Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thing I Don't Miss #2: Henmania

When I decided to start a series called ‘things I don’t miss’ I may have bitten off slightly more than I can chew because, come to think of it, most things I don’t like are still around, as I’m not really that old. But the advent of Wimbledon has reminded me of one of my favourite little pet-hates: Tim Henman.

This silly little shit was never good enough to win Wimbledon as a player competing in the era of Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Goran Isanisevic and the young Roger Federer. Yet, year after year, because he had recently made it to the semi-finals of the fucking Uzbekistan Open the British media would have you believe that their boy was “in sparkling form” and ready to reclaim the trophy for good old Blighty. Some poor sap from the States like John McEnroe would be wheeled onto BBC and, halfway through assessing the chances of realistic contenders, asked fawningly by Sue Barker, her eyes dewy with optimism “How do you fancy our boy Tim’s chances, could this be his year?” To which McEnroe would smile a smile that everyone who wanted to understand would understand and say “Yeah, he’s got a great chance this year, if things go right for him.” The implication being that the “things” which needed to go right mostly involved every other player and their granddad catching the Ebola Virus.

As if this wasn’t bad enough there was the spectre of ‘Henman Hill’, a mound of earth covered in Union Jack-waving loons watching Timmy the Tool fight his losing battle on a big screen. These people only make their other public appearances at royal funerals and the Last Night of the Proms. If everything I’m saying here appears to be Brit-bashing, let me assure that it isn’t. I have far too many friends and relatives from or in Britain to indulge in such a thing. I simply despise the bias and jingoism that oozes out of certain sections of the British media, and ‘Henmania’, as some twisted genius referred to it, summed up all that is worst about it. The infinitely-more-talented Andy Murray thankfully doesn’t attract anything like the same level of fuss from the very Anglo-centric and therefore we’ve been spared a month or so of horrible of flag-waving nonsense what with Timmy’s retirement and the absence of the England football team from Euro 2008. And that is something I will never miss.

3 comment(s):

Darren said...

I guess it's similar to our World Cup Fever in 1990, except Henmania has been going on for years.

Surely he'll retire soon.

Anonymous said...

It was always a ridiculous thing, I used to feel (almost)sorry for them year after year for believing that "Timmy" was going to bring the trophy back home where it belongs esp. since a british player hasnt won the mens title since 1936(Fred Perry for those of you who care).That was when the game was an amateur sport played by men in woolly jumpers & white slacks, plus there were no devious johnny foreigner types, only good upstanding white folk from the dominion countries. Oh by the way andy the positioning of that picture really spoilt the post.

B said...

Lord, I loved Henmania.

Every year at this point all of England: "can he win?"
Then a week later: "Oh that useless bastard, he never had a chance"

I recently called Murray "the new Henman" and vice versa to a tennis fanatic. AND! THEY! WENT! FUCKING! NUTS!

what was even better though was when Henman got knocked out super early, all hopes switched to "former US open finalist" Greg Rusedski.
Who firstly was Canadian.
...and secondly was ranked something like #200 the whole time.