Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sports Personality of the Year

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 World University games, then won the World Floor after falling in the bars.
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 England to the Ashes and won player of the tournament.
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 Beijing 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.
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.


Don Miles said...

Having followed the England women's team all year - yes - even including the World Cup in Australia - I am totally biased about the BBC Sports Personality Awards. How the girls did not get the team award is one of those 'mysteries' to which we all know the answer...

England men may have won the Ashes - but did anyone note the ODI series result - the girls whitewashed Australia 4-0 - the only time the Aussies have suffered this indignity in their history.

Anyone tell me what else they need to do?

Don Miles

Bheinn said...

This gives me a chance to rant about SPOTY - something I've done on other blogs.
Team Of The Year was a total joke. Its blantant, explicit sexism because it means winning one men's series is better or of more value than two world cups for the women.
If Team Of The Year was a joke then Coach Of The Year was just plain stupid. Ferguson was nominated yet again (this the bloke who is so honest he refuses to be interviewed by the BBC and has so much integity that he blames anyone he can, usually the ref, when he loses). They gave it to the England Football Manager - yes that's the bloke who has won absolutely nothing unless you call qualifying for the World Cup a victory. Mark Lane won 2 World Cups. SPOTY is a total joke, has nothing to do with real sport and has become a celebrity tabloid x-factor lookalike.

Unknown said...

I'm glad you guys agree with me!
Bheinn - you're right, and 'celebrity tabloid x-factor lookalike' is a very good description!