I have not talked a lot about sport on this blog, especially my passion for football and my lifelong love/hate relationship with Newcastle United. First up, its not that kind of blog and secondly there's always the danger I will sound like one of those bores who rings up Radio Sport.
So I have resisted writing anything about the hysterical media over- reaction to New Zealand's 1-1 draw with Slovakia.
But I can resist it no more.
Yesterday I heard defender Tommy Smith say that he thought New Zealand could beat Italy. Smith plays for Ipswich Town which managed to avoid relegation from the English First Division.
Today the media was informing me that Italy would be 'nervous' about their chances against New Zealand
What a load of nonsense.
New Zealand is rated around 78th in the world. Italy are the world champions. New Zealand's squad play for clubs like the Wellington Phoenix. Some players don't even have a club. The Italian squad consists of players who play for the likes of AC Milan and Juventus.
Yes, I'm sure the Italians are quaking in their boots.
But our local media seem intent on raising expectations about the All Whites chances to unrealistic levels.
All this hoopla has been based on a somewhat fortunate draw with Slovakia.
In the rush to see who can be the most empty-headed cheerleader, the media have entirely ignored that New Zealand played poorly against a mediocre Slovakia and barely troubled their goalkeeper all day.
The have also conveniently forgotten that it was the game against Slovakia that the All Whites had targeted as the one they could realistically win.
The New Zealand goal, when it came, was more fortuitous than anything else. On another day that cross would have sailed harmlessly over the goal.
The Slovakian manager, perhaps displaying his inexperience,aided and abetted the New Zealand cause by inexplicably deciding to close up shop for the day. Instead of allowing his team to charge on for a knockout second goal he withdrew his most potent attackers and replaced them with defensive midfielders.
The All Whites should be satisfied it got its first point in a World Cup but its wishful thinking that it can beat either Italy or Paraguay.
I predict that Italy and the dangerous Paraguay will comfortably beat New Zealand.
And both the All Whites themselves and the media will have to share the blame for raising the public's expectations to such a degree that the defeats will come as crushing disappointments.
Normal transmission will now resume...