Dave Kidd (for the second time in recent weeks, worryingly enough – the first was his suspicions over the now disappeared “Fulham Daisy”) recently tweeted about Seve Ballesteros (funny how it used to be “baLL” and now we’re all sophisticated it’s “baY”; I remember either Barry Davies or Martin Tyler called Soren LerbY “Soren LerbU” in some tournament or other and it just sounded wrong… what do you do?).
Anyway, Kidd’s point was that when we were younger there were some sporting legends everyone knew: Ian Botham, Seve Ballesteros, Diego Maradona and one other (John Mcenroe! But it might easily have been Steve Davis, Steve Ovett, Sir Bastian Coe, Kenny Dalglish etc). These were the sporting reference points for everyone, the people we always saw when Grandstand was switched on on a Saturday afternoon or who we always talked about at school, and so on.
Who are the sporting ubiqities of today? The people that Stanley and his friends will all know, the people that even our wives and girlfriends all know?
Wayne Rooney – love him or hate him, he’s the top man in English football
Lionel Messi – the top man in world football, although does he pass the wife and girlfriend test? I don’t think he does
Andy Murray – I suspect he’ll win something important soon. Lacks transcendental star quality, but winning Wimbledon will change that
Someone who does well in the 2012 Olympics, as long as it’s in a proper sport – TBC
Tiger Woods – or is he too late?