As foot fetishists have a field day dreaming about massaging Wayne Rooney back to fitness, Predictors worldwide fantasise about stroking the end-of-season silverware in an embattled week seeing 39/42 players submitting their scores, a total of 257 points scored, 28 correct scores (including 8 for Tottenham 2 Portsmouth 0) and a respectable average of 6.58.
And despite the serious work still ahead, yet again rumours abound of under-cover antics in the Predictorship playground:
â€˜What is it with your joker fetish?â€™ asks Nick Watson of the Chairman. A rumour swiftly denied by David Roberts as he shakes his headful of jingly bells.
Nick may not be tempted this week but top-scorer-with-joker Wendy Nathan (12 points) celebrates rising from 19th to 12th place â€“ a seasonal high, by skipping gaily under the netball ring with fellow joker player Steve McHugh (8 points).
All is not quite so peaceful behind the bike sheds where a violent conker match is taking place: Southamptonâ€™s Tom Palmer lands a sneaky blow (and 9 points) on Ralph Hannahâ€™s little brown nut. Ralph is pretty sore at Tomâ€™s lucky 2 points from leaving the XXâ€™s in the Wolves-Everton fixture, languishing as he is in 36th place despite a creditable 8 points without predicting wins for Manchester United or Chelsea.
â€˜Game boyâ€™ and Predictor of the Week Rob Molloy (Bolton 0 Manchester United 4) takes on playground pundit Mark Lawrenson (this weekâ€™s top-scorer-without-joker â€“ 10 points) in a high Octaine game of Wario Blast. Lawrenson breaks off mid-stream (he canâ€™t help it â€“ what a professional) to give an impromptu Quote of the Week:
“The problem we have in football now is that if a manager loses one game he is a muppet and if he wins one he is a genius” ( re: Gianfranco Zolaâ€™s position at West Ham)
before the keen competitors resume their lunging and swaying and rat-tat-tatting to the delight of the assembled crowd.
But eyes turn swiftly to the scuffle breaking out in the Adventure Playground. Mark Young, refuses to take off his duffle coat to reveal his International Rescue play suit, despite goading from the Moonerazzi and a race has ensued down the slide and across the parallel bars. The bottom of the table grudge match between 30th and 31st place sees the Moonerazzi one step ahead this week and success is making her bold in the face of Markâ€™s taunts:
Clearly the Moonerrazzi has taken a trip on the Sun Probe this week — hopefully Brains can get through the snowstorm to get the satellite truck in place to fire off the laser beam to save her from crashing into the Sun before its too late… Then again… After staring deeply into the Hoods fierce red eyes…
As Young slips off the end of the last pole heâ€™s stopped in his tracks by table leader and Head Boy, Steve Dunlop. Steveâ€™s in no mood for shenanigans in the playground today with tension mounting for the Benfica â€“ Liverpool clash this evening. With Torres just one booking away from a European ban … anything could happen.