A red hot Aussie go: a brief history of our love of losing
Australia loves a winner, but not with the same affection as we love a loser.
Our entire national psyche is built on it. Triumph over adversity is great, but what is more important is effort.
Ned Kelly fought the law, and lost, and we loved him for it.
The Anzacs had a crack at an impossible task, lost, and became legend.
Bodyline wouldn’t have the same heroic ring if we picked ourselves off the canvas and won the series.
Two of Don Bradman’s most famous innings are his first ball duck in the Melbourne Bodyline Test, and his second-baller at the Oval in his last innings, and Greg Chappell is more famous for his string of ducks in the early eighties than for any of his centuries.
And I can’t help thinking Collingwood’s incredible supporter base is because of, not in spite of, their abysmal strike rate in grand finals.
We love our champions, but we don’t want them to be supermen. For the masses to truly embrace a sportsman, he needs to fail once in a while. Just like us.
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