In the bad old days of reality TV, before executives realised it was more fun to humiliate contestants, hosts used to simper that "they're all winners".
It was in a similar spirit that Early Doors watched Super Duper Tuesday (a name presumably on loan from Sky Sports), the day that was meant to settle the candidates for the US Presidential Election.
But, like America's greatest export - TV dramas that overstay their welcome (Sopranos, Lost, West Wing, Six Feet Under... take your pick) - what started off as a fascinating thrill has ended up a confused mess set to rumble on interminably until nobody but the protagonists themselves care about the outcome.
Oh, right: ***Spoiler Alert!***
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton trumpeted her victories in Massachusetts, Arkansas and even American Samoa, whose population of 57,000 makes it roughly the same size as Macclesfield. You go girl.
Meanwhile Barack Obama's projected victory in the great state of Delaware provided a telling riposte to Clinton's South Pacific exploits.
On the Republican side, it was even weirder, with Mike Huckerbee and Mitt "What kind of a name is that?" Romney still proclaiming victory despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Such tactics would appear to be the only chance Derby have of staying in the top flight this season.
Rather than slinking away disconsolately after this weekend's 3-0 defeat at home to Tottenham (Early Doors isn't claiming to be Nostradamus, but it seems fairly probable), they should celebrate wildly.
Paul Jewell must then speak in grandiose yet vague terms about the Rams' "long road to victory".
The club's American owners should ignore their position at the bottom of the table - you know, like they do in US sports - and simply pitch up unannounced at Villa Park next August, steal Middlesbrough's parking space and hope nobody notices.
Come on, it's not like anyone actually remembers who went down, and who would miss Boro anyway?
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It seems Michael Owen is destined to play either domestic or international football, but never both at the same time.
The former boy wonder is on his longest run of club games for some years (nine matches in a row!) but will be watching from the bench as England demolish the Swiss in the now-customary new coach romp.
Capello looks set to fly in the face of convention by naming Wayne Rooney as a lone forward, supported by a quartet of attacking midfielders.
The formation is reminiscent of Manchester United, where Rooney is surrounded by the likes of Ronaldo, Tevez, Nani and Anderson.
Capello's England side is obviously much less good at Portuguese and - in the main - a good deal pastier, but the Italian hopes it will bring similar results.
The last four England managers won their opening games by a combined 13-1 scoreline, while the last proper boss (sit down, Howard Wilkinson) to falter on his debut was Bobby Robson way back in 1982.
So let's not call the open-top bus people just yet if Capello's charges record a convincing win at Wembley.
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Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster.
Twenty-three people were killed when a plane carrying the Manchester United team back from a European Cup tie in Belgrade failed to take off following a refuelling stop in the German city.
Among the dead were eight players from the Busby Babes - Geoff Bent, Roger Byrne, Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor and Liam Whelan.
Early Doors sincerely hopes the minutes' silence at tonight's England game and at Sunday's Manchester derby are observed with the respect they deserve.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I'm not a Messiah." Fabio Capello. What? Then why are we shelling out all that money?
DEBATE OF THE DAY: Avoid pondering the nature of your pointless existence by spending the day posting comments at the bottom of this blog. The best submission may well feature in Early Doors tomorrow. Today's subject: What measures should be taken to make England friendlies more interesting?
FOREIGN VIEW: Ever wonder what former Bolton man Fernando Hierro is up to? Well, he's now a big cheese at the Spanish Football Federation and is saying Luis Aragones will not be sacked until after Euro 2008. Fairly soon after, if past form is anything to go by.
COMING UP: We have our usual bells-and-whistles live coverage of England versus Switzerland, along with every game involving the home nations and Ireland. Plus there is live scoring of all the night's international friendly action from 4pm.
- ALEX CHICK -