I don't have to shout rampant biased things at the referee and the opposition, but can instead appreciate each pass, save, volley, free kick, defensive header, crunching tackle, tactical run and, of course, the goals.
But I find sport more interesting if I'm supporting one side or the another. For the record, I'm backing Spain to win the tournament. True, their wordless national anthem is a little underwhelming, but they have the most Liverpool players, including the outstanding Fernando Torres.
It felt strange, this morning, watching the football and wanting Germany to beat Portugal. Football brings out tried and tested stereotypes, and long lost prejudices, largely based on cinematic portrayls and a couple of World Wars fought long before I was born.
So in the end it came down to a question of whom do I dislike more; Michael Ballack or Cristiano Ronaldo? No contest. Ballack may be a fouling, diving, aggressive, dirty player, but Ronaldo is a petulant, whining, cheating, arrogant, selfish, vain, indulgent, tantrum-throing, spoilt, self-obsessed, pouting prima donna.
Sure, he can be a stylish player, but the whinger (and no, that's not a typo) believes he is more than the team, whether that be Portugal or Man Utd. He may be a talented footballer but he is a disgrace to football, and for that reason alone I cheered on Germany.