oh brother

Just when the market appeared to be in a peaceful state of equilibrium, this happened on Sunday evening in Mexico..

In these few moments Jonny Brownlee went from being 1.01 to win the Triathlon World Series to runner-up. More importantly to SPOTY betting fans, it marked the beginning of a plunge on brother Alistair’s price from 200/1 with bookmakers (400 on Betfair) to him now challenging for favouritism (4.3).

There was some debate about whether this helping hand should have meant disqualification. But it appears it was within the rules. Whatever some may think, it has caused something of a sensation. It was the number one story on the BBC Sport website, the ‘good news closer’ on all the main news programmes and was featured in the newspapers. It was shared thousands of times on social media and retweeted by celebrities.

The question is: can Alistair win SPOTY?

Firstly, Alistair has to make the shortlist. It’s worth a quick reminder of the criteria that the panel looks at when deciding who should be on the shortlist:

  • Reflects UK sporting achievements on the national and/or international stage;
  • Represents the breadth and depth of UK sports; and
  • Takes into account ‘impact’ over and beyond the sport or sporting achievement in question.

Based on all these, he’s the standout candidate.

In Rio he became the first man to retain the Olympic title. Triathlon is growing, covering the main mass-participation sports. And his actions to help his brother have crossed over into the mainstream, transcending the sport itself.

It’s that last point that gives Alistair a big advantage over the other Olympians in this most competitive of years. I’ve struggled to remember when there has been something like this that has the ability to effortlessly draw on the crucial support of casual viewers on the night,  in particular women. Gazza’s tears is perhaps is the closest example.

There are also plenty of question marks about those up alongside him in the market. A SPOTY winner invariably has an element of novelty factor. Murray and Farah don’t offer such a thing.

It’s a real shame I didn’t put him up on here at the bigger prices. It could be that as the autumn moves on people forget a bit about what happened this week and the price drifts. But on the night it will always be a powerful VT that may well just clinch things. He’s just such a nice lad to boot.

So this most unpredictable of events has added intrigue to an already fascinating SPOTY year. What do you think about Alistair’s chances? Please feel free to keep the debate going in the comments section.

27 thoughts on “oh brother”

  1. I personally believe that when the panel decide the 12 they will decide on the merits of winners and not a 3rd place in Mexico , it was easy enough to not include brownlee in the 2012 short list and I see him not making the list again , more importantly the fact the awards is at Birmingham the home of uk athletics the BBC in my opinion has earmarked this fact and there is something deep inside my thinking that it’s mo farahs year and I believe the BBC will be celebrating great britains greatest track and field athlete and he will be SIR MO in the new year – I don’t see the BBC putting any risk to this and that includes any outside chances made on the short list , in the same way footballers are avoided from short lists because they may win and spoil the party like Ryan gigs – the greatest human interest story I’ve seen in spoty history was a widowed Darren Clarke with his two sons winning the open AND i knew then if Darren couldn’t win then the whole show can be manipulated !!! There are a lot of worthy winners but I only saw 2 potential winners of this no 1 Jessica Ennis hill or no 2 mo farah and we all saw the double /double ! I’ve no dought on the night overseas winner will be treble / treble and spoty winner double /double it makes clear television GOLD !

  2. Um, Jason, Alistair Brownlee won gold in Rio, that’s surely relevant! Indeed, he’s the first person ever to win back to back Olympic golds in triathlon, in an event where this is only one medal on offer. That surely qualifies him! The Mexico race was a side-show. I’m not actually sure who I’ll be voting for yet, but Brownlee has to be a great contender.

  3. Back to back golds is a amazing achievement but there has only been 5 triathlons in the Olympic Games , there has to be a genuine reason why he was not picked in 2012 and that may still apply in 2016 , there are so many high profile champions ,who knows ? I only see mo farah the very overdue winner of this award , the most decorated British track and field athlete ,if Thompson and Christie and Holmes and Edwards won then there is no reason on earth mo farah can’t ! A overdue winner of this on his retirement year ,he will not be at the next olympics but many of the contenders will ,it’s mo farah who will be celebrated on the night I’m sure of that !

  4. Also @drRoss made a solid point of sports personality winners being made knights in the New Years list , that stat is rock solid ,IDE back mo on that stat alone !!!!

