Skip to main content

BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominations

Lots of moaning on Twitter etc about the nominated group, particularly re no women being in the mix. But let's have a look at the list and see who might have genuinely been robbed of a spot on the list.

Mark Cavendish - incredible year and worthy favourite.

Luke Donald - number one golfer in the world, huge achievement despite not winning a major.

Rory McIlroy - bagged Caroline Wozniacki, that's worth being on the list in itself! But seriously, won the US Open and has an amazing career ahead of him.

Darren Clarke - won the Open Championship despite his career starting to wain. A real personality of professional golf, so depending on which quality you think defines this award...

Mo Farah - outstanding year on the track. No longer the best of the non-Africans, he is now world champion at 5000m and world silver medallist in the 10000m.

Dai Greene - world champion at the 400 sticks. Doubt it puts him above Farah, but popular guy, Welsh support etc..

Andrew Strauss - led England to a decisive Ashes victory in Australia, and onto no.1 in the world.

Alistair Cook - his unstoppable form in that Ashes series was a key ingredient of that success. (Several others in the team - Anderson, Trott, Swann, Prior - could have been named but always tough with a champion team)

Andy Murray - many will be critical but this has actually been his best year on the circuit. Reaching the semis of all four Slams is a huge feat, especially in an era where each of the top three have genuine reasons for being mentioned in greatest of all time discussions.

Amir Khan - the one query for me, named British Boxer of the Year and won two fights during the period in question.


Seems quite a valid list to me, glad to see there are no footballers or rugby players on there, purely for the sake of it. Who has missed out then? A few names being mentioned:

Nick Matthew - dual world squash champion. Unfortunately a largely anonymous sport in the UK now.

Alistair Brownlee - world champion triathlete for the second time. Again, very little coverage here, but at least he will have a chance at the spotlight in 2012 with the Olympics.

Keri-Ann Payne - world open water champion for the second time. But with the World Swimming Championships being held in Asia this year (wrong timezone) and open water being the lesser known sibling of pool racing, her achievements are largely unknown.

Chrissie Wellington - I had to look this one up. World women's ironman champion. Obviously a fantastic achievement but how can she be SPOTY in a sport which is completely anonymous in the UK??

Helen Jenkins - star triathlete. See Alistair Brownlee re lack of coverage.

Kath Grainger - world champion rower. Largely anonymous sport outside of Olympic years. Male rowers who won gold at the World titles didn't get a mention either.

Sarah Stevenson - taekwondo champion. Largely anonymous sport outside of Olympic years.

Rebecca Adlington - world champion swimmer at 800m. Has been here before. Probably the only one on the 'not nominated' list that the average punter would recognise. In a non-Olympic year, the only way a swimmer could win this award is with a Michael Phelps-like performance. A distance swimmer is never going to do that.


The Independent explains it well in this article.

It's a pretty simple equation - women's sports generally have a fairly narrow range of popularity. Those in the window this year, most notably Jessica Ennis, didn't take their chances. Those who did shine are largely anonymous - did any of their achievements make mention on Sky Sports or BBC News?

Contrast this to Australia where Olympic pole vault champion Steve Hooker has just declared Sally Pearson, world 100m hurdles champion in a time widely recognised as the fastest ever by a clean athlete, as the greatest current Australian athlete in any sport right now (and wouldn't be far off the mark either).

British women will get their chance next year when they will win more gold medals than the men. Any mandatory inclusion of a woman in the field reeks of tokenism. The sports they currently achieve highly in simply aren't in the public eye - that's the root of the problem. Bravo to Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson for facing the reality of the situation:

"I wouldn't want tokenism and I wouldn't want a woman to be on the list just because she was a woman," she said.

"But I think you just look at where the nominations have come from and that highlights another problem really - only 2% of media coverage in sport goes to women."

Thompson added that women "just aren't on the minds" of editors or producers.

"You're fighting against the system all the time," she said. "It's the big sports all the time that get the recognition."



For me the bigger issue is why lads' magazines like Zoo and Nuts are asked to vote (no women's equivalent is on the list), while the only specialist daily sports newspaper in the country, the Racing Post, isn't? It's far more than just racing. And the Manchester Evening News should be banned forever for ardent parochialism, to the extent of selecting foreign footballers playing for Manchester teams (Berbatov, Toure and Vieira). Idiots.

And let's be realistic about who is capable of winning anyway - the last few years have shown it comes down to the best coordinated social media campaign. Sporting achievements merely qualify them for the shortlist..

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

lay the field - my favourite racing strategy

Dabbling with laying the field in-running at various prices today, not just one price, but several in the same race. Got several matched in the previous race at Brighton, then this race came along at Nottingham. Such a long straight at Nottingham makes punters often over-react and think the finish line is closer than it actually is. As you can see by the number of bets matched, there was plenty of volatility in this in-play market. It's rare you'll get a complete wipe-out with one horse getting matched at all levels, but it can happen, so don't give yourself too much risk...

Racing has a Ponzi scheme - and the fallout will be enormous

When the term 'Ponzi scheme' is mentioned these days, the names Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford instantly spring to mind. The pair of them ran multi-billion dollar frauds (US$60bn and $8bn respectively) that destroyed the lives of thousands of investors who had put their life savings into a 'wonderful' investment strategy. How so many people were sucked into the scheme is baffling to those on the outside. The lifestyle, the sales pitch, the success stories of the early investors - I suppose it all adds up.

So where does this link to racing you ask? A prominent Australian 'racing identity' this week has been reported to have lost access to a bank account with punters' club funds of $194m in it. Firstly - is there a worse term for anyone to be labelled with that 'racing identity'? It ALWAYS ends up meaning shonky crook! Secondly - who the hell has a punters' club with an active bankroll in the tens of millions? It simply can't be done.

The…

damage control when trading goals

When trades go bad, some people will say cut your losses immediately, others will recommend having a bit of patience as events tend to level out (i.e. games with two goals in the first 10 mins never end up with 18 goals in 90 minutes). This is something I like to do on certain matches.

Background:
1. You've backed Under 2.5 goals, trying to nick a few ticks at a time as the clock ticks.
2. You've been caught out by a goal.
3. The market has gone sharply against you.

On this particular match from a couple of weeks ago, there was an early goal (sixth minute) before I got involved. The period immediately after an early goal regularly shows a sharp drop in the Under price, so I was trying to capitalise on that. But Watford then scored again after 14 minutes. The Back price I took (3.95) was now out to 12 - I could close out for a big loss (not my style) or wait and wait for the price to come back to somewhere I could close out for minimal damage. But at 2-0 after 15 minutes, it w…