Firstly, apologies for the long absence. I have been very busy with work and did not have much time to blog forcing a break of sorts.
Coming back to the topic at hand.. strong and diverse opinions are usually among sports fans and in sports columns on who should be the sports person of the year around this time of the year. for 2006 though, the answer seems obvious as Roger Federer has had a near perfect year with 3 grand slam wins and a dream win-loss record of 92-5. Yet, we find sports awards going to people other than Roger Federer and some people are, as a result, not happy about this. Chris Baldwin of travelgolf.com writes:
…athlete of the year deserves to go to …, the most dominant athlete in any sport. That without question is tennis’ Roger Federer….
Tiger Woods winning AP Male Athlete of the Year only proves how embarrassingly provincial Americans can be. Too bad there aren’t enough U.S. sports fans like Tiger and me who can see the entire sports world.
It is no secret that this is true regarding Americans, particularly where sport is concerned. They focus mostly on US sports and hardly on sports from around the world. However, I do not see why this should be a reason to be agitated about. English football fans focus much more, or in a lot of cases, almost entirely on their own league. Even when we analyse teams sports fans follow, a lot of people only keep indepth track of their own team and not the entire league be it any sport. The basic nature of sport is that you root for you own team and revel in the roller coaster ride following a team provides.
When a sports award does the same, it shouldn’t cause any alarm. The Associated Press has been awarding the Americans for many years now and it is nothing new. BBC gives out a similar award and to compensate, they also gives out the overseas version.
Perhaps it is best that we accept there will be natural bias in awards, one which any group or panel cannot avoid. Even the Laureus award conferred by a very international panel cannot be said to be unbiased. We do not have a nominee from each country in the panel and each member of the panel cannot be expected to know the weightage of each achievement in various sports. If we look at the award winners, they are popular sports persons from more main stream sports. It is arguably the best award out there and yet it cannot be said that it can be bereft of biases.
Awards help celebrate sporting achievements and that should be that. The real trophies have already been won – on the sporting field.