I don't see many football fans hoping England get knocked out of the Rugby WC early so they don't have to watch it or hear about it on the news. Or England and Wales to lose the ashes.
Good point, you're right.
The difference is I don't feel the ashes/six nations/even wimbledon or any other sport is rammed down the nation's collective throat in quite the same unstoppable, aggressive way. The world cup is truly inescapable, dominating the news channels, the papers, conversation, restaurants, pubs, supermarkets - it's everywhere you look. That's the problem for those of us who don't like football. For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction - the more none-fans have something forced on them, the more they will object.
So yes, I agree it is miserable to wish disappointment on the nation. But I can totally see why people do it. For some of us, the quicker it's over with, the better.
The world cup is a bit like christmas. It sends the nation into a bizarre trance for a short while, and it's all anyone can talk about and then it's gone. The special offers, the newspaper pull outs, the novelty burgers, the flags - all gone. Hidden away in the loft until next time, just like the tinsel and the baubles.