The sun does set on the British Empire these days unlike 125 years ago, but residents of the UK can be forgiven if they think athletes from the Isles still rule all corners of the globe.
This is a golden era for UK sport. First, British athletes earned a haul of medals at their home Summer Olympics in 2012 in London. Bradley Wiggins became the first Brit to win the Tour de France. Andy Murray earned his first Grand Slam tennis victory at the U.S. Open.
That success continued to pour like summertime rain this year. Murray became the first British player to win Wimbledon since 1936. Justin Rose won the U.S. Open golf tournament. Chris Froome was the second straight rider from the UK to win the Tour de France.
So as Cal Crutchlow enters the British motorcycle Grand Prix this weekend, the weight of a nation's racing dreams rests upon his leather-clad shoulders. Britain has been so good lately in worldwide sport that casual sports fans who pay attention to MotoGP only when the series turns up at the windswept former World War II airfield in the English Midlands might even expect Crutchlow to win.
But the burden of history might be heavier than the weight of a nation for Crutchlow. No British rider has won his home 500/MGP Grand Prix since the event split from the Isle of Man TT in 1977.
Crutchlow could be the rider to break that hex. He has won two poles this season on the Tech 3 Yamaha, including last weekend at Brno. Our Cal also has four podium finishes this season, including second-place results at Le Mans and Sachsenring.
But Crutchlow has been on a bit of a slide lately, finishing seventh, fifth and 17th in his last three starts. There would be no time like this Sunday to snap out of that funk and stand on the top step of the podium for the first time in his MotoGP career in front of an ocean of Union Jack flags.
No pressure now, Cal.