My role in England's Ashes success
I am writing this week's blog in deepest Birmingham preparing for our live show from Villa Park. I am struggling with tiredness at the moment but it has nothing to do with a seven-week-old baby in the house and everything to do with the second Ashes Test in Adelaide.
My 'one more wicket' policy was similar to the 'one more game' policy I used to employ on Championship Manager as a student... it was utterly useless and usually ended with me falling asleep about 4am waiting for my team to win the Champions League.
On Monday night, I decided to stay up to the bitter end, fuelled by a supply of mince pies and wine gums. As the wickets began to tumble, I noticed a correlation. Each time I took a bite of a mince pie, England made a breakthrough!
Steve Finn, Graeme Swann and James Anderson all seemed to be corresponding to my worryingly unhealthy late night snacks. The editor of Football Focus texted me at about 1245am asking if we could take any credit for their success.
Graeme Swann celebrates victory in the second Ashes Test. Photo: Getty Images
Mark Cole is normally a relatively interesting human but once he starts wittering about the vagaries of cricket, the tactics of an off-spinner or his own semi-pro career, he becomes incredibly dull.
Given that both Swann and Anderson have appeared on Focus in the last few months, he thinks that - rather than endless hours of preparation and training - it is us who have inspired them to do great things against the Aussies.
The good thing about Swann and Anderson is that, since they have been on the programme, both keep in touch and are passionate about their football - as you will know if you have been following the former's tweets about Newcastle.
The whole Chris Hughton situation has brought the role of a manager very much into focus. Here is a bloke who got the club promoted, won at Arsenal, held the champions, beat Sunderland 5-1 but still was not good enough for Magpies owner Mike Ashley.
A quick glance at the table will tell you that Newcastle are 12th - and from listening to the club's fans in recent days, there are many who would have taken that back in August.
This week on Focus, we will be hearing from the man in charge of an Aston Villa side two points and four places worse off than Newcastle.
Gerard Houllier has not exactly enjoyed a fairytale start to life at Villa Park. The club could drop into the relegation zone for the first time in seven years this weekend.
Could that test the commitment of Randy Lerner? We think of him as a patient owner - far more patient than Ashley - but is that just because Martin O'Neill was pretty successful as Villa manager?
As well as Houllier, you can also hear from West Brom's Peter Odemwingie and Samir Nasri, although we have a slightly different interview with the Arsenal midfielder. You will have to watch to find out why.
We are also trying something new this week as well - Football Focus meets Question Time with a live audience of supporters for the last 10 minutes of the show. Dion Dublin and Cyrille Regis will be joining us for that.
I have a little behind-the-scenes video for you this week as well. People often ask what we do on a Saturday before the show, so here is the Saturday Story for you. Even if you have no interest in football, you can have a good nose around BBC TV centre.
Don't forget if you want to follow the build-up to the live show from Villa Park you can find me at twitter.com/danwalkerbbc and if you have any comments or questions then feel free stick them below.