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    5. After the French booze, Britain could be on the cusp ..


    After the French booze, Britain could be on the cusp of its busiest summer of sport yet.

    Cricket fans created a beer snake at Old Trafford last summer. Photo: PA/Mike Egerton

    Modern France has a reputation as the home of reasonable drinking. A bottle of wine with a six-course meal, a glass for the kids to tell the difference between a claret and a Beaujolais, a small beer when work ends at 3pm, baguettes for the gate: great stuff.

    So, a disturbing message from Roland Garros and my colleague Simon Briggs this week about the rebellious behavior that has marred the French Open. It has always been alive, but the more readily available alcohol has had a noticeable impact. The old notions of moderation are losing their relevance, and French tennis fans are on edge.

    Self-serve beer stations didn't help, as conceptually at sporting events, as did giving the kids at Pizza Hut hassle-free access to their ice cream factory. Now that booze has led to a bush in France, there is little hope that any English events will follow suit and allow patrons to serve themselves. Probably for the better. Give football fans a look at the alcohol in the stadium and you'll just be counting down the minutes until someone pulls out a cup and injures the Fiorentina captain.

    Even if we stick to our traditional approach to concession stands – for life – grueling queues and reprehensible prices – we must be prepared to adjust attitudes. Our nation is less sober about alcohol, and if France is behaving badly, you'd better lower your expectations for England. We are going to start a series of fan behavior tests. Will the noble music of our sports summer disturb the wild crowd?

    Edgbaston should be training next week. This is the most lair of the conventional landfills, where the first post-pandemic ash test in the UK is being carried out. A beer snake may be banned in Headingley, but in the West Midlands this kind of censure would be no more than ordering a non-Balti curry.

    Australia tends to unleash a particularly aggressive section of the usually moderate English cricket fans, self-identified “crazy” types who consider emptying trash cans in their pajamas to be pretty wild behavior. But add Aussies, optimism and the continued post-COVID tendency to drink with increased insistence and we can expect absolutely pyrotechnic banter, elite banter, bantsball.

    Then the 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, a city that rarely needs an invitation to take Mickey. The crowd at the Open is nowhere near the same as at the Ryder Cup, but expect needles for LIV players or cruel mockery of conscientious objector Rory McIlroy's foolish £170m worth of his own fortune.

    Golf fans don't drink water at the 2018 Carnoustie Open. Photo: Getty Images/Andrew Redington

    Finally, Wimbledon is by far the most level-headed crowd of all. It currently has to end a week before The Open, but tennis players are polite enough to insist that golf go first while shutting the door and crouching in front of Jordan Spieth. Surely the loudest in the SW19 crowd will be someone naughty yelling “come on Tim” at someone whose name isn't even Tim?

    Don't be so sure. Last year, Nick Kyrgios got into a fight with a woman in the crowd and accused her of being drunk, which she denied. The other great bastion of upper-middle-class propriety is the theater, which has been in disarray ever since the audience returned, seemingly forgetting how to behave. There were fights in the Jersey Boys, pathetic singing in The Bodyguard (audience not actors), and a bully banned for life from the Royal Opera House for yelling “nonsense” at a 12-year-old actor in Alsina » Handel.< /p>

    Take away the £9 ice cream cans, replace them with warm lager, add sunshine and significantly more hours, and we are on our way to the busiest summer in British sporting history.

    Even if everything remains calm, there will be no turning back. Culture, discourse, emotions, advertising, those guys who stand at the ball box and shout “mashed potatoes”: everything is getting louder. It is best to enjoy peace and quiet during sports, wherever you are.

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