Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Guessing at BBC's Sports Personality of the Year shortlist

Unlike 2012 where it was really difficult to fit all the appropriate people into the shortlist after the London Olympics, I'm struggling to find ten names that can be nominated for BBC's Sports Personality of the Year award. Of course there were many highlights but getting the number of deserving people to double digits is a tall order.

To help with coming up with a list, I've analysed the situation by looking at each sport to see if they can come up with a nominee:

Football: Even though England qualified for the 2014 World Cup, hardly anybody stands out to deserve any plaudits. No British player lit up the domestic or European scene either. The only British footballer who can even merit a mention is Gareth Bale, who won both Player of the Year awards and became the world's most expensive footballer.

Motorsports: With Vettel dominating Formula 1, Button & Hamilton were left to feed off the scraps. The only world champion of British origin worth mentioning is Tom Sykes, who won the World Superbike Championship. Hopefully he will get a mention, considering the likes of Carl Fogarty and James Toseland have previously been nominated before.

Cricket: With England winning the home Ashes, it is most likely the team as a whole will be nominated in the Team of the Year award. Individually, there isn't really anybody who stands out. Stuart Broad and James Anderson might get a mentioned but I would like Ian Bell to be featured, since he was the best player in the Ashes with three centuries.

Rugby: As it was a non-World Cup year in union and none of the British Isles teams couldn't reach the rugby league World Cup final, it will be difficulty for a single player to be nominated.

Tennis: Really there is only one person who can be nominated. Andy Murray should win this year. He won Wimbledon for crying out loud! No British man has done that for 77 years. He also won three other tournaments, got to the final of the Australian Open and helped get Great Britain back into the main group for the Davis Cup. Plus he's appeared on Mock the Week again - what's not to love about him?

Golf: I honestly forgot about Justin Rose winning the US Open back in June. Everybody thought Rory McIlroy or Luke Donald would dominate the scene but Rose finally fulfilled his destiny after bursting onto the scene back at the 1998 Open Championship. Another leading contender for this year's SPOTY award.

Athletics: As it was a world championship year, there will be a number of athletes in the short list. Most prominently will be Mo Farah, who equalled his achievement from London 2012 by winning the 5000 & 10000 metres in Moscow. Another champion who should be mentioned will be
Christine Ohuruogu, who won the 400 metres with another dramatic finish, which surely will be mentioned when her nomination is discussed.

Boxing: The most likely man to get mentioned will be Carl Froch, having won the WBA super-middleweight title against Mikkel Kessler in May and retaining his titles (in much controversy) again George Groves in November. 

Cycling: Chris Froome will surely push Andy Murray for BBC SPOTY this year. He followed up Brad Wiggin's Tour de France win last year by keeping the title on British soil. He will definitely be nominated but may not win since Wiggins just won last year. Plus the black cloud overhanging the world of cycling thanks to Lance Armstrong's drug confessions may not help his sport's image.

Others: It would be nice to see Ronnie O'Sullivan being nominated, to recognise his status as the finest snooker player since Stephen Hendry. Whether or not he will play ball is another matter. I'm sure AP McCoy and Phil Taylor might get mentions.

As you can see, there is a lack of female & disabled sports people in my list. I'm sure there are many champions who can fit those criteria, for example Hannah Cockcroft and Richard Whitehead, but they need more media coverage - surely a nomination for SPOTY can help?

No comments: