It is a truth universally acknowledged that nobody knows anything. This is aptly borne out during every major football, cricket, tennis, etc etc matches and tournaments. Hence, mankind (and womankind as well – I don’t wish to be tagged politically incorrect) have for millenia turned to our friends from the animal kingdom for words of wisdom and infallible guidance.
Who can forget those astoundingly accurate predictions of the late, great, Saint Paul the Octopus during the last World Cup? The Football World Cup, the REAL THING, not the tiddlewinks beanos they call the cricket world cups.
Selections by the octopus were correct in four of Germany’s six Euro 2008 matches, and were correct in all seven of their matches in the 2010 World Cup. The octopus also correctly selected a win for Spain against the Netherlands in the World Cup Final on 11 July by eating the mussel in the box with the Spanish flag on it. These predictions were 100% (8/8) correct for the World Cup and 86% (12/14) correct overall.
Paul the Octopus was retired after the 2010 World Cup, and died the following October.
Since his sad demise, the world of football punditry has turned to a number of seers from totally unrelated species. First to get onto the media circus was Citta the Indian elephant, who till now had a 100 percent record, including predicting that Chelsea would win the Champions League.
However, she came a cropper last night. Having predicted a Polish win against Greece and being handed a draw, I am sure she must be consulting her gods about her powers. Trust has taken a beating.
And she has competition. Citta may have beaten off Kuba the parrot, and Black Mary the donkey, but there are others – Fred the ferret, Funtik (aka Khyrak) the hog, and Nicholas the llama.
Here’s Fred saying a few words about his sponsors.
Funtik or Khryak has been immortalised here.
And then there’s Nicholas.
I wouldn’t trust this one to tell me the time of day to within a couple of hours. Big Nick has predicted that England’s gonna win the Euro!! Sure, it’s being loyal to the hands that feed, but seriously!!
I turned to my trusted Indian Ringneck Parrot or Parakeet (Psittacula krameri manillensis – Bechstein, 1800) – sometimes referred to as Rose-ringed Parakeet or, simply, Ring-necked Parakeet.
This one, called Tiya, is an accomplished sportsparrot, as you can see here, and has been called in to give some tips to Kevin G, Paul Pierce and Rajen Rondo for tomorrow’s Game 7 between Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.
The only thing Tiya would tell me is “Sachin for President.”