Australia has a reputation of wanting to cut down its 'tall poppies', people who achieve above the rest, who 'rise above their station'. While it does seem to be changing, it is (sadly) true that we look askance at the high achievers. You can read more about it at Psychology Today.
The odd flip side is that, while we are skeptical of academics, entrepreneurs and thinkers who dare to stick their head up, we are very prone to elevate sports men and women to 'hero' status. (A misnomer, as they are idols, not heroes. Heroes, by definition, should do something heroic and it just devalues their heroism if they have to share the title with some neck-less yobbo in lycra shorts who happens to be able to play football. Sorry, I digress.)
But elevate them we do.
Well, some of us. I am strongly non-tribal when it comes to sport and being Australian is no ticket to my uncritical support. I was happy this morning to learn that Lleyton Hewitt had lost overnight. Any Australian nationalistic support I may have, any admiration for the guy's talent I may have, all dissolves and fades into insignificance when I see his atrocious on-court behaviour.
This is not someone I want to be associated with, not someone I want touted around the world as representing my country.
In this paddock of poppies I am happy to set the mower blades to 'low'.
BTW Lleyton has justified his 'Mr Hand' action by saying that it is not directed at the opponent, that it is not a form of intimidation, that is is an internal 'self-motivation' action.
So...where are his eyes pointing in the above photo?