Footie's off everywhere. And yet everywhere I look, I see footie.
Snowmen stand with arms outstretched like Greek goalies watching a Beckham bender fly past them. Snowballs lobbed in my direction are hammered into an imaginary top corner with a neat pivot and a flick of me shotgun right peg.
There are Boro scarves everywhere but no inept 1-0 home defeat to witness; no post-Christmas ginger elf to talk off another pile of slush.
Surely not so long ago, when schools weren't closed 'cos little Johnny slipped on his front path...
When the great British citizen didn't spend his days ringing in to 5 live to tell the country how he spends 'thousands of pounds a year on my council tax and there's not a grain of salt to be had at my local supermarket'. (Or better still, telling us how it's not like this in Finland, forgetting that Finland is largely in the Arctic Circle - if it weren't, Santa wouldn't be on a sleigh he'd be in a Ford Focus Estate with roof rack)...
Norway under-21s v England under-21s
When people weren't so stupid as to tumble into cars, drive them into snowdrifts and then make their way home on foot with not even a thermos of tomato soup for company...
Surely in them days we still used to have some footie to watch.
What happened to those pitches banked with snow on all sides and a cast-iron surface on which nimble little wingers reduced the lurching centre-back into Bambis with the turning circle of double-decker buses?
What happened to orange balls? (I'll resist any mention of Phil Brown here, as a regular poster has pointed out that it's turning into a dangerous obsession). What happened to the only bit of green on a playing surface being a foot either side of the pitch markings and yet you still played on - happily?
What happened to gales of laughter at Keith Weller in mittens and white tights? What happened to standing in a wall as a thunderbolt welted your thigh and reeling as the feeling returned to your frost-bitten limbs in the form of a ruby-red ball-shaped imprint?
WHAT THE HELL ARE WE COMING TO WHEN A BIT OF CHILLY WEATHER STOPS US PLAYING FOOTBALL?
Will the Motty sheepskin become a ridiculed accessory from days past rather than the most important item of menswear in the sporting calendar?
All right, I know these are exceptional times weather-wise but surely a bit of snow used to be a leveller, not a cause for abandonment. Even the younger lads in our local leagues take one look out the window and phone the club captain with some feeble bleeding excuse about slippy paths. For goodness sake, man, it's not as if you're a brittle-boned 85-year-old! Get out there!!!
So the overpaid prima donnas have all got their feet up somewhere. I wonder what they'll be doing with all this leisure apart from the usual brainless twiddling on the PS Oojiwotsit or enjoying Top Gear on Dave?
Wazza'll be stowed away in the nursery, flinching as he gets to grips with the Velcro on Kai's huggies.
Jermaine Beckford will be busy badgering his agent about a big move following one albeit notable goal in the FA Cup. One name for you, young Jermaine: D.J. Campbell. Bobbing around the Championship like an unwanted Christmas board game.
Carlo Ancelotti will be busy planning when and where to do his naked sprint following at least two Chelsea purchases in the transfer window. I thought they'd cope without Drogba but if the chill ever relents they're going to need something in his place. Heskey keeps getting mentioned... the English Drogba? Yeah, and Tango is the English champagne.
Actually this could be a Godsend for the Chelsea boss: at this rate the African players will miss precisely no games and he'll be smiling all the way to the title.
Nemanja Vidic will be keeping his mobile on silent so he keeps missing the odd call from his gaffer. Sir Alex's complexion will be scarlet right now, and it'll be difficult to tell whether it's down to the -18 in Manchester or his defender's gob. Without him United have defended with all the fortitude of a Chinese lantern in a hurricane, so there's no way he's jumping ship now.
Roberto Mancini may want to check on the latest form of one Patrick Vieira who to my mind stopped being a decent player just before Wenger got shot of him.
Presumably, he of the lustrous locks - Mancini is a poor man's Mourinho, isn't he? (Actually, thinking about it, he's an even richer man's Mourinho) - has seen summat the rest of Europe hasn't. At 33, Vieira's certainly lost that relentless leggy drive that made him look like a talented Viv Anderson and saw him outplay even Keane for a season.
And poor Bobby Zamora, in the form of his life and now it looks like he'll miss the World Cup. Only he won't, 'cos he can sit in front of the telly and watch it at home like he would've been doing any road. If Zamora's an England centre-forward then so's Dion Dublin and John Fashanu. And Francis Jeffers. And David Nugent. (Hellfire, Heskey suddenly looks like Drogba after all).
At least that's one thing this snow might save us from: tedious conjecture by partisan fans on the possibility of some average lad in good nick from making the England squad.
I've heard Geordies touting Nolan, Brummies touting Johnson, and there's still a quiet chorus of approval for poor bewildered yips-sufferer Michael O-When-Will-He-Regain-Some-Form.
Despite the Cape Town nail-biting and the battling ginger nuggets... and the sort of sledging I appreciate much more, I just hope this footie fan is not deprived for too long. It's driving me doo-lally.