As usual those charged with compiling the 12-person shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year contest have made some baffling decisions.
I don’t mind a bit of imagination in a pick, but the sheer desperation of the PC Brigade to include all sexes and those who dominate minority sports is crazy.
Judge the damn thing on merit for goodness sake and if that means 12 women then so be it.
Boxer and all-round good egg Anthony Joshua should win this year’s prize comfortably. His main rivals either rely on having a superior machine to the others (Lewis Hamilton) or take part in a sport that just cannot be trusted to be clean (Mo Farah & Chris Froome), or take part in sports few are interested in like taekwondo and speed skating.
Apart from the brilliant swimmer Adam Peaty, the others nominated have hardly pricked a nation’s sporting conscience, unlike the English rugby union team who have lost just once in two years and whose reward is to have no-one nominated.
I assume Eddie Jones is a shoo-in for coach of the year and Owen Farrell & co will win team of the year, although I’m not banking on that level of good sense. There’s probably the coach of a synchronised swimming team somewhere in the country with a European bronze medal or something who will earn the vote of the PC brigade.
Our football is so dominated by foreign stars, I’m amazed an English player has made it to the shortlist stage even if it is the admirable Harry Kane, but he’s no personality and his Spurs team won naff all as usual.
The judges should have picked a left field candidate like Jermain Defoe for his role in the Bradley Lowery story that won the hearts of a nation. Or Juan Mata for trying (not very successfully so far) to get super-rich players to donate money to the needy. Or even Eniola Aluko whose brave revelations exposed racism and sexism at the heart of the FA.
Cricketer Anya Shrubsole expressed shock she made the final 12 and I’m not surprised as after cleaning up a load of Indian tailenders in a World Cup Final she took four wickets in seven Ashes appearances later in the year.
Her World Cup Final display was great, but surely one decent effort isn’t enough to warrant inclusion ahead of players who were strong all year?
Jimmy Anderson broke the record for Test wickets by an Englishman in a terrific summer. He’s been overlooked in favour of a player who came good in a one-off situation, albeit a big one.
Tennis player Johanna Konta didn’t win a game from September onwards and bowed out of two Grand Slams at the first round stage so how on earth is she included?
Snooker players Mark Selby and Ronnie O’Sullivan are more worthy as they always perform when pressure is at its greatest.
Looks like I’ll give the awards programme a miss again this year.