Thursday, December 10, 2009

Why the BBC and the Public will get it wrong, again - Mimitig

Hello dear readers – it’s that time of year again. Yes the time when otherwise unengaged and uninitiated so-called “fans” will vote for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

So the first hurdle to overcome in this ridiculous charade is how the shortlist is arrived at. Does anyone know how? All I know is that at this time of writing, neither of my two sporting heroes of the year seem to have been mentioned anywhere.

I have no problem with recognizing the names that are being bandied about. Jessica Ennis is a fine athlete and won a brilliant gold medal in Berlin as did Phillipps Idowu. Great stuff, but they are not what you would call personalities.

Andrew Strauss captained the England and Wales Cricket team to an Ashes win – he is hardly mentioned, but can any of us forget the amazing scenes when England won the Ashes in 2005? Not Andrew’s fault that he only had a two year losing cycle to correct.

Then who are the others? David Hayes is a boxer who no-one had ever heard of in the general sporting field until a fight, in Germany, with a very big man. Now he is, apparently, a hero.

Well not in my eyes.

This year there are four huge sporting heroes – and all are pretty big and satisfying personalities. Of my four, one is ineligible for the BBC SPOT thing because he is foreign, but of course in a totally sane world, Valentino Rossi would win without a fight.

Vale may win the Overseas Award – if they have one. If they do and he doesn’t than that will be a travesty of justice because Rossi is now totally acknowledged as the GOAT. That is The Greatest Of All Time. The accolades and awards loaded onto Valentino’s shoulders this year seem unbearably heavy.

From Giacomo Agostini to Wayne Rainey to Kevin Schwantz – they all agree that Rossi is just a bit special, a bit different and a bit of, if they were to be really honest, a bit of a god. Rossi won the title this year, his ninth world title. He has just taken the biscuit really. Won titles in every class he has competed in and in recent years, he has lost and then come back and won and won again.

Valentino is the man.

So outside bikes with engines we look at bikes and men. This season only two men have really cut the mustard. Yes Lance returned, with all his va va voom and multi-million pay-offs to dodge the testers and go to the Tour DownUnder and get the papers writing about him.

He cycled well in the season – and made a lot of friends – but still managed to piss off the core of cycling fans by refusing to come out whole-heartedly on drug-free cycling. But never mind, he did good and got loads of press inches for the sport and when our Brad went up against him in the Tour – well it was fab.

The Tour was already getting column inches due to the Manx Express who was winning sprint after sprint. Then Brad was up there. In the mountains – going pedal for pedal against the world legend that is Lance Armstrong.

Ultimately Brad came in one place behind the American machine, but for cycling fans, this fourth place was a win.

So in the Tour, who is the winner? Our Brad or Marky Mark? It’s a hard call, but the thing is, not only did Mark get his six sprints and beat the best ever British record, but in the season, Mark got Milan-San Remo. A classic race. A first for Britain. (Oh and I forgot to mention that Mark got the Maglia Rosa in the Giro).

Cav is the classiest act this nation has, so boo to the Spot BBC thing because they won’t even list him and poo to most of Britain who don’t realize that they have a national treasure on their hands.

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year will be decided by people who don’t watch much sport and go on headlines.

Congratulations therefore to Jenson Button. But you don’t deserve it. OK – team about to crash out, Ross Brawn comes to the rescue, great car, brilliant start, fairytale and all of that. Great, and in my heart, I love that Jense won and a British team, oh it makes the little heart beat wilder, but the thing is, and this is the thing …

For me, cars ain’t the thing any more. Too much big business, too much Bernie Fucking Ecclestone… I want sports where people really matter and people make the difference.

So for me, there really is only one contender for this SPOTY thing. One man has made a difference to my sporting year. One man has inspired me, and one man makes me leap up off the sofa and yell.

That man is Mark Cavendish.

And he won’t win, probably won’t be short-listed, but he’s my boy. Last year, this year and no doubt in 2010. Cav is our boy.

Read and weep.


Zephirine said...

Mimi, I'm so glad you've finally turned against those boring cars! (just a big version of this really)

Good piece. Maybe the BBC SPOTY was more interesting when it was almost the only thing with an audience vote? Nowadays you can be constantly voting for some X Factoid Talent on Ice or other so it's got less appeal. I quite agree that it's about number of headlines, in fact it could really be called Media Favourite of the Year...

