Pluck be a Lady
Heather Watson serving for the match against Serena. Our girl plucky and small against the world’s greatest ever women’s tennis player Surely she isn’t. No, she cant,thats not what we like. We like plucky losers. And sure enough Heather knows the script ,she fluffs her chance, the machine clicks into g ear and she is lost.
Ever since new boy Tom Brown saved School House on his first day by rushing into the scrum of much larger boys. He came out battered and bruised and Brooksie the great head of School House , came up to him and said,”You are a plucky little youngster I’ll give you that.”Hurrah. Well done Tom.
Ever since that day we have loved the plucky loser. The amateur who t akes on bigger, better trained opposition and shows that if he had taken it seriously then of course he would have won. But the Corinthian tradition says that training is cheating,you may as well take drugs and go the whole way. Glory comes with showing character in defeat.
More seriously we like the plucky losers because have had to get used them. We have had winners in athletics, football occasionally, sitting down sports-but usually we are trounced either by the giants or more dedicated better prepared (cheating?)smaller nations.
IN living memory as a nation we have seen our status fall dramatically from a top nation to at best second tier. The fact that our sports have followed is hardly a shock. In fact its living proof, plucky losing is our national role.
But maybe something else is going on. We are moderate. We don’t like bullying-they didn’t in School House- and the good little ‘un standing up against the bully s trikes a chord. We are suspicious of people who are too good looking, too intelligent, too well dressed. That is we don’t like flash tyoes who show off, Losers are not showing off they are going down.
Those that try too hard and win go against the principle that we are what God made us and those that make an effort are going against the natural amateur grain. A state of playing which of course favoured the aristocratic status quo.
Plucky losers on the other hand show they have if nothing else spirit and are worthy members of School House. Unlike that utter rotter Flashman.
And for those with longer memories let us never forget St Tim the Henman,the patron saint of all plucky losers. Or even Laura Robson who only six years ago took the mighty Hantuchova to three sets. The pluck, the guts, the glory, none like us. To paraphrase the US coach, Vince Lombardi, show me a good loser and I’ll show you a Brit.
NB Son Leo took a three figure bet on Serena at 2/1 when she was two match points down.His problem is that he not a plucky loser ,he just bets against them