The Darryl Broadfoot of Tennis

All non-fitba stuff in here please.

Postby Skyline Drifter » Sun Jul 19, 2009 9:18 pm

scottish wrote:
Skyline Drifter wrote:Not that I'm much of a fan of it personally but I don't especially see why a world class ice skater shouldn't win it?

Are you suggesting that Torvill and Dean doing so was an indication it was a bad year for sport?

Granted Zara Phillips selection was absolutely nonsense. If she wasn't a member of the Royal family she wouldn't even have been mentioned far less short listed and ultimately voted in.

I was thinking of John Curry and Robin Cousins as well as T&D. I have difficulty in accepting as competitive sport anything which automatically requires judges to hold up cards to let me know who's winning.

I'm not saying they weren't good at what they did but it seems to me that the above winners benefited from achieving Olympic success in what was otherwise a nondescript sporting year. Certainly that was the case for Curry & T&D. Cousins' success was somehow deemed more worthy than those of Coe, Ovett, Thompson, Wells and Goodhew. Simply because his was at the winter games in Lake Placid while the others all won in Moscow which was - at government level anyway - officially boycotted by the UK.

I'd agree re Phillips but the surprising thing is that she won the popular vote, taking one-third of those cast and well ahead of runner-up Darren Clarke.

I know you were. And I didn't mention them because as regards Curry I'm not old enough to remember it and can't comment and as regards Cousins, I did see it but I was 10 and likewise can't really comment on things that year with any real basis in experience.

I'm just saying that I don't especially see why a win for an ice skater is a sign of a bad year for sport. It's a genuine sport and if you are exceptional at it then you are exceptional at it. The fact that it needs judging and not a first past the post winner shouldn't really detract from that. Inevitably with sports such as Ice Skating, Track Cycling and Swimming (to name but three) genuine opportunities to enter the public perception and be candidates to win such things only turn up every four years when the Olympics come along but so what. It could be argued that English cricket stars only really get the chance to shine when the Ashes are played and footballers generally get their greatest exposure in world cup years (and Euro Championships I suppose).

I'd turn it on it's head and say generally that footballers only really triumph in years when there are no obvious individual achievements in other mainstream sports (though I haven't the time or inclination to research whether the facts bear that theory out).

In any event, I'd suggest that what Torvill and Dean achieved in terms of sporting perfection would have won regardless of what other sporting success Brits had in that year unless it was equally phenomenal.

Phillips also benefitted from a lack of sporting success in the year that she won it. Darren Clarke's nomination was also a bit of a nonsense and based fundamentally on the fact his wife died. I have every sympathy and it was tragic but is it a reason to make him Sports Personality. He won nowt that year and was by no means the most successful golfer on the Ryder Cup side that year either, though he was inevitably the focus of it.
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Postby Skyline Drifter » Sun Jul 19, 2009 9:25 pm

scottish wrote:
Skyline Drifter wrote:. A win for Ross Fisher or Lee Westwood tomorrow night would probably clinch it for them too.

You'd think so but it often doesn't work that way. Golfers generally don't do well in this award. When Tony Jacklin became the first home Open winner for 18 years in 1969 the award went Ann Jones. She at least had won the Wimbledon Singles. But the next year Jacklin became the first British winner of the US Open for half a century but the award went to Henry Cooper for the second time. Cooper had fought just twice that year.

When Sandy Lyle ended the 16-year drought post-Jacklin it was another boxer - Barry McGuigan- who won the award. Nick Faldo did win this award in 1989 but not in any of his Open-winning years. Fatima Whitbread, Paul Gascoigne and Nigel Mansell being the winners on those occasions. Paul Lawrie also lost to a boxer - Lennox Lewis.

Skyline Drifter wrote:.Indeed, Murray himself could become a far stronger candidate with a triumph at the US Open but an early round exit there would leave him less likely to win than he was a year ago in reality.

Greg Rusedski won this award when he reached the US Final. Murray didn't. The main difference being that Rusedksi wasn't up against Chris Hoy.

A fair point on the golf. Although I'd suggest Barry McGuigan was a worthy winner and Lyle was just unlucky to mistime his win maybe. Faldo never had a personality that ever should have gotten votes (though I accept the name is a misnomer and it has come to be an award for success anyway) and only his immediate family would seriously consider that Paul Lawrie should have won it on the back of the best day of golf in his life happening to fall at exactly the right day.

