I used to watch this religiously when I was young. It was one of the highlights of the year, (along with the World’s Strongest Man and the Indiana Jones movie). I imagine it was the seeing footballers in suits for once, away from the mud of November pitches or listening to Frank Bruno joking away with Harry Carpenter. Now like a lot, it barely raises an eyebrow.
It’s a pathetic list this year bar a few notables. The word ‘personality’ is always difficult to define in this context. Especially when this award should be about achievement.
Most sporting candidates lack an Ali persona. They are all pretty much of a muchness. some are shyer than others but doesn’t make them less of a person. It’s not a British personality trait to be brash and jolly in these ceremonies. We save Robbie Williams for the stage.
This year, as a bunch of achievers, the list is painful with only Joe Calzaghe actually stepping up to define himself and put his name down in history.
1. Ricky Hatton was last year’s man.
2. Monty Panesar is more of a newcomer award.
3. Darren Clarke lost his wife and then helped Europe win the Ryder Cup. But he was part of a team and personal heartache doesn’t get you the award. Or shouldn’t.
4. Zara Phillips needs to jump those fences herself to get the award.
5. Joe Calzaghe united the super-middleweight title, destroying the Jeff Lacy over a 12 round boxing clinic. The fight was so one-sided many thought it could be stopped earlier. The win gave him him US recognition, pushing himself into the P4P Top 10.
6. Phil Taylor needs a lifetime achievement award. If you consider darts a sport. Its a skill certainly but this would be a poor year if darts won.
7. Jensen Button has won….err….??? Oh he came 6th in the World Championship. woohooo.
8. Andy Murray has won..err..?? One tennis tour title.
9. Beth Tweddle won the European Gold in gymnastics. Great work.
10. Nicole Cooke is this year’s Lance Armstrong of cycling, taking part in all tournos and wins them. Great achievement.
So its between Joe and Nicole for me. Ryder Cup boys get the team award. But I won’t be watching. Might go to see a film or something.