Belfast Telegraph

Certainty Rory McIlroy left stranded in awkward SPOTY

By Billy Weir

How are your arms and teeth, all wailed and gnashed out yet? I don't blame you, the BBC is a disgrace and should be disbanded immediately.

I may have gone too far, it's only the Sports Personality of the Year, no-one really cares. Do you think Rory McIlroy is standing in the utility room chipping balls into the twin tub weeping copiously that Lewis Hamilton pipped him to the big one?

About 10 seconds into the biggest night on the sporting calendar in Glasgow (by all accounts) would have convinced you of what was to come. The clues were there, Simple Minds kicked things off and even simpler ones voted for the winner.

There were eight others nominated for the main award but let's face it, there were only ever two in contention and bar some great montages from Eddie Butler, it was the usual fayre on offer and, a bit like Christmas, seemed to go on forever.

Trying to lighten things up with on the spot interviews with sporting people is painful at best and forcing Nicola Adams and Ross Murdoch to come on to the stage with two playful mutts - a bit like Gary Barlow - for the Young Sports Personality of the Year award was bizarre.

It was to get worse as CBeebies star Hacker T Dog interrupted Gabby Logan in mid-flow demanding to know where Sue Barker was, but anyone who had the remotest idea who Hacker is would have been tucked up in bed.

It was just as well as man flu-ridden Gary Lineker had just enough power in his voice for a shockingly smutty piece with Rory hoping that 'popping his cork prematurely wasn't a regular occurrence.' No, this time it was the bookies suffering from premature expectation.

Coach of the Year went to Paul McGinley for not coaching, the Unsung Hero was unsung and while Gary did his best to strike a blow for political incorrectness, they had the presence of mind to give Team of the Year to the England Women's Rugby team.

Clearly the Ryder Cup and those two Majors should have swung Rory the main one, or he should have gone for the Overseas award, but it went to England's finest, a man who quite literally beat one other man to win his title.

Then again, let the public vote and all hell breaks loose - look at who runs us - but all those votes from a number in Denmark for Lewis certainly didn't hurt his chances.

Telephonic revenge can be sweet.

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