With 2016 almost over and little news happening, we are in retrospective season. Thus, we have The Big Lead Sports People of the Year awards for 2016.
Other outlets give a serious sportsperson of the year award celebrating a person’s contributions to greater sportitude. We are honoring individuals who put in overtime in 2016 to provide fodder for our site, without causing undue physical harm to themselves or others. Here are the winners.
Ryan Lochte [Swimmer, USA] Jeah. Jeah. This aggressively vacuous merman became an American pariah at the 2016 Olympics. Lochte, while quite intoxicated, was complicit in the possible cracking of a gas station sandwich sign. He embellished the story getting held up and extorted for money by rent-a-cops a bit. He left the country on his regularly scheduled flight before getting extorted for thousands of dollars by Brazilian government officials to avoid a frivolous prosecution. This story had little substance, but that didn’t stop the hand-wringing columns. We pine for the halcyon days of mid-2016 when this was enough to be considered a grave national crisis.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Griffin III [QB, Cleveland Browns] Covering sports is about covering the narrative. Thus, RG3 is the perfect quarterback for 2016. He got himself hurt and placed on injured reserve, ensuring the sports discussion stays where it belongs: off the field. Griffin had a free agent drama replete with intrigue and potential former coach sabotage. He went through a messy divorce and got his new girlfriend’s name tattooed on his arm. Just when things seemed like they were settling down, he got robbed in the players’ parking garage. His 2016 was prolific, poignant and versatile.
Jim Harbaugh: The Michigan Wolverines head coach embraced being blogged about with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. No one was more consistently notable. Jim Harbaugh started controversies. He stumbled into them with poor wording. He provided sound bytes. He lit up colleagues on Twitter. He hung with celebrities. He released a freaking rap video. He made us think and write about those thoughts. In short, this is the 102nd post on this site where Jim Harbaugh has been tagged in 2016. With an Orange Bowl to play, we may squeeze in a few more.
Jon Ryan: It’s hard for a punter to get mentioned on our site. If he does, something went seriously wrong. Seattle Seahawks punter Jon Ryan took a couple for the team, literally. In January, Ryan received a bloody nose on a botched punt. In December, he was knocked out on a fake punt and hospitalized. No word on whether he has resolved matters with the Seahawks mascot.
Tim Tebow: Tim Tebow has been one of sports’ most polarizing figures. Just as we had all, finally, settled on him being a decent guy and a genial television presence, he decided to play professional baseball. His tryout was underwhelming. But, the Mets signed him anyway as a publicity stunt. He did it all while maintaining his full-time television commitment. Tebow hit a home run. He laid hands on a man having a seizure. Most importantly, he profoundly irritated baseball people forced to cover him like this was a real sports story.