If you want to see your favorite athlete or coach – or even your favorite U.S. Senator – honored by the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, you have until Wednesday to cast a vote.
Votes for Alaska’s top athletes, events and sports moments can be cast at alaskasportshall.org. There, you’ll find an exhaustive list of nominees – and if your favorite isn’t listed, there’s a place for write-in votes.
Speaking of write-in votes, a certain senator is getting more than a few. And no, we don’t mean Lisa.
During his many years in office, Ted Stevens helped author one of the most significant pieces of legislation of the last 40 years when he shepherded Title IX into law.
Title IX is the reason girls and women get to play high school and college sports. Don’t fool yourself – if there was no Title IX requiring gender equity in schools, the Kelsey Griffins and Kerry Weilands of the world would be fighting to get gym time, coaches, uniforms, scholarships and everything else that has always available to the boys.
Without Title IX, the Anchorage School District would have gotten away with its proposal a few years ago to call sideline cheerleaders “athletes.” The Justice Department said no way, and as a result girls in Anchorage get to play hockey and flag football – and the school district is no longer out of compliance with the law.
Stevens also wrote the 1978 Amateur Sports Act, which created a governing body for amateur sports -- the U.S. Olympic Committee. It also empowered athletes by giving them 20 percent of the vote on any committee or board of a sport's governing body, such as the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.
And that’s why Uncle Ted is getting some write-in votes for the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.
So far, more than 1,000 people have cast ballots online. The cumulative public vote will count as one of nine votes for the Class of 2011. The rest come from an eight-member selection panel consisting of media and coaches.
Selections will be announced on Monday, Oct. 11. An induction ceremony will be at the ConocoPhillips atrium in February.
-- Beth Bragg