Talking Sport: Lack of film costs Sam Burgess

The BBC’s annual backslapping shindig, the Sports Personality of the Year award, takes place on Sunday with Gary Lineker and co bravely trying to make a tedious three hours of telly entertaining.
Trevor WatsonTrevor Watson
Trevor Watson

Calling the award ‘Sports Personality’ covers a wide range for the 10 candidates chosen. Thus we get a girl who’s a star of dressage with her horse doing the kind of dancing tricks we saw at Blackpool Tower Circus years ago when Charlie Cairoli was about.

Naturally world champion racing driver Lewis Hamilton is included but none of his mechanics or ideas men, who produced the car he won in.

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There’s annoyance in rugby league that Sam Burgess isn’t on the list but the problem is he played in Australia, which obviously gets no coverage on the BBC, and he didn’t take part in the recent Four Nations.

Put simply, if there isn’t much film of him to hand he’s no chance.

Mind you, if they only pick people they have film of, somebody from ‘Strictly Come Whatsit’ will win.

The winner should be either golfer Rory McIlroy, who reached great heights throughout the year, or runner Jo Pavey, who at the age of 40 and the mother of two youngsters, won medals at major championships, not that she carried the nippers round of course.

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The Beeb have at least taken on coverage of the FA Cup and bravely tried a new format with Sunday’s second round ties. It was a bit hectic with people telling us about matches from the touchline or the toilets or somewhere but it was good to see the small, sometimes very small, clubs get a day in the limelight.

Warrington Town boss Shaun Reid is clearly made of strong stuff. He was on the touchline at Gateshead on Sunday in his shirt sleeves. It’s freezing up there in summer.

The BBC again struck gold with their live match on Friday night as Blyth Spartans beat Football League strugglers Hartlepool United. Blyth’s Steve Turnbull scored with a free-kick that if it had been from David Beckham they would have shown it throughout the weekend and still be drooling over it, just as they still talk about the one Becks scored against Greece at Old Trafford in what seems like 1950.

Hartlepool responded to defeat in the time-honoured manner and sacked their manager, Paul Murray, and his assistant, Willie Donachie, after all of 45 days in charge. It’s fair to assume they won’t get too many millions in compensation as Hartlepool employ their fourth manager this season.

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West Ham have moved third in the Premier League and boss Sam Allardyce must be laughing his socks off. He is one of about 10 managers this time who were said to be ‘under pressure,’ but is proving his point.

Arsenal supporters were fighting among themselves at Stoke with the ‘Wenger out’ brigade taking on those who feel their manager should stay. What’s the usual excuse for this? - ‘It shows they care.’ How nice.