As for the Rusedski v Murray issue, I agree entirely. Rusedski didn't have an enormous amount of British sporting success to go up against last year. I'd say unless he actually wins the US Open (in which case he should be a shoo in for the SPotY award) Murray ought to have less of a chance of winning the thing than last year. Based on results whilst he's been overall more consistent and hence moved up the rankings, he won't have done anything more in terms of the Grand Slam's than he did before. Of course, it also inevitably depends what other sports do. My money would be on Jenson Button right now though.
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Postby Scottish » Sun Jul 19, 2009 11:23 pm

David Wilkie had as good a shout as John Curry in 1976 IMHO. I’d agree that the Olympic Games is the only real opportunity for many sports to be at the forefront of public and media attention and it is very rare for a swimmer, athlete, cyclist etc to win outside of an Olympic year.

No arguments over McGuigan’s worthiness either. Or Lennox Lewis rather than Paul Lawrie. I was using the experience of Open winners to show that victory there wasn’t the automatic guarantee of success that, for example, a Wimbledon win would be. And while Sandy Lyle may have been unlucky in 1985 it seems downright perverse that in the year he became the first ever British winner of the Masters that Steve Davis won the BBC award! Faldo and personality? The same could be said of Steve Davis, Nigel Mansell and several others. Odd though that the most successful British golfer since the end of the First World War merited just a single award. As for Clarke and Zara Phillips, yes there was a sympathy vote in evidence but it turned out to be less than the sycophancy vote. True, Clarke wasn’t highest scorer at the Ryder Cup (Garcia & Westwood were) but he did have a 100% record (along with Donald & Olazabal). Team captain Ian Woosnam would have been a worthier winner than Zara Phillips IMHO.

Yes, Button must be the favourite at the moment for this year but I’m afraid that’s another arena I find difficult to accept as sport. Torvill and Dean? I reckon Jim McLean taking Dundee United to the last four of the European Cup (and robbed of getting to the Final) the same was an even more difficult achievement. Or Liverpool winning their fourth European Cup.

Apart from the major championships I think the team nature of the game counts against footballers, cricketers and rugby players. The only footballer before Gazza to win was Bobby Moore, in rather obvious circumstances. Gascoigne’s win was down to his crying. And the only players since have been Michael Owen – thanks to his emergence at the 1998 World Cup - and David Beckham three years later following his ‘rehabilitation’ and after his last-minute free-kick equaliser against Greece guaranteed England’s place in the 2002 finals.

A case can be made that the most popular sport has been the most overlooked. A few instances: Spurs became the first English team to do the ‘double’ in the 20th century. The award went to Stirling Moss for coming second in F1. Spurs again in 1963 when they became the first British team to win a European trophy and the BBC award went to sprinter Dorothy Hyman for success at the Commonwealth and European games.

Then there was Celtic in 1967. Laughably the BBC award went to Henry Cooper on the grounds that he was unbeaten that year. Cooper fought only three times with Jack Bodell and Billy Walker (both competent but hardly world-beaters) and an unknown American called Boston Jacobs as his opponents.

This is an award which has generated controversy from the start. The first winner was the athlete Chris Chataway. In the same year that Roger Bannister became the first man to run a mile in under four minutes the award went to one of his pacemakers!
Last edited by Scottish on Sun Jul 19, 2009 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Scottish » Sun Jul 19, 2009 11:54 pm

A quick look through the winners list shows that Athletics has provided no fewer than 17 of the 55 winners to date, almost one-third of the total. More than twice as many as the next nearest 'sport' Formula One with seven. There have been five triumphs for boxers.

I think that bears out what I said in the previous post about football as a team game not impacting on what is an individual award. There have been four footballers and a similar number of cricketers. Three wins apiece for Equestrians, Ice Skaters and Tennis players, two each for Swimmers, Golfers and Cyclists and one win only for Snooker, Rugby Union and Rowing.

Athletics: Chris Chataway, Gordon Pirie, Dorothy Hyman, Mary Rand, David Hemery, Mary Peters, Brendan Foster, Steve Ovett, Sebastian Coe, Daley Thompson, Steve Cram, Fatima Whitbread, Liz McColgan, Linford Christie, Jonathan Edwards, Paula Radcliffe, Kelly Holmes

Oddities here are that among the genuinely outstanding are also the merely very good (and the occasionally dodgy).

Motor Racing: John Surtees, Stirling Moss, Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell (2), Damon Hill (2)

Oddities here: tempted to say all of them but the inclusion of Moss and the omission of Jim Clark & Graham Hill

Boxing: Henry Cooper (2), Barry McGuigan, Lennox Lewis, Joe Calzaghe

Oddities here: Sir 'Enery has two wins yet a host of world champions over the past five decades are prominent by their absence.

Football: Bobby Moore, Paul Gascoigne, Michael Owen, David Beckham

Oddities here: Club performances go unrecognised. All four won on the back of playing for the national side and only one of them has an actual success to his name.

Cricket: Jim Laker, David Steele, Ian Botham, Andrew Flintoff

Oddities here: the inclusion of Steele and the omission of much better players with more substantial achievements.

