Tuesday, 27 November 2012

SPOTY the dog


At the beginning of August, I (perhaps prematurely) spoke about The Sports Personality of the Year, and piously suggested that it was already a "done deal".

Of course this was before Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, Chris Hoy and a host of others had even had a chance to participate. Well, participate they did, and their amazing performances really shone out and were outstanding.

Back then, Bradley Wiggins odds were something of a joke. He is still incredibly short and the hot favourite to win this year, but in my opinion there are a few things to consider.

Who won this competition last year? Oh yes, it was the cyclist, Mark Cavendish. Do we really want another cyclist winning again this year?

Well, yes, perhaps we do. Wiggins is affable, has performed amazingly this year, maybe better than anyone, and he would be a fitting winner of SPOTYif it is indeed awarded to him. If he does win it, I won't mind at all.

Personally, as you can see from my bets above, however, I've chosen a slightly different course. I have absolutely no edge when it comes to this type of betting (who does?) and, based on my puny stakes, you can see that I'm only getting involved for a bit of fun, but here's my reasoning.

Two miserly pounds on Chris Hoy at odds of 270 seems like a no-brainer to me. Yes, it is another cyclist, and I don't think we can say he's achieved as much as Wiggins has this year, but he is now our most bemeddled Olympian with six golds and that's hugely noteworthy. I do realise that he's already won SPOTY a few years back, but I'm hoping that his odds will come in somewhat as the competition draws nearer.

My big outside bet is Ben Ainslie, who may just have helped his cause a little bit by announcing his retirement today. He has four straight gold medals and is the most decorated Olympic sailor there has ever been. Sailing is almost certainly too much of a minority sport, but surely he's still worth £2 for a punt.

And then we have little Jessica Ennis. She was the face of the London Olympics, with pictures and posters of her up on every street corner months before the competition even started. She had enormous pressure on her to do well (perhaps more so than any other competitor), but she pulled it off with consumate ease, marking up three PBs along the way. At 17s, I've bunged a tenner on her and consider that a fairly decent little bet.

So what of the others?

Well, there's Nicola Adams the boxer, Katherine Grainger the rower, Rory McIlroy, Laura Robson, Sarah Storey, David Weir and Ellie Simmonds. Not a hope in hell for any of these.

Mo Farah. This guy was very popular during the Olympics, he comes across as affable and likeable and of course he also has the Mobot to help him along. Somehow though, I just can't see him winning this.

Andy Murray. I'd personally put him in the same kind of chance category as Mo Farah. He's had a very good year, helped himself out a bit with a few well-placed tears, but I just can't see him winning it. I may be wrong, but that's my view.

As I say, this is all just a bit of fun, and there'll be no harm done if I lose my bets, but it may be interesting to look at the odds if one of my two big outsiders is in with a chance just before the winner is announced.

Let's wait and see.

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