"It's only football," said a smiling Andrew Marr this morning at the start of his BBC1 show. His knowing irony came before the assessment of the Sunday national newspapers.
But his guests, who included the Sun on Sunday's editor, Victoria Newton, hardly touched on the coverage of England's defeat by Italy in their opening World Cup match.
Newton finally managed to get in a word about her own paper's front page, headlined "The Italian sob: Roy's brave Lions go down fighting." It was a reminder that, as far as newspaper sub-editors were concerned, the game was a cast-iron winner. Now count the puns...
The Sun, as usual, led the way with this collection: "Sturred and then shaken"; "Christ the Raheemer"; "Kick in Balos"; and "Sterling stuff but Hodgson boys are outwitted."
"The Italian sob" was also the Mail on Sunday's sports supplement choice while its main section's back page was "Kiss of death", printed over a picture of Mario Balotelli celebrating his goal.
Balotelli, the former Manchester City striker, attracted most of the headlines. "Pooper Mario" (Sunday Mirror) and "Balohelli" (Sunday Mirror and Daily Star Sunday). "Super Mario" got a show in The Observer while the Sunday Times preferred "Mario magic" and the Sunday Express gave us "Super Mario sinks Roy's boys."
Location fired the imagination of subs at the Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Express and Daily Star Sunday. So we had "Rumble in the jungle as England falls" (Telegraph); "Stumble in the jungle" (Express) and "3 Lions stumble in the jungle" plus "Jungle tumble" (Star).
The Sunday Times stuck to its Fifa scoop as its main page 1 story, carrying only a single column on the match, but with a neat, tight headline, "England's night errant."
Its inside news report caught the spirit of fans who had travelled to Manaus, "St George sambas into Brazil but team trip up".
And the Sunday Express front page? Nothing could dislodge its obsession with Madeleine McCann with a splash headlined "I killed Maddie, you're next" (Don't ask).
As for the match reports, the general view was that England had played well without enjoying the necessary measure of luck. So there were none of those overly critical headlines from World Cups past. Contrast that with the Spanish media reaction to its 5-1 defeat by Holland...
Spain media reaction: disaster, nightmare, laughing stock
Sid Lowe, reporting from Salvador for The Observer, told how Spain's newspapers found it difficult to comprehend what sports daily AS. Marca called a "total disaster" and the "worst nightmare of a champion".
In a single match, said the Spanish press, the country's team had been "humiliated", "ridiculed" and "destroyed".
An El Mundo commentator wrote: "Spain were the laughing stock of the fans in the second half".
And its editor wrote: "This felt like the end. This glorious generation has nothing more to give. This was the first black night for an incomparable team to which we will always be grateful."
Perhaps the most interesting assessment appeared in the Catalan daily, Sport. It drew a parallel between Spain's defeat and Barcelona's poor season.
Spain's previous success had also been Barcelona's, it suggested. Now Spain's decline would be theirs too. One report said: "Barcelona's end of an era has passed on to the national team, as is natural: the players are exhausted, mentally and physically."