Mary Earps “humbled herself” after winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award

It’s that time of year when everyone takes stock, looks back on the sporting year, hands out prizes (some more insignificant than others) and then waits for the inevitable criticism from those who have picked up the gongs. It’s as much a part of December as hangovers and family arguments.

This year is no different. However, when it comes to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, due to the rather disappointing list of nominees we can expect a little more criticism than usual. In fact the jibes have already started to be launched. Hey, like I said, it’s tradition…

The six contenders are Maria Orecchi, Stuart Broad, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Frankie Dettori, Alfie Hewett, Rory McIlroy AND Josh Kerr. Oh, wait, Kerr, who won gold at the 1500m World Championships this summer, to some unknown, remarkable, only a JFK-style conspiracy theory can explain, is among the shortlist of six candidates. There are no grassy knolls at the BBC’s Media City in Salford (where tonight’s party takes place), but audiences are left once again questioning the validity of an award that leaves one key contender off the list of possible six winners.

But that’s exactly the point, isn’t it? The thing about sport is that there is a truth and a democracy about it. The fastest man or woman wins the gold; the team that scores the most goals wins the match; the side that takes 20 wickets wins the Test. When it comes to awards like this, it becomes all about personal opinion and moves into the realm of a popularity contest.

Personally I think rewards should be for those 18 and under, once you are a full blown adult they are simply for those narcissistic or needy enough to require the adulation another gong gives you. Those who really love an award and think they are extremely important, beyond the medals deservedly won on the sports field, are the equivalent of your annoying friends who are always posting on social media – a little too attention-seeking.

Anyway, people love an award and tonight always raises talking points (although mostly about the BBC and BBC Sport results than the real winner…) and we’ll have all the action and winners coming up at the annual event back per sports year.

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