On Sunday one athlete will be crowned the nation’s favourite, but who exactly should win the coveted Sports Personality of the Year 2010?
Odds on favourite is jockey Tony McCoy who after 15 years of trying finally won the Grand National this year, and in doing so cemented his place as the greatest jump jockey to date. The Irishmen, who came third in the 2002 Sport Personality of the Year competition, however is not a certainty to win the award.
One thing to remember is that the award is unpredictable, as shown by Ryan Giggs’ surprise victory last year, Greg Rusedski’s in 1997 and Paul Gascoigne’s in 1990. Like X-factor and Strictly Come Dancing the Sports Personality of the Year award is decided by the public, therefore making it extremely hard to call.
Something else to consider is the ‘personality’ element of the award. The candidates are not just judged on their respective sporting achievements, but also on their charisma, appeal and relationship with the wider public.
Therefore, those two minute videos in which each candidate sells themselves are as, if not more, important than those accomplishments that secured their respective place on the shortlist.
Moreover, this has been no ordinary year in sport. We’ve had medal winners at the Commonwealth Games and Winter Olympics, a British heavyweight boxing champion, England’s first number one golfer since 1993 and a cricket world championship victory courtesy of the world’s best spinner.
It’s been a great year for sport and this will polarize and divide the public as to who should be crowned Sports Personality of the Year more so than any other year.
Thus, with all this in mind, while AP McCoy maybe favourite he is by no means guaranteed to be victorious on Sunday night in Birmingham.
Now I am not an avid horse-racing fan, but everyone knows who McCoy is and how important the Grand National is. McCoy deserves to win not only because of his achievements this season, but because of his consistency over the last few years.
Another deserving candidate, in my opinion at least, is Phil Taylor who this year won his 15th world title – as well as the European championships, Premier league, UK open and the World MatchPlay. Taylor has dominated darts in the same way that Roger Federer and Tiger Woods have consistently dominated tennis and golf respectively, and he too would be a worthy winner of the award.
However, what unites the two is the fact that their respective sports are not as fashionable and as well loved as say golf, boxing or cricket. Therefore meaning they may not appeal to the mass market – which is essentially what you have to do to win the award.
Thus, I will be putting my money on spin-king Graeme Swann, whose great performances this year saw him voted as ECB Cricketer of the Year. He was an integral part of the England’s victorious Twenty20 team at the World Cup this summer taking 10 wickets with an average of 15, and as you read this he is playing his part in helping to bring the Ashes back home.
Moreover, his passion on the field is matched by his great sense of humour and his Ashes video diaries have made him even more popular in the eyes of the public. Thus, giving him the vital ingredients to be crowned Sports Personality of Year: talent, public appeal and a well respected sport.
Do you disagree? Should Tony McCoy win the award? Should Phil Taylor be crowned Sports Personality of the Year? Please leave your thoughts below.