YOU have to pity the wives -- and husbands, these days -- who aren't so very sports-inclined. When the English Premier League ended last season, there was only a short break before international friendlies began.
Then came the European Championships, followed not long after by the London Olympics.
The Olympics, of course, appeal to both men and women, so that wasn't so bad. That's not to say there are no women following football. For sure there are, but you have to admit that the numbers are not as much as the Olympic Games.
Now, barely has the hype and bluster of London left our minds, the Premier League is upon us again.
It began yesterday with a slew of matches. It continues today with another two, and Manchester United, beaten last year by their "noisy" neighbours City, travel to Everton on Monday night (Tuesday morning, Malaysian time) to complete the first week's fixtures.
So footie fans -- and we are a football mad nation, so there are many -- will this week dust off their favourite team's jerseys and sit at home, at the local mamak shop or pub and shout themselves hoarse.
Or they'll put on that new Man United or Liverpool kit bought from the local sports store, or brought back from the United Kingdom, though some may have already donned them practically the minute they got their hands on them, glee etched on their faces, a twinkle or two in their eyes.
In the off season, there were the usual complaints of having nothing good to watch on the telly. Football fans must seem like zombies walking around the house on weekends between seasons. Restlessness kicks in and moods swing.
That is all that a football junkie thinks and talks about. At least, usually. Not this year. This year, even football fanatics are talking about something else.
Malaysians are constantly being bombarded with it -- day in, day out. Glance through the newspapers and you'll see it there, even if the words aren't actually in print.
Go to your favourite news portal and you'll see the signs as well.
It's all anyone involved can talk about; even if they don't actually say the words. Politics and politicking are the order of the day. And, it's all leading to the nation's 13th general election.
When will the elections take place? Your guess would be as good as anybody's. Even Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak doesn't know when that may be, as even after Parliament is dissolved, the Election Commission has 60 days in which to call for an election.
Of course, you can bet that Najib has an inkling, at least a general idea, of when he will seek the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's permission to dissolve Parliament.
Some seem to think dissolution would take place almost immediately after the 2013 Budget is tabled at the end of next month. It has been done before. No reason why Najib wouldn't do it.
In fact, an old political hand, in a conversation with several journalists a few days ago, hinted as much. Of course, the mischievous smile he had on his face may have been an indication that he did not, as he claimed, receive the word from the prime minister himself.
So speculation is rife about when the elections will take place. Whether it is this year or next, Malaysians are interested.
But, it's not just us Malaysians.
The eyes of the world may turn to the United States come November, when President Barack Obama takes on the Republican Party's Mitt Romney. But whenever our very own elections take place, there will be foreign eyes trained this way as well.
Whether we like it or not, Malaysia has arrived on the international stage in a big way.
We are seen in a favourable light, not just because of our "gravity-defying" economy, as proclaimed recently. We are seen as important because of our stand against human trafficking, even more so because of our insistence that there is no room for terrorism, for the global movement of moderates, and for our support of action against the Syrian government for the bloody civil war there.
Let us hope that, when polling day dawns upon us, we don't waste our chance to vote in the people we think should be voted in.
But, before the political battles begin, let us all first celebrate as Malaysians. Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri Malaysia.