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Is Andy Murray really the Sports Personality of the Year?

23rd Dec 2015
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With all due respect to the Scottish tennis star, Britain must have had a really bad sporting year if he is a worthy winner.

Murray is undoubtedly the best British tennis player for generations but even he would struggle to claim to be the finest in the world at the moment.

In four Grand Slam events, he did remarkably well every time but failed to come up with a trophy. That suggests others should have been in with a shot of becoming the Sports Personality of the Year.

One problem is that the public (and experts) tend to have very short memories. This could easily have been billed as Sports Personality of the Month, since Murray and the vilified boxer, Tyson Fury both hit the headlines just as voting was hotting up.

One feels sorry for Lewis Hamilton who rather stupidly won the motor racing world championship several weeks early, thus consigning himself to barely also-ran status. It would be easy to argue that a real world champion is far better than someone who didn’t quite get there.

Then we come down to the question of personality. There is no question that Andy Murray loves his mother (and wife) but very few people would identify him as a personality in the same class as flamboyant superstars of the past like George Best or John McEnroe. For younger readers, try Jessica Ennis-Hill, Tiger Woods or Kevin Petersen.

Indeed, if it would not be an insult, one might politely suggest that Andy Murray has all the personality of an accountant (not we real ones but the mythical equivalents berated by the media).

On the team front, the Davis Cup winners certainly deserve praise and once again had their moment of glory in December. However, those in the know (I’m not) suggest that the tournament was devalued by the absence of most of the best tennis players in the world. Effectively, this was the Andy Murray show.

Once again, comparing that achievement with England winning the Ashes (in the summer though) suggests that the tennis boys might have been fortuitous winners of this award.

In any event, years without major international sporting championship such as the Olympics or a soccer World Cup will tend to throw up odd winners of awards of this type. Jessica Ennis-Hill has basically been taking a breather following previous triumphs.

There was a Rugby World Cup, which is possibly best forgotten from a British perspective, although it can be argued that the Scottish team who so nearly made it through to the semi-finals were at least as deserving of the team award as the tennis stars but sadly their achievement in defeat is long forgotten.

The moral of this story is that whenever there are awards to be won, the best chance is to pick a slow year and do well right at the end of it.

The good news is that one can expect 2016 to present a real competition, with the Olympics in the offing.

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Replies (20)

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By cheekychappy
23rd Dec 2015 09:20

He had to win.

The BBC only have tennis left as a sport so they had to have someone flying the flag for them.

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By Antony Rose
23rd Dec 2015 10:05

Misunderstanding the meaning?
 1.the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual's distinctive character."she had a sunny personality that was very engaging"synonyms:characternaturedispositiontemperamentmake-uppersona,psycheidentity"her cheerful and vibrant personality"    2.a celebrity or famous person."an official opening by a famous personality"synonyms:celebrityVIPstarsuperstarcelebutantename, famous name,household name, big name, somebodyleading lightnotable,personageluminarynotabilityworthy; More 

 

Neither of which mean "charismatic" which is what I think you're looking for? I actually prefer Andy's understated public outlook (and his dry sense of humour).

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Philip Fisher
By Philip Fisher
23rd Dec 2015 10:27

Antony

Thanks for making the case for AM, who is definitely a star and arguably a superstar..

Are you also suggesting that, like the examples cited, "had a sunny personality that was very engaging" or even a "cheerful and vibrant personality"?

Best wishes

Philip Fisher

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RLI
By lionofludesch
23rd Dec 2015 11:05

Individuals usually win SPOTY.  A glance through the list will reveal that even soccer - overwhelmingly the headline sport in the UK - has had relatively few SPOTY winners.  

The voting was interesting - Murray 35%, Sir Kev 28%, Jess Ennis way, way back on 8% in third place.

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By mwngiol
23rd Dec 2015 11:18

As for Lewis Hamilton

All he had to do really was beat one guy. And that one guy isn't one of the best.

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Sarah Douglas - HouseTree Business Ltd
By sarah douglas
23rd Dec 2015 11:29

yes he deserved to win

The Davis cup was fantastic for kids.    You may not like him but all those who voted clearly thought he should be the winner.  Yes he does have a personality the joy his wedding brought to Dunblane was amazing.  The joy the Davis cup brought to thousands was amazing .   Go Andy 

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By justsotax
23rd Dec 2015 15:15

the tennis

was a build up of 5 years...culminating in 3 rounds this year in which AM was the major cog, and for which he put ahead of his personal goals.  (not unlike the 2005 ashes series which was a culmination of consistent improvement and performance against the then no 1 team - you couldn't accuse the current team of that unfortunately).

