This is a different column this week. There are no half-arsed jokes or attempts to be funny about the NFL or any other sporting organisation.
No summary of 'Who said what about whom.' No entertaining facts and details. No fun. No joy.
Sport is supposed to be about great contests that stir the blood and thrill the senses, about events that you talk about for days afterwards, games that make you feel like you're on Cloud Nine or in deepest despair. They are real, visceral and exhilarating.
They take you away from the real world and provide theatre-on-a-playing-field escapism for an hour or three. They are memorable and lasting.
And then along comes an event associated with your sport that opens up a chasm of realism so dark and so profound you can't think of anything else.
This is the US sporting world in the all-consuming maw of the Penn State Scandal, a story of sick, twisted dimensions that has not only grabbed the mainstream headlines but put a whole sport into a state of shock.
Football here is struggling to deal not only with the facts of the case (which I'll detail in a moment) but the revelation that one of the most beloved figures in the game - Penn State's 84-year-old coach Joe Paterno - could be implicated in it.
I say 'could' because the University which regularly draws crowds of 100,000-plus (yes, more than any NFL team) is refusing to answer many of the allegations against it and has tried to throw up a wall of silence against an outraged nation. Worse, their few protestations of innocence came straight from the 'We were only following orders' manual.
It is the kind of story that has had the pundits here veering from open tears to threats of homicide in equal measure. Matt Millen, a former Penn State star, was reduced to emotional near-incoherence on the subject on ESPN: "If we can't protect our kids, we as a society are pathetic," he finally managed to choke out.
Other writers have come out more forcefully, demanding the facts be laid bare and the people responsible brought to book, either legally or morally.
And here are the deeply disturbing details, as we know them right now and as a whole country - and I'm not exaggerating here, as so much of the fabric of communities small and large is built on and around its sports - tries to articulate its feelings of disbelief, horror, and rage.
Back in 2002, former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky (and how that name makes me sick to my stomach) was reported for sexually molesting a 10-year-old boy in the university's locker-room.
And, stunningly, nothing happened. The report got passed up the chain of command and the only verdict passed down was that Sandusky shouldn't be allowed to bring any more children from his Second Mile 'charity' on to the campus.
And there it lay, festering for years while the university hoped they would hear no more about it. Only it turned out it was not an isolated incident, and the Pennsylvania district attorney now has a Grand Jury indictment of Sandusky that runs to 18 pages and multiple counts of sexual abuse of minors. No-one should ever have to hear the full details involved but a jury will have that duty in the near future.
Also in the dock are Penn State vice-president Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley, charged with perjury and failure to report child abuse. Sandusky was Paterno's right-hand man for years and many are wondering if a coach who has been revered for so long for showing the positive side of sport will be equally tainted by this indescribably seamy side.
It is not necessarily a sporting issue, of course; major charges like those levelled at Sandusky are nowhere to be found in any rule book or on any playing field. But they go right to the heart of our society and our code of beliefs, foremost among which is our duty to protect and nurture our children.
Sport is often seen as the ideal opportunity to instil healthy values into young minds and bodies, whether they go on to compete at a serious level or not. And college sport in America is an intensely serious business.
It is the 'business' of college sport that acts as the agent of self-destruction in this instance, though. Here, where a university scholarship is often a stepping stone to the mega-millions of the pro ranks, institutions like Penn State are supreme and dominating, bastions of unrivalled pride and power that are not to be trifled with.
They are legendary and redoubtable within the minds of NFL people like Millen and ex-Washington linebacker LaVar Arrington, only not today. And not tomorrow, either.
The questions and recriminations go far and wide, within the pro world as well as within the university fraternity. The 'How could this happen?' query is on just about everyone's lips, along with worried backward glances about could this possibly have happened / be happening here, too?
The ultimate victims are those who have come forward to offer evidence against Sandusky, the targets of an alleged serial abuser who now faces the legal wrath of a nation.
But sport is also a big loser today, shorn of another layer of innocence and pride, with the knowledge that somehow, some way, these children were NOT protected by the environment and programmes around them, that they were failed by the very institution that should have looked after them best.
Therefore, there is no joy to be had in American sporting circles just now. Just a growing sadness - and misery - that will require a long, careful road to deal with. And which the principals at Penn State will ignore at their considerable peril.
The link between the college game and the NFL is historic and inextricable, and the fall-out of this issue has yet to reach its furthest extent. Which is just another way of saying this week's games will take a very distant second place to current events on this side of the pond.
And, if there's less hyperbole and hyper-babble about them, that will be the sombre reason.