Lesson from the Commonwealth Games: the team that wins absolutely every single game is a good team

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We’ve been here before. Australia are still the team that wins everything – this time gold at the Commonwealth Games.

As far as on-the-nose victory anthems go, We Are The Champions by Queen still rules the roost. Comedy writer/actor Stephen Merchant used to talk about trying to write a rival for it. The key, of course, would be to keep things sufficiently generic: “We’re the winners! We won the thing!”

Whenever there’s an Olympic or Commonwealth Games, we wonder whether bland 90s indie band Shed Seven were striving for a similar long-term royalty stream with their single Going For Gold. You don’t need us to tell you that they weren’t successful. Although we suppose we do still think about Shed Seven more than we otherwise would, so the song wasn’t an unmitigated failure. (Fun fact: Our cousin once sold a pair of either gardening or oven gloves to either the drummer or bass player from Shed Seven. (We consistently get both elements of this story wrong.) He spotted them at a house party and took a shine to them. He paid a fiver.)

As established in the opening paragraph, Australia went for and won gold at the Commonwealth Games, which was no great surprise.

India went for gold and won silver. New Zealand went for gold and then when they didn’t win that they went for bronze and won bronze. England were the unfortunate team who got to play an extra game without winning anything.

“It’s very disappointing, but I think the way we played today, we didn’t deserve to get a medal which is a bit easier to take than yesterday,” reasoned Nat Sciver – which is one way of identifying a lining that it feels cruel to describe as silver.

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  1. Is this what it was like to be a cricket fan in the 90s following the other Australia? Because it’s quite galling to follow. It kind of feels like there’s no point in any of the other teams even turning up.

  2. I always preferred the “we are the champions” theme tune to the Ron Pickering TV show to the Queen version.

  3. I have never warmed to We Are the Champions as an anthem thing. I was 15 when that Queen single came out and it was everywhere that autumn, along with other dirges such as You’re In My Heart by Rod Stewart and Mull Of Kintyre by Wings. Dirges…

    …utterly dominating the charts which, at that time, also included Holidays In The Sun by The Sex Pistols, Mary Of The Fourth Form by The Boomtown Rats and Watching The Detectives by Elvis Costello.

    Justice doesn’t come into it.

    Which brings me to women’s cricket. Seemingly dominated by Australia, with historic results very much on their side, but I do sense a new wave that has, in recent years, chipped away at Aussie dominance and now genuinely comprises a “gang of four” nations that now regularly compete for and can win major tournaments – the other three being England, India and New Zealand. Even South Africa and West Indies are not that far away…I just sense that the resources and infrastructure are still lacking.

    Of course, before the song “We Are The Champions” by Queen we had an even less tuneful, five syllable 2-3 rhythm chant with the sole lyric “we-are the-champ-yons” followed by five claps in the same rhythm. By that token, Queen did contribute to progress of a sort…

    …as has the BBC showing a lot of cricket on free to air TV during the Commonwealth Games and now during The Hundred. Progress of a sort.

    1. Ah, I have just rubbished JB’s preferred, older “We Are The Champions” chant/song, which actually has more to it than I recalled or perhaps ever know about – there is actually a sort of song to it, not just a chant:


      I never heard it sung at a cricket match. Quintessentially footie, I think.

      1. The best version I’ve heard of Queen’s We Are the Champions was by a jazz band, The Bad Plus. I saw them in Cambridge years ago. They were potty as parrots and their take on it was equally nuts, but enjoyable nonetheless. Guess it’s on YouTube.

  4. The worst has happened. I’m watching The Hundred and actually…enjoying it.

    Off to have a cold shower and a stern word with myself.

      1. What’s interesting to me is why you’ve chosen to abbreviate “shove it up your arse”.

        Decency or brevity?

      2. This uncouth display of brevity/decency has shaken you sufficiently — you even forgot you are royalty!

      3. We “Home Of Cricket” types have decency and manners, you know. Plus brevity. Yes indeed, I am especially well known for my brevity, even at “The Home” as we briefly call it

        Ask any regular King Cricket reader and they will doubtless say, “ah yes, Ged’s going off on one again, but what a succinct rant he is having. He really should be known as Ged ‘Brevity’ Ladd.”

        Also, along with decency and brevity I am a great believer in autonomy. People really should be allowed to shove whatever they might wish to shove, up whichever orifice (or possibly even an opening that is not a body part) they choose.

  5. I’ve never been to a party and come away having bought a pair of gloves. Indie rockers live a wild life.

  6. Why was your cousin inviting a band from York to his party? I guess Lancashire was famously lacking in indie bands in the 90s.

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