SST on Halberg Awards

January 5th, 2009 at 7:58 am by David Farrar

Greg Ford in the SST reviewed the finalists for the . He is upset that did not make the finals.

Ford has contradictory logic. On the face of it Drysdale should not be a finalist as he only won a bronze, yet Ford argues:

The often controversial judging panel has done it again, this time overlooking Drysdale, who, while in the process of winning his bronze in Beijing against immense odds, restored our faith in and New Zealand sportspeople alike.

So he argues the fact he won a bronze while sick from food poisoning means he should be a finalist. But then later on he argues:

And, by including swimmer ahead of Erakovic, the judges seemingly blew any chance to argue there is no room for sentimentality when comparing and weighing the performances of athletes (see Drysdale).

The photogenic Pascoe performed with distinction. No ifs, no buts. She did a great job and, like Drysdale, stole our hearts by overcoming the odds.

But the cold, hard reality, is that the Paralympics can’t be compared alongside the real deal, or Wimbledon for that matter.

But now overcoming the odds doesn’t count when you are a paralympian. Ford manages to dismiss all paralympians (and make no mistake the top competitors there spend just as many hours a day training as other professional sportspersons, if not more), reduces Sophie Pascoe’s three gold medals (and one silver) to “performed with distinction” and then belittles her further by labelling her “photogenic” as if that is why she was made a finalist.

A pretty patronising article.

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26 Responses to “SST on Halberg Awards”

  1. big bruv (13,928 comments) says:

    The fact that Ford could even consider a man who came third as the supreme Halburg winner says so much about the mindset of so many Kiwi’s.
    For those of you who need reminding Drysdale was second loser, he did not win and in reality he was never going to win given his moaning and bitching all year about how unfair it was for anybody to dare challenge him for the right to row at the Olympics.

    The only people worthy of consideration are those who won, The Twins, Vili and Tom Ashley should be the finalists and should take the awards for men, woman and team of the year with the Twins taking the overall title.

    As for the rest well sitting on your arse steering a car is not sport, the bulrush team beating the Aussie’s is not such a big deal and the All Blacks winning a whole bunch of meaningless friendly games is also irrelevant.

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  2. GPT1 (2,122 comments) says:

    There were several absolutely crap articles about the Halbergs. It was almost as if authors had been grinding their axes in anticipation. Pathetic.

    The Halbergs are, naturally, subjective. There will be debate on who should be there and who should win. That is good and proper. But it would be nice if we could skip the vitriol – after all it’s a subjective honouring of success. Somehow in trying to push personal agendas/favourites a number of people seem to lose sight of the fact that all those involved have had more than a measure of success and, excuse the cliches, made New Zealanders proud.

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  3. MT_Tinman (3,203 comments) says:

    Big Bruv, I would agree with you had not the list included the god-botherer who deliberately lost his race just to gain third ahead of Drysdale who, while I agree was second loser, at least gave everything in an attempt to win.

    These awards are a joke as, of course are the Olympics themselves and a true reflection of sportsman of the year would include the man who led his teams to win every tournament entered over 2008 and his team and coach should have at least received nominations.

    I refer of course to R McCaw, R Deans and the Good Guys they were such a successful part of.

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  4. ThinkBig (40 comments) says:

    Dixon is the only logical choice for Sportsman/Supreme.

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  5. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    Agree with you BB. By definition it could only go to world cup or olympic winners

    “Sportsman of the Year” is awarded to “the athlete or team whose performance that year most embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement.”

    “Achievement”; something accomplished, esp. by superior ability, special effort, great courage, etc.; a great or heroic deed

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  6. big bruv (13,928 comments) says:

    ThinkBig

    Dixon did well but you can hardly call motor racing a sport.

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  7. ThinkBig (40 comments) says:

    How is that even an argument?

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  8. big bruv (13,928 comments) says:

    Simple really, he sits on his arse and steers a car, he who has the best car wins.

    Another thing to take into consideration is that Dixon is NOT a Kiwi nor does he compete at the highest level of his particular event.

    Motor racing is an event that requires one to be fit but it is not sport.

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  9. ThinkBig (40 comments) says:

    There are so many things incorrect there that I don’t really know where to start. Suffice to say Dixon races under the New Zealand flag and is listed by the sport’s governing body as a New Zealander.

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  10. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    Actually david, I find the whole paralympics thing pretty much patronising. Especially watching the American runner with his lightweight, spring assisted steel leg “competing” against the African with pretty much just a tree stump strapped to his leg.

    “People with disabilities” are called disabled, because that’s what they are. No amount of huffing and puffing in a wheelchair comes close to the paramount in sport. In fact, even when a para wins gold, they’re still a cripple.

