One of our members, David, subscribes to the conventional view and writes:
Sir Bradley Wiggins receives Knighthood following Tour de France Victory, Olympic Time Trial Gold Medal and Sports Personality of the Year 2012.
Sir Bradley Wiggins described receiving a Knighthood in the New Year Honours List as “incredible” but said he would not be using the title on a day-to-day basis.
“In terms of recognition and an accolade, as a sportsman in this country it’s probably the highest honour. I may get used to it over time, and I’ll probably use it in a very comedy way but not in a serious way. I certainly won’t be taking myself too seriously with it, that’s for sure,” said the 32-year old cyclist.
I take a different view:
I’ll try (!) to leave my political view – that “honours” replicate a Ruritanian view of the past – to one side and ask, “What’s the point?”
A highly-paid professional sportsman wins a gruelling cycle race and is awarded the Maillot Jaune – hurrah! Great! Brilliant! I love it.
He goes on to win the Olympic Time Trial gold medal. Hurrah! Great! Brilliant! I love it and I was standing about 50 metres from the finish line.
I couldn’t tell you who won the gold medal at Beijing just four years ago. Or any of the earlier winners.
Sports Personality of the Year? What’s the point? And a “knighthood”? What’s the point?
Aren’t the Yellow Jersey and the Gold Medal enough?