Friday, 31 August 2007

A Question of Sport?


"It's not the winning, it's the taking part that counts." How many times did you hear that on your school sports day? A couple of hundred I guess, if you were like me (a titan in English and language classes but a lightweight on the sports field). You know, you came last but you put up a brave fight, played the part of the valiant underdog and that's heroic.

I write this to you on the back of reading how Tim Henman has gone crashing out of Wimbledon in another five-set thriller, that still there's always next year. Admittedly, you've got to feel a little sorry for the lad and the immmense burden he has to carry on his shoulders: every year the crowds get right behind him, spurred on by the media who encourage us to pin all our hopes on him, since he's the only one of our lot for who the tournament won't be over on the first day.

Then there's our football heroes in the England squad. They battle hard (rallied by the patriotic "Great Escape" in the background), but, alas, our Achilles Hell of penalties lets us down again...and again...and again. Of course, we just pat them on the back and say, "Oh well, you tried hard but it was those damned pesky penalties again. Get us every time. Doh!"

So maybe we should be less supportive and more pessimestic towards our sporting heroes. Maybe if we were to expect nothing but the worst and react with a bit of more venom, they might just develop the killer instinct, get out there and show us what they're made of, purely for the sake of silencing the critics and the millions of down-doers. What do we care what they're reasons are? We just want to see some silverware- and have something to believe in. Wouldn't that be nice? Go on, lads surprise us!

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