Jos Luhukay and Jessica Ennis Hill experience the spectrum of sporting emotion: Martin Smith column

It's the same every year.  You say you're not going to watch and then decide to '˜give it five minutes' half way through. And spend the next two hours in tears. Sports Personality of The Year, all a bit over the top, a lavish over-choreographed production, tweaked, tweeted and teased to TV perfection. But it's actually brilliant.Â

By The Newsroom
Monday, 17 December, 2018, 14:58
Jessica Ennis-Hill with BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominee Lewis Hamilton

Sport, as Jess Ennis reminded us, is about emotion.

The desire, joy, despair and exhilaration of life are mirrored, concentrated and magnified by sport in high-speed close-up.

We get to watch a man like Tyson Fury wrestling with himself and mental issues - and sometimes winning - a man with the courage and a smile like 19-year-old amputee racing driver Billy Monger.

But that same level of emotion is hurting and confusing Jos Lukuhay at the moment.

The Owls manager recently spoke of the 22 years of respect he earned in German football where he has '˜good status' and: 'Never thought it would be so negative and so hard, the criticism the fans gave me or the team.'

Who does he sound like?

A little bit like a man struggling in similar fashion on a bigger stage, 35 miles away in Manchester.

Jose Mourinho, in full clock-stopping glower - trots out his CV whenever he's in a tight spot.

It doesn't work.

Matt Busby's post-Munich Manchester United became synonymous with 1960s freedom and creativity and the club rose to even greater heights under Alex Ferguson. 

Now, for all their millions and global support, they are struggling.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

But expectations remain, as they do more modestly, at Sheffield Wednesday.

Wednesdayites remember the Atkinson and Francis years or their dad's have passed on the legend.

This is a big club with great expectations. 

Jos Lukuhay may be surprised by the intensity of emotion that prompts fans to give him such a hard time but it shouldn't be a shock.

That emotion is the flip-side of the heart-felt love that people feel towards Ennis, Farah, Southgate, Sheffield Wednesday.

It's extreme and volatile but Lukuhay has to turn things round soon or we know what's coming.

Back on planet SPOTY didn't Frank Skinner sound like the worst singer you've ever heard on Sunday night when he belted out Three Lions - until David Baddiel opened his mouth a few seconds later.

Great song, legendary status among football fans and very funny blokes.

But singers?

So many jokes, so many sneers.