  5. Fascinating. As a punter on spoty I’m gutted as I totally missed the boat on Brownlee. It made good TV but if he’d picked up a random athlete and not his best mate and brother that would’ve been better. It’s going to be close and as I speak Brownlee appears to be heading into the favourite spot. An uneasy seat in my opinion. I’m convinced that Murray will pick up at least 200 000 votes if Gordon Reid doesn’t poll. Mo will attract a similar amount but those who like their athletes may prompt for Brownlee. Nick Skelton (racing\equestrian) vote and Bale (Welsh) vote will also gain interest. As much as I want Murray to win if Mo loses out to Brownlee it seems a little unfair. It all comes down to the vote though. There will be 12 to choose from. My 1 2 3 1. Murray 2. Brownlee 3.Farah 4. Trott 5. *Ham (if he manages to beat Rosberg). *if Ham wins on the final race in a humdinger with Rosberg he will be a contender for sure. Watch this space

  6. Mo farah and Andy Murray are the BBCs box office – mo farah has been passed over 3 times now for this award and now a wrong will be corrected as I said before the venue is at Birmingham the home of athletics and everyone knew mo farah would win atleast one gold at Rio – the BBC knew this and I suspect the real reason the venue is in Birmingham ! Now I told you a story how I knew Lewis Hamilton wouldn’t be the 3rd British F1 champion to be passed over ! And even though Rory was 1/20 onn I knew he would never win and Hamilton would – why ? Because it was never gonna happen a 3rd British F1 champ passed over and to show logic to this the 2015 sports personality was held in Northern Ireland Paul Northern Ireland ,and why ? I’m guessing Rory only had to win one major and he would have been handed that winners trophy to right that wrong , Hwo would guess Rory would have such a bad year and win nothing , hence northern Ireland’s most famous sportsman of the moment didn’t collect in his home town , obviously this is all my own speculation but let’s be straight the BBC have there box office star ready to go , he’s obviously going to be knighted in 2017 and not Murray and we all see him doing commentary for the BBC after the worlds – don’t trust the odds Paul and put your house on MO FARAH it makes calculated logic – the BBC will make it happen !!!!!!!! Ps I’m not mad – LOL good luck Paul .

  7. We are both in a bit of bother mate as Brownlee has done a real head turner Joshua knocking out Klitshko will also shake it up. I’m up if Murray or Farah win but my Brownlee will take a heap of Farah votes. If Gordon Reid doesn’t shortlist Murray will push hard but brown-lee is favourite. But as you’ve stated favourites don’t always win.

  8. Personally I do not trust the betting market on this , I’m thinking the market wants you to see farah on the drift ,like reverse phycology a smoke and mirrors if you will ? Just my thinking on this , but I believe it happens anyway there is many many worthy winners of this award but for someone who has given us 4 Olympic gold medal winning races 4 X super Saturday’s it seems just fitting and natural selection winner for the country and the BBC how could he not win ? What more can a british Olympian give ? I’m confident on the night it will be overseas winner treble / treble and uk double / double in unison ! If everyone thinks bolt will win overseas then surely surely farah will take the prize , can you picture his face with that award ? It will be special moment in TV history ! I’m confident its farahs

  9. Jason you can get 6/1 on Farah now as Brownlee hot favourite with bookies now. He ain’t heavy he’s my brother will be played on loop before the lines open and grannies with tissues in hand will be reaching for the phone to ring. I hope I’m wrong as both Murray and Mo will leave me well in profit if they succeed. Waiting for a bigger drift on Brownlee before I cover my bets. Wish I piled in as soon as I saw the cuddle. Spilt milk. Let’s see if the hysteria around Brownlee subsides. Paul

  10. Hi Paul
    Brownlee will not make the shortlist – don’t waste your money on brownlee it’s never ever going to happen – there’s only one winner SO don’t be fooled by the false market , the true favourite is right were the bookies want it to be as A DOUGHT IN YOUR MIND , you never heard of reverse psychology ? Murray would be a great punt but the fact he has won twice leaves MO FARAH – I’m giving you pearls of wisdom here Paul – get you money on MO BOT – don’t let the Internet bookies fleece you or anyone else reading this – which I think is 5 or 6 LOL good luck Paul

  11. Jason he has to make the shortlist. As I speak Lewis Hamilton seems to be blowing F1 and Rosberg is now fav for champs. This leaves a shortlist space. Brownlee will be in the 12. Hopefully bigger than 2/1. Winner will be Brownlee, Farah, Murray or wildcard Joshua after ko ing big Klitshko. Paul

  12. good luck Paul with that strategy, brownlee is on the drift like a raft in the ocean and everyone in boxing knows Joshua has zero chance of getting his hands on the rest of them belts this year , I’ve given you the winner already Paul the trouble is you cant think outside the Scottish box ! This site seems to be transfixed with only a Murray win , I’m afraid I’m a much more savvy punter !!! Good luck Paul .

  13. Jason also ramped and raved about Wayne Rooney winning last year so personally I would avoid Mo Farah like the plague based on just that.

