I’m British, this means a number of things; I’m fairly conservative, I’m often self deprecating and above all I have a problem when it comes to winning. That’s right, just like Roy’s boys in Poland and the Ukraine when it comes to crossing the finishing line in any sort of contest I become nervy and ultimately I choke. You would be forgiven for thinking that this inability to achieve success is something that haunts me, you would be wrong.
I look upon my status as a perennial underachiever as a uniquely British quality and something of which I am inherently proud. That’s because Britain loves a loser, we love to see a heroic team/individual valiantly give there all but ultimately fail. As much as the masses will tell you that they would give anything to see the day that England win a major tournament or Murray conquers the big three and triumphs at Wimbledon, they are lying.
This thought came to me as I read an article concerning the British love affair with rain. To summarise, the article essentially marked out all the reasons why us Brits simply love a bit of bad weather. We may complain until the cows come home but quite simply we love it as it gives us a chance to showcase that trademark British stoicism in the face of adversity. The same argument can be applied to our many sporting failures, after all who doesn’t love to reminisce about when we came so close to beating the Germans at Euro 96? Who doesn’t love to bleat on about where they watched Southgate miss THAT penalty? And what could be more stereotypically British than watching Henman/Murray fight all the way to the finish at SW19 only to fall tragically short when it matters the most?
Brits adore complaining, we are one of the most self abusing nations in the entirety of the world. Millions watch satirical panel shows every single week, tuning in to see the likes of Jimmy Carr tear into our nation and its many wondrous faults. If Britain were to actually achieve a modicum of success at something then these people would be out of a job, they would be left open mouthed with nothing to utter other than “FUCK ME, WHAT DO WE DO NOW?” If Murray wins this year’s Wimbledon, then Britain will implode and nothing will be left other than 60 million corpses, all with a look of utter disbelief on their faces. So upon our next great failure (sure to come soon), allow yourself a wry smile after your done kicking the television set to pieces, because that failure is what makes us British and I for one absolutely love it!