LONDON – There's nothing better than being in a newspaper town – a tabloid town – when a cataclysmic event occurs.
In the grand scheme of things – if you leave your perspective at the door – Mother England being all but out of the World Cup in the first week certainly qualifies.
And the Mirror, Star, Daily Express et al did not disappoint.
A sampling of some of their better efforts for Friday's editions:
*"NOW ENGLAND WILL NEED A MIRACLE" (Daily Express, but in smaller type than "CARROTS CAN FIGHT CANCER"
"WE NEED MIRACLE NOW" (Daily Star, but with the same, absolutely spontaneous, photo of English football fans looking incredulous)
*"SAVAGED BY SUAREZ"
*"Now England's fate is in the hands of the gods"
*"Roo's World Falls Apart"
*"Roy's Hope Hang by Thread"
*"Kiss of DEATH"
*"It Had to Be Lu"
*"Roy's Flops Lose Way"
*"Kicked in the Teeth"
*"Same old England"
*All Bite on the Night"
Even the more mainstream, "respectable" newspapers couldn't resist, in their own decorous way.
*"Pantomime Villain Takes Centre Stage"
*"YOU CAN'T DEFEND THIS: Dreadful at the back, woeful in the middle. Sorry, Roy, it's rubbish."
*"Amateurish and shocking as Roy's gamble backfires"
And the winner is:
"IT HAD TO BE CHEW!: Suarez ends our world*"
(from the Sun)
There's an asterisk, of course. Because our world isn't ACTUALLY ending. Even Fleet Street knows that!
These little guys right outside my flat were still playing World Cup. And the kid on the left with the red T-shirt was still raising his arms and screaming, "GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!!" when he scored.
They have no idea the world is actually ending. Probably better that way.