The disappointment in Australia's failure to win more medals - and gold medals in particular - at the London 2012 Olympics is perfectly understandable.
However there is a distinct difference between disappointment and despair, and some of the hand-wringing and calls for drastic action that we've seen over the past week or two have bordered on laughable - if people weren't being so serious.
Most of us want to win every chance we get. Olympians want that even more than mere mortals and tirelessly dedicate themselves to that goal.
The past three editions of the Summer Olympics have no doubt played a part in raising our collective expectations, but it shouldn't be forgotten that 2000 saw the significant boost to the tally that comes with a home Games and the flow-on effect was then seen in Athens four years later and, to a slightly lesser extent, four years on from that at Beijing.
The Australian Olympic Committee also plays a part in setting expectations ahead of each Games by projecting the number of medals each country might be in line for, based on results at benchmark events - such as World Championships and World Cups - contested in the year before the year before the Games (that’s correct, 2010 results were used in the analysis ahead of London 2012, released in early 2011).
But winning at the Olympics is not a mathematical equation; more of a chemical reaction - and one where you don't have full control of all the elements, at that.
Predicting who will win each and every medal on offer, and thereby attempting to predict a nation's ultimate medal tally, is part research, part insight based on experience and part intuition.
Add a slight bias factor - human nature which sees even the most professional of pundits err on the side of optimism where it's a close call - and it could be argued that we set ourselves up for disappointment.
Given that context, why are some people overreacting to the overall performance of Team Australia in London (some media outlets using terms such as 'woeful')?
There is one key reason … and his name is James Magnussen.
While there were other Australian gold medal and medal-of-any-colour prospects who didn't fulfil their promise at the Games of the 30th Olympiad, most could be put down to a mixture of bad luck, great performances by opponents and the swings and roundabouts of elite sport.
In Magnussen's case, harsh as it may be to say so, it's all down to him not being able to replicate the racing form that he produced at the 2011 World Championships, when the only two gold medals Australia won were on his broad shoulders (one individual and one relay).
In this case it really is a simple equation, because his benchmark is the clock, and measuring the time it takes to swim 100 metres using the freestyle stroke is not particularly complex.
The fact that Magnussen saw fit to adopt the sprinter's bravado more associated with athletics than aquatics and 'talk himself up' well ahead of the event only served to emphasise the magnitude of his failure when it came.
Had Magnussen done as he expected and claimed an individual gold and led off a relay gold, giving Australia three gold medals in the pool – and a consequential boost in confidence early in the Games - there may still have been a slight sense of disappointment in some quarters, but realistically Australia would have lived up to its potential in the pool, as once Stephanie Rice was cruelled by injury, it became unlikely that there would be other individual gold medallists.
Four years ago in Beijing, six of Australia's 14 gold medals were won by swimmers: four individual women's events - two to Rice - and two relays, on the back of that individual talent.
That haul continued the Australian Olympic trend of swimming leading the way, with around 40 per cent of this country's Olympic medals prior to London (180 of 449) having been won by swimmers.
This time, however, the potential for gold in the pool was limited going in, a fact that many members of the Australia media and public either failed to realise or chose not to accept.
Some people did acknowledge that reality, for example a couple of weeks out from the Games on the Sunday morning ABC program Offsiders Gerard Whateley warned that Australia could rightly expect only one individual gold medal in the pool in London (Magnussen in the 100m).
While zero is clearly less than one, it's nowhere near as devastating a result as had you been expecting, say, four.
In Beijing, Australia's other gold medals came in rowing (two), sailing (two), diving, canoeing, triathlon and athletics.
This time, Australians were entitled to hope for two each in athletics, sailing and cycling, and one each in canoeing, rowing and hockey. There was also a decent possibility of one or two others in sports like triathlon, equestrian, shooting and water polo.
So the difference between a reasonable expectation of 10 and a great result of 12 or 13 is much the same as the difference between that reasonable 10 and a disappointing result of 7 or 8 – apart from the accompanying disappointment, that is.
In the end, it’s only natural to feel at least a little disappointed by the results of the likes of Magnussen, Mitchell Watt, the Kookaburras, our women’s triathlon trio, the men's four at Eton Dorney, Michael Diamond and others, but let’s make sure we keep some perspective.
We can hold enquiries - above and beyond the regular post-Olympic reviews - and call for drastic changes in funding, facilities, administration, planning coaching and/or training methods, but there's unlikely to be any evidence that any of the results achieved in London would have been significantly affected by doing any of those things differently in the lead-up.
The most mature response is to shrug, feel bad for the athletes who didn't achieve the results they and their coaches hoped for, celebrate the actual achievements of all of our dedicated athletes, and accept that the swings and roundabouts of elite sport swung slightly away this time … and hope that they might just come back round next time.
Then we might just have to accept that the nine gold and 40-odd medal total of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics - give or take - might be a realistic Australian aim for future Olympics (at least until the next Ian Thorpe comes along).
And while 35 total medals is a handful fewer than the AOC’s early 2011 projection of 42 – which incidentally also projected Australia finishing in eighth place on the medal table, not the top five John Coates continued to believe was attainable – it’s worth noting that the same projection had Russia finishing atop the table with 97 medals.
One wonders whether there is much hand-wringing going on in Russia as their athletes bring home only 82 medals from London!?