2017 Man of the Year: Robert Lee

Robert Lee is a consummate professional, a gentleman, and an icon in Virginia. He earned the nickname "Granny Lee" for his melodious counter tenor pitch and relaxed, subtle approach to sports announcing, an antidote to both the exaggerated macho baritone and over-the-top exuberance embraced by much of the broadcasting industry in recent years.

Lee put a tiny Franciscan university located in upstate New York on the map as the voice of Siena College Saints basketball for nearly two decades. Veteran journalists speak in reverent tones about his masterful call of the 2014 Saints victory over the Stony Brook University Seawolves at the 2014 College Basketball Invitational en route to the championship. His captivating coverage of eventual tournament MVP Brett Bisping's block in the decisive Game 3 against Fresno State attracted the attention of scouts from ESPN.

The scouting department took a liking to Lee's raw talent, but wanted to make sure the silver-tongued Siena savant was the real deal. After years of exhaustive vetting, Lee was promoted to the big leagues in 2016, when he was asked to call NCAA football games on ESPN 3. He quickly made a name for himself as a master announcer.

In August 2017, however, the scouting department uncovered unsettling information about Robert Lee when an anonymous source told executives at the Worldwide Leader in Sports that the broadcaster was not the only person with the first name Robert and the surname Lee. The network took swift action, removing him from calling a University of Virginia football game following a thorough investigation.

Lee, who is not a 210-year-old white man that led Confederate troops in an insurrection against America, exhibited the stoic patience and forbearance all men should aspire to. We are proud to name him a Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year.