It is that time again, when Canadian sports fans have their say on who and what has impressed them most on the field of play over the last calendar year.
There's no doubt that picking the best of the best is fun to do and sparks great debate in hallways, elevators and pubs. No one knows better than the patrons of sport who can claim to be the greatest of our country's athletes.
But here's the rub.
There are, again, a legion of worthy candidates this year. In fact, there are so many that not all of them could make it to the Top 10 list we offered here to spark the discussion. It's too bad because by leaving some athletes on the sidelines we arbitrarily fail to cast enough light on their remarkable accomplishments.
These kinds of lists also are not designed to be gender equal and, therefore, in this year's lineup, only one woman is offered up for your consideration. She is Kaillie Humphries, the world bobsleigh champion who has had another dominant year on the way to Sochi 2014.
In addition, the list has to accommodate a variety of tastes with regard to sport. Some of our finalists are Olympians, others are professionals and still others play what are loosely termed amateur sports. A few are players on a team; most are individuals. The one thing they all share in common is they can claim to be among the very best at what they do internationally.
Further rationale for the formation of the ballot goes like this:
These athletes can qualify by being at the top of their game. That's why figure skater Patrick Chan is on the list again. He's a reigning world champion, as is Humphries, not to mention short track speed skater Charles Hamelin.
Some of the choices are Canadian sports trailblazers. In this regard, Jon Cornish, the magnificent running back of the Calgary Stampeders, qualifies. For the second year in a row, the non-import led the CFL in rushing, breaking his own record for a Canadian by more than 300 yards.
A couple of our candidates merit consideration because they have excellin a deep talent pool. That's why tennis player Milos Raonic and golfer Graham DeLaet get the nod. In each of these two sports, the competitive balance is global in nature. It's extremely difficult to get to the top against so many international rivals. Both Raonic and DeLaet are nearly there.
Another has made the list because of all-around athleticism. Decathlete Damian Warner can run, jump and throw with the best on the planet in a foundation sport. By ascending the podium at the world athletics championships in Moscow this past summer, Warner stakes a claim to the ancient notion that decathlon produces the "world's greatest athlete."
The ballot must also accommodate acknowledged superstars. That means the greatest of the year's hockey performers should be given a look because this winter nation values the connection it has with the national game. To that end, Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins more than fit the bill.
Finally, there is the intangible quality of impact that needs to be discussed. While all of the above have made significant impressions over the course of the year, arguably no one has had made as much of an impact as young basketball sensation Andrew Wiggins.
This Sports Illustrated cover bears me out on this and, while he is as yet a superstar in the making, Wiggins has already dominated headlines with regard to the future of one of the world's most practised sports.
Do you have improvements to suggest for this page?