Here are my awards for the best and worst in sport in 2012. The year saw doping scandals, mountains of runs, world records, and somehow managed to fit the Euro football championships in, as well as an Olympics.
Nominations for best sportsperson:
Usian Bolt – Back to back 100 and 200m Olympic gold medals. Holds a world record that will stand for some time yet. Let himself down by wanting to tell everyone how great he was. Went from genius to jerk very quickly.
Michael Phelps – Greatest Olympian ever without a doubt and in the top 10 sportspeople of all time at his third Olympics in a row.
Sally Pearson – Carried the nation on her shoulders and produced a brilliant gold medal in the 110m hurdles.
Lionel Messi – Broke the long standing record for most goals in a calendar year. Continues to play football at a level not seen before. Greatest footballer of all time. Better than Pele and Maradona and more humble than Christiano Ronaldo.
Michael Clarke – Brilliant year with the bat. Just kept on scoring runs. Captaincy proved good, though losing to South Africa in Perth was a disappointment.
Winner: Sally Pearson
Nominations for worst sportsperson:
Lance Armstrong – It was of no surprise that a bloke who had won seven straight tour de France races was up to his eyeballs on drugs.
The sport has been a disgrace and a farce for a long time. How many clean winners have there been in the last 20 years? Maybe one or two.
Armstrong gave it away when his answer became ‘I have never failed a drug test’, which is no different to a kid saying ‘I have never been caught for not doing my homework’.
Quade Cooper – More interested in Twitter than playing sport. Cooper is wasting his obvious talent with a bad attitude.
Luis Suarez – Biggest grub in sport. Even if he is the leading goal scorer this season I wouldn’t want him at Everton.
Israel Folau – What was all of that about? You don’t play top level sport forever and this bloke showed how to perfectly waste two years of his career.
Winner: Lance Armstrong
Nominations for best sporting team:
Spanish national football team – Their play in the final of the Euro championships was a pleasure to watch. They have won three major tournaments in a row and no team in the last 30 years plays the beautiful flowing football they produce. They have quality right across the park.
Melbourne Storm – When they played for a season in 2010 for no competition points because they were caught cheating, they still put in. They could have slacked off but they didn’t. Their reward came two years later when they beat the Bulldogs convincingly in the 2012 grand final.
Western Sydney Wanderers – A team put together at the last minute but have played at a great level in every match this season. Even when they have lost, the effort has been excellent.
Their form by the end of the year was superb and they are entrenched in the top six of the A-League. Special mentions for the two central defenders Beauchamp and Toppo-Stanley who have been dependable rocks at the back. Must now be considered Sydney’s premier football team.
Sydney Swans – Brilliant performance in a memorable grand final
Winner: Western Sydney Wanderers
Nominations for worst sporting team:
Australian Olympic swimming team – Spent far too much time on Twitter, and none of our much hyped male swimmers managed to win gold.
Sydney FC – This club needs the biggest clean out in sport. It appears they are more worried about their image than anything meaningful on the field. As good as it has been for Australian football to have Alessandro Del Piero in the country, he is a big part of the problem.
He plays with the mindset he is better than his teammates, which will make it hard to get them to play like a team. Even if he is better, he needs to help get this unit playing together and for each other.
The fact he clearly took a shot versus Central Coast from a corner shows he is either in the country to show off or has no confidence in his teammates. This team has been a major embarrassment this season to date.
Parramatta Eels – Won the wooden spoon this season which was always going to happen given their recruitment for the last couple of years.
Chelsea FC – May have two major trophies in the cabinet from 2012 but to sack their manager before the end of the year was a disgrace. A club with no soul is meaningless and this club has proven to be nothing more than a big spending toy for owner Roman Abramovich
Winner: Sydney FC