Sportsdesk comment with Martin Dowey: Why do we jump on the Brit Bandwagon?

Sports desk comment
Sports desk comment

It is amazing that a sporting event can not only bring a country together, but it can also unite a kingdom.

Wimbledon demonstrated this beautifully at the weekend when Scotsman Andy Murray lifted the title, becoming the first Brit to win the competition since 1936.

British and Irish Lions Sam Warburton (left) and Alun Wyn Jones lift the Tom Richards trophy during the Third Test match at the ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday July 6, 2013. See PA story RUGBYU Lions. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, Non-commercial use, Photographs cannot be altered or adjusted other than in the course of normal journalistic or editorial practice. Call 44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.

British and Irish Lions Sam Warburton (left) and Alun Wyn Jones lift the Tom Richards trophy during the Third Test match at the ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday July 6, 2013. See PA story RUGBYU Lions. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, Non-commercial use, Photographs cannot be altered or adjusted other than in the course of normal journalistic or editorial practice. Call 44 (0)1158 447447 for further information.

The British Lions also had a massive backing across the Isles when they won their Test series Down Under in convincing fashion on Saturday morning.

But wait, just a few more weeks down the line and this “Britishness” or patriotism will all vanish as quickly as it appeared.

Murray obviously deserves praise for his achievement, although I was busy playing frisbee in Dalby Forest while he was battling it out in the men’s final against Novak Djokovic.

On my return home I had plenty of messages from my Mum giving me a full rundown on the action from SW19.

The worlds of Facebook and Twitter were also recording Murray’s every move and some grown men even reported that they cried when he won.

Now hold on a minute, what is that about?

If the boot was on the other foot, would the whole of Glasgow tune in to watch Laura Robson in the Wimbledon final, or would Edinburgh stop to take in James Anderson’s pace giving the Aussies a few issues in the Ashes.

I doubt it to be honest.

The whole thing just smacks a bit of desperation to do well.

It is all latching onto success in a sport where we tend to have none.

That may not be the case in rugby union because England have been up there with the best in recent years, winning World Cups and Six Nations, which have forced them up to fourth in the global rankings at the point of writing.

It was lovely to see the fans from the other countries blast out “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”, but once again, why?

Back in 1888, it all started when the British tribes came together and joined forces for their first tour of the Southern Hemisphere.

Is this whole thing because that is the only way we can convincingly beat the All Blacks, Australia or South Africa? Does it make us feel better about ourselves?

There is talk when the Lions’ current agreement runs out that because of the massive interest that they will up the amount of games they play.

I suppose it is up to the individual, would you rather see England beat Australia or would you rather watch the Lions doing the same.

Personally, I see sport as a tribal thing. It is something you are fanatical about or something you shouldn’t bother with.

The Murray and Lions situations just seem to be a neat shift of allegiance.

You don’t see Everton fans backing Liverpool in the FA Cup just because their team has been knocked out.

So if I do bother with Wimbledon next year I’ll be turning off when our real interest is ended in the second round rather than leaping gleefully on the usual nonsence bandwagons.

By Martin Dowey