I HAVE a dream.
In a land far, far away - well, Brazil, if you want prosaic specifics - Gerrard passes to Townsend.
Townsend beats one man. Beats two. Whips a wicked cross into the box. Rooney dives forward bravely. His bony head steers the ball into the net. England 1 v Germany 0.
Simultaneously, in Bute House, a grand Georgian residence in Edinburgh, Alex Salmond, trews-clad First Eck of All Scotland, spills vindaloo down his bib (it's not a 600-calorie day), stares slack-jawed at the screen, and in a deadpan voice says: "Yay."
It's 2014. A year stuffed with events, dear boy. Apart from England in the World Cup, there are the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and commemorations of the glorious First World War and of the impertinent Battle of Bannockburn. Then, in September, a giant step will be taken into the unknown.
That's right. Nasa will launch the first flight test of its Orion spacecraft. It'll feature a high apogee on its second orbit. But you knew that already - unlike, say, the facts of a post-independence Scotland, such as the price of a pint of milk (semi-skimmed) or whether blue is the new black.
Facts of the future: there's a key anomaly in there, if you look hard enough. But here's a prediction: next year, when every other house south of yon Border will proudly fly the St George's Cross, Eck will be giving England "lots of support" in the World Cup. However, he says he won't be wearing an England top. I'm surprised. Maybe they don't do XXXL.
But the First Eck's affection for England is genuine. Controversially, he denied being "Machiavellian" in this. Very cunning. Machiavelli, the Italian centre-half, meanwhile says nothing. Dirty player anyway.
A Machiavellian ploy was once deployed by former FM Jack (now Lord) McConnell, who thought he'd play to the gallery with his stated intention of supporting "anyone but England". The gallery blew a raspberry. The ref blew his whistle. Result: red card.
Jack didn't realise times were changing. Scotland used to hate England. Now England hates Scotland. They even sing that at matches. Our lot sing Doh a Deer.
I'm with Eck on the England thing. But I wonder how much longer it'll last. You may laugh but, intellectually, I'm about 11.5 years ahead of the First Minister.
I was doing the England-love thing years before it became fashionable. It wasn't consciously thought out, and I wasn't striking an attitude. It was genuine, from-the-gut stuff. Really liked England, land of my holidays, of fabby literature and fine real ales.
But I sense a change in me. I'm being right honest here. It'd probably be better if I kept ma mooth shut. But, watching England v Poland the other night, I kinda wanted Poland to win. It wasn't definite. I wasn't sure. But it was the first inkling of change.
Maybe it was because of my Polish friend down the gym, and other nice Polish folk I've met in recent years. Maybe it was all the anti-Scottish bile of the English press taking its toll.
Maybe it was just an urge to be bad. The rational hasn't worked in the independence debate. The bright guys are losing, and the "proud Scot but" brigade are becoming more brazen. The biggest cheer of the night at a Unionist campaign meeting recently was for a claim that the Romans hadn't stayed in Scotland because it was "useless".
Maybe the Eck is letting them walk into a trap. In truth, I suspect he's 11.5 years ahead of me. He's giving them enough rope.
Maybe we shouldn't go bad, shouldn't noise up the Unionists with outré Scottishness, saying: "Sod it! Anyone but England!" Shouldn't walk into their trap.
Won't happen anyway. When the World Cup starts, I'll support England naturally. They're the players I watch on telly every Saturday night. They're "our boys" to me.
Of course, it'd be simpler if Scotland could reach the World Cup finals for once. You may say: "Dream on. You've as much chance of that as of independence." But as the banner on Calton Hill said recently: Aye, have a dream.
We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules, which are available here.
Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.