HEROES and heroins by the score, courage, tears, full houses, triumph, endeavour, and the pain of failure.
London 2012 has it all - in bigger amounts than we ever imagined.
It’s been a privilege to watch these last few days on TV and an even bigger privilege for those who have attended events.
But it’s left us with a big question.
Who needs football when we’ve got Jessica’s smile?
Who needs snarling, petulant, wind-up merchants when we can have good-tempered competition with understanding among opponents -even the super-alpha male 100 metres lads who preen and pose like cartoon gangsters. (Don’t tell them I said that by the way).
Who needs street-style city tribalism when we can have a world in sporting harmony?
Of course most footballers are decent lads earning a living most of us wish we could and good luck to them.
But professional sport - especially football - does strange things to players and fans alike.
We’re as guilty as each other
Over the last ten days or so we’ve seen how sport should be played - and watched. Competitive with absolute commitment and desire, bringing emotion and excitement for all.
All the things we like to think our football has but without the malarkey that goes with it. But, unfortunately the Olympics is not the real world.
Gloriously feel-good though it is, we’ll go back to normal next Sunday and realise we’re only days away from a new football season and our love-hate relationship with all that it brings.
London 2012 euphoria will be temporary and fleeting and the world will be as bad a place after the games as it was before them.
But won’t we have a bit more tolerance and desire to get on with each other?
Could there be some kind of golden glow around the world that will take us to Christmas at least?
Of course there won’t.
There may well be a legacy - how tired are you of THAT word? - in that more kids will be inspired to take up sport now they’ve seen how uplifting and emotional it is at its best.
There will be people from around the world who are desperate to come to London because we CAN run a run a booze-up in a brewery and put on a show - with a little help from the army and a few thousand volunteers.
There will be many positives and a few negatives - the bill for a start - but at least we, as a nation, have got into the spirit of the thing. We’re doing a great job and the world knows it.
Exiled Londoners are returning from trips back to the capital in disbelief at the polite and helpful ambience of the city, people are actually speaking to each other in the street, offering directions, taking pictures of people wrapped in their country’s flags.
But go down there, or to any other city, in a couple of weeks and ask someone to take a picture of a group in United or Wednesday shirts and it might be a different proposition.
Football brings out the tribal instinct in us.
It’s what makes the game so special to us but also makes it a bit of a pain in the backside - especially after our summer of love at London 2012.
Hang on to the feelgood, stay in the Olympic bubble for as long as you can.
It won’t be here again for a very long time.