Sunday, 7 December 2008

I don't want personalitites, I just want success.

Rock and Chips twice please.

In a couple of weeks the UK or rather BBC TV will celebrate 'Sports Personality of the year' (SPOTY).
In the UK we do things a little different from other nations, in Australia it's called 'sports performer of the year'. That simple one word difference sums up all you need to know about the difference between two sporting cultures.

In the UK we are supposed to look up to celebrity and personality, in Aus whilst the cult of celebrity looms just as large in day to day existence, sport to some extent stands apart.
We may like out sports men and women to be household names but down under they like them to win stuff.

As a cycling fan I've always avoided SPOTY. This has been for two simple reasons:
Firstly I knew that no matter how successful our cyclists were in terms of rainbows and gold they'd never get a look in, and
Secondly the whole pantomime for me sums up the one aspect of British sport that induces my dinner to leave my stomach and throw itself out of my mouth in an attempt at rebirth, namely that of the plucky amateur.

Who can forget the way cyclists have been ignored over the last few years, despite their success, Brad Wiggins was shunted to the cheap seats after 3 Olympic medals at Athens in favor of an article about dog food, sorry about a horse that had died. And who could forget Adrien Chiles asking Nicole Cooke if she 'fell of her bike often' in a season during which she swept all before her, Grand tours, world cups and most of the classics.

For me those two examples show(ed?) the BBC attitude to sport, too lazy to actually research or learn about a sport, to in the thrall of back page sports that never win anything to look through the list of great sporting achievement that happen during a year.

So this year where will I be? Will I be sitting in front of the box with my fish and chips waiting for Sir Chris to be asked if he's going to ride Le Tour? Will the fact that there are four cyclists in the final ten make me tune in? I doubt it. Will the fact the Cycling Weekly have called on all cyclists to vote for Sir Chris and stated that it would be a tragedy if a cyclist didn't make the top three induce me to pick up the phone and dial the number? Er.... no.

There's part of me that feels that I'm letting the sport down, but equally there's part of me, the greater, rational part, that feel like saying 'We've been doing this for years, where the hell have you been?' It reminds me of that Australian advert - 'Where the bloody hell are you' .

Whilst the comic may view it as a failure if cyclists don't medal (as they say on the BBC now, although quite what cyclists are doing interfering in other peoples business is beyond me) I see the glass as half full. Four cyclists? Four! After the success at the Olympics and Cav at Le Tour, maybe, just maybe, some sections of the media are starting to wake up to the worlds greatest sport. Mind you there will be another series of Big Brother soon, so I doubt it will last.

The Armstrong and AC show (that's Alberto Contador and not AC from operation Puerto) Latest update.

Lance and AC (that's Alberto Contador and not AC from operation Puerto) went for a ride, lots of photos got taken and Lance said he's not going for a Le Tor win and that AC (that's Alberto Contador and not AC from operation Puerto) is the man for that. So nothing new then, oh, hang on, there were some new hats. Sorry, but that doesn't make good copy does it, so hey why not repeat everything we knew two months ago? It'll fill a few columns and give you an excuse to fly somewhere warm for a few days.

Oh wait, someone has a scoop, apparently 'Lance eats the same meals as his team mates'! FFS is that the best anyone can do....

Lets have some new news please guys.....

Male road cyclist only please.

Tis the season to be jolly, to deck your halls and to draw up lists of the top 50 riders of the season.
Well it is if you're a popular monthly cycling magazine.

So riders / rides of the year then. Lets have a look at the various lists, Women, Trackies, Cross riders, BMXesr, XCers or downhillers the lists are packed with them. Oh hang on they're not. Pro Cycling seems to think that only men are allowed to take out professional licences and Cycle Sport believes that Nicole Cooks worlds win is only the 32nd best ride of the year and that the velodrome hasn't been invented.

In all seriousness though, credit to ProCycling who did have a massive article on Brad Wiggins. Well I say massive article, I mean they paid for the rights to copy a few pages from Brads autobiography.Why pay someone to write something original or send them to do an interview when you can sit on yer bum and do a little light cutting and pasting before lunch. (I know, I know we're talking Pro Cycling here, the magazine that thinks Lance Armstrong is still racing. What do you mean he is.... blood hell, no one told me that.)


No comments: