Monday, 13 December 2010

Halberg nominations

The Halberg nominations are out. Here’s how I saw 2010:

Sportsman of the Year: Will most probably be Ryan Nelsen. Benji Marshall had a great year but I’d like to see Richie McCaw become the first All Black, since Wilson Whineray in 1965, to win the overall Halberg Award.

Sportswoman of the Year: Valerie Adams was always going to win gold at the Commonwealth Games but she blotted her copybook with some issues out of the circle. Nikki Hamblin was sensational in winning two silver medals on the track but for me the deserving winner is the delightful Ali Shanks who broke our gold medal drought in Delhi.

Sports Team of the Year: An honourable mention goes to the Stags, rowers Eric Murray and Hamish Bond, the Silver Ferns in Delhi, the Kiwis for winning the Four Nations (which in all reality is the Two Nations), the All Blacks for 13 wins from 14 outings but you can’t go past the All Whites’ undefeated run in South Africa.

The Halberg Award: Will go to the All Whites.

Sporting Bouquet of the Year: The FIFA World Cup was fun to follow. Not only for the All Whites’ excellent effort and England’s totally predictable four-yearly capitulation but also for the extra sensory perception shown by Paul the Octopus. Born in England but raised in a tank in Germany, this curious collection of calamari was able to pick the World Cup results like a dirty nose. Paul died in October. RIP.

Best E-mail of the Year: Goes to Paul the Octopus and David Bain. Say no more.

End of Year Brickbat # 1: Air New Zealand for bowing to political correctness and axing the in-flight safety video featuring the “camp as a row of tents” flight attendant wanting a peck on the cheek from Richard Kahui.

End of year Brickbat # 2: Goes to the NZRU for bending over like Beckham and literally taking one for England over the Sonny Bill Williams boxing fiasco. It’s bad enough that he’s taking to the ring pre-Super 15 but talk of SBW fighting again later in the year, pre-RWC is surely lunacy. It’s the tail wagging the dog. If SBW wants to be a circus sideshow, let him. Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith will do me with Robbie Fruean and Kahui as backups.

Catch you on Christmas Eve with my Sporting Santa Wish List for 2011


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