Kansas City Royals

Royals fans are candidates for Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award

Royals fans cheered during game seven of the World Series as they watched on the big screen at the Kansas City Power & Light District on Oct. 29.
Royals fans cheered during game seven of the World Series as they watched on the big screen at the Kansas City Power & Light District on Oct. 29. The Kansas City Star

LeBron James was Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year in 2012. A year ago, Peyton Manning garnered the honor.

This year? It could be Royals fans.

Seriously.

On its website, Sports Illustrated is running a series of essays on nominees for the award.

Steve Rushin nominated Royals fans, noting the pain they endured before this season, specifically no playoff appearances since 1985.

“Royals fans came anyway — never fewer than 1.2 million in a season, usually many more — in an act of faith or madness or (that phrase again) simple devotion to duty,” Rushin wrote. “That’s why those fans are my Sportsmen and Women of the Year. They maintained this bedside vigil, day after day for decades, in the fading hope that the patient would stir.”

You can read the entire essay here.

Other candidates so far include Russell Wilson (actor Joel McHale’s nominee), marathoner Meb Keflezighi and former Missouri football player Michael Sam (“By choosing not to do anything except play, Sam showed a toughness that can’t be measured by tackles or sacks,” wrote Phil Taylor.)

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send e-mail to pgrathoff@kcstar.com.

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