TV sport’s winners and losers from 2011
Sav’s sequins, Cav’s surprise prize and red Nev’s new job
It has been another bumper year for sport on the old gogglebox and with that in mind, plus the fact that there’s very little on this week and I have my own bodyweight in Sports Mixture and Walnut Whips to eat, I’ve decided to follow everyone else and provide a look back at the past 12 months.
But this is no ordinary trot down memory lane, oh no, as like a cross between Santa Claus and George Osborne, I’ll be handing out my awards for 2011.
So, throw another piece of shortbread on the fire, sit down, relax and remember, this is a time for giving. Or failing that, slabbering.
The Comeback of the Year award (sponsored by Take That): Fatima Whitbread. Initially it was nice to see the other lady javelin chucker you know back on the telly but enough is enough. If I see her on another programme with that poor cockroach that passed away up her hooter I will not be responsible for my actions. You are not a celebrity, get out of here.
The It's Not The Seventies Anymore award (sponsored by Jeremy Clarkson): There were quite a few contenders for this coveted honour — Luis Suarez, Alan Hansen, John Terry, to name but a few, but if it's crass, out-dated downright stupidity you're after then Sepp Blatter is your man.
The Most Over-hyped Move of the Year award (sponsored by Fernando Torres): I know what you're thinking, this will be a cheap shot at Andy Carroll but I'm better than that. This honour goes to a big, cumbersome, lumbering thing living on rose-tinted and ill-deserved past reputations. Oh, and the BBC Sport department moved to the north-west too, but at least it didn't cost them £30m to relocate their Geordie No.9.
The Most Inappropriate Clothing award (sponsored by Rihanna, standing briefly in her briefs in a field): Just when you thought the worst material on A Question of Sport belonged to Matt Dawson and Phil Tufnell, Sue Barker the turns up sitting at her wee desk in an orange top making everyone think she's naked. That's a month in therapy I'm never getting back.
The Blink and You'll Miss It award (sponsored by Little Mix): It never sat comfortably that the World Athletics Championships somehow ended up on Channel Four but it certainly sat more comfortably than presenter Ortis Deley. The one that isn't Suzi Perry or the baldy on The Gadget Show was out quicker than Usain Bolt although at least the latter returned in a blaze of glory, while Ortis was last seen trying out a combined skateboard and lawnmower.
The Most Pointless award (sponsored by Stormont): BBC Final Score. No, not just another dig at the Belfast caption department who never cease to disappoint, this is a dig at Gabby Logan, Garth Crooks et al, who must surely realise by now that if you're sitting in the living room on a Saturday afternoon you're watching Jeff Stelling and the rest of the inmates from the Home for the Slightly Bewildered on Soccer Saturday. Unbelievable.
The It's Good but not Right Award (sponsored by Roy Walker): Power Snooker. Yet again trying to make snooker into darts by adding, in former Sky Sports' presenters archaic terminology, birds and booze. I don't wish to sound like an angry Antrim cueist here, but leave this great game alone, Barry. You still have to meet your maker to explain just what Snooker Loopy was all about, so behave yourself.
The Services to Belfast award (sponsored, but not presented, by a huffy 11-year-old Lord Mayor): BBCNI's toe-curling awful Final Score, a programme that could be so good but leads to more mistakes than a hedgehog working in a condom factory. It is almost 2012, surely it is now within the realms of possibility that games outside greater Belfast can be covered, even if the hockey results are put up on the screen during it.
The Is It Ever Going To End award (sponsored by the X Factor): The Rugby World Cup. Ah, it seems like an age since we were getting up at 3am to see Namibia take on Georgia in the pointless opening month of the egg-chasing fraternity's four-yearly borefest. It was only the dwarf-chucking, mindless drinking and jumping off ferries that kept it interesting, but I had finished just in time to see the All Blacks win. Who would have thought it?
The Still Here Somehow award (sponsored by Soccer AM): Against all odds, and despite hundreds of protestors camping out in front of St Paul's Cathedral, a fourth, yes fourth, series of A League of Their Own somehow limped back onto the telly. What really frightens me is that they've managed to get away with it for so long that they could be around as long as A Question of Sport.
The Who Would Have Thought It award (sponsored by The Krankies): In the good old days, gnarly retired footballers would hang up their boots and immediately open a pub and put on four stone. Not now, within seconds of calling time on his footy career, Gary Neville was putting on a shiny suit and it feels as if he's been here for years. Andy who?
The Damned Good Thrashing award (sponsored by Basil Fawlty): Is anyone else getting bored with Barcelona? No, I didn't think so. Another year of winning everything in style and achieving something that surpasses all the glittering trinkets they've accumulated of late — they rendered Adrian Chiles speechless. For that we are eternally grateful.
The Perennial Disappointment of the Year award (sponsored by Ballymena United FC): That major honour still evades the grasp of Andy Murray but there was some good news for the clan McRacquet as his mammy got a new job and hopefully that means we won't have to watch her sitting growling at him in future.
The Dry Your Eyes award (sponsored by Kenny Dalglish): There could only be one winner here, and funny enough that was the same story when Amir Khan got his bottom kicked by Lamont Peterson. You lost, fair and square, quit bleating and get beating.
The They Think It’s All Over award (sponsored by Geoff Hurst): Rory McIlroy had already got the hanger out for the green jacket at the Masters and then it all went a wee bit Pete Tong. As hard as it was to watch it was gripping stuff and the sight of the wee lad poking his head out around that tree at Augusta will live long. Still, he didn’t get up to much for the rest of the year...
The Impending Feeling of Doom award (sponsored by Steve Kean): Those nasty brutes from Sky have annexed another part of the ever-diminishing BBC empire with Formula One set for a new home. The Beeb still have access to their former golden child for half the time and will make a big song and dance about highlights being even better than live.
The Guilty Pleasure award (sponsored by Lorraine Kelly): He may look and dress like a doorman at a social club and rant and roar like a Free Presbyterian minister outside a lap dancing bar, but RTE's curmudgeonly rugby grouch George Hook is a legend. More carnaptious than a big bag of angry things.
The Jumping on the Bandwagon Just Too Late award (sponsored by lastminute.com): Losing the run of themselves with Ireland's defeat of Australia in the World Cup, UTV decide to blow their budget on sending Ruth Gorman to New Zealand just in the nick of time for her to wave BOD and the boys on their way home again.
The You're Fooling Nobody award (sponsored by John Terry): Robbie Savage, I don't care how many sequins you wear or how often Brucie says he loves you, you are still a right royal pain in the rumba.
The It's Really Not Going To Be As Good As They Think award (sponsored by Etch-a-Sketch): The Olympics. Yes, I know they should be good but I still have a horrible feeling that come the opening ceremony Boris Johnson will be going around trying to tap someone for a light for the flame.
The Sports Personality of the Year award (sponsored by you, the licence payer): Mark Cavendish. I'm only joking, that would never happen.