Equestrians: David Broome, the princess formerly known as Mrs Phillips, Zara Phillips

Oddities here: all of them

Ice Skaters: John Curry, Robin Cousins, Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean

Oddities here: see above

Tennis: Ann Jones, Virginia Wade, Greg Rusedski

Oddities here: Wot, no Timmy? How did that one slip by?

Swimmers: Ian Black, Anita Lonsbrough

Oddities here: Two of the first six awards and none since. Did Swimming really loom so much larger in our sporting consciousness fifty years ago?

Golfers: Dai Rees, Nick Faldo

Oddities here: Jacklin, Lyle, Woosnam, omission of.

Cyclists: Tommy Simpson, Chris Hoy

Oddities here: None (The facts about Simpson didn't emerge until after his death)

Snooker: Steve Davis

Oddities here: if Davis, why not Hendry?

Rugby Union: Jonny Wilkinson

Oddities here: none

Rowing: Steve Redgrave

Oddities here: none
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Postby Sat31March1928 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:09 am

The point is that it is the BBC Sports Personality of the year. So a lot of the winners were for sports that were shown prominently on the BBC. Show jumping was the second most televised sport in the late 60s and early 70s.

The Olympics / World / Commonwealth Games accounts for a lot of the winners. Olympians have topped it every Olympic year except
1956 - Jim Laker 19 wickets in a match
1988 - Steve Davis Adrian Moorhouse (ENG) 2nd Lyle 3rd
1992 - Nigel Mansell Linford Christie (ENG)
1996 - Damion Hill Steve Redgrave (ENG) 2nd

See the list here of the top 3 ... Year_Award

The weirdest one though was probably the very first. Chris Chataway beating Roger Bannister in the year RB broke the 'Everest / Holy Grail' of World records. CC was his pace maker.
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Postby Scottish » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:21 am

That list differs slightly from mine. Rightly, it points out that John Surtees won his award for motorcycling. Also I have lumped the 'horsey' events together. One error in the Wiki article is to cite speedway star Barry Briggs under motorcycling (yes, I know they use motorbikes but it's a completely separate sport).

'Interesting' to note that Mr Interesting himself has had more top threes than anyone else.

In addition to the ones I've mentioned previously I'd reckon both Angela Mortimer and John Conteh should have occupied first place in 1961 & 1974. And I'm fairly sure that another Faldo-esque 'personality' in the shape of Lester Piggot should be included somewhere.

The presence of Briggs and Frankie Dettori shows that it isn't necessary to be a British or Irish national (whether native-born or naturalised) to be eligible. In which case the names of Sobers, Richards, Lara, Henry & Cristiano Ronaldo all spring to mind.

Dalglish's third place in 1986 was surely as much as for his management as his playing. Dai Rees also won his award as a player/manager (for the 1957 Ryder Cup). So there's an ambivalence there in that out-and-out managers don't appear to be considered but results achieved by player/managers are.

Absolutely right about the BBC hyping up the sports they've featured. Show Jumping was on more times than Coronation Street in the late Sixties/early Seventies and Cooper's fights were often televised either live or recorded.
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Postby Scottish » Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:46 am

Fast as Button may be, I think Flintoff has just overtaken him.
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Postby Skyline Drifter » Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:26 pm

Observations on all of that (in no particular order):

Yep, Flintoff is flavour of the second. If England crash and burn over the series though that will be forgotten and Button will move back into the role of favourite, especially now the BBC are showing F1. Lot of mileage (pun intended) in that one yet.

I'm genuinely astonished at the suggestion that Davis has a similar personality to Faldo. Davis is one of the funniest sportsmen going and has proven it time and time again on tv. His playing style was dull but as a personality he isn't. However, that said, it's a non-point since in reality the award has rarely if ever actually related to personality rather than achievement.

Westwood would have been a better "sporting" nominee than Darren Clark two years ago. I wouldn't argue about Woosnam either but as you've later acknowledged yourself management doesn't generally appear to be considered over actual competition.

Likewise, there isn't a chance in a million that Jim McLean was going to be considered at all let alone beat Torvill & Dean. McLean's achievement was phenomenal, I wouldn't argue, but I just think you are far too dismissive of the fact Torvill & Dean's was too. I don't think their win was an indication per se that it must have been a poor year for British sport.

I completely agree that the award favours individual sports over team members, be they footballers or cricketers.

Henman I happen to agree was unlucky not to win at some point. So probably was Hendry.
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Postby Sat31March1928 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:49 pm

Ken Buchanan in 1971 is one obvious missing from the top 3 list.
Funny looking back and some of them you think "who?" whilst others still resonate down the years.

