When Eric Dier, against all reasonable expectations, scored the penalty that sent England into the quarter finals at least four grown men in the pub I was in started crying. I suspect there were many many more. Imagine the scenes if England took it all the way, did the frankly unimaginable and won the World Cup.
Hubris is the primary architect of all great downfalls. Just see Scotland’s ’78 World Cup Campaign, Icarus’ ill-fated journey across the Mediterranean, Neil Kinnock at the Labour Party conference in ’92. So, this is purely hypothetical, ‘just imagine!’, ‘what if’ theorising. We must maintain the cautious optimism that has characterised England’s 2018 campaign so far.
So, here are Reaction’s official, and cautiously optimistic, predictions for what will happen following an England Victory.
- The whole team will receive knighthoods.
Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way first. Frankly I’m shocked that Harry Kane doesn’t already have a knighthood, as the nation’s preeminent sweetheart. But he will get one. Harry Maguire? Knighthood. Raheem Sterling? Knighthood. Eric Dier? Knight. Hood. Considering Nick Clegg already has a knighthood this move is a complete no-brainer. Sir Harry Kane could probably run over your cat and you’d thank him for it. He will be the most popular man in Britain, the most popular man that’s ever existed. How could you not knight him?
2. Theresa will be anointed as sacrosanct guardian of football
Joining the divine ranks of St Sebastian (patron saint of athletes), and Nike (goddess of victory), Theresa will assume her deic role as Guardian of Football. Assessing her actual contribution to the result, however paltry, is not necessary. Simply presiding over a country that created the conditions necessary to produce such a result is sufficient.
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3. Gareth Southgate will be appointed to Speaker of The House
History Lesson! The House of Commons has had a presiding officer since the 13th century, although it was not until the 14th century that the term ‘Speaker’ for this office first emerged. Peter de Montfort is recorded as having been ‘prolocutor’ (i.e. speaker) of the ‘Mad’ Parliament which met at Oxford in 1258.
The Speaker of The House is traditionally elected by MPs. There are two options; either everything follows normal procedure and every MP worth their salt votes for Southgate, or, upon returning from Russia it will just be so blindingly obvious what role Southgate must assume that no one will even question his arrival into the Commons, humbly but firmly crying ‘order’ over the ecstasy of MPs who feel blessed just to be in his presence.
The only person who will have any problem with this appointment will be John Bercow. He will be ceremoniously exiled. Everyone will be better off for it.
4. Three Lions will be number one in the charts for 7 months
The swelling opening to the hit will be heard across the country as the final whistle blows. The rousing chorus will get everyone on their feet, there will be tears, there will be hugs, there will be kisses. But it won’t stop there.
Three Lions will rocket up the charts, deservedly. Then it’ll hit the radio. Magic FM will play it twice every hour. Then as weeks go by people will realise that it hasn’t moved from the charts. Tottenham Court Road station will emanate the hums of its commuters – ‘we still believe’… 7 months has passed, you haven’t listened to any other song.
5. Waistcoats are coming back, baby!
Mark’s and Spencer report that demand for waistcoats has risen by 35% thanks to the Gareth Southgate effect. Despite looking more like a man who sells jellied eels and pies in the Eastend rather than a football manager, Southgate has started a movement.
Eventually, waistcoats will be so ubiquitous that, much akin to shoes, wearing them will be a foundational element of our daily attire.
There it is, the latest World Cup dispatch from the Reaction team. We still believe!