    [DPF: But a "cripple" that can probably still outswim, outcycle or even outrun you]

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  11. Cruiser (2 comments) says:

    MyNameisJack – your comments are truly disgusting. Go and do some research on paralympic sport. It’s elite sport – and clearly you know absoloutely nothing about it. Your argument about being disabled makes no sense – how on earth is it not paramount when these athletes face the same levels of training, lab testing, nutritional regimes etc…. If it wasn’t elite sport, then the gold medalists from the Beijing paralympics would not have been recognised in the New Years Honours for meritorious achivement! You are offensive and I sincerely hope you never face disability – you are only a fall in the shower away from it..

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  12. mara (788 comments) says:

    Vili no doubt. No crap, no histrionics, no ego-massaging, no preparation for failure. She went, saw and conquered. Bloody good woman. We need more people like her. Staunch, motivated and smart.

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  13. Dazzaman (1,140 comments) says:

    The Halberg people got it right as far as Mahe Drysdale is concerned, he finished down the field, no cigars for doing that! As far as the AB’s and their coach are concerned……yawn.

    Agree Mara, Valerie was THE highlight of the year sports-wise. Dixon must win the mens! Sorry big bruv, Dixon is a Kiwi. The twins and Kiwis to fight for the team award. Kirsten Hellier for coach of the year!

    Gotta say I’m not a big fan of the paralympics thing, practically none of them are, or will be, top of their field in comparison to the able-bodied. Good brave people, but I’ll never watch it.

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  14. Cruiser (2 comments) says:

    Dazzaman- how on earth are they not top of their field? Fine that you don’t watch it, but your argument is stupid. They aren’t competing against able-bodied people at the Paralympics- they are competing against the top sportspeople with disabilities. So, um, they are the top of their field ! How did Sophie get gold if she is not “top of their field”. What are you comparing her to? It’s amazing how many ignorant people are out there. Do some homework Dazzaman- the fact you indicate you wouldn’t watch it- just reinforces that you probably haven’t watched it and are therefore owning up to your igonorance.

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  15. big bruv (13,928 comments) says:

    FFS, can we all stop being so fucking PC .

    The Paralympics are basically forced upon us, we are told by TVNZ and our media that we must be impressed by the efforts of Sophie Pascoe and the stupidly named “Wheel Blacks” who claim to play rugby in wheel chairs.

    Good for them if they win or do well at their event but for TVNZ to try and pass their efforts off as something for the nation to be proud of is just political correct crap.

    What next?, the morbidly obese 100 meter race? or the high jump for dwarfs?

    I do not doubt that the participants are giving it their best, I do not doubt that they train very hard but I am fucked if I will be bullied by the PC wankers into accepting it as anything more than a novelty.

    [DPF: You are entitled to your view, but to be blunt it is pretty offensive when you compare people who are obese (generally a reflection of diet or lack of exercise) with people who are missing limbs due to accident or birth. Personally I find it absolutely inspiring that people who endure pain even to walk, would then spend hours and hours a day training in sports so they can be compete at the highest level.]

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  16. big bruv (13,928 comments) says:

    Dazzman

    Dixon was born in Aussie, that makes him Australian.

    Leaving that aside I fail to see how you or anybody can compare a man who sits on his arse steering a car with the efforts of the Twins, Vili, Tom Ashley or even Eddie Lee, Dixon’s achievements just do not rate.

    [DPF: I have not driven professionally but I understand that it is much more physically gruelling that the lay person would expect]

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  17. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    Well said, mara.

    Our top sporting awards should not go to people who finish second or third, however worthy their excuses.

    (Food poisoning cost the All Blacks the 1995 World Cup. But they brought it on themselves. They knew their hosts’ record in these matters. They knew about Louis Luyt’s win-at-all-costs attitude. They could have eliminated the risk by bringing their own chefs. But they didn’t. Therefore, they weren’t winners.)

    I don’t know why Drysdale got sick. But winners make their own luck, and he didn’t make enough of it.

    Awards are for winners. Winners finish first. Val Vili did that.

    And she didn’t win by a whisker either, like the twins. She blew her opposition away.

    She did the work, then she did the business.

    That’s the example we should be rewarding with our top sporting award.

    Should.

    Just one problem with that though. Scott Dixon.

    Sadly for Vili, winning the Indy 500 just happens to be a bigger deal in the sporting world than winning the Olympic shot put title. There’s no point moaning about it. It just is.

    Val Vili must win sports woman. Kirsten Hellier must win coach. But Dixon must get the nod for the supreme award.

    That said, if the judges see it differently and give it to Val, I won’t mind a bit.

