Once again the time of year has arrived to allow us to celebrate the best of British sport. Time to recognise the fine achievements that make our country what it is.
Well in that case what a failing nation we are.
Do not get me wrong the 10 contenders have all had exceptional years and are more than worthy of a mention at the prestigious end of year award ceremony.
Amy Williams won our first Winter Olympics gold medal since the 1980s; Tony McCoy the greatest jockey of all-time won the Grand National at long last and Phil Taylor continually churns out title after title.
But the best of British? No. Not even close. Amy Williams cannot even train in the UK because of the lack of facilities.
Sadly the depressing situation of UK sport at the moment means that unfortunately the winner tonight will only win it because we have a dreadful year as a nation.
In a World Cup year the highest level our footballers reached was 1,500m above sea-level at Rustenburg as we recorded our worst World Cup performance since failing to qualify for USA ‘94.
Football is meant to be our national sport and yet we were disgraceful. From Rob Green’s best Basil Fawlty impression, to the team’s inability to defend a goal-kick against Germany we were awful. At least if the weather stays like this skeleton-bob will overtake it in popularity.
In rugby England yet again were mediocre at best in the RBS Six Nations as France romped to Grand Slam glory. The Autumn Internationals provided a glimmer of hope with England’s victory over Australia and the Scots beating World Champions South Africa. Next year’s World Cup will determine whether this is a new or false dawn.
Andy Murray failed to win a Grand Slam in tennis so he has not won the accolade. If he ever does though, the charismatic Scot will no doubt prove an irresistible choice for armchair sports fans.
After consecutive F1 World Champions this season saw Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button epitomised British sporting prowess with a nearly but not quite performance. Admittedly the McLaren was not the best car but both were too inconsistent to merit a second title.
I could continue but the pattern is clear.
Analyse any sport that we would normally regard as important and you will see how embarrassing we have been this year.
Whilst all this year’s contenders have performed well in their own-right, everyone at the event and everyone watching at home know that the winner only won because of other’s failings.
Had Matthew Upson headed the winning goal in the World Cup Final against Spain ridiculously he would win it, regardless of any teenager’s ability to jump into a swimming pool theatrically. That is the way our country thinks.
And so the Sport’s Personality of the Year shall this year be a black-tie event for more sombre reasons.