It is not every day that you see a red football floating gently down the River Wear. Someone must have been a little over-enthusiastic with their kicking. An imaginary Didier Drogba on the towpath. A Carlos Aguero scoring Manchester City's championship winner, or more likely a local hero like Pappis Cisse, Demba Ba or Stephane Sessegnon.
I thought, as I watched the ball bobble gently in the green water that it was symbolic of a frantic and exciting football season floating gently off into the horizon for the traditional summer break. Great. It is nice to have that lull to concentrate on other sports.
But not this year.
There is no let up. There's Euro 2012, followed by football at the Olympics which will clash with the start of the next season. No doubt, when there is a spare weekend, they will find some Arctic Cup match in Greenland to screen.
....a cigarette company.