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Best of British is never good enough
Some things never change. Another week, another rise in petrol prices, another front page story about Britney Spears’ spiral of decline and another glorious England sporting failure.
Lo and behold, England lost the World Cup final, Lewis Hamilton blew it big style in Brazil and the England football team slipped to an ‘unlucky’ defeat in Russia. Some things are so predictable.
Falling at the final hurdle: it’s what us Brits are famous for the world over.
Never mind the old stereotype of the bowler hats, the British bobby and a stiff upper lip. The new motto of this country should be: “So near yet so far”.
I’m fed up with being the nearly men of world sport. We live in a country of cultural mediocrity, where second place is celebrated as much as victory.
If you had somehow missed the World Cup final and the Brazilian Grand Prix you would be forgiven for thinking we had scooped the double after a quick glance at the newspaper headlines.
Now calm down and stop flying off the handle. I’m not calling the rugby players bottlers. They proved they were anything but (and if only our footballers displayed as much passion and pride on the field of battle then right now we would not be relying on Israel to turn over Russia next month).
But let’s keep things in perspective. At the end of the day they lost. They won nothing.
Just like Hamilton, who is already having excuses made for him. ‘He is still very young’, ‘his inexperience showed at the start of the race’, ‘he was robbed due to the unreliability of the car’. Enough already. He blew it, fair and square. No excuses and no celebrating. Kimi Raikkonen held his nerve, Hamilton lost his. End of story.
Is it too much to ask that in a country of 55 million people, we should be doing much better on the world stage?
More money is available for our sportsmen than ever before, the infrastructure is there and the hunger and enthusiasm to participate is not in doubt. I don’t know what the ratio of world champions per million of population is, but I bet we would be languishing in the equivalent of the Blue Square Premier League while most of our European rivals lord it in the top half of the Premiership.
That fact doesn’t make me proud to be British.
In this section
- It's the winning AND taking part that counts
- Terry criticism is a crying shame
- Ferdinand is no thug
- England football's foreign invasion
- Should Cole's private life be public property?
- Hatton defeat good news for Witter
- Dolan sacking a baffling decision
- Vote Calzaghe for Sports Personality of the Year
- Premiership stars have earned their huge salaries
- Epic Aussie defeat makes you proud to be English