July 9, 2020

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Winnipeg Free Press



Sports showdown

Help choose Manitoba's greatest athlete of all time

There are many, many more important things than sports, but it still hurt to see sporting events we all know and love get either postponed or cancelled.

We may never know if the Jets were going to turn some heads in the playoffs, or if the Raptors could somehow defend their NBA title without Kawhi Leonard leading the way.

But instead of focusing on what we’re missing out on, I wanted to think of something that would help pass the time and get sports fans back to doing what they do best — arguing (I’m kidding, sort of).

How to vote

Click to Expand

OK, here’s how things are going to play out folks: Voting begins every Friday at noon, and remains open until the following Thursday at noon. You can vote on each match once per day by visiting the bracket.

Thursday afternoon we’ll tally everything up and put the winners in pairings that will open for voting the next day at noon.

I’ve created a March Madness-style bracket called Sports Showdown to decide who is the province’s greatest athlete of all time. So, I’m asking readers to speak up and cast their votes.

I’d be the first to admit it’s extremely difficult to compare athletes from different eras, let alone different sports. To make it a tiny bit easier, the four regions in the 32-person tournament have been split into Jets, Bombers, Olympians and Local Pros. The top dog in each category will clash in the Final Four.

Now by doing this, I’m fully aware of what I’ve signed up for. Not everyone is going to agree with the 32 names selected and it’s going to lead to some emails sent my way, but that’s OK.

Do you think I feel good about Kaitlyn Lawes getting snubbed? I lost some sleep over that one. Or how about leaving off Bomber greats such as Joe Poplawski and Tyrone Jones? You could’ve also made strong cases for Bobby Clarke, Sylvia Burka, Donny Lalonde, Joey Johnson, Wanda Guenette and Jon Montgomery, just to name a few. Unfortunately, there wasn’t room for all of our local greats.

As for the voting criteria, the easiest way to go about it (at least in my opinion) is to imagine you’re creating a Mount Rushmore of Manitoba athletes. Who do you think is the most deserving of representing our province’s rich sports history? When we’re at the stage where there are only four names remaining, your vote should be based on who you think should be the face of all Manitoba sports.

I think we could all use a distraction from pandemic talk and I hope this bracket can help with that, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Click to vote for Manitoba's greatest athlete

Click to vote for Manitoba's greatest athlete

Taylor Allen

Taylor Allen

Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of.

Read full biography

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Updated on Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 4:25 PM CDT: Updates link to bracket.

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