Damn these Olympics. They’re so un-British. When Mary Rand or someone won in Seoul in ’88, Reykjavic in ’73 or Punxatawny in ‘67 (have I got this right?) people would say “Oh yeah?”
A headline “Britain Gets Gold” would impinge on our consciousness in about the same way as one saying “Big Cod Caught off Norway”. No one got excited. In fact, it was slightly embarrassing.
Winning was what more vulgar nations did. The odd medal won by we Brits was by mistake really. Or just to show we weren’t that standoffish.
But last Saturday night I was screaming at my TV, pumping my arms and yelling “Go Mo go!!!” as Mo Farah raced down the final lap of the 10,000 metres. Being a sensible bloke he took my advice. When Jess Ennis did her spurt in the final pentathlon event, I was on my feet waving my arms screaming “Get ‘em, Jess!” She did just as I said.
I think I’ll drop everything and become an athletics coach.
I’m alarming my friends. Next morning I met an old pal on the train. “Fantastic, isn’t it?” I said. “What, you got that film part?” he replied. “No, much better -” I yelled, “six Golds!”
I’m becoming enthusiastic about Sport. It’s not typical. Soon I’ll start be wearing Union Jack face paint. I’ll go up to strangers and blab about the importance of the transition in the Triathlon. I’ll sign up to a Triathlon event…
I’ve just realised what I’ve written. This is going too far. I’ve lost my British cynicism. Us baby boomers should take our sneering seriously. But let’s not panic. There’s the third cricket test against South Africa coming up. Plenty of opportunity to lose there.
Have the Olympics been making you behave in uncharacteristic ways?