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Giggs gets my Sports Personality vote, but I’ll miss the big moment

Posted on 11 December 2009 | 1:12pm

I cannot quite believe I will be missing BBC Sports Personality of the Year tomorrow night, and if I told you the reason … oh spare me the embarrassment.

I’ll give you a clue. My daughter can’t quite believe she is missing the final of X-Factor, but if I tell you that she is a bit happier about the reason, you have one clue.

Facebook friends get another if they remember the time she got onto my Facebook page and updated my status to ‘I really love Hannah Montana’ (which had a big response and forced me into rebuttal mode, followed by an over earnest debate about internet security.) Yes, it’s Miley Cyrus at the O2 and Grace is insisting it is one of those father-daugher bonding moments that Dads cannot resist, whatever the pull of X-Factor for her and Sports Personality for me.

At least this time it is unlikely to make the front of The Guardian, which is what happened when she dragged me (a little more willingly I will confess) to a Britney Spears concert at Wembley. October 10 2000, the day Scotland’s First Minister Donald Dewar was taken ill, shortly before he died. I remember it for that, and also for the fact that half way through Matthew Engel, then of The Guardian, popped up to say he was doing a piece on Britney crowds. The embarrassment in the office the next day was considerable, and even now I get the occasional Britney jibe chucked my way.

Still, it will be nice to visit the Dome, as we used to call it in its unfairly derided days, and reflect on the fact that if we had not gone ahead with it, London might not have what is currently reckoned to be the most successful live music venue in the world (with the possible exception of Simon Cowell’s brain.)

As for Sports Personality, my sons will be authorised to exercise my vote(s). I thought last year that Lewis Hamilton would win, so we voted – a lot – for Chris Hoy, not out of any dislike or lack of respect for Hamilton, but because Hoy is one of the greatest British sportsmen of all time, and his achievement in Beijing was truly outstanding. Clearly lots of other people thought the same, and he duly won.

This year, the same part of my mind that thought Hamilton would win says Jensen Button will do it. Most of the bookies have him around evens. But watch out for Ryan Giggs. When the nominations were first made, you could get 120-1 for Giggs to win it. He is now around the 5-2 mark, and narrowing. Usually it is won by someone who has made an exceptional contribution in the year in question, which puts world champions like Button and David Heye at an advantage. But with so many of the younger viewers probably giving it a miss for X-Factor, the demographics on the Beeb may rise a bit, and that could favour Giggs, and the sense that this is as much an award for his lifetime contribution as for his admittedly brilliant form over the past 12 months.

Interestingly, my Man United supporting, cycling fanatic elder son, who had been planning to vote for Mark Cavendish, has decided Cav can’t win, but Giggs might, so that’s the direction he is going in too. But what do I know, other than that I will be out listening to a lot of screaming girls (I assume) as I await the text message to tell me whether Giggs was on the button.

  • Quietzapple

    Sir Ryan deserves it.

  • Jim Brant

    Surprised that you haven’t yet commented on Chilcott. Not so much the event itself as the reporting thereof, where we are seeing exactly the same pattern as with Hutton. The reports are usually misleading, picking out only the potentially exciting (ie anti-government) bits and often misunderstanding what is reported anyway. The result is (and was) to condition public opinion to expect a particular outcome, and so to fuel the inevitable charge of ‘whitewash’ when the actual outcome is different. Unfortunately (!!!!) not everyone has my advantage of being retired and looking after a wife with severe dementia, and so having the time to watch the hearings live.

  • Harriet Pearse

    Britney v Miley … Yesteryear v today … only Britney is still going (sort of) strong … so is Giggs … I vote for him too. I thought Murray would win a Grand Slam and then he’d have got it … alas no.

  • Paul Harrison

    Button will suffer a bit because the image of motor sport has been tarnished even more this year. Soccer’s image is not that great either but Giggs somehow gets above it.

  • @jlocke13

    but the competition is for “Sports Personality” not “Sportsman”…this rules out most contenders surely!

  • Matthew

    No sympathy Alistair! I have been to the O2 not once but twice in the last 5 days with my daughter. She’s 15 so ‘too cool’ for Miley Cyrus – it was the Jingle Bell Ball on Sunday and Pink last night. I agree the O2 is a great venue and a worthy legacy of the Dome. As for sports personality – surely it has to be Button? Mind you as a Chelsea supporter Giggs would be a difficult call for me.
    We’ll see.

  • Steve Bennett

    Perhaps you won’t miss it as “Sports Personality of the Year” is on Sunday.

  • Alan Quinn

    I voted for Hoy last year to stop the whining tax dodger Hamilton getting it. Button won’t get my vote this year either. Why not tax these non doms every time they enter the UK?
    Being a United fan I’d have voted for Ryan Giggs but since he made his stupid statement that £100,000 footballers are worth every penny that’s out of the question now.
    Victoria Pendleton might get my vote as she’s been a true champion for some years now.

    The highlight for me last year was Bobby Charlton getting the Lifetime Achievement award, his record of 49 goals for England still stands, not bad for a midfield player!

  • AC

    Thanks to Steve Bennett for pointing out I got my days wrong. I know it is Sunday, as is the Miley Cyrus concert. The ref to ‘tomorrow’ is, I’m afraid, the old newspaperman in me coming out. I wrote it today (fri) and somewhere in my head it is being published tomorrow (sat) which means tomorrow as in the copy (if you’re on a newspaper) means Sunday. So maybe the new tech social networking stuff is not quite embedded in my consciousness yet. Anyway thank you SB, I stand corrected. Tomorrow (sat) I will be at an event far more important than X-Factor, SPoftheY and Miley C at the O2 combined, namely Burnley v Fulham

  • Oli

    Ryan deserves it, he has achieved everything he could do in domestic football over two decades (he cannot help being Welsh and not reaching a world cup!)- so please all vote for him.

  • Quietzapple

    In terms of the market Ryan Giggs and others like him are worth £100,000 or whatever.

    That’s just true.

    If I earned that per week I might still wish we had a more equitable and sane society, but I wouldn’t deny the fact of the matter.

    Like most great sportsmen/women Giggs has said more in his play to justify calling for votes for him than in conversations with reporters etc.

  • Kiri

    Giggs is an outstanding sportsman, and has been on top of his game for years. I think Jenson’s achievement is spectacular but really hope that Giggs gets it.

  • Alan Quinn

    Whilst Ryan and Co are earning mega money and agents are earning millions for representing them ordinary kids are now priced out of going to watch football at the highest level. That’s just plain wrong.