Monday, 17 December 2012

See SPOTY run...

SPOTY? Yup, like HIGNFY and TOWIE the annual BBC Let's-pretend-they-have-a-personality ceremony is reduced to an acronym and what an apt one it is. From callow youths, whose pubescent personality oozes from every follicle to er.. wannabe callow youth and Paul Weller hair-a-like, Bradley Wiggins, who lifted the trophy at the end of what I imagine was a tortuous ninety minutes of self-congratulatory claptrap posing as humility and sacrifice. (Of course I didn't watch it - there's an hour and a half I'd never get back.)

I've always been intrigued and mildly amused by all of this. Work hard at school, get a demanding job, allow it to take over your life at the expense of family and friends, graft away, pay more than your fair share of taxes and eventually retire after four or five decades of busy industry into a comfortable old age and you're likely to be derided as a parasite, taxed all the more and booed by all flavours of government as an example of rampaging avarice, ripe for the pickings and ready to have your savings plundered.

Discover early that, by an accident of genes and encouragement, you can run a bit faster than the other kids, work at it because you enjoy it, with the full support of friends and family, win medals, get sponsorship, retire in your thirties and spend the rest of your life living off your youthful accomplishments and we not only give you yet more invented accolades, you may even be ennobled as well. Arise Sir Whole Olympic Team and enjoy the freedom of the realm.

I suppose in that sense 'celebrity' is the right word, in that we celebrate athletic achievement in the same way we celebrate being a face 'off of' the telly. And it is entirely fitting that we cheer on our teams to greater glory, after all, humans are a competitive species and sporting achievement is good for Britain. It attracts attention and where there's attention money is to be made. But I wonder how many young lives are actually derailed by the pursuit of sporting glory. After all, like life itself there can be only one winner in a field of gallant losers.

The winners go on the pedestal, the losers end up picking up the litter in the stadium. I think it's about time the equality and diversity industry got a grip on this whole thing. They should have a Runners-Up and Diversity Excellence Year award - the RUDEYs or a Sports Personality Under Nineteen Challenge (SPUNC) where everybody gets to win. That would be truly representative of modern Britain.

Judges applaud prizewinners at the Annual SPUNC awards

Of course the medals will have to be of the cheapest material available and the TV coverage necessarily derisory to get them all in, but it's what the politburo are aiming for because, after all, we are all equal.


  1. Five yard sprinter17 December 2012 at 12:47

    I do wonder with SPOTY whether personality actually plays a part. I have no doubt B Wiggins (bicyclist of this realm) deserved to be praised for pedalling faster than t'others -- though the bike manufacturer receives no plaudits -- but does he have a personality?

    Do psychiatrists, psychologists, shrinks and those familiar with inkblots actually check whether he has that delightful social skill of pleasantly interacting with others? It could be said that in winning the big prizes in sport requires a certain anti-social attitude: there is rarely an 'after you, sir' in most contests.

    perhaps then SPOTY should be renamed BWOTY, which is of course 'Big Winner Of The Year' and all you have do is win the biggest prize. This can be ascertained by a) prize money b) television audience and c) media excitement. Some sports qualify far more than others and thius there would have to be a weighted index of value-to-viewers because just as SPOTY is a televisual wankfest so too would BWOTY be.

    Coming on the small screen, etc.

    The hard thing is being a BWOTY in a slightly-less-major sport when a major-sport BWOTY eclipses you, and minority sports like underwater table tennis get zero coverage at all in the qualifying eleven and a half months.

    Personally I have never voted in this and can't think why I would, unless I turn out in my latter years to be some sort of champion at a yet-to-be invented newly-popular sport, in which case I will vote for me. As I hope you will.

  2. Alastair Cook wasn't even nominated. pile of Toss.although wiggo was a deserving winner in the "not Alistair cook " award.

    1. Alistair Cook is not an Somali immigrant and was privately educated, too white, too privileged for the BBC...