THERE’S something curiously British about our ability to moan.
If it’s not the weather, it’s the price of petrol, pesky kids today, how much better it was in the old days and just the overall state of the nation.
And then there’s sport. Or most specifically, our people who are actually very good at sport.
Take Andy Murray. Here’s a man who is without doubt the best tennis player Britain has produced in 75 years, and yet what do people say about him?
“He’s miserable”. “He has bad hair”. “He always chokes”. “He’s not that good really”.
They were at it again when an exhausted Murray fell at the final hurdle of the Australian Open against Novak Djokovic.
Now hang on a minute. This is a man who has reached six Grand Slam finals – including each of the last three – and became the first British winner of a Grand Slam title since 1936 when he won the US Open last year.
He also won Olympic gold. Not bad for someone who isn’t meant to be that good really.
Murray’s misfortune is to be playing in an era with three of the greatest players of all time – Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. But he has beaten them all in Grand Slam tournaments.
It’s usually rare for Britain to have a sportsperson to occupy such rarefied air. This, though, is a golden era.
We have the best cyclists in the world in Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish. The best all-round female athlete in Jessica Ennis. The best long distance runner in Mo Farah. And the best at rowing (pick whoever you like).
We’ve even got the best darts player in Phil Taylor. Might be a bit of a push to describe ‘The Power’ as an athlete, though.