With all the British political turmoil and the impending visit of Donald Trump, England's success in the World Cup has been a welcome distraction.
Seeing Harry Maguire head home against Sweden, Jordan Pickford make god-like saves against Colombia, and Gareth Southgate oozing the type cool that's often only associated with supply teachers who don't bother assigning any homework has spread a wave of good spirits across the nation - and lord knows we need it.
Front pages... country divided, falling apart. Back pages... country unifying, building bridges. Simple solution: a… https://t.co/FiHUX6IB8o
Unlike many sporting events associated with the UK, there tends to be a lot more revelry and drinking involved when it comes to football. Perhaps it's just the nature of the sport, but can you imagine if people were out on the streets signing "it's coming home" when Laura Trott won her third Olympic gold medal? Or when Andy Murray won Wimbledon for the first time?
Nevertheless, while Kane and co are doing the business in Russia, everyone has the right to celebrate their astonishing achievement. In particular, we've been in an almost numb state for the past month. Ever since David Batty failed to smash his penalty past Carlos Roa in 1998, we've been convinced that England was doomed to fail embarrassingly on the world stage every four years.
Actually having something to cheer about when it comes to the England football team is a very rare occurrence and it's almost like people don't know what to do.
Sure, the hot weather and copious amounts of alcohol can do strange things to people, but have we ever stopped to think how we should celebrate 11 men beating 11 other men on a football pitch? Chanting and a bit of jumping around seems like harmless fun, then someone takes their clothes off, a pint lands on someone's head and all of sudden you have a state of emergency of your hands and police cars are on fire.
Last weekend's victory over Sweden was an amazing achievement, but the scenes of 'celebrations' afterwards threatened to tarnish the Three Lions' win. So, ahead of the huge semi-final against Croatia, here is indy100's guide on how not to celebrate winning a football match.
1. Don't throw drinks in the air.
We'll start off with a fairly common one. As you will have seen from social media, England fans have been going ecstatic when a goal flies into the back of the net. But do we really need to throw our drinks in the air?
Just think of your bank balance. Some of those pints probably cost in excess of £5. And what about that C02 shortage? Savour that precious nectar till after the final whistle.
2. Leave vehicles alone.
Why is it always vehicles that suffer when crowds have too much to drink? After England's win over Sweden, fans seemed to have it in for cars and buses. Clambering on them and doing their best to vandalise them.
A taxi in Nottingham was smashed to smithereens.
A bus was 'hijacked' in Shoreditch.
🤦♂️ I'm sure the bus drivers of Shoreditch will be pleased that England won...
Then an ambulance - yes, an ambulance - was ruined after people began jumping on it in central London.
Obviously we are chuffed with the result this afternoon but there is absolutely NO excuse to vandalise emergency se… https://t.co/5zRhOR4kiW
— Joint Response Unit (@Joint Response Unit)
Fortunately, a fundraiser has been launched to pay for the damages to the ambulance, but it should never have been damaged in the first place. If you ever have the urge to jump up and down on top of a parked vehicle, just think to yourself, 'What would Gareth say?'
3. Try not to jump off of anything that will result in injury or illness.
Who doesn't enjoy a good jump? It's one of the last physical activities that we can do that doesn't involve much effort, or forking out for a yearly gym membership that you'll probably never use.
That being said, be mindful of what you are jumping off and on to.
Evidence A: Jumping from a bus roof to a bus stop will not end well.
If England win the World Cup my worry is we won’t have any bus stops left... https://t.co/GuHDqzwF9f