 games in 2011. While other athletes are injured and unable to play, their names will often fall to the back pages of any sports newspapers, and to the lower headlines of any web pages, Crosby remained in the forefront of the news. Everyone stayed glued to TV's and the sports pages to try to be the first to know when Crosby would return to the game.
His return was incredible, and he scored 4 points in the first game back, but it was short lived. Once again, Crosby took a hit to the head, and now he is, again, out indefinitely.
Interestingly enough, two other of the most influential people in Canada are Gary Bettman and Brendan Shanahan. These two men are the two who are trying to figure out the best way to protect players, like Crosby, from injuries such as concussions, without sacrificing the game.
It's obvious us Canadians love the game of hockey, as the Top Story of the Year award went to the Winnipeg Jets return to the NHL. It was anxiously awaited by all Canadians, but success was not expected. Instead, we forgave them in advance. They were, after all, the relocated Atlanta Thrashers. However, the Jets have not disappointed fans in the least. Instead, they are (as I write this) sitting at 15-13-5. Not too shabby. Honestly, with all the sad, sordid, racy, depressing stories in 2011, this feel good story just seems right.
Remember, this was the selection in Canada, voted by reporters, writers, owners, announcers and others. If you are one of many Canadians on this site, do you think they got it right? If you're in the States, or elsewhere, give us your thoughts as well. Maybe you don't give a rat's ass about Canadian sports, and then again, maybe you think Sidney Crosby should be the most influential in more than just Canada? Give us your thoughts.