Breaking News • Real-time Scores • Daily Analysis
On SI.com, 35 writers contributed essays on who they think deserves the magazine's highest honor. Here are six excerpts.
Track deserves a rock-solid place among the most valued sports on the planet. To regain this foothold, it needs many things, but nothing more than a transcendent star whose image becomes the screensaver for the next generation. For a week in Beijing, Usain Bolt was all of this. He jumped on the gurney, straddled a dying sport and applied paddles to its chest, giving it life.
By Tim Layden
Rafael Nadal pummels the ball, unfurling a lefty game that has no precedent. Yet his real strength is the mental variety. Nadal is that rare athlete whose game moves in lockstep with the stakes.
By L. Jon Wertheim
As a collegian, an Olympian and a pro in 2008 Candace Parker morphed into what had been an elusive figure in women's basketball: a mainstream draw. The curious were hooked.
By Selena Roberts
Kurt Warner has been hurt and benched and risen to play great football. In every place he has been a people magnet because he never allows Warner the athlete to define Warner the person.
By Peter King
The U.S. Open alone makes Tiger Woods a candidate. What seals the deal is the great, roaring vacuum that his departure created. Without Tiger, only people who play golf will follow golf.
By Chris Ballard
When the Brewers ended Milwaukee's 26-year playoff drought on the season's final day, there was no player who had poured more of himself into the playoff bid than CC Sabathia.
By Luke Winn
YOUR LINK TO SPORTS HISTORY