My Sports Personality vote(s)

The odd thing about the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year award (SPotY) is how it manages to make a minor thing the major thing. Bradley Wiggins, having just become the first Briton ever to win one of world sport's greatest prizes, immediately starts to be talked up as the most likely winner of SPotY 2012, as if he had gone through years of preparation and a fortnight's gruelling competition just to realise his true dream of triumphing in a popularity contest and be interviewed by Sue Barker.

I'm also not a great fan of the programme itself because the vast majority of sportspeople are excellent at sport, not small talk, so there's usually too much pointless and awkward chat, and not enough replays of great sporting moments. Maybe this year will be different because there's so much to remember and celebrate. I'm nostalgic about 2012 already.

All that being said, my vote is split between two of the nominees: Mo Farah and Andy Murray. Wiggins may have the necessary combination of sporting achievement and personality, but the Tour de France rather passed me by whereas these guys gave me my favourite sporting moments.

First, Mo. His first gold medal was the crowning moment (sorry) of the joyful madness of Super Saturday at the Olympics, as a nation realised that all its hopes and dreams for London 2012 were going to come true. But it was the second that I enjoyed more, because he won it with the confidence and authority of a man who knew how good he was. Those kind of victories are deeply satisfying to cheer for, they don't feel like lucky flukes but determined, hard-won success.

And then there's Murray. Possibly it's an unknown side effect of living in Scotland, but he has become one of my favourite sportspeople. He doesn't try to win fans, he tries to win tennis matches. That's much harder, especially when three of the greatest players of the game are your contemporaries.

The moment that changed it for me was when he wept on Centre Court after Federer beat him in the Wimbledon final. There was frustration, desire, and an acknowledgement that for all his gruffness and focus, he would have loved to make everyone else happy as well. It was genuine: I think he's genuine most of the time, not pretending in platitudes or cliches as so many others (understandably) do.

Then came the success, roared on by the British fans who temporarily took over genteel England's SW19, he destroyed Federer to win Olympic gold and you could see the relief and elation of long-grasped for success. It was a mental thing, allied to the physical skill. A personality thing. And finally he made me stay up far too late to listen to him win a Grand Slam, a final of changing fortunes which felt like a microcosm of his own story that has now, we know, a happy ending.

Whoever ends up taking the "coveted" title, I'm grateful to those two guys for showing great ability and personality this year, and for all the ridiculously enjoyable memories 2012 has given us.