Sports Personality of the Year is becoming a farce. (This rant has 2 parts)
Back in the day (when I were a lad…) the show wasn’t even called that. It was Sports Review of the Year, and was focused on an overall review of the year in sport. The awards were a small part of the programme, rather than the focus.
Now, the show has become a popularity contest. Every part of the show is geared towards getting the (relatively ignorant) public to ring in and vote, and we get a much more skewed view of the sporting year. It has become more about celebrating certain poorly-chosen individuals (see below) and less about celebrating sport as a whole.
That’s the first part of the rant. The second part is about two of this years awards – the individual and the team.
Here are the contenders for the individual award, in order of the number of votes they received.
Ryan Giggs (winner) – won 2 major domestic trophies with Man Utd and was a key player in their team, but not the most key player (that would be Ronaldo).
Jenson Button (2nd) – got lucky in signing a contract to drive a very fast car and still only just won the title.
Jessica Ennis (3rd) – Came back from an Olympic-missing injury to win the world title with several event personal bests and an overall personal best.
Mark Cavendish – won a ‘record’ (they mean British record) 6 Tour De France stages.
Beth Tweddle – After being robbed in
Beijing, won double gold at the games, then won the World Floor after falling in the bars. World University
Tom Daley – won the world 10m diving at age 15.
Andy Murray – got to world number 2 and won 6 events, none of which were grand slams.
Andrew Strauss – captained
to the Ashes and won player of the tournament. England
David Haye – fought one fight to win the world heavyweight title.
Phillips Idowu – won the World Triple Jump with a personal best.
2 of these people (Cavendish and Murray) didn’t actually win anything important. Others (Giggs, Button, Strauss, Haye, Idowu) won stuff, but weren’t outstanding (Giggs wasn't United's best player, Button is a racing driver and his success is therefore mostly due to the car, Strauss has a good series, but not mind-boggling, Haye won one fight and Idowu was no more impressive than any other athletics world champion. Another (Daley) did well, but won the young award, so shouldn’t get the main one too.
This leaves the ladies – Ennis and Tweddle. Ennis was superb all year, especially after the nightmare of missing
due to injury, and was untouchable at the World Championships. Tweddle was similarly supreme, especially on the floor after falling in her main event, the bars. One of these two should have one. Beijing
However, the award is decided by a public vote, which means minority sportspeople such as Tweddle never stand a chance.
Now to the team award. It was given to the England Men’s Cricket Team, who won the Ashes. It was not given to the England Women’s Cricket Team, who one the Ashes, the World Cup, and the World Twenty20 cup. What a joke.