There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground when it comes to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards.
When you see the number of people who have such hate for it on social media, you have to ask ‘why?’
For a lot, it’s probably because they feel their sport doesn’t get the recognition it deserves in terms of BBC coverage throughout the year or representation on the main award shortlist.
Golf and golfers fall into that category, even though Rory McIlroy was in the top six this year.
I was a big fan of it growing up and I’ll always be a big fan.
For me, it’s a great showcase for sport in general and, increasingly, for women’s sport.
Mary Earps has made it three female winners in a row.
I understand that some people will think that Mary’s team didn’t actually win anything but the impact she has made on how her position is perceived and the fact she was voted the best goalkeeper at the World Cup is the counter-argument.
And nobody can question that she’s been a crossover figure who is inspiring thousands of young children across the country.
Whether you agree or disagree with the public choice is all part of the fun.
But it’s not the main attraction of Sports Personality of the Year in my eyes.
It’s about celebrating achievement over the last 12 months and putting it into the context of the legacy that others have left.
I used to love Question of Sport as well and it was a real buzz being asked to appear on it for the first time.
Once it went further down the comedy route, the writing was on the wall to an extent and the low ratings mean it’s hard to put up a case for it to continue.
Sports Personality of the Year is different, though.
There are plenty of other things to watch if you don’t like it.
But I hope the BBC do everything they can to preserve it for future generations.
The Ally Pally really lived up to expectations.
Before the action began I took part in a nine-dart challenge.
Let’s just say I was second (in a field of two!)
I scored about 100 with my nine darts so I don’t think there’s a career change in store for me in 2024.
Not many people can say they’ve been introduced to the oche by John McDonald and had Russ Bray call out their scores, though!
Watching the proper darts on the main stage was brilliant.
When you think about the growth of a sport over the last couple of decades, it must be the best marketed of them all.
People buy their tickets without knowing who will be competing and you don’t get that with many other top events.
It’s always a sell-out.
Crouchy LOVES the Darts 🕺 pic.twitter.com/H5pSyVsFm2
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) December 19, 2023
Clearly, darts lends itself to the audience having a great time and enjoying a few drinks in a unique atmosphere.
And there aren’t many other sports which would be a natural fit for that type of environment.
But all the rest can learn a lesson from how darts promotes itself, that’s for sure.
And it doesn’t even feel as if they’ve hit the ceiling yet.