 

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Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
23rd Dec 2015 21:45

Not a fan of Murray at all.
For me the only reason he attracts the attention and Earns the money he does is because he is billed as the great white hope after decades of the U.K. Having no decent players.

Despite this the man clearly hates all things English, sticking 2 fingers up to the following and support he gets from all in the UK.

For me I would give it Mo Farrah who is clearly the No 1 in his field and all round lovely fella.

David Beckham also deserves a Knighthood, what he did in the game was outstanding and what he has done outside of sport as ambassador is nothing short of brilliant.

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By justsotax
24th Dec 2015 10:02

only in

'little' England would 'we' preference a Somalia born person over a person born in the UK because he is proud to be Scottish....or put the achievements of a formula 1 driver wining in amongst a sea of mediocrity at the top table (whilst he chooses to reside in Monaco because of the love for his country).

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Sarah Douglas - HouseTree Business Ltd
By sarah douglas
30th Dec 2015 09:30

Murray does not hate all things English.  Yes he is proud to be Scottish but he has never had a problem wearing the Union Jack as he was proud to parade the Union Jack in the  Davis cup and the Olympics .  He was a young boy who made a joke with Henman who was also winding him up.   Henman has always stuck up for him and is his one of his best friends as well as his English wife.

Yes he can be sour but Dunblane has clearly affected his life.   We have all made jokes before if Ireland is knocked out in Rugby.  Its is us over anyone else including Scotland where I live. I don,t care if Ireland is not playing it is not worth watching.   I am joking but that is after a week.  

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RLI
By lionofludesch
30th Dec 2015 09:33

Union Flag

sarah douglas wrote:

Murray does not hate all things English.  Yes he is proud to be Scottish but he has never had a problem wearing the Union Jack 

Why would he ?  The Union Flag is as much Scottish as English.

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Sarah Douglas - HouseTree Business Ltd
By sarah douglas
30th Dec 2015 13:24

It was in relation

It was on relation to the comments that he was Anti English.  If he was Anti English and Anti British as claimed then he would be no where near the flag. So the claims he is Anti English and British by media are tosh and always have been.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
30th Dec 2015 15:32

Ah - right

sarah douglas wrote:

It was on relation to the comments that he was Anti English.  If he was Anti English and Anti British as claimed then he would be no where near the flag. So the claims he is Anti English and British by media are tosh and always have been.

I missed the Anti-British comment.

In fact, I still can't find it.

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By carnmores
30th Dec 2015 10:11

what a load of seasonal cobblers
Andy is a fair winner of SPOTTY,tennis is a game of supreme individual skill using a racket whereas sadly F1 is just a racket. I do remember when Greg Rusedski won SPOTTY now that was a lean year

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By carnmores
30th Dec 2015 10:13

which way is Worthing
Seems like an ideal destination for accountants

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By carnmores
30th Dec 2015 10:15

Philip
As for ' the moral of the story...' I don't think you have quite got the hang of this sporting life

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By carnmores
31st Dec 2015 11:24

for one moment i thought this was a
Blog from the Flying Scotsman......

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By Alex_T
06th Jan 2016 22:19

Go Andy

It takes extraordinary dedication and sacrifice to get to the position Murray finds himself in currently. He absolutely deserves 'Personality of the Year'! Big Murray fan. 

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By Sheepy306
06th Jan 2016 22:41

I can't stand the personality (or perhaps the lack of) of Andy Murray, in his early glory days he was definitely very rude and handled the media appallingly but you have to admire his skill in what I think is one of the most difficult and competitive sports there is.
He'd be worthy of sports person of the year, but perhaps time to change the title of the award. To be honest I started to doubt it when Steve Davis won it many moons ago, although as it turned out he was actually quite funny when he wasn't concentrating on being the best in the world!

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By kalaika
08th Jan 2016 11:40

Popular sports

The problem leaving it to a public vote means that, not only are more recent victories more likely to be in the public conscience and thus voted for, but also that sports with a greater following generally do better, regardless of whether the sporting merit actually warrants it.

 

Personally my vote was for long jumper Greg Rutherford.  He became the 2015 world champion and won the 2015 Diamond league title, which means he became the first Brit ever to be the current World, Olympic, European, Commonwealth and Diamond League champion.  Apart from breaking a world record I'm not sure what more he could have done, but unfortunately long jumping isn't sexy enough or have a big enough following for him to even stand a chance.  He only got 2.3% of the vote (putting him in 9th place out of the 12 on the shortlist).

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