Should Deion Sanders Be The SI Sportsman Of The Year?

Have you ever witnessed a transformation so profound that it changes not just a team, but an entire community? This is the story of Deion Sanders, Sports Illustrated’s 2023 Sportsperson of the Year, a title that has sparked both admiration and skepticism. Known as Coach Prime, he has been a catalyst for change at the University of Colorado, but his journey and impact go far beyond the football field.

Imagine Colorado’s football program as a sleeping giant, and Coach Prime as the energetic force that awakened it. Under his leadership, the Buffaloes, who had a dismal 1-11 record last season, saw a resurgence in spirit and competitiveness. While they fell short of qualifying for a bowl game, the improvement was undeniable. It’s like watching a chess game where a player, down on pieces, starts making a series of strategic moves, turning the game around slowly but surely. That’s Coach Prime at Colorado.

But, here’s the twist. Coach Prime’s influence extends beyond the gridiron. He’s injected a new vitality into the campus and the Boulder community. Under his tenure, the University of Colorado witnessed a significant uptick in applications, including a remarkable increase from Black or African American applicants. Sales at the school’s online team store skyrocketed, and every home game was sold out for the first time in school history. It’s like turning a dimly lit room into a vibrant, buzzing hub of activity.

Furthermore, Coach Prime has transformed Colorado into a national conversation piece. The Buffaloes hosted ESPN’s College Gameday and Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff, bringing national attention to the program. The team’s games became some of the most-watched of the season, highlighting the magnetic appeal of Coach Prime and his team. It’s akin to a local theater production suddenly drawing Broadway-level attention.

However, not everyone is convinced. Critics point to the team’s late-season falter as a reason to question the award. It’s like judging a painter not just by the beauty of their artwork but by the popularity of the gallery it’s housed in. Yet, Coach Prime’s supporters emphasize the bigger picture: the rebuilding of a program and the revitalization of a community.

Let’s be real. Awards like these aren’t just about wins and losses; they’re about impact. Coach Prime has brought a new energy to Colorado football, creating a ripple effect that extends far beyond the playing field. He’s a figure who has galvanized a community, brought national attention to a struggling program, and inspired countless individuals.

In conclusion, whether Coach Prime should have received the Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year award is a matter of perspective. On one hand, his team’s performance didn’t meet the highest standards of success. On the other, his influence has been transformative in ways that transcend traditional metrics. As we reflect on Coach Prime’s journey, it leaves us pondering: Is the true measure of a sportsperson’s worth found only in their victories, or also in the lives they touch and the hope they inspire?

More Reading

Post navigation