November 27, 2006

British Sport: An Annus Horribilis?

Name one British sportsperson who has had an outstanding year.

You can’t, can you? Looking down the list of contenders for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, you begin to realise that there’s either been a dearth of major sporting events this year, or we’ve just been crap at them.

  • According to the betting, Darren Clarke is the current favourite. This is the golfer who, in the four major tournaments this year, came 22nd, 56th, didn’t make the cut in the third and didn’t play in the fourth. Yes, he won the Ryder Cup, but aren’t we making more of that tournament than is appropriate? I think his nomination is only because of the death of his wife, which while tragic, surely isn’t reason enough to give him this award?

  • Zara Phillips is second favourite. She’s now the Eventing World Champion, but aren’t we clutching at straws to say that’s the best achievement of the sporting year?
  • Joe Calzaghe is third. He added the IBF Super Middleweight Championship to his WBO title. Whoop-de-do.
  • Beth Tweddle is fourth. She’s the World Champion at “Uneven Bars”.
  • Andy Murray is fifth. His main achievement is being more exciting than David Coulthard. But that’s not hard.
  • Monty Panesar is sixth. He wasn’t good enough to be picked to play in the Ashes. Steve Harmison was. Enough said, I think.

But my personal choice for sports personality for 2006 is….... David Walliams at 40/1. Which I think says all you need to know about the state of British sport at the moment.

- 11 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. Blamerbell

    Just remind me when Joe Calzaghe last lost a fight?

    27 Nov 2006, 21:30

  2. Joe Calzaghe deserves it. He’s been amazing for years and gets some recognition, but not enough. I do like Philips but she hasn’t been around as long.

    However one person who has done well this year, and never gets the credit she deserves, is Kelly Smith, the England centre forward, who was inspirational in getting England into the world cup for the first time in a decade, and who regularly gets nominated for FIFA player ofthe year despite being stuck in a not all that impressive league.

    27 Nov 2006, 23:06

  3. David Sheffield

    In 1997 “Brit” Greg Rusedski won the award for coming second in the US Open so its not unprecidented. I still think Dean Macey should win. (I blogged this a while ago)

    28 Nov 2006, 09:11

  4. Your post implies that any sport you don’t consider a sport isn’t worth winning. Being the best in the world at any sport is an impressive achievement. I am of the opinion that you can only dismiss an achievement when you can do it yourself without so much as breaking a sweat. Until then, you can’t really afford to turn your nose up at it, can you?

    On the other hand, because I do know something about tennis and cricket I’d agree that should either Andy Murray or Monty Panesar win it, it would be rather silly as it would be based on the fact that no one expected much of them and they did marginally better than you (the British public) thought they would.

    28 Nov 2006, 10:23

  5. From those six my preference would be Calzaghe or Tweddle, but Tweddle isn’t fashionable enough and Calzaghe is too much of a winner. My choice overall would be Robertson and Emms – yes another World Champion that England/Britain can claim.

    I just have a feeling it’s going to be Murray though.

    28 Nov 2006, 14:13

  6. Daisy

    When does voting close? If Monty plays the next two Tests (both on spinners’ wickets), takes a hatful of wickets and we win both…yeah, big if. Other than that surely Calzaghe must win? I can’t believe you are belittling his achievement in winning the IBF title – his victory over Jeff Lacy was superb. Just because he’s not in the glamour heavyweight division doesn’t make his achievements any less impressive.

    30 Nov 2006, 14:15

  7. Roger

    I would like to nominate myself for winning 25 games of Freecell on the bounce.

    What do you mean, Freecell isn’t a sport?

    I know the BBC weren’t there to film it, but that was their loss..

    01 Dec 2006, 11:47

  8. 25 games of FreeCell on the bounce is tame. I’m on 40 – suck on them apples.

    01 Dec 2006, 12:54

  9. FreeCell sucks. Sevens is where it’s at.

    01 Dec 2006, 16:37

  10. Why on earth would anyone suck on an apple? Maybe that’s some new sport too!

    01 Dec 2006, 22:00

  11. Hold on, I think we have a winner:

    01 Dec 2006, 22:03

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