Who do you think should win BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015?

The shortlist for BBC Sports Personality of the Year has been announced this evening.  It looks really competitive and there are some brilliant characters who have achieved outstandingly this year.

To see a run-down of the contenders click this link to the BBC.



What happens after England lose….

There is more to life than football.

If you got angry at the football last night then you’ve probably got stuff going on in your own life that needs sorting out.

I think a bit of perspective is always helpful.

5 things more unjust than Brazil vs Croatia

The neutral would have felt there was a sense of injustice against Croatia in the football last night.  I certainly did, though I do have a Balkan bias.  In fact it got me more angry than I have about much for a long time.  You know that sense of righteous anger when you know you have witnessed some huge injustice but you can’t really do anything about it?  That is what I was feeling.  I vented on facebook and twitter a bit, and waited for the likes, comments and re-tweets to help me feel justified in my anger.

And then it hit me – why do I feel so angry about a game of football when there are so many other injustices going on in the world that are infinitely more serious than a bad refereeing decision or two.

Here are my top 5 issues (with links) that I would rather not watch or read about:

  1. That the Syrian Civil War has been going for over three years
  2. That real people, including children, are trafficked for slavery and sexual exploitation
  3. That it’s likely that more than one child on my street has been abused recently
  4. That while you have been reading this blog about 6 children have died because they were hungry
  5. That this very World Cup that many of us are so excited about is the showcase event for one of the world’s most powerful, corrupt and down right evil bunch of humans – FIFA

Of course the list could go on.  They’re just headline grabbers.  Behind all of these are individual humans, suffering horrifically.

It’s just a bit overwhelming really.  What to do?

And getting angry about football….really?

Olympic Wet Blanket

I’m going to be a real killjoy and a wet blanket.  But it’s all for a good cause – it’s prevent us Brits feeling even more superior than we already feel!

Led by the BBC, we’re all getting ever so excited about the possibility of our greatest ever Winter Olympic medal haul.  If one of the speed skaters grabs a medal tomorrow that will make 5 medals in total, more than we have ever won before.

However, have you noticed all the new events that we get in the Winter Olympics these days – curling, skeleton bob, snowboarding, moguls, ski cross and quite a few more.  There are almost 6 times as many medals available now than there were in the inaugural games of 1924.  If you take the new events out of the equation then our medal tally would be a big fat zero.

There is a fascinating article for stats geeks on Business Week that explores the inflation of medals at the Winter Olympics.

Nevertheless, well done to the curlers, the Lizzy Yarnold and the snowboarding lass that got the commentators a bit over excited.

Finally, just as a point of interest did you know that the following have all made an appearance as a Winter Olympics demonstration sport but have never made it onto the full programme:  Snowshoeing, Military Patrol, Bandy, Synchronised Ice Skating, Ski Ballet, Skijoring and last, but not least – Dog Sled Racing!

Skijoring never made it as a full Olympic sport!

Manchester City: Financial Unfair Play

I thought we were moving into an era of ‘financial fair play’?

How can any football club be allowed to go after more players when they have just reported annual losses of £51,000,000!?

On the morning that the Independent report that Manchester City are narrowly avoiding being banned from next year’s Champions League for their dodgy finances the BBC report that they are on the pull for two Porto players, one of whom is worth £35,000,000.  I’m sure most clubs are just as bad in their own proportionate way but it really is unfair for the few clubs who balance the books.

Pellegrini seems to be doing a great job where others have fallen short but surely any silverware won by Manchester City is bought with money and not achieved through ability and application.

While I’m at it can I just vent about everyone referring to Manchester City as just ‘City’?  If you didn’t notice Cardiff, Hull, Stoke, Swansea and Norwich also happen to be City clubs and also happen to play in the same league.

Boing Boing

When I came to work in West Brom just over five years ago the Baggies were one of my all time worst teams.  This was partly due to being a Villa fan. but I think mainly down to following Sheffield United on an away trip back in the mid 90s which started with the coach arriving way to early and having to kill a few hours as a 15 year old around The Hawthorns (really not pleasant at the time), and ended with a 3-0 drubbing for my second best team.  Bad day out.

However, since a big part of my life has arrived in West Brom I have developed a real respect and, sorry Villa fans, an affection for West Bromwich Albion.  They are a club that work hard, put back into the community, and really lift the local area when they are doing well.  I think in my first year here they got relegated but then came straight back up and it was great to be around the town when they got promoted.

But waking up this morning to the news that they’ve gone and sacked Steve Clarke is a bit of a shock.  I mean, come on West Brom, if you’re expecting to be a top-half team year after year then I think you’re a bit deluded.  Clarke has done a great job for you, you’re stable and had some great results and performances.  I know it worked great for Southampton dumping Nigel Adkins last year, the man who had got them promoted twice, but I must say it seems really cruel.  I just wish footballers got sacked after having 4 poor performances.

Anyway, I still want you Baggies to stay up but I’ll think it quite deserved if you do continue to struggle.  And I hope the board feel guilty for making a nice, hard working man unemployed this Christmas.