Monday, December 11, 2006

"We love our Royals, don't we?"

That was my wife's instant reaction last night on the announcement of Zara Phillips as Sports Personality of the Year, and I don't think she's too far off in her assessment. As someone who became a World Champion during 2006, Zara was one of the more deserving candidates, but her popularity as one of the highest-profile young royals may well have swung it over fellow world champs Beth Tweddle, Nicole Cooke and Joe Calzaghe.

For me, it was the right result, even if by rights the horse should have been up there with her on the podium too. But what of the rest of the show, which seems to be held by much of our national media in an equal mixture of fascination and contempt?

Well, first off, wtf was going on with that shortlist? Andy Murray appeared to be on it for having beaten Roger Federer in a minor tournament, despite the fact that he has yet to win anything. Nicole Cooke was on it, which is fair enough, but not fellow cycling world champ Chris Hoy, which merely smacked of gender-balance tokenism.

Not sure why Steven Gerrard wasn't on the list following his Cup Final exploits. Maybe the BBC judge the Cup Final to be a bit parochial these days, but it's a strange judgement given that it's practically the only major domestic football match to which they still own the rights.

The most irritating aspect of the show remains the lack of real sporting highlights, even in respect of the events the BBC actually does own the rights to such as Wimbledon. Practically the only pieces of real "action" plus commentary were the Cup Final goals and Lewis-Francis bringing home the baton for Britain's European Mens 4 x 100m relay gold.

As for the good bits, well, apart from the moving Paul Hunter tribute, and seeing Beth Tweddle in a nice dress with her hair down, the highspot for me had to be Gary Lineker's comment on England's World Cup fiasco. "They arrived looking bright, confident and up for it - but that's enough about the WAGs."

Update: Other, more critical bloggage on our Zara from:

The Daily
Kerron Cross

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4 comments:

Bryan McGrath said...

Well I bet the farm on Zara Phillips on my sportdaq account, the BBC psuedo stock exchange meets sports website, safe in the knowledge the average BBC 1 viewer will vote for a royal, even just for turning up.

I'm glad to say that I'm not so sad that I actually watched the show

The Tin Drummer said...

If Paul Hunter had made it, I'd have voted for him. Otherwise it was just (for me) Monty, who isn't even playing any more, or anyone else. What a dismal year for UK sport. Here's to Europe! I think henceforth the Ashes should be Europe vs Aussie. No wait, it should be Australia v. - yes, and we can have rush keeper, like you used to when playing in the park.

Susanne said...

Zara Phillips was my choice so I'm pleased she won

skipper said...

Actually Paul, I now agree with you that thew whole contest is a farce and should be scrapped. And if anyone deserved to win it was Monty Panesar. Still, maybe he'll go on to win Strictly Come Dancing next year....