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  18. big bruv (13,928 comments) says:

    DPF

    [DPF: I have not driven professionally but I understand that it is much more physically gruelling that the lay person would expect]

    I do not doubt that for one moment however their is a huge difference between steering a car and producing the effort yourself.

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  19. big bruv (13,928 comments) says:

    “[DPF: You are entitled to your view, but to be blunt it is pretty offensive when you compare people who are obese (generally a reflection of diet or lack of exercise) with people who are missing limbs due to accident or birth. Personally I find it absolutely inspiring that people who endure pain even to walk, would then spend hours and hours a day training in sports so they can be compete at the highest level.]”

    And you SHOULD find it inspiring but it is not top level sport.

    My point is that they paralympics should be seen for what they are and not beaten up to be something they are quiet clearly not, its a bit like woman’s Cricket or woman’s Rugby, both are far inferior to the versions played by men and as a result draw piss poor crowds and struggle to be taken seriously.

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  20. big bruv (13,928 comments) says:

    Can somebody please tell me how steering a car is sport?

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  21. ThinkBig (40 comments) says:

    Big Bruv, it is more than steering a car, it is a highly technical, highly demanding sport. If you can’t see anything beyond that, then your opinion on sporting matters doesn’t hold much water. And as for singling him out as ‘born in Australia’, how many of our All Blacks/League stars were not born here? I’m sorry, but you’re just looking for reasons to belittle Dixon’s amazing year, which says more about you than him.

    To give you some idea, Dixon runs triathlons for fun in his spare time. Considering a championship in the IRL runs for a year, instead of just one weekend or meeting for golf and atheletics respectively, tell me which one is the more impressive acheivement – to win week in, week out, or to win once every four years?

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  22. big bruv (13,928 comments) says:

    Thinkbig

    I suspect you are involved in motor racing as you seem to be taking this personally, the fact that Dixon competes in triathlons is irrelevant, if he did and won the Olympic Triathlons then I would be right behind the man to win the supreme award.

    His event relies on a bloody engine to get him over the line, it cannot and should not be classed as a sport, it is not personal and I quite enjoy motor racing but you simply cannot compare it to an event where the athletes wins or loses based on their OWN athletic endeavours.

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  23. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    Yeah well if Drysdale is in then so is Bevan Docherty. He came 3rd too but it was his second Olympic medal and he beat the guy who had been unbeatable all year – Javier Gomez. Now I don’t think Docherty should be nominated for coming third so I’ll be something Ford isn’t – consistent – and say Drysdale should be out.

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  24. Bullitt (140 comments) says:

    Sorry big bruv, normally I agree with just about everything you say but this time your totally off the mark.

    Any top level motorsport driver in any discipline will spend as much time training and preparing to win as any other sport. They spend hours in the gym, the G forces on the body require them to have large amounts of strength particularly arms legs and necks. As well as the physical requirements they also require alot of mental stamina, they have to know the tracks intricately (admitedly less so with Dixon whos mostly on ovals), they have to be able to concentrate for hours at a time, knowing one second of inattention could result in serious injuries let alone the race.

    Just the same as if I went out and threw a discuss even if I put all my effort into it Vili would throw it twice as far as me if I got in Dixons car even if I was brave enough to drive it at full speed I wouldnt have a chance of getting anywhere near one of his lap times. Being a top level racing driver requires a huge amount of commitment and it also is a massive advantage if your naturally gifted at is, the same as any other sport.

    How can you serious claim motorsport is just steering a car. If that was the case why wouldnt the same person win each time with their team mate directly behind them. Why bother racing at all just rank the cars on the technical specifications. Its about as good an argument as saying Hayden Roulston isnt an athlete at all as he couldnt win an olympic medal if he’d been on a ten speed.

    Saying you dont like motorsport is fine, theres lots of other sports I dont like. But saying its not a sport is rediculous.

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  25. ThinkBig (40 comments) says:

    I am not involved in motorsport, and I am not insulting the achievements of our other atheletes. You, however, are. Perhaps, before you so keenly tell others what is and is not sport, you might like to go look up the definition of the word ‘sporting’.

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  26. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    Of course Dixon is an athlete.

    He’s not ‘steering a car’. He’s steering a car that’s going hundreds of ks an hour, in a pack of similar cars going the same speed.

    Slight difference.

    Oh, and if he doesn’t steer it right, he gets killed. Few runners and rowers and golfers and triathletes suffer such consequences when they get it wrong.

    Sport is not just about physicality. It’s also about the courage. The courage to overcome – overcome fear, as well as opponents.

    What motor racing lacks in the former, it more than makes up for in the latter.

    Back in 1967, the All Blacks had one of their best-ever years. But Denny Hulme won the world motor racing championship, and went on to win Sportsman of the Year.

    I think that was fair enough.

    Ditto Dixon.

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