Thursday, 24 November 2011

Contenders For The 2011 BBC Sports Personality of the Year

There are many sceptics who question the integrity of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year after many unlikely winners have walked away with the award when you look at past winners from down the years. Greg Rusedski for instance won in 1997 after losing in the US Open Men’s Tennis final, Zara Phillips and her mother Princess Anne for that matter, winners in 2006 and 1971 respectively for winning Olympic Gold Medals in the not too well known sport of Eventing – anyone believe that there may have been some bias here?

The reasons behind David Beckham’s win in 2001 remains a mystery, Or was that the year he played the starring role in England’s 2-2 draw against Greece? Michael Owen’s win in 1998 is even more questionable, given it seems for a scoring a wonder goal against Argentina in a World Cup last 16 match that England were to lose on penalties.

Staying with football, there would be very few that would argue against Ryan Giggs achievements but when he won the SPOTY in 2009, it was on the back of a mass social media campaign from Man Utd fans which seemed to focus on his services to football rather than any outstanding feat achieved that year.

It is difficult to argue that there is more than a little cynicism contained in some of the past winners but when an award is given on annual basis, shouldn’t it be received by somebody who has accomplished something of great note?

In many ways, it is great to competitors of less popular Olympic sports be rewarded. In recent years, the Olympic sportsmen and women who have won the award include, Sir Chris Hoy in 2008, Dame Kelly Holmes in 2004 and Sir Steven Redgrave in 2000 being the last three. The trend of Olympians is almost certain to continue in 2012 with the London Olympics taking place next summer but the question is which sportsman or women has achieved anything of note befitting of the award over the past 12 months.

The favourite to win this year is Mark Cavendish, the first ever British "Green Jersey" winner in the Tour De France, a feat he achieved after winning four stages of the world’s most gruelling race. He is also became the World Road Race Champion in 2011 and although he will be seen in the Olympics next year.

His achievements this year have been outstanding and he is the justified leader at this stage and could even be on course to win back-to-back awards if he adds Olympic Golds to his honours at the London Olympics next year and as the latest Sports Personality of the year odds would suggest, at 5/4, Cavendish is firmly the one to beat.

Golfers, Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy are also in contention to win after the two men from Northern Ireland each won Major Golf Tournaments earlier this year. McIlroy won the US Open in June, breaking almost every conceivable record for the tournament in the process whilst Clarke meanwhile came back from almost total obscurity to win the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St George's.

Clarke lost his wife to breast cancer in 2006 and clearly affected his form and his come back, finished off by his first win in a Major tournament made the achievement that bit more special and endeared him to the public in the process.

There is a very strong argument for a third British golfer to be in the running this year and that is the current world number one Luke Donald. The Englishman will become the first man in golf history to top the money lists on both sides of the Atlantic, after an incredibly consistent season, which has seen him win four tournaments and finish in the top ten a further 14 times.

Included in those wins was the WGC World Match-Play at the beginning of the year, which will go a long way to seeing Luke become the first non-American to win the US Tour’s Player of the Year. Donald too has been hit with a major personal bereavement earlier this month, when his Dad, Colin died suddenly, just four days before Luke’s second daughter was born.

However, if the Sports Personality of the Year award is about acknowledging major wins then McIlroy and  Clarke must be fancied ahead of him but should Donald end his wait for a first major in 2012 then you can rest assured that this popular personality will be amongst the front runners in twelve months time.

Written by Rod Crowley Best Blogger Tips
  • Share On Facebook
  • Digg This Post
  • Stumble This Post
  • Tweet This Post
  • Save Tis Post To Delicious
  • Float This Post
  • Share On Reddit
  • Bookmark On Technorati

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...