A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.
Stay with me now... staaaay, staaaay - SIT DOWN! - staaaay...
This is one for the entry-level football fans out there, who only get interested when there's a big tournament on - enjoying the atmosphere is easier and more fun than pretending nothing is happening lalalafingersinears willeveryonejuststopgoingonaboutit boringboringboringyesnowIaminagrumpwhydoyouthinkthatishmmm?
Perhaps you are - or know - one of these people. Someone who wouldn't dream of reading a match report in the Sport section. Who can be relied upon to get a round in during the boring bits of a game (ie: no goals looking likely), and who - damn them - happily took on the football minnows no-one else wanted in the work sweepstakes, back when everyone expected the likes of New Zealand to be on the painful end of rugby-style scorelines.
The papers know these people are out there, and adjust accordingly. So for every article bristling with stats and words like "offside", "72nd minute" and "retaining possession", there is, for instance, something on vuvuzela orchestras or David Beckham's unknowable sleeves or whether it's possible to watch England's match with only mini-Bountys left in the chocolate assortment box. (Paper Monitor says yes; others may beg to differ.)
The Guardian fields two strikers for this tricky task, Marine Hyde in the main newspaper and Tim "I'm American. I know nothing of this soccerball" Dowling in G2.
The latter has yet to get over ITV "unforgivably cutting away to an advert"...
"... in the middle of the post-match argument between the French and South African coaches, after the former refused to shake the latter's hand. I've waited a fortnight to see some live off-the-ball unpleasantry (in HD as well)... I've deliberately forgotten what the advert was for, as a punishment."
In the Daily Telegraph, columnist Bryony Gordon details her attempt to find an enjoyable way to watch England's largely painful matches. Well, it won't be in the pub:
"It is like being in a sauna with none of the health benefits, crossed with a creche where all the children have been fed too many E numbers"
The Times has its louche chief sports writer Simon Barnes, who gets the poetry out as quick as you like - Coleridge, no less, with a side order of how Shelley reacted when he first read the verse in question: "[he] fainted dead away".
And in the Daily Mail? Their equation is basic numeracy compared with the elegant long division beloved by the likes of Barnes - if readers don't like football, they are probably women, right? And women like...
maths poetry Gallic arguments Bounty bars handbags.
"Here come the Wags" it proclaims on page three, illustrated with a blonde who fits the familiar template.