Well, congratulations have to go to Bradley Wiggins for an outstanding 2012, culminating in the public decision to award him the Sports Personality of the Year award. Bradley’s acceptance speech was every bit a reason as to why he should win the award – not just for sporting success, but for actually having a personality.
I didn’t vote – I didn’t have permission from Mr William Payer – but Brad was certainly my pick for winner. Everything he has done, not just for cycling, but for sporting hopes in this country, have served only to make him more and more incredible.
It all got a little confusing after that. In a year of considerable achievement, the shortlist was understandably deep in talent and success, and choosing the podium was always going to be tough. For all that she has done, Jess Ennis was really a no-brainer for second place if Brad was going to win it. She was the poster girl for the entire Olympic programme this year, and to almost any other mortal the pressure of that alone could have been enough to ensure she crumbled. But to add to that, the noise in that stadium on Super Saturday was immense just on my TV, I can only imagine what it was like running two incredible laps of that track. An amazing performer, and someone who would have been a deserving winner had votes gone her way.
For me though, it’s third place where it all falls apart a bit. If the award was called Sports Person of the Year, then you could award it to the most successful sports(wo)man of the year with some validity, but as it is in its current guise the title would suggest someone should actually have a personality. Don’t get me wrong, I like Andy Murray, and he is a far better tennis player than I could ever even dream to be. But I just can’t see how Mo Farah, with a finishing kick such as his, could be pipped to the post by the dour Scot.
An argument I read this morning for his third place award was that he is the first man in 70something years to win a Major championship. Well Done. Though, competition doesn’t seem so tough these days, was it such a huge achievement? Roger is still a fantastic player, but getting on a bit (he says, tongue firmly in cheek) and is not the force he once was. Rafa has had at least 2 years off his absolute best whilst being dogged by knee injuries – again, certainly not unbeatable by a long stretch. Novak, world number one, and a mighty fine tennis player – but you could argue that Manchester United are the greatest ever Premier League team, but they still get beaten sometimes. I am just not sure that the competition is so tough that we should be celebrating British players when they break a 76 year old hoodoo of not winning, rather – we should be questioning why on earth it has taken so bloody long to produce a tennis player capable of it. If we are going to celebrate ending a run of not winning something, then why wasn’t Greg Rutherford on the list for being the first Brit to win Olympic Gold in the Long Jump for 58 years?
This was hilarious – he couldn’t even cope with receiving an award properly.
When you consider the depth of talent that Mo was up against, the two incredible performances that he put in to win the 10,000 and then 5,000m runs just a week apart, and the general success of the last couple of years that he has had, surely he is more deserving of recognition for that than Murray. Maybe the country just went a bit soft, the obvious talent of Mo was overlooked to give Andy a small touch of success.
On another note, I am quite glad that Rory McIlroy didn’t get anywhere, I am not sure that he would have done anyway, but the fact that he wasn’t even available for a video link, as every other contender was, ruled him out straight away for me. I also don’t like that Golf success is quantified by winning the ‘Money List’, we all know footballers make a lot of money for their ‘effort’, but at least the Premier League is not called the ‘Who Pays the Most League’ (yet).
Anyway, rant over. Anyone else got any thoughts on the SPOTY awards last night?