Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Billy On The Box: Power fight

Hello, it's good to be back after my less than brief sabbatical where I've been bed-ridden from the nose down with a huge dose of man swine flu and quite a lot has happened in my absence.

The Republic has declared war on France, England won the 2010 World Cup, and Arsene Wenger is still an arrogant, myopic loser of the highest order, so at least some things remain constant.

And that brings me neatly onto the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards, which are to be held this Sunday in a lavish licence fee-spending ceremony in Sheffield.

But as the festive season looms large and with all the Beeb's budget being splashed out on a fancy frock for Gabby Logan, ear-muffs for Gary Lineker and a new tin of Ronseal for Sue Barker, it means we can await movies like Brewster's Millions over the coming weeks.

If you cast your mind back there is an election in that fine Richard Pryor film where he urges everyone to vote for ‘none of the above' and I implore you to do likewise.

How can you have a Sports Personality of the Year awards when you ignore the claims of two of the finest competitors the world has ever seen — Phil Taylor and Tony McCoy — and surely Rory McIlroy deserves a mention somewhere along the line?

Taylor is a genius, 14 World titles and about the only thing he didn't win this year was Eurovision, while McCoy could ride a hobby horse and still win the champion jockey crown. But they don't even make the top 10.

Gabby was on hand for the preview show where we were told she was looking ‘at this year's 10 hottest names in sport', accompanied by ‘celebrity' fans' views. Still a cold house for some, and do you think because Sky has the good darts they may be being a little petty?

Still even they couldn't ignore David Haye, where we will get a photo of him in action when he gets second spot behind the BBC-friendly Jenson Button who won the worst F1 title ever, and then there will be a patronising third place given to an athlete or gymnast (covered by the Beeb) or Ryan Giggs because he's old.

I have no problem with Haye or Button being up there to be honest, but if the criteria is sporting excellence and success, how can they justify excluding Taylor?

So well done Sky Sports News who, in the run up to the draw for the World Championships this week, had a montage of the likes of Steven Gerrard, Ronnie O'Sullivan and Freddie Flintoff waxing lyrical about Taylor.

Do they know more about it than the Beeb? Yes, they probably do.

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