It has become trendy to greet the start of the football with a sense of weariness.
Is it that time again? It only seems like yesterday since Player X scored Goal Y to win Tournament Z. It's football 24/7, 365 days a year. Whatever happened to the close season, eh?
ED was reminded of this yesterday in the immediate, sexy aftermath of a deeply soulful Luther Vandross cut on Steve Wright's Sunday Love Songs. No, really.
Perhaps seeking to diffuse the licentious atmosphere created by Vandross's yearning vocal, our host harrumphed: "It's the middle of summer and I find myself asking 'are you looking forward to the football later?' Is that right?"
It was said with the sort of world-gone-mad disbelief that characterises any casual discussion of the modern game.
Now Steve Wright may not be an authority on football, but his remarkably infantile point was representative of growing dismay at the apparent creep of year-round football. But it is absolute nonsense.
England won the World Cup at Wembley on July 30, 1966. The same stadium played host to the Charity Shield just two weeks later. The close season lasted a fortnight. So shut up.
Early Doors admits this would be a better rant if it had someone more relevant than Steve Wright to rage against - so step in commuter rag, it's-not-a-real-paper-but-it-will-do Metro, whose columnist Gavin Brown had this to say on Friday: "With no major tournament this summer we've been without any 'proper football' since England played Switzerland on June 4. Two months. Unheard of, and most welcome."
Most welcome? Why?
Somehow, it has become the norm for football writers to look at Wimbledon, Test cricket and the Tour de France and say 'well, doesn't this make a lovely change?'
Sportsmen respecting each other, fans not ripping each others' throats out, and a sport with some idea of its place in the general scheme of things - as opposed to football's rampant self-importance. Bliss.
It is easy to argue that sports other than football are good, since it is obviously true.
But it does raise the question: if you prefer tennis to football, if you consider its gentility superior to vulgar, commercial 'soccer', why don't you follow it all year round?
Why does it have to take the form of a summertime palate-cleanser, before burying your face into another massive plateful of hype and hubris?
Are we really so weak that, in the face of saturation coverage, we can't simply decide to watch a little less?
Which brings us - and not before time - to a game that ranks among the great Community Shields like, er, Keegan and Bremner fighting... the one where Jaap Stam looked and bit silly and... er... how about Vinny Samways's winner against Blackburn?
The Traditional Curtain RaiserTM tends to feature very little tackling, very many substitutions and a penalty shoot-out. It is a formality that the teams must simply complete. A game to miss.
Sir Alex Ferguson's pre-match performance of supreme blasé suggested as much:
"The Community Shield has no bearing on what happens during a season but we always like to view it as a stepping stone to the first game.
"When you play at Wembley, you always want to win. I think that's the only significance."
On the way to the ground, it was City fans making all the noise, while United's took a perverse delight in pretending not to care about the club's 15th Charity/Community Shield appearance in 19 years.
Mind, anyone prepared to fork out for a trip to London (even from Surrey), tickets, pies and programme (a fiver to read player profiles penned by hat-wearing X-Factor goon Olly Murs - he thinks Hernandez is great, by the way) must have at least a passing interest in the result.
A loony pre-match sequence featured:
1) Remote control red and blue flying robot things. City's appeared to crash-land on the far side of the pitch and was carried off with smoke billowing from it.
2) Figures in full red and blue body suits, who very slowly pieced together a Krypton Factor-style jigsaw of the respective club crests.
3) Most bizarrely of all - Reef, removed from their cryogenic time capsules to deliver a 1997-tastic rendition of 'Place Your Hands'.
Then something really strange happened. Instead of the usual festival of sideways passing, we got a football match of raging intensity.
If Fergie didn't care about the game, he forgot to tell his players, who tore into City in a ferocious attempt to silence their noisy neighbours.
Phil Dowd's yellow card hand got an early season workout as two months of pent-up aggression was vented on opposition shins.
David De Gea produced a double ricket. You know your debut hasn't gone well when you are being mentioned in the same sentence as Massimo Taibi - and ED doesn't care if that sentence is: "It's much too early to mention David De Gea in the same sentence as Massimo Taibi."
United roared back, and equalised with a piece of tiki-taka so gorgeous it could have been lifted, whole, from the Camp Nou.
Then came the denouement, as a fatal moment of hesistancy between Vincent Kompany and Gael Clichy (whose refusal to take control of the situation provoked nods of recognition from Arsenal fans everywhere) let Nani in for a last-gasp winner.
It wasn't the quality that lifted the game out of the ordinary. It was the passion, the aggro, the emotion. It was just how much both teams cared. Above all, it was the entertainment.
Fergie may be right. The Community Shield might have no greater significance on the season ahead. But for ED, being a fantastic match is significance enough.
Welcome back, football.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I don't think it has given United a mental edge but it will be important for us to know why we lost this game. A top team doesn't always play well, but when we score two goals and go 2-0 up, we need to have a strong mentality. If we play another strong squad like United, or against someone like Real Madrid in the Champions League, we need to continue to play football. We need to stay high up the pitch, not go too deep like we did in the second half." - Roberto Mancini delivers his assessment of City's defeat.
FOREIGN VIEW: If you think David De Gea was bad, spare a thought for Manuel Neuer, who had a nightmare on his Bundesliga debut for Bayern Munich.
Igor de Camargo scored the only goal in the 62nd minute for Moenchengladbach at the Allianz Arena after Neuer and Jerome Boateng got into a terrible mix-up over a long ball forward by Roel Brouwers.
Neuer, signed from Schalke 04 amid protests from a group of Bayern fans angry at the purchase of a former rival, rushed out to try and clear the ball and former Manchester City defender Boateng left it for him.
But Brazilian-born Belgian international De Camargo nipped in to head the ball over the goalkeeper from the edge of the area and give Moenchengladbach, who escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth last season, a shock win.
"Gladbach were very well-organised. They built a spider's web in which we always got caught," said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, starting his third stint in charge of the Bavarians. "The goal came from nowhere, it was a mis-understanding between Boateng and Neuer."
COMING UP: We kick off our comprehensive Premier League season preview by looking at the sides likely to contest the relegation battle, while Paul Parker delivers his verdict on the Community Shield and we bring you the latest instalment of Pitchside Europe.