It’s the aftermath. The end of the drama, the upsets, the tears, the controversies. Well maybe not so much the controversies. There will be never-ending talks about goal-line technologies until they are actually in use. Controversial coaches will exist as long as we have Maradonna (who, by the way, promised to streak across the football field if Argentina won. I think it’s safe to say that we are all glad, semiconsciously at least, that that didn’t happen. Unless of course, your name is Hathim or Hanim. Then you must be sorely disappointed.).
Yet while Spain satisfied their hunger for a trophy and became World Champions, a certain octopus hogged the limelight. And continues to do so. The main reason for this post is actually to marvel at the wonder that is now Paul. Yes I know, there are plenty of news articles about this intelligent eight-legged creature, but I want to just stop and admire. It’s amazing that a cephalopod has 100% accuracy at this World Cup. For those into math, what are the odds of having eight consecutive correct predictions? One in…wait for it…two hundred and fifty six. 1/256. He’s every bookmaker’s envy. He’s the know-it-all. And I’m completely fascinated by him.
He’s an instant celebrity. He’s a global talking point. He’s trending on twitter and is amongst the top searches at Google for the past fortnight. Google him and you’ll get about 8,290,000 results. People at my workplace take part in this football fantasy league thing where they pick teams or footballers most likely to score (sorry, I have NO clue what on Earth it’s all about), and they all say that they base their decisions on Paul.
The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia:
“Paul was hatched from an egg at the Sea Life Centre in Weymouth, England, and then moved to a tank in Oberhausen, Germany. The animal rights organization PETA stated it would be cruel to keep Paul in permanent confinement. Sea Life Centres responded that it would be dangerous to release him, because he was born in captivity, and is not accustomed to finding food for himself. According to DPA, local businessmen in Carballiño, a community in Galicia (Spain) collected about 30.000 Euro "Transfer fee" to get Paul as main attraction of the local Fiesta del Pulpo festival. Manuel Pazo, a fisher and head of the local business club assured that Paul would be presented alive in a tank and not on the menu.”
LOL. That menu comment cracked me up. Because obviously that was meant in jest. But I’m sorry to say, Manuel Pazo is not the only one whose secret desire is to make calamari. Paul “predicts” by choosing a mussel from one of two possible containers, both marked with national flags. After Paul predicted Germany’s loss to Spain in the semis, angry German fans showed their feelings by taking to cruel anti-Paul chants following their team's loss, and a Berlin newspaper printed a headline recently reading "Throw him in the frying pan."
“Into the deep fryer!” one German tweeted Thursday morning. “Grill the octopus oracle,” another commented. “Throw Paul in the saucepan.” Crowds started singing anti-octopus songs.
Shame I tell you.
Well, while others talk about Thomas Müller as an upcoming star, Spain’s dominance as the best team in the world, or Fernando Torres’s worrisome injuries, I for one will remember this World Cup for Paul…the octopus. And after all the hype from the WC 2010 has died down, the octopus will go on living the life he was meant to live – outside of the headlines and inside a peaceful tank.
All facts from Google.