Monday, June 6, 2011

The curse of the English sports fan

Off the top of my head I can think of the following sportsmen and women from the UK who are at the top or at least in the top few percentage in their sport.
Lee Westwood and Luke Donald - golf
Jenson button - formula 1
Andy Murray - tennis
Mark Cavendish - possibly the fastest man in professional cycling peloton
A rugby league that attracts the top players from around the world.
Arguably the best football league in Europe, possibly the world.
A cricket league setup that has attracted the top players for many years.

The problem is that they are all cursed! I call it the curse of the English sports fan. Leading up to an event the English people are amazing in getting behind their sports teams / people - messages, dedications, flags on houses etc. That's enviable in my opinion. When I look at reports and the like from outside the country - I get the impression that the fans really believe that their team is the best and will win. The curse sets in when people just through a bit of doubt in when something happens before the event. A lot of it is sensationalism on behalf of the media to get a big story but the rest of it - no idea why it starts.
During the recent French open Andy Murray came up against Raphael Nadal and a twitter message I got (from an English person) was 'Andy Murray thinks he can beat Nadal - sorry Andy you can’t'. That’s ridiculous!! Top sportsmen have to believe they can win and one bit of doubt could mean not winning.
The curse continues after the event too. The media jump in and the people too. The people are very passionate and the support them team / people had goes from completely for to completely against and they play the blame game and blame everybody on the team and their dog before they will accept the truth about the outcome. This the gets buried, only to fester until the next time something happens and the skeletons get dragged out to haunt the next team even generations later!
England has an amazing sporting ability and infrastructure but the same structure that holds it up is tearing it down.

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