I've sat and stood, cheered and cried in a hundred stadiums, some of them cathedrals of sport.
No pitch has ever looked greener than a floodlit St James' Park, the aura of the approach to Berlin's Olympiastadion at sunset is unmatched, the intimacy and familiarity of Kingameadow , the homeliness of the Valley, and the passion of a European quarter-final at Stamford Bridge (in the days they were rare).
The friendliness of the Hawthorns, the cheerleaders at Upton Park (and the less said about those at Selhurst Park the better), and the ultra-modern polished concrete of the Emirates - coloured yellow, green, blue and white by 60,000 South Americans.
My first memory is of the old West Stand at Twickenham watching the Varsity match with my classmates at primary school. I've been to Madrid to see Ronaldo's Champions League debut in the Bernabeu and watched Ronaldihno dance past Zaragoza in the Camp Nou.
I've also seen my cousin play in Penlee Park and walked down the road to watch the Pirates face the Osprays at Mennaye Field. I've drunk Pimms on the lawn at Lords and been confused by AFL at the Oval.
I'd say I had a decent education in stadia, but I'd never played in one until this week.
Contacts I have spent years developing finally came good and on Tuesday night I took a train to Leicester and a taxi to the Walkers Stadium. We were playing Alliance and Leicester's team in a modern 32,500-seat ground that has hosted premiership and international games.
The first moment what I was about to do registered was when I walked through a door saying "players and match officials only". Henry walked here, so did Keane, Rooney and Gerrard.
The changing rooms were a revelation, the camera views you sometimes get don't portray these spaces well. You hear rumours about the psychology used in their design, but it doesn't sound real.
But stepping into the away dressing room you are oppressed. After the door is a tunnel, dark, close, and like the beginnings of an overcast night. Step into the home dressing room and it is like opening the curtains on a summer morning. There are pictures over each peg, a bath the size of a swimming pool. The sort you remember from Georgie Best footage from the 70s. The sort that I thought no longer existed. And next to the giant communal bath is a row of smaller ones, the sort you might have at home.
"What are they for? Ice baths?"
"No, no," replied the guide. "They're for players with infections."
The away dressing room only has small baths. Communal nakedness is restricted to the showers. There are no shower curtains. Just think: Thierry, Freddy, Gilberto, Toure, Jens in the shower. How on earth did little 16-year-old Cesc get the nerve to go in there? I reckon he just went home smelly.
We got changed and headed to the pitch. It was a shock.
From the camera angles and the seats stadiums can look spread out. From the grass they aren't.
A shallow bank of seats looks like a wall from the pitch. A wall that - thanks to the perspective - is Right On Top of You.
One of my teammates hits a long ball at me from the half way line - I volley it into the empty net off the outside of my left. Take that Van Nis. Take that Rooney, Cole (J), Di Canio, Anelka, Gerrard, and, er, Crouch. Were your goals here that good? Pipe down Nalis.
We play the game, the linesmen calls offsides wrong, the ref disallows a goal. Plenty for the boys in the studio to talk about, for the literally dozen fans to discuss on their way home from the ground.
It doesn't matter whether we won or lost. It doesn't matter that I didn't get home until about one on a school night. I even liked the fact it rained, it felt more real. What matters is that the mud from the stadium is on my boots, the memories fresh.
And what matters more is that Nationwide have a team as well. And they sponsor the England team. And Wembley.