What’s Wrong with English Sports Fans?

9070970 097986897Contributor IOctober 15, 2008

This piece could just as easily have been titled "What’s wrong with me?"—half the time I would like to say I’m an English sports fan myself.

Half of us would rather see a Brazilian, or rather anyone other than Lewis Hamilton, win the Formula One World Championship this year. Some of us openly booed Ashley Cole when his misplaced pass let Kazakhstan score; a few of us, dare I add, even wanted the Kazakh’s to win—High five! (One to us.)

I do want Hamilton to win this year, just as I wanted Damon Hill and Nigel Mansell to win before him. I was heartbroken when England lost to Germany on penalties in Euro '96; yes, that’s how long it’s been since I felt any emotion there. I desperately wished for Tim Henman to make a Wimbledon final. Not a semi, even though that’s fairly hard to achieve, and I felt proud when team GB did so well in Beijing.

But when Amir Khan got knocked out earlier this year, I cried—with laughter.

Back in the good old days, people would rally to support our national teams—flags would hang from windows, car horns would signal every goal of a football tournament, and people would dance in the street. What has happened to the passion we once shared?

Where has it all gone?

It could be that we’ve fell out of love. It could be we feel a bit cheated. It could be we put so much into a relationship and got so little out we had no choice other than to call it quits. It might just be that if one of the "Mr. Men" was an England supporter, his name would me "Mr. Fickle."

Why is this, and what’s wrong with English sports fans?