Time's Up, Steve
There comes a time in relationships when you know its over.
Too many things have happened and too many things have been said that the cracks can't be papered over. Not when they've widened into chasms.
For Sunderland AFC and Steve Bruce that time has come.
The shamble of the Wigan winning goal was the final nail in a coffin that was already on the undertaker's wagon. It summed up the collective mess our team has become.
Of course some fans always want the manger to go after a few lousy results but the trend we've watched with increasing frustration, worry and, more recently, anger cannot be excused away no matter how happy a clapper may be.
It should have nothing to do with Bruce's Geordie heritage: after all many of our fans were born closer to the Tyne than the Wear and our most successful manager since the last war was a former Newcastle hero.
Nor should it matter the size of his waistline - a barrage balloon would be hailed as a Messiah if we played attractive, winning football.
No. It has everything to do with the unsettled team selection, the players used out of position, the inability to find a left side threat and the glaringly obvious fault that we have no one up front who can score goals any more.
Bruce would no doubt argue bad luck: the Bent disgrace followed by the Gyan trauma on top of injuries to other strikers.
But luck, good or bad, only lasts so long. And time in the modern game is in short supply on the pitch, in the dressing room and in the stands.
In the past months Bruce has looked anywhere and everywhere for a lifeline of an excuse but in finally blaming pressure from fans he opened the door to dismissal.
Despite the slavish way the media follow that line of argument a simple check of the stats would show we are the worst home Premier team in the entire calendar year. As blips go that's quite a bugger - like the iceberg to the Titanic.
Days gone by managers in Bruce's position would quit and at least salvage their pride.
Too much money on the table now to take that course of action. That's a shame for everyone concerned.
But the plug needs to be pulled, the knife inserted and the misery ended.
Time, in Short if you like, is up.
(Our Canadian Correspondent)