Look, along with, I guess, most of the population, with the exception of his mother, I don't like Andy Murray. (I don't like his mother much, either, but that's another story.) Not that I know him, of course, all I know is his public personna and, to be fair, were he a reader of this blog I doubt that he would like me very much in return. Even so, I am happy to agree that he is a 'nearly-great' sportsman and that puts him in a rather large pantheon of 'nearly-great' British sportsmen. I mean, nobody does 'nearly-great' as well as we do! We are the greatest nation on earth for 'almosts', 'nearlys' and 'not quites'. When we do actually produce a truly world-class champion in, I would argue the hardest sport of all, the decathlon, we don't really like him too much. Poor old Daley Thompson, yes, we applauded; yes, we were amazed (gob-smacked, more like); but somehow we never really took to him. We're traditionalists here, you see, and we can only really warm to losers.
But I digress - again. In his public personna, Andy Murray comes across as an archetypal 'grunt-snuffler'. It's not just his almost impenetrable Jock accent, it's the obvious fact that he has trouble summoning up a complex thought worthy of more than three words, a grunt and a snuffle. Wayne Rooney has similar difficulties. But we (I mean I) can forgive him all of that provided he loses in the proper British manner. Tim Henman, another world-class loser, knew exactly how to behave. Clenched jaw, lips barely moving, proper words of congratulation to his vanquisher, a promise to do better next time and off he went to prepare to lose the next match. I suspect he learned his behaviour from his father who, from the occasional TV shots of him watching his son in action, never cracked a smile or even applauded!
Yesterday, alas, 'ur wee Andy' blew it. In the British field of sport you can deck your opponent, or, better still, the umpire, and no-one will mind particularly, but you must never, ever - blub! Blubbing is the sort of thing indulged in by second-rate actresses receiving an Oscar, not by stern, upright, British losers. Apart from the wider implications, it upsets me (as in 'me, ME, ME') enormously! As soon as he started crying yesterday I felt that ridiculous rush of embarrassment hit me - ridiculous because why should I be embarrassed? - and, as always in such moments of desperation, I couldn't find the bloody, sodding 'do-flicker-thingie' to zap Murray out of my site and sound! The 'Memsahib' threw a wobbly and stomped out to the kitchen to watch Murray booing on the other TV whilst I wrecked our living-room trying to find the device that would obliterate him.
Oh well, roll on the World Cup, then I can watch eleven of our regular losers do what they do so well - lose!