Lots of 'Home Counties Housewives' Favourites' in the list.
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Postby Scottish » Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:08 pm

Here’s an alternative list to the BBC one and no apologies for including unjustly neglected footballers or for multiple winners. Those in bold didn’t win and I set out the reasons why they should have done so. Those in light type did win the award in that year.

1954 Roger Bannister (1st to run a mile in under four minutes)
1955 Jackie Milburn (scored the then fastest Wembley Cup Final goal, won third medal in five seasons – Bobby Cowell & Bobby Mitchell did likewise but didn’t have anywhere near the same impact as Milburn) or Len Hutton (captained winning Ashes team in Australia and first professional England captain of the 20th century)
1956 Jim Laker
1957 Dai Rees
1958 Bill Foulkes (personified the spirit of Man Utd after Munich. Foulkes played in all 59 competitive matches that season)
1959 Billy Wright (skippered Wolves to third title in five years and also became the first British player to win 100 caps)
1960 Anita Lonsbrough (Olympic gold medallist who amazingly lost this year to a bronze medallist in David Broome, yet won two years later after Commonwealth Games)
1961 Angela Mortimer (1st British singles winner at Wimbledon since 1937) or Terry Downes (lost to Paul Pender in Boston, Mass then stopped same fighter at Wembley to win World Middleweight title)
1962 Graham Hill (F1 world champion)
1963 Danny Blanchflower (captain of Spurs when they became the first British side to win a European trophy)
1964 Mary Rand
1965 Jim Clark (won 2nd F1 title)
1966 Bobby Moore
1967Billy McNeill (captain of Celtic when they became the first British side to win the European Cup)
1968 David Hemery
1969 Ann Jones - I’d make this joint with Tony Jacklin. Wimbledon singes champions can’t be ignored but nor should Open champions
1970 Tony Jacklin (first British golfer to win US Open for fifty years – and still the last to do so) or Lester Piggot (won Derby, St Leger & 2,000 Guineas on Nijinsky and 1,000 Guineas on Humble Duty)or Ken Buchanan (won World Lightweight title)
1971 Barry John (scored more than half the team’s points in the Lions successful tour of New Zealand) or Ray Illingworth (skippered first England team to win an Ashes series in Australia since 1955)
1972 Ray Illingworth (England retained Ashes after drawn series)
1973 Jackie Stewart
1974 John Conteh (won World Light-Heavyweight title)
1975 John H Stracey (won World welterweight title by stopping the great Jose Napoles in the sixth after being floored in the opening round)
1976 David Wilkie (Olympic Gold) or James Hunt (F1 champion)
1977 Virginia Wade
1978 Steve Ovett
1979 Sebastian Coe – or Jim Watt (won World Lightweight title)
1980 Coe or Ovett again, or Daley Thompson, Allan Wells, Duncan Goodhew (all Olympic Golds). Or Jim Watt (retained title three times this year)
1981 Ian Botham
1982 Alex Higgins (if any snooker player deserved to win, this was the man and this the year when he regained the world title after ten years)
1983 Willie Miller (to captain a Scottish team to a European trophy is something special. To skipper a non-Glaswegian one is something we’ll wait a long time to see again)
1984 Sebastian Coe (repeated Moscow feat of 1500m Gold and 800m Silver in Los Angeles)
1985 Barry McGuigan – I’d make this joint with Sandy Lyle, see 1969
1986 Diego Armando Maradona. No, that’s not fair. Lloyd Honeyghan (won World Welterweight title)
1987 Nick Faldo (Open champion)
1988 Sandy Lyle (first ever British winner of the US Masters)
1989 Nick Faldo
1990 Nick Faldo (won Open & Masters)
1991 Ian Woosnam (won Masters)
1992 Nigel Mansell – joint with Nick Faldo (Open champion). Or Steve Redgrave (third Olympic Gold)
1993 Nigel Benn (retained World Super Middleweight title three times, including drawn fight with Chris Eubank) Or Chris Eubank (held different version of title at the same time)
1994 Benn/Eubank again
1995 Frank Bruno (won World Heavyweight title at fourth attempt)
1996 Damon Hill – joint with Nick Faldo (US Masters). Or Steve Redgrave (4th Olympic Gold)
1997 Lennox Lewis (won World Heayweight title but weirdly not the BBC award for another two years – Lewis had previously held title but had not won it in the ring)
1998 Lennox Lewis again (two successful defences)
1999 Lennox Lewis
2000 Steve Redgrave
2001 Lennox Lewis (lost then regained title)
2002 Tony McCoy (record number of winners in a season for any kind of horse racing and all-time jumps record)
2003 Jonny Wilkinson
2004 Kelly Holmes
2005 Andrew Flintoff
2006 Ricky Hatton (moved up from light-welter to welterweight and won World title)
2007 Joe Calzaghe
2008 Chris Hoy
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