  14. wayne Rooney was not short listed last year or this year or even next year ? So if your assuming I picked Rooney then it would have been based on the knowledge that I assumed that being England’s highest goal scorer would make the short list ? But I don’t clutch at straws or potential winners – I JUST PICK ONE CONTENDER AND IF THEY MAKE THE SHORTLIST THEN GREAT ! IF THEY WIN AND ARE NOT MURRAY EVEN BETTER – MY POINT IS I CHOOSE ONE NAME AND I STICK TO IT !!!!!! some of you could take a leaf !!!

  15. I’ve got 10 leaves in my book. Good luck with your 1 page. I’ve got my 10 at good prices. Shame that 3 prob won’t make shortlist Vardy Hamilton Froome but that’s betting. If Trott or Brownlee win I could be selling big issue Lol

  16. Well Paul I’ll give you my 2017 punt
    Team of the year – BAR Land Rover
    Sports personality – Ben ainsle
    And I’ll be backing these one hour after the 2016 show LOL !

  17. Hi Jason. I think those are some great tips for 2017. Also with the Athletics World Championships being held in London, I expect at least a couple of athletes to shortlist. If plain old Mo doesn’t win this year, maybe Sir Mo will win next year, as he retires from the track.

  18. Next year Joe Root and Anthony Joshua. Andy Murray could sweep the board and win every grand slam and he could go close again. We await the shortlist

  19. Hi guys. I’ve had a small cover bet on Sarah Storey to finish in the SPOTY top three at 50/1 with Betfred. It’s a bet that is unlikely to pay out, but I think those are decent odds given that she will almost certainly make the shortlist. A Paralympian has made the top three previously (Tanni Grey-Thompson was 3rd in 2000).

    In 2012, Paralympians received a combined 14% of the SPOTY vote, and over the past nine years, the person finishing in 4th place in the SPOTY vote has averaged 9%

    Maybe, just maybe, Sarah gets 10% this year by hoovering up the Paralympian vote, and sneaks into third place behind Brownlee & Murray? Probably not, but stranger things have happened….

  20. Can’t see any paralympian making the top 3. Sarah storey would have a good shout but most of the shortlist will have been on a bike: Brownlee Trott Kenny and perhaps Froome. Lots of dilution I feel. It’s between Brownlee Farah Murray and Joshua for the prize as I see it at the moment. Trott is short odds but I can’t think she’d attract big votes.

  21. Joshua will not get a chance this year to unify the belts – because of this fact ,I can’t see him on the short list ?

  22. Joshua will ko Klitshko in a hugely awaited heavyweight contest that will catapult him into at least a place. We’ve got Mo and Murray still well supported by the market. Will all be very close.

  23. Murray getting to number 1 this year is a real bonus for those who are on. He’s now around 1.6 on Betfair.

    And for those who missed the bigger Alistair Brownlee prices, now seems a good time to cover on him. At the moment it looks like it could be a two horse race.

    Getting to number one gives Murray that key novelty factor now and he’ll be very hard to beat. There are a couple of circumstances though that could mean it will be closer than the odds currently suggest.

    One is that Murray could still feasibly end the year number 2 if Djokovic wins at the World Tour Finals. But this might not have much of an effect and on current form Djokovic is not likely to do better than Murray at the O2. Another is that Murray won the award last year and two years prior to that. No-one has ever gone back-to-back and it may be that voters fancy a change. Then again, if they voted for him then why not now?

    The uniqueness of the Brownlee moment could be one reason and it’s difficult to compare that with other achievements. He’s a real wildcard that should be very popular. Overall, and with the prospect of getting most of the stake back if 2nd or 3rd (currently still on offer) and a small profit if 2nd with most bookies, it’s worth a cover.

    * 2pts each way 1/5 odds first 3 Alistair Brownlee 4/1 Ladbrokes, Betway

    * 1pt each way 1/3 odds first 2 4/1 generally available

    It’s expected that the shortlist will be announced in three weeks and I’ll be looking to provide a full update then.

  24. Good points Spoty. Brownlee has a very good chance and I feel will definitely be in the top 2. Will he get the 250 000 votes to win though? If Jess Ennis is shortlisted I feel that may take some of the Brownlee votes. As you say it’s not certain that Andy will be number 1 next week and he has been handed a tough draw. He’s determined to finish the year well and he’s not one to bet against at the moment.

  25. Coral look to have opened with Alistair Brownlee at 11/8 in the without Murray market. I think he has a good chance of being in the top 2 so worth a bet at this stage.

    2 pts A Brownlee w/out Murray 11/8 Coral

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