Just like the politicians, outrage seems to be the default position if we don’t get our way, this time over sporting prizes, judging from the Belfast Telegraph’s reaction to Rory McIroy, the bookie’s favourite, pipped by Lewis Hamilton for BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Angry Northern Ireland sports fans last night slammed the shock result which saw World Number One golfer Rory McIlroy sensationally beaten by Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton to the title of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. (The BBC website laid low, as the voice of the sponsor of the deed of shame. I missed Radio Ulster reaction Can anybody report it? ).
McIlroy has every right to be wounded by this result on the simple basis that it was unfair, even if he has far bigger career priorities.
However for once, Ulster is not alone. This from the Guardian
Hamilton’s world championship glory is far more fresh in the mind of the public consciousness than McIlroy’s stunning summer of golf. That spell included back-to-back major triumphs, a World Golf Championship win, the playing of a crucial part of a Ryder Cup success and the march back to No1 in the world, which seemed simply unattainable during a troubled 2013. European golfers don’t enjoy such spells as routine.
Unlike Hamilton, McIlroy didn’t achieve everything he did with a clear competitive advantage over his rivals. Being blunt, and for all Hamilton’s brilliance in his field, the epitome of sport doesn’t relate to gears, tyres and space-centre computer systems which control every move.
Unlike Hamilton, McIlroy also didn’t take a sullen approach to the culmination of his professional year before appearing on the likes of This Morning in a bid to endear himself to a nation where he spends little time in anyway. And speaking of television, the BBC’s continued withdrawal from serious golf coverage unquestionably harmed McIlroy in respect of public awareness. Formula One retains far more of a presence on the terrestrial outlet.
Sports Personality: Rory McIlroy snub is a travesty – he should not bother turning up again
The British public totally failed to understand the magnitude of McIlroy’s incredible year – they clearly just prefer men in fast cars, says James Corrigan
According to the Mail online
The BBC said that Hamilton claimed more than a third of the overall vote. He took 209,920 votes with McIlroy second on 123,745.
Accepting the award Hamilton said: ‘I’m so surprised, a huge congratulations to all the champions.
Just goes to show what a mistake it is to give the people the vote!. Hamilton accepted his award with generosity and Mcilroy took his defeat with dignity. So that at least was all good. Hamilton lost out years ago and no doubt McIroy’s day will come unless his marketing people decide he shouldn’t risk defeat again. . A fair amount of massaging was involved as part of the BBC ‘s promotion of women’s sport. Judging from those results, it’s having an impact with the same voters.
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London