It was easy to sympathize with Japan manager Akira Nishino after his side's injury time heartbreak against Belgium. We all know what he was feeling. The thrill and excitement of something that was going so well, then the sudden shock of it coming to an abrupt end, followed by the bleak nothingness of contemplating what lies ahead.
A slightly unsettling thought as we prepare for an increasing number of World Cup rest days before the most dramatic tournament in recent memory comes to an end on Sunday week. We're not there just yet, but if your enjoyment of the rest of the tournament might be affected by a sense of impending doom, then its worth thinking about how you might ween yourself off the football over the next couple of weeks. Here are a few suggestions:
An iconic tournament rich in tradition and nostalgia - CHECK. All day coverage even during work hours - CHECK. Annoyingly smug presenters and analysts on the BBC who you can't help but hate-watch....CHECK! Its not the World Cup, but with Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Sharapova & Serena back in contention it might be worth a look. Week 1 is already underway.
'The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation' (to give its full title) or 'the golf' (as you might prefer) takes place in Ballyliffin this week. Notable locals McIlroy, Lowry, McDowell, Dunne & Clarke are among the contenders. But if golf isn't your thing, then stick on some World Cup commentary in the background to make it more interesting as demonstrated in the tweet below:
If golf and soccer switched announcers... pic.twitter.com/W0qr4n3GWx
— John Crist (@johnbcrist) July 2, 2018
The GAA season is in full swing with the Super 8 fast approaching. After Kildare's heroic effort in stealing the spotlight from week 2 of the World Cup, Kerry & Galway will try to do one better by going head to head with the World Cup Final on Sunday week. At least there's alternative viewing available if England somehow manage to go all the way....
Okay so its not exactly 'sport' per se, but if the drama and chaos of the World Cup has left you thirsty for more of the same, then maybe Raw or Smackdown might be the cure you are looking for. There's no off-season, they give you hours of content every week, Summerslam is just around the corner, and if the lack of football is giving you anxiety just remind yourself to cheer up......its Rusev Day!
Tour de France
May have been reaching a bit with that last one. So if you're not keen on an entertainment form stigmatized by a controversial history of drug abuse, try cycling! The first of 21 stages kicks off this week with Chris Froome's involvement making all the headlines in the build-up.
Cans on the Canal
If none of that tickles your fancy then you should probably just get outside and enjoy the sun. Much like the World Cup, it won't be around forever and you'll be depressed when its gone. If you can't find a canal nearby then a paddling pool in the back garden will do, just go easy on the hosepipe.