I should confess, this post is on a subject about which I know little, and cherish my ignorance, so if I'm being utterly cretinous bear with me.
As far as I'm concerned football is 22 overpaid, over-hyped, extravagantly-coiffed and unimportant prima-donnas kicking an inflated pigs bladder around a field, occasionally putting it in a big net box and sometimes falling over clutching their faces if another prima donna gets within fifteen feet of them. Oh, and spitting. And swearing at the poor sod refereeing.
But despite that, I'm conscious that there are many deluded souls for whom this dire little pastime is more important than life itself. I'm also dimly aware that later this year, 352 of said overpaid, over-hyped prima donnas will be kicking their pig's bladder around fields in South Africa.
And of course, England will be taking a team of prima donnas, and an even larger team of violent drunks*, to South Africa where, in the face of rampant expectation, we will lose embarrassingly.
And in the midst of all the news of a collapsing economy, death and destruction, global warming/cooling/changing/whatever gets funding, bullying Prime Ministers, starving children, earthquakes in Haiti and Chile and whichever pointless sleb is getting her latest divorce, the thing most exercising the TV News is which overpaid, overhyped prima-donna stays in the England team - the philanderer, or the cuckold?
Let's look at this from a management perspective, if this happened with 'ordinary people' in your employ. If the impropriety of one of your members of staff led to a complete breakdown of trust within the team, would you accept the loss of another senior team member - the wounded party in the piece - or get rid of the one who caused the problem in the first place?
I know which I would do.
But the far, far more important question is this: who really, with everything else that's going on in the world, thinks that this is a matter of national import? Is a handshake really, honestly more important than the second-worst 'shake' on record, in which over 700 people are believed to have perished?
So, news organisations: grow up, and get a grip on the real priorities, or I shall be forced to remind you of the spectacular triviality of football and footballists by setting you on fire.
*Given the past performances of England teams, one wonders how to tell the difference between the two groups.