Time and time again, when a match goes to a penalty shoot-out after 120 minutes of stalemate, the pundits roll out the same old worn and tired line.
"Penalties are just a lottery. How cruel."
But are these ex-players and so-called experts truly earning their crust by consistently endowing us with such a one-dimensional comment?
Lottery, by dictionary definition, means any happening or process that is or appears to be determined by chance. Something which comes to a person by lot or fortune. Essentially, that it's about luck.
Picking six national lottery numbers at random on a lazy Saturday afternoon and, two weeks later, you're pondering buying an island near Capri as you party with Moss on Briatore's yacht... that's luck.
Yet is it sheer unadulterated luck when one set of professional footballers triumphs over another in a penalty shoot-out?
Fifa chief Sepp Blatter - the boss of world football - complains that penalty kicks are a "tragedy" because: "football is a team sport and penalties are not about a team, they are about individuals".
Now think of this year's Champions League final shoot-out in Moscow's rain-sodden Luzniki - and reconsider Blatter's comment.
Yes, it was an individual who let Chelsea down - not brave but heartbroken John Terry (pictured) but, in fact, Nicolas Anelka.
But wasn't his catastrophic failure - stubbornly refusing to take one of the first five kicks despite being a) on the list and b) a striker, the tame miss itself, and then the lame excuses which followed - part, albeit a stinking rotten egg, of Chelsea's collective whole?
Anelka, perhaps best described as a flash-the-cash panic buy from Bolton in the January transfer window and widely known as 'Le Sulk', was part of Chelsea's team. Be it the manager or otherwise, somebody at the club wanted him. Anelka is a Chelsea player.
And surely that's the point.
Ferguson signings Nani, Anderson, Hargreaves, et al, scored some incredibly reassured penalties under real pressure that night.
Don't penalties and penalty shoot-outs reveal the underlying character and technique of individuals within a team and thus their collective spirit and skill? I'd love to know what you think.
Perhaps, when over the next month a big Euro 2008 match inevitably goes down to a penalty shoot-out, we can learn to appreciate real creativity and nerve when the stakes are at their highest.
There have been so many examples at European Championships over the years. Let's hope for some more on the lush, Alpine fields of Austria and Switzerland.