So I camped overnight in the Queue at Wimbledon, right? A more comprehensive description of that experience will follow. But while I was in the Queue I did a thing with ESPN that involved me interviewing other peeps in the Queue (#humblebrag). It was fun and I met some really interesting people who were, quite possibly, bigger tennis fans than me. It was...disturbing.
BUT. Ok, so they were queueing up for Center Court tickets to Manic Monday, which basically required them to start camping on Friday. The numero uno person in the queue was a chick named Jess, and she had pitched her tent at 4pm on Friday. She was British. In fact, 90% of the people in the front of the queue were British. So I obviously assumed that they had gone out of their way to queue early to guarantee a Center Court ticket because they wanted to see Andy on Center.
I WOULD BE HORRIBLY MISTAKEN.
Nope. Everyone was queued up for one of three reasons: (1) ZOMG I WANNA SEE CENTER COURT! (2) ZOMG I WANNA SEE RAFA! or (3) ZOMG I WANT TO SEE ROGER.
So being the unbiased journalist that I am, I proceeded to try and convince everyone that they should be excited they get to see Andrew. Nope. They weren't having it.
BUT WHY DON'T YOU LIKE ANDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE?!?!??!
- "He's unlikeable."
- "He's so grumpy."
- "He doesn't seem to care."
Lather, rinse, repeat, sigh. Bummer City.
I honestly can't think of any other player on the ATP tour who is as misunderstood as my future boyfriend Andy Murray. I mean, I kinda thought the whole "Scottish/British" Andy apathy was, like, a joke. But having now been in Britain I can honestly report to you that it is not a joke. They really don't dig his pasty white cheddar. The cheers seem reluctant when he's winning and they transform into smug, "told ya so" eye-rolling when he's losing.
Why? Because he made a crack about the English football team YEARS ago that was taken COMPLETELY out of context? Because his voice just doesn't have the proper tone or inflection for you? Because you can't understand why a guy with a scraggly beard and no personality could possibly pull a hot chick like Kim? (Sidebar: Kim's hair? AMAZING)
It's so disappointing. It's made even more disappointing because it's so obvious that he hears all this and as much as he's like "Nah, I don't feel the pressure and I don't care what people think," HE TOTALLY DOES FEEL IT AND HE TOTALLY DOES CARE.
Andy's cried publicly twice. He let the water flow in Melbourne after losing to Roger. Go back and check the video. Andy's all fine and whatever UNTIL HE STARTS TALKING ABOUT LETTING DOWN THE BRITISH PUBLIC. Then the cries kick in in earnest. Then, at Davis Cup, he's all whatever until he starts talking about the tremendous support he got in Glasgow. Once again, he's "done".
Every morning when I was standing/sitting/passed out in the Queue, I'd buy a bunch of different morning papers. It became my ritual and everyone made fun of me for having a stack of three papers that I'd pour through before the queue even started moving. And every morning I was left shaking my head, scoffing, or rolling my eyes at the way the British press chose to write about Andy. It's as though they were physically incapable of writing about him without a drop (or overflowing river) of negativity seeping in. Is it the result of overcompensating in order to show objectivity? Is it laziness because it's far easier to rehash the same narrative than to work to correct the true narrative? Is it that they just truly don't like him? I don't know. It's probably a combination of all three.
I'm obviously predisposed to loving Andy no matter what, but GOD why do they feel the need to throw the dude under the bus every chance they get? To paraphrase the ever quotable Katie, who never lets us get negative sitting courtside for her faves, "Shut up! He can hear you!"
So when I heard that Andy let the tears flow in Glasgow it broke my heart a little. Here he was, playing for his country a week after he suffered yet another tough loss at a Slam, in front of no more than 3500 people in Glasgow, and the dude was so moved by the overwhelming support he received that he cried.
Andy Murray is one of the few "good guys" on the tour. What's the basis for this statement? The fact that I've never seen him out (and trust, I've seen a lot of them out) and I've never heard a story from any insider about any idiocy (and trust, I've heard a lot of stories about a lot of folk). He doesn't go out, he doesn't try and snag tail, he doesn't cheat on his girlfriend, he doesn't drink, and he's a total momma's boy. He's got a wickedly dry sense of humor, no one on tour has a bad word to say about him, and he works so damn hard and success obviously means the world to him. I guess that makes him boring and apparently there is no greater sin in tennis than being boring.
Get behind your boy, Britain. Without him you've got nothing. And if having nothing is better than having Andy Murray, well, I think it's time y'all take a hard look at yourselves in the mirror. I'm sorry that he's not the potential Champion that you want but he's the potential Champion that you've got. Deal with it.