Saturday, 10 July 2010

Creature comforts

Spain and Germany, according to Paul the Octopus, will triumph in the two games left at the World Cup. Whilst it's slightly concerning that the world's media values what a sea creature 'thinks' about a football match, I feel the Germans have missed an opportunity to attempt the most elaborate mind games of all time. Given Paul's record of crawling into the right box a couple of times, perhaps his 'choice' has some impact on the mindset of the opposition.

What Germany should have done is bribed (... or trained) Paul to pick them during the knockout rounds, then the teams they were playing would have in the back of their minds that they were guaranteed to lose.

Or perhaps they'd have thought 'it's an octopus' and not cared in the slightest, but it'd be worth a try, no?

On a similar theme, Sky Sports News are still doing their 'World Cup Report' every couple of hours, which was fine when there were 3 games a day, but now they are running seriously short of material. Yesterday I saw not only Paul the Octopus doing his thing, but also a 'psychic Parrot' chosing the winner. Now Paul at least has a bit of glitz and glamour about him, this parrot was presented with two cards, face down, and had to pick one. Basically, the parrot was tossing a coin. Wonderful.

After watching a bird try to eat a piece of paper and being proclaimed as psychic, I got to see some seals have a penalty shoot out. 'Spain' won, you'll be pleased to know, and 'Dirk Trout' missed the vital kick (which of course wasn't a kick at all, more of a wobble). I wonder if the presenters ever look at themselves in the mirror and wonder what they're doing with their lives.

Animal owners trying to cash in on the World Cup aside, tonight is the third place playoff. As I recall, the Germans were thrilled about winning it four years ago so there is a decent chance they'll take it seriously, and from the noises coming out of the Uruguayan camp, they will too. The most interesting aspect to it is that Miroslav Klose needs two goals to overtake the real Ronaldo as all time leading scorer at the tournament. I fancy him to score one, but I don't think he'll be able to break the record.

The other sideshow will be the reception Luis Suarez gets from the Germans and neutrals in the crowd. There'll probably be a few boos, although how many of the people in the ground are going to be actual fans is debatable, FIFA does love selling corporate tickets, as the Robbie Earle episode proved.

Anyway, there's usually goals in the third place game, so here's hoping!

And leave off with the animals, please.

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