The World Cup. There it was - gone.
So that's it then. The World Cup is essentially over. Yes there's a few other no-name teams still competing in this worthless affair, but let's face it, it's dead to us because our brave boys have fallen. Or, more harshly and fairly our numpties have tripped at the first barely perceptible hurdle yet again. A blip in the road sent our carefully oiled machine skidding into oncoming traffic, wrecking lives, hope and our collective summer, all in an instant.
I didn't even get the joy of vomiting up too many beers after celebratory jigs at the crushing of some third world rag-tag ne'er-do-wells - no, this time, I barely got to taste the hoppiness of my Old Speckled Hen before the grim reaper of defeat laughed in my face.
And I know why it all happened this way. I am a huge England fan but it's time that the curtains of blind support are flung open and the blinding glare of stark reality is embraced. Just scan the list of our glorious team players through those teary eyes and the truth about our boys in Brazil is clear:
Joe Hart - not the sharpest knife in the drawer with an uncanny resemblance to beaker from the muppets. When he's a substitute he very rarely watches the game as he's too busy flicking the ears of the player in front of him or making rabbit ears behind the manager's head. A little more focus and he could be an average keeper. Spreads himself wide like a starfish when any striker comes near - but, also like a starfish has very little backbone for the big games.
Glen Johnson - Slower than the tractor that harvested his corn row haircut and prone to getting lost in the opposition's half without a map, a GPS system or a clue to how to get back to a defensive position. Had been known to put a trail of breadcrumbs down to help him find his way back, but these only added to Rooney's weight problem as the front man never could resist a sandwich.
Leighton Baines - looks more like a Dickensian character than a football player. Call him the Mr. Pickwick of the team. Seems like a jolly nice man, but would be more at home in the fireside glow of a country pub savouring a steak and kidney pie with a glass of fine ale than in a counter attack on a Brazilian field.
Jordan Henderson - a workhorse, no doubt. He could plough a field straight and narrow wearing a cloth cap and braces and do it gladly all day and all night...but skill, touch, finesse - these are not the qualities inside this man-horse. We've seen more flair in a teddy-boy trouser shop.
Gary Cahill - a strange combination of frat-boy and nervous Nellie. He can act the part of a towering defender and then a six year old girl within the same minute. Seems to like being a defender when he's surrounded by other defenders, but hides shaking under the bed when left alone.
Phil Jagielka - goes through life and games with a permanently confused expression on his face. A no-nonsense hoofer like the Mountain Troll from Harry Potter with about as much skill as Ron Weasley in a potions class.
Raheem Sterling - now here's a bright spark that is desperately trying to light up a team like a tinder box over wet hay. More foot skills than an Irish dance troop but often about as productive as a British Leyland factory...but I have genuine optimism that this firefly can be bottled and cloned into future teams.
Steven Gerrard - part British Bulldog, part sad clown from a 10 year old's birthday party. Carries the worries of the world on his shoulders and can't shake his numerous bad-days-at-the-office that he's suffering through. Needs a lot of time alone in a dark room to work it all out.
Daniel Sturridge - enjoyable to watch when he's talking about his lovely mum, but less endearing when he's on the field. Can be a genius or unbelievably inept with the ball. Has a habit of always trying the impossible shot...which proves to actually be impossible, but like a drunk gambler believes he can make it all right again by one last all-in bet. Get some counselling Daniel.
Wayne Rooney - the ever frustrated suet-pudding with boots. Never before has so much potential fizzled away into nowt. The huffer and puffer of our age, the eternal give-it-a-goer wrapped up in an angry doughy shell. He's our star player who can't finish a cross or a sentence.
Danny Welbeck - Danny has never seen a ball that he didn't allow to bounce off himself and into the path of an opposition player. Single-handedly will lose possession 80 or 90 times during a game. Gives away the ball like pressies at Christmas, like eggs at Easter or like dandelions in the wind as he prances through the grass. Obviously generous to a fault.
Jack Wilshere - a man seemingly unable to walk or run without falling over himself, a blade of grass or those banana skins that must be attached to the underside of his boots. Seems to move as if an invisible troublemaker keeps pushing him in the back. His strength appears to return only after breathing in soil for a few seconds as he lies face down. Generally a strange mixture of 50% Norman Wisdom, 50% groundhog and 0% footballer.
James Milner - more cave-dweller than man, his center of gravity is so low that, unlike Jack above, he is at least weeble-like: unable to fall over. However he is slower than a meditating sloth and as exciting as a wet weekend in Slough...and obviously and consequently he's been our go-to player for years.
...and finally dear, dear Uncle Woy:
Roy Hodgson - undoubtedly a very nice man - you'd invite him over for a barbecue and talk about tomatoes and marrows, that kind of thing. He's scholarly as well, speaking many languages and seems to be universally respected in the footballing world. Indeed, I'm a fan - but is he the one to ever bring England to the brink of winning a championship? Probably not. Is anyone out there capable of doing it? Again, probably not.
So, it's been quick and it's been tragic - but like putting an animal down, maybe it's been better this way - better than watching the prolonged death throws of those three lions licking their wounds until they get raw and infected. A Lion-cull is never going to be popular but now's the time to begin.