In the lead up to a World Cup finals, there is a feeling of anticipation. There is a general feeling of impending excitement. There is the mouth-watering impatience to get started.
Unfortunately, there is no heightened sensation of expectation from this tournament. Yes, there are a few games for which I may turn on the television, but on the whole, I have been left feeling remarkably underwhelmed.
Is this just me? Is the rest of the world in this funk with me about what is arguably the most exciting sports tournament in the universe?
It's just that the teams in this year's World Cup are so ordinary. There are a few good players but no real stand-out stars. I hear you saying what about Messi, Rooney, or Christiano Ronaldo. Well...I'm really struggling to think of another good player to cover this section.
But maybe that is the problem. There are no really great players out there for me to feast my eyes on. And, another thing, I don't really think that Messi, Rooney, or Christiano Ronaldo are that wonderful. There is just too much hype about them all.
Don't get me wrong, they are good players but they aren't great players. Where are the Beckenbauers, the Cruyffs, the Moores, the Peles, or the Maradonnas—or the Gascoignes, for that matter? Players that made you stand up and take note.
Even the 32 teams in the tournament are uninspiring. The usual suspects are there with the best odds.
Yawn, Brazil are favourites, woop-di-doo. Argentina, despite an appalling qualification process, are a favourite to lift the trophy, and England, yet again, get dragged in with all the biggest footballing countries as a possible favourite. They play boring football and will wilt when the going gets tough.
I really hope one of the lesser countries manage to shock the pants off of what is becoming just as predictable as the top leagues around the world. I hope that Nigeria or the USA can defy the odds and bring a little bit of unpredictability into a lifeless tournament.
That will make the tournament more than just a procession of the usual, boring, old stuff with a few great goals and the odd great match.
Even the finals are boring nowadays. Teams are more afraid of losing than of winning, and don't start to play attractive attacking football until extra time.
Maybe they should just leave the tournament at the semifinal stage. The semifinals are usually much better games than the actual final, and just have a penalty shoot-out for the final.
Oh, and don't get me started on those bloody annoying "vuvuzela" horns; they will make the tournament an obnoxious cacophony of noise. I'd hate to be a spectator at a South Africa match.
I hope that I am totally wrong but I can't see it. Roll on June 11th.