"Please drink responsibly." Strange phrase, isn’t it? Quite vague and enigmatic. Drink responsibly: OK, that seems a simple enough request at first, but what does "responsibly" mean in this context? Please drink responsibly for whom? For yourself and your own physical and mental wellbeing? That makes sense; internal organs are important.
Or perhaps it’s a plaintive and pre-emptive appeal on behalf of whichever unfortunate souls happen to turn up in your immediate vicinity when you enter the swirling death-throe final-boss vortex of three-too-many drunkenness, people who could do without the added stress and misery of having to deal with you, a paralytic, football-crazy idiot with stupid hair roaming the streets, jumping up and down on pensioners' cars, tossing bikes into canals, smashing up restaurants half-naked, getting aggressively cancelled and scaring all the children, like some kind of cargo-shorted fuckwit Alex DeLarge in Gareth Southgate’s very own nightmarish personal re-cut of A Clockwork Orange?
As an idea this also makes sense. But the overarching concept seems fluid enough that you can push it in all sorts of interesting directions. What if, for instance, you drank not with a sense of responsibility to yourself or to others, but to an occasion – an occasion, say, like the 2019 UEFA Champions League final? What if you got responsibly fucking shit-faced in the sombre and dutiful service of respecting the insatiable vibe of this year's glittering Gazprom glut-fest, a fundamentally decadent fixture that has arrived to wave this season off like a Jägerbomb at a wake?
I’m not saying that you should. I’m just saying the slogan could be interpreted as such. We need to be careful with the words we use, or people will twist them in all manner of devious ways.
The Champions League final is tonight. If you are a fan of Liverpool or Spurs you will already be feeling absurdly anxious, pregnant with the kind of nerves that live in your stomach demanding to be born in the form of screaming or else drowned in oceans of booze. Here is the inaugural Row Z UEFA Champions League Final Drinking Game. Do what you like with it, it's a free country, ainit?
SOMEONE DURING THE BT SPORT BUILD UP DOES POETRY IN A SCOUSE ACCENT
There goes the first beer of the night. Immediately finish however much is left in your receptacle de guerre.
GARY LINEKER MAKES A VEILED REFERENCE TO BREXIT
Demand to try a sip of three different disgusting CAMRA ales next time you go to the bar.
THERE’S STILL HOURS TILL KICK OFF AND YOU’RE SHAKING WITH NERVES SO YOU AIMLESSLY CHECK YOUR PHONE AND GET AN ILL-TIMED TEXT FROM A RELATIVE – AN INSTITUTIONALISED NAN, A DISTANT COUSIN, A TEN-YEAR-OLD STEP BROTHER – ASKING YOU STUPID FUCKING QUESTIONS BECAUSE THEY DON’T KNOW THE BIGGEST GAME OF THE SEASON IS ON. YOU FOCUS YOUR ANXIETY ENTIRELY ON SENDING BACK AN INCREDIBLY THOUGHTFUL MESSAGE FULL OF APOLOGIES FOR NOT SPEAKING TO THEM FOR AGES AND PROMISING TO MEET UP SOON WITH THE AIM OF REUNITING THE ENTIRE DISPARATE EXTENDED FAMILY UNIT, ONLY TO END UP AIRING THEM ON A VITAL LOGISTICAL DETAIL AS SOON AS THE GAME KICKS OFF AND NOT SEEING THEM FOR ANOTHER YEAR
Sink a shot of whatever their favourite drink is.
LIVERPOOL FANS WHO AREN’T FROM LIVERPOOL START SINGING THAT 'STEVE GERRARD, GERRARD' SONG IN A SCOUSE ACCENT
Make your next pint one of those new Carlsbergs, because it isn’t from Liverpool either.
SOMEONE FINDS A WAY TO MAKE A 'PINT OF WINE' JOKE
Whoever does this has to drink a pint of wine as their next drink. This joke is not funny anymore, to the extent that it doesn’t even qualify as a joke.
WHEN LIVERPOOL GET THEIR FIRST CORNER OF THE GAME AND THE COMMENTATOR TELLS US SPURS WON’T GET CAUGHT OUT LIKE BARCELONA DID
It’s time for the first shot of the evening: sambuca.
A STRANGER STARTS BANGING ON ABOUT HOW GOOD BT SPORT’S 'NO FILTER' FORMAT IS
Fair play, it’s amazing. They get to choose your next drink and you – I’m afraid – have to down it.
ANDY ROBERTSON SWINGS OUT A LONG, ARCING CROSS-FIELD PASS TO THE FEET OF TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD OR VICE VERSA
Thimble of gin.
EVERY TIME PETER WALTON FLASHES UP ON THE SCREEN LIKE AN OLD RACIST TAXI DRIVER GATECRASHING A RAVE
Shot of sherry.
EVERY TIME THE PHRASE ‘NORTH LONDON POWER SHIFT’ OR EQUIVALENT IS USED
Beaker of Um Bongo.
EVERY TIME WE ARE REMINDED THAT THIS ISN’T REALLY A TRIUMPH FOR ENGLISH CLUBS BUT FOR THE GLOBE-STRADDLING NEOLIBERAL ENTITY THAT IS THE PREMIER LEAGUE BECAUSE NEITHER OF THE MANAGERS ARE ACTUALLY ENGLISH AND ONLY ABOUT FIVE OF THE PLAYERS ON THE PITCH ARE
Sink a pint of London Pride.
A STRANGER TRIES TO ENGAGE YOU IN A SERIOUS DISCUSSION ABOUT TACTICS
Down your drink and down theirs, too.
SOMEONE SAYS ‘SHAT ON PITCH!’ OUT LOUD WHEN THEY SEE GARY LINEKER ON THE SCREEN
The internet should never be spoken out loud. Send them to the bar for a round of Taytos or other non-Lineker-endorsed crisps.
AN ABSENT FRIEND FROM THE GROUP CHAT TRIES TO FACETIME YOU ALL AT HALF TIME
Cancel the call and go and buy a round. Then FaceTime them back downing the round. Then throw up all over your phone.
MO SALAH DIVES
Buy all your friends a drink.
MO SALAH DIVES TO WIN A PENALTY
All your friends have to buy you a drink.
MO SALAH DIVES TO WIN A PENALTY THEN SCORES IT
Drink a new cocktail I just invented called a VAR: vodka, apple sour, rum.
CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN SWINGS A CROSS INTO THE BOX AND DELE ALLI HEADS IT IN
Recreate the move with your pint.
SOMEONE UPPERCUTS YOUR BEER IN A MOMENT OF JOY AND IT HITS THE CEILING
Punch them in the face while singing, “Gareth Southgate’s Barmy Army / We hate pissheads”.
STEVE MCMANAMAN CRIES
Instantly send the least drunk member of your party to the bar for a bottle of champagne.
EVERY GOAL IN INJURY TIME
Shot of peach Schnapps.
STUDIO FOOTAGE OF RIO FERDINAND JUMPING AROUND SCREAMING
Mine-sweep the table to the left of yours, mix all the drinks into one disgusting Gazprom Punch™ and down it with the rest of your friends in a show of communal solidarity while screaming, “To Russia! To Russia! Trevelyan was robbed!”
Please drink responsibly.