LISTEN, we all know Emma Raducanu has won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award – and so she absolutely should.
But after a shortlist (with emphasis on the word ‘short’) excluding Britain’s Greatest Sportsman, Sir Lewis Hamilton, after arguably his most impressive year, is the Beeb actively trying to sink their own locomotive?
We can talk until the cows come home about how SPOTY programming is not what it used to be, with the BBC’s dwindling sports portfolio.
And we can consider whether the word ‘personality’ should be included, when personality is rarely a factor.
We could argue it’s a show watched by your Nanna, not true sports fans. Or that it’s always been a messy apple-and-orange comparison business.
And, yes, no one can seem to get anything right.
The FIA cannot organize a motor race, Uefa cannot hold the Champions League draw and our Government certainly cannot run a country.
Still, the idea of crowning the nation’s sportsperson of the year is still a worthy one.
It’s an idea that’s still important. And what the BBC should try and do right.
That means Hamilton should obviously be on the ballot.
There is nothing the British love more than a polite, glorious, hard-to-get loser. And the British Nannas love them more than most.
Hamilton was dainty, glorious and tough when he was robbed of his record eighth world title in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
He’s the only British sportsman who can claim to be the all-time great in a major worldwide sport.
He was part of an exhilarating rivalry with Max Verstappen revived flagging interest in Formula One.
And if we’re really looking at the idea of ’personality’ Hamilton – two-time SPOTY winner – has demonstrated that quality more than ever in the last 12 months, as an outspoken campaigner outspoken on human rights issues, often against the bosses of his sport. .
If you really believe the BBC has ‘wake up’ then how do you remove Hamilton’s omission from the list of only six names, which often stretch into doubles?
This has been a very good year for British sport with a successful Olympics, England reaching a major football final for the first time since 1966 and Raducanu’s US Open victory, certainly an achievement. Most incredible British sports ever.
It’s certainly not one of those barren ‘let’s give it to Princess Anne or one of her children over the years.
But after Raducanu, are any of the other five SPOTY candidates more deserving than Hamilton?
Tyson Fury had a fight in 2021 and winning it was less convincing than we thought.
He has also served a drug ban, is in contact with a suspected criminal, and does not want to be considered for the award anyway.
Raheem Sterling has had a stellar Euro run but has spent most of the year struggling to break into Manchester City’s starting XI for the biggest games.
Tom Daley is a great story but he ended up winning an Olympic diving gold medal in a synchronized event – and I bet you can’t even remember the name of the bloke he synced with ? It definitely needs two to sync.
Adam Peaty becomes the first British swimmer to retain an Olympic title. But is he more deserving than some of the other members of Team GB, especially husband and wife Jason and Laura Kenny riding bikes?
Or did Peaty make the cut because your Nanna recently fell in love with him in tight sequined trousers on the TV series Serious To Dance?
Dame Sarah Storey is inspirational, but comparing any paralympic athlete with someone without a disability is probably taboo.
Anyway, maybe Beeb just intentionally put one Horlicks on this shortlist so we’ll all talk about it.
They will probably see this debate as proof that SPOTY is still relevant.
But while Hamilton has more substantial injustices to contend with, his omission that would get the public to vote is a sham.
Rule of fools
SPORT must have rules, or else football will remain a free medieval Pancake Day between two villages – lasting all day and with dozens of murders.
But do you watch sport for entertainment or treat it with deadly seriousness, demanding ultimate justice?
While Formula One race director Michael Masi was clearly wrong to allow Max Verstappen his chance to hit the world title in the first leg final in Abu Dhabi, his instincts were commendable.
As Masi told Mercedes Team Leader Toto Wolff: “It’s called a motor race. . . We went motor racing. “
Masi definitely couldn’t survive Sunday’s chaos but at least he sounds like a decent guy to have a pitcher.
REMEMBER how VAR will remove most of the controversy from football and allow us to enjoy Match of the Day without obsessing over endless penalty decisions? How did that idea come about?
‘Havin a stinker’
WHEN Andrey Arshavin was playing for Arsenal, he told us: “If I had the power to put a ban on women driving cars and withdraw all their licences, I would do it without thinking twice. ”
I tell you what, though, if women were made a Champions League draw yesterday, instead of Arshavin and a couple of Uefa coats, they won’t ruin it so much that they need to repaint.
And I bet they won’t blame ‘software’ either.
NEWCASTLE needs a manager to line them up – both before and after they enter the transfer market for the January sale.
Instead, they give a reward to Eddie Howe, who was once slapped on the head by Pep Guardiola for playing impulsive football every time his Bournemouth team was thrashed by Manchester City at the Etihad.
Newcastle’s 4-0 lead at Leicester shows little has changed.
Teflon Joe’s KO
JOE ROOT was the first Briton to fail to win The Ashes in his first two attempts as captain and still get a third on the job.
So let Root pick the wrong team for the First Test, to win on roll and beat when the conditions scream ‘bowl!’ – and then asserts that he will make the same decisions again – showing how lucky he is to be on the forum.
Root is a great tennis player but his captaincy rarely cuts cabbage.
He has won one of their last ten Tests and will likely be reading one of the 14 by the end of the series.
Teflon Joe is not as sticky as the British slide.
There are many theories about deciding who should be the captain of a football team.
Normally in the Continent, the captaincy was only given to the player with the longest or longest playing experience. Here, it is usually the worst player.
And there is a general consensus that a central defender or central midfielder is the best position, in position, to put aside.
Meanwhile, at Arsenal, they are trying to decide whether to keep the captain’s armband with a player who regularly fails to show up for work on time – and who always shows little interest in doing so.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/17030734/emma-raducanu-spoty-lewis-hamilton/ Emma Raducanu is nailed to SPOTY but Lewis Hamilton’s removal from the shortlist is a sham