Outspoken pundit Simon Jordan pulled darts icon Phil Taylor into conversation during a heated debate over whether Ronnie O’Sullivan should finally be named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Speaking on talkSPORT today, the former Crystal Palace Football Club owner suggested, like O’Sullivan, The Power has never got the credit he deserved. Taylor romped to an astonishing 16 world darts titles and scored a host of other tournament wins during an illustrious career. However, he never won the BBC’s SPOTY award, although he did come second in 2010.
A snooker player hasn’t picked up the famous trophy since Steve Davis in 1988 while Stephen Hendry, in 1990, was the last cueman to make the top three. That trend could be bucked this year, with O’Sullivan being made the early favourite to win the award after clinching his record-equalling seventh world snooker title.
talkSPORT host Jim White questioned whether darts and snooker should be regarded as genuine sports. “Many people will say what is snooker, what is darts? Are they sports or are they pub games?,” asked White.
At which point, Jordan, who does believe darts and snooker are sports, waded in, asking: “What do you think it is? You think it’s a pub game, I’ll cut to the chase for you.” He added: “If you look down the years at people who have been awarded Sports Personality of the Year, and people who don’t want to be awarded it, like Tyson Fury…
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“Look down the list at the likes of Emma Raducanu, Lewis Hamilton, Ben Stokes in the time they [the England cricket team] won the World Cup, Mo Farah. In those instances would, or should, Ronnie Sullivan, in those moments in time, have been voted Sports Personality of the Year above those characters.
“Because you have to compare who’s actually won it rather than suggest he could have won it because his game is not being taken seriously. You could argue, where’s Phil Taylor, the greatest darts player we’ve ever seen but he hasn’t been included in Sports Personality of the Year. It’s a contradiction in terms because some of those people who rock up on the stage, the one thing they don’t have is any personality.”
He added: “The fact Phil Taylor doesn’t feature there, as the dominant force in darts, the fact there’s been no snooker player [to win it] since 1988 in Steve Davis, one of the most personality-less people…”
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