Apart from M Cavendish, who I'll take your word about, IMO the winner should be Charlotte Edwards or Clare Taylor for their part in a team that holds two World Cups, or, indeed, Andrew Strauss.

mimi said...

Zeph - you have shamed me for not including Charlotte or Clare. Both hugely worthy but of course bugger all publicity for their achievements.

I did rather spend my enthusiasm on the cycling - but then that is rather my thing.

Ebren said...

Not sure if the public will agree with you - but Guardian readers errm to Mimi: by the looks of it

Ebren said...

Wow - one key to the right and "seem" becomes all weird.

Zephirine said...

Keyboards, Ebren. They have a mind of their own. (Unlike turntables). My keyboard currently refuses to co-operate over the letters t, l and k. It either doesn't type them at all or types four of them.

Guardian readers show some sense shock!

mimi said...

Guardian readers are of course discerning and educated sports experts. Well done them.

Shame it didn't translate into the real thing, but I'm not unhappy that Ryan Giggs won. He is Welsh.

Glad the cricket team (women) were at least short-listed but outraged that for the OVerseas one that Rossi didn't even get a shout.

I knew it was all bollocks.

munni said...

I don't know, it seems a bit like Giggs got it because they thought they'd better hurry up and give it to him before he retires ... like Paul Newman winning the oscar for The Color of Money.

I'm not faulting his accomplishments, just wondering if this is the most relevant year for him to win.

Greengrass said...

Ryan dropped by the Pakalolo last night.
He asked for Ingrid, shook his head and mumbled that he had never heard of a pub called "Tahiti", then sat in the snug all night with Ena and Minnie.

He must have downed at least a dozen pints of Nobby's Champion Welly Sweat.

Just before lock-in time, Minnie came across and reported him for scaring her dog by speaking Welsh.

I had to ask him to leave. He was very nice about it, mumbling "Cachau bant, cachau bant" as he crawled off in the direction of the Chinese chippy.

Bluedaddy said...

Cav for me too. Six goddamn sprints! And one on the Champs. If Murray won a grand slam SPOTY would be called off for lack of intrigue but Cav don't even get close.

Zephirine said...

I can't manage to like Andrew Murray. Not that he cares, I'm sure:)

Both Fed and Nadal I find admirable and indeed lovable in their different ways, but Murray, no. His brother got the charm, it seems.

mimi said...

With Zeph: there is just something unloveable and even unlikeable about Andy Murray. Not sure about the brother but ... Nicola Murray: who possibly couldn't have a soft spot for the minister at DoSAC? Specially when things go wrong and she's "like a squirrel trapped in a pedal bin".
Bless. Though obviously not sporting. Squirrels should not be trapped in pedal bins.

Mouth of the Mersey said...

Thanks Mimi - much with which I agree. I think they are saving Rossi up for a lifetime achievement when he steps down.

Bolt is the biggest personality in sport though isn't he?

Zephirine said...

I see Lord Ebren's spam-cleaners haven't been around for a couple of days. Can't get the staff...

Unless, of course, the anonymous person offering to make us all rich is Lord Ebren.

Mistletoe Greengrass said...

Ingrid & I wish all Pseuds a restive festive and a grand 2010.

Becalmed at present in Milan (far too close to Berlusconi!) en route to Sicily.

I'll try to suss out a thing or two to help Lord Wrigley while I'm here and see if there are any interesting local animals which might help to break the tedious tapir cuisine of the Pakalolo.

mimi said...

I think it's all about this:

offsideinchile said...

Merry Xstuff everyone, from a Chilean keyboard with loadzakeys in the wrong plqces.

Looks like we'll have some Welsh people for christñas dinner. Hope they"re not overcooked.

Next stop Pqtqgoniq!

Greengrass said...

Roughing it in Sicily.
Just off to a cosy little restaurant down by the market to eat some local animals - Welshmen are apparently off today.
All The Beast for 2010, everyone!

Anonymous said...

Nothing is fair.
Just heard about the death of Rowland S Howard.

mimi said...

that was me. sorry

Anonymous said...


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