The top 100 sporting moments will be revealed this week in The Courier. Sports editor Eric Nicolson describes the selection process.
Selecting 100 sporting highlights from 200 years is no easy task.
A true pleasure, yes. But, rest assured, the sportsmen and women of Tayside and Fife have ensured that this top 100 needed no padding out.
There are Commonwealth Games medallists, league and cup winners and even world champions who haven’t made the final list.
The 100 names we have settled on are people who were born and brought up in this part of the country, or made their home here when they were leaving their mark on the sporting map.
Courier archives, the Mitchell Library and the memory banks of our sports team came up with a long list – and long is the right word.
See the first instalment of the countdown in Tuesday’s Courier
The term ‘minority sport’ was pushed to its limit. Dog-mushing anyone? Without wanting to ruin the surprise, I can reveal that Scotty Allen from Dundee and his dog Baldy, who won the 408-mile and five-day All-Alaska Sweepstake for a record third time at the turn of the 20th Century, didn’t get any further.
The final 100 was arrived at with as near to consensus as you are going to get with a team of sports writers – myself, Ian Roache, Neil Robertson and Steve Scott – and local broadcaster and journalist, Jim Spence.
There really weren’t many ground rules, other than a desire to see a spread of different sports and limiting individuals and players to a handful of appearances on the list.
The Andy Murray top 20 and the 50 greatest golfing moments will have to wait for another day.
Just being a memorable moment wasn’t enough. There had to be a significant achievement behind it as well. The likes of Albert Kidd were omitted on that basis. His goal against Hearts was one of the most famous scored at Dens Park but it was more suitable for a Celtic top 100 than this one.
The beauty of sport, and a list such as this, is that it is completely subjective. It’s the very definition of comparing apples with oranges.
You can apply some logic to what were the best moments in a football club’s history or in a particular sport – even that is far from scientific – but should a crown green bowler’s day in the sun be placed higher than a curler’s on the ice?
The pressure of the moment, the back story and the standard of opposition were all factored in.
The list may not have been taken over by football but no doubt plenty of readers’ eyes will be drawn to whether Dundee or Dundee United’s league- winning season is placed highest. Tempting as it was to make them equal, a decision was made.
If your favourite sporting moment hasn’t made the list, please let us know by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we would also love to hear any memories or anecdotes you have regarding the ones that have been chosen.
As well as appreciating the variety and the quality of the sporting achievements in the area we call Courier Country, by the time you get to Saturday’s conclusion what will be loud and clear is that there was no golden era in the last 200 years.
Our athletes are as successful now as they ever were, and the next time this list is compiled the task will be no simpler.