The 2014 World Cup is now officially upon us after what seems like a countdown that has lasted forever, thank you BBC Sport. Anyhoo, looking past all the various controversies surrounding this tournament in Brazil and FIFA in general (these are arguments that will continue for a long time yet) I've decided to jump on the bandwagon and make my own predictions about the outcome of the tournament, mainly because I'm feeling left out.
Somewhere along the lines confidence has become synonymous with a warped sense of masculinity. These guys have taken this notion and run with it. Their ludicrous assertions about England's expected triumph are the world cup equivalent of drinking a pint of your mate's vomit whilst stripping off naked on the dance floor.
It should have been a day of near-religious rapture, of raised hackles and chewed fingernails. We may sing in England about football coming home, but ...
Until recently, "the global game" was called so despite the seemingly impenetrable enclave of North America, with many within the US viewing the spread of soccer akin to the spread of communism - a nefarious ideology enjoyed by foreigners and fifth columnists. Unfortunately for those wishing to preserve the cultural purity of "American" sports, not only is soccer past the TSA and across the Rio Grand, but it's about to set up some nets for a kick-a-bout on the White House lawn. The invasion hasn't begun. It's already over.
Everyone is up in arms except for the Cariocas. Because if the World Cup were the Hunger Games, Rio is the pre-selected surviving Tribute. Brazil can almost afford to mess up this week because it's guaranteed a lifeline to wipe the slate clean in Rio in 2016. No one is complaining about what's happening in Rio.