Well, the country's election season is over. No more campaign ads (thank you), no more looking forward to getting the "I voted today" sticker, and no more arguing with your friends, family and coworkers over who or what they should vote for.
OK, maybe the last one will linger for a bit.
At any rate, we at ArizonaSports.com thought it would be a good idea to name a president for the local sports scene. However, there are plenty of qualified candidates, as each team gets to nominate someone. And since none of them returned our calls or even recognized this as a real thing (ouch), we decided to come up with the list on our own.
As we're sure you already understand, it's important to look at various factors when making a decision like this one. After all, this may be the most important election in our website's history.
From the Big Red Party: Larry Fitzgerald
Larry Fitzgerald would seem like an obvious choice for President of Arizona Sports. His credentials are easy to recognize: 744 receptions, 10,200 yards and 77 touchdowns in just more than eight seasons, along with six Pro Bowl selections. He is arguably the state's greatest ambassador and well-liked by virtually everyone. The eight-year deal he signed last summer, which could be worth up to $120 million, shows he certainly has a grasp on the economy.
Why not Larry?
Larry Fitzgerald may be doing well for himself, but what has he done for everyone else? His team has a losing record this season and is just 17-24 over the last two-and-a-half years. That would be considered the opposite of "progress", and it appears Mr. Fitzgerald may not have the answers or ability to fix the problems.
From the Sedona Red Party: Kirk Gibson
Kirk Gibson took over a struggling franchise in 2010 and made it a contender in just one season. His steady approach has served a young Diamondbacks team well, and if not for a rash of injuries and bad luck he may have guided them to a second-straight division title in 2012. Things may not have gone according to plan last year, but it's obvious he has things trending in the right direction. This a man who comes up big in big moments, initially popularizing the fist pump
after putting a team on his back and leading them to victory. An outdoorsman, "Gibby" really is a man of the people.
Why not Kirk? Is Mr. Gibson able to get the most out of what he's got? The 2012 Diamondbacks were supposed to contend for a spot in the World Series, but instead spent most of the season contending with the .500 mark. With fewer than three full seasons as the boss, Gibson is not really the most experienced candidate around. He's reportedly been at odds with some of his best players at times, and a "my way or the highway" approach may not be what this state needs from its leadership.
From the Planet Orange Party: Alvin Gentry
With a combination of experience, expertise and affability, Alvin Gentry is an easy choice for President of Arizona Sports. Continually dealt a bad hand, Mr. Gentry always finds a way to make the most of what he's got. Give him something to work with, and he takes his team to the Western Conference Finals. Take away his best assets? He still works hard with nary a complaint, keeping his team competitive on a nightly basis. He is a man solely focused on his job and doing the best he can, never letting any of the hardship caused by outside factors deter him from the mission at hand.
Why not Alvin? Well, is Mr. Gentry even going to be around next year? His contract is set to expire following the season, and continued struggles from his team could lead to it not being renewed. Besides, is he really a successful leader? Only twice has the guy led a team to the playoffs, and his career mark as a head coach is a losing one. His track record kind of speaks for itself, doesn't it?
From the Fear the Fork Party: Todd Graham
Part of winning an election is about campaigning, and few can work a room like Todd Graham. His "high octane" style is precisely what this state needs, and his disciplined approach would also do us well. Graham has already made ASU fans forget about Dennis Erickson's regime -- which is a good thing -- and has the program in the left lane with the hammer down. Graham is 3-1 in bowl games, meaning he knows how to get the job done on the big stage.
Why not Todd? Well, Mr. Graham is not exactly a model of stability or loyalty. He bolted Pittsburgh after just one season, and the way his departure was handled led many to question his character. His Sun Devils, while seemingly improved, are just 5-4 this season. Last year's Sun Devils were 6-3 through nine games, so one could argue that they've actually been worse under Graham. And while the coach may speak a good game, he has yet to win a big one.
From the Currently Has Time to Party Party: Shane Doan
Is production important to you? OK, how do you like 318 goals and 470 assists? How about a willingness to work with others? Mr. Doan has seen a countless number of different teammates, and is beloved by all. Or perhaps loyalty is more your flavor? Well, an entire career with the same team kind of speaks for itself, no? Whatever you are looking for in a candidate, Shane Doan has it. He's spent the last 15 years of his life in the desert, refusing to leave when given the opportunity. Doan has made it a point to try and be part of the solution rather than just leave when a problem arises. He led his team to new heights this past year, giving an indication things are clearly heading in the right direction.
Why not Shane? Well for starters, you may not even see Mr. Doan for a while. His league is currently locked out, and many feel the season will be lost. Can we really have an absentee president? Furthermore, at 35 years of age Mr. Doan is not exactly a spry chicken, and one could argue he's been in decline the last few years. He just received a new four year, $21.2 million contract, which may seem like a lot for a guy who a) is on the downside of his career, and b) is not even playing right now. In these uncertain times, can we really elect someone making so much for doing so little?
From the Bear Down Party: Sean Miller
Sean Miller took over a floundering basketball program and led it to the Elite 8 in just his second season at the helm. His Wildcats rode on the back of Derrick Williams, a low-rated recruit who became the number two pick in the NBA draft after just two seasons under Miller's tutelage. Miller earned a contract extension after his second season with the school, showing just how much confidence and faith they have in him. The coach has put together some of the best recruiting classes in the country, and has a top 15 team poised for a big season. Miller has compiled a 68-35 record as Arizona's basketball coach, and seems destined for great things in the Old Pueblo.
Why not Sean? Is Miller planning on sticking around for a while? He flirted with Maryland after guiding the Wildcats to the Elite 8, with the rumor being how he preferred to live on the East Coast. Then again, would Miller be a real loss? He's guided the Wildcats to one NCAA Tournament in three seasons, and the school's 25-year streak of NCAA Tournament appearances ended on his watch. Miller's had a high number of top recruits transfer or simply leave the program, and quite possibly does not get the most out of the talent he's assembled.