Now that the 2010 World Cup is one for the books, we will fondly remember the soccer world's shining stars—their intense matches, thrilling victories, heartbreaking losses, and the Octopus that predicted some of the Cup's most talked about outcomes.
Paul, the German “Oracle” Octopus had the amazing ability to choose the winner of competing countries by opening one of two food containers lowered into his tank prior to each match.
The clear, plastic boxes filled with mussels and oysters, were each marked with the competing country's flags, and then lowered into Paul’s tank.
Octo-Paul would then make his way to the containers and the one that he chose to open and pluck a mollusk from, predicted the outcome of the match.
The clairvoyant cephalopod accurately predicted all seven of the games that Germany played as well as Spain’s triumph over the Netherlands in the final match.
Of the eight matches that Paul chose this year, he had a track record of 100%
Some Germans, so enraged by Paul's perfect predictions, called for his head on a silver dinner platter, but fear not, he will safely live out the rest of his days teaching his young cousins the ins and outs of being a psychic sea creature.
It was announced on July 12, 2010 that Paul would retire from soothsaying and return to his day job of entertaining visitors of the Sea Life Centre in Oberhausen, Germany.
Sadly, Paul is not expected to survive long enough to predict the next World Cup, as an Octopus such as he has a life span of about two years.
Will there be a worthy suitor to carry on Paul's legacy in 2014? We shall see, but in the meantime, the buzz of animals with psychic abilities predicting the outcome of sporting events is all the rage.
Some other oracles did not fare so well in their own World Cup predictions.
"The animals at the Chemnitz Zoo in Germany were wrong on all of Germany's group-stage games, with Leon the Porcupine picking Australia, Petty the Pygmy Hippopotamus spurning Serbia's apple-topped pile of hay, and Anton the Tamarin eating a raisin representing Ghana."
Mani the Parakeet, an astrologer's "assistant" of Singapore, picked the Netherlands to win the final.
Better luck next time boys.
So animal fortune telling is not a exact science, but It did get me thinking—we could use this type of animal instinct in NASCAR!
Could animals really do any worse than the outrageous human predictions that are made each year regarding the Chase for the Championship?
While an octopus is surely too highbrow for such a sport, we've got our own version of calamari, thank you very much. There are plenty of other well qualified critters that would represent our sport quite nicely.
How could you not consider the Redneck Wallaby? It's name alone makes it a perfect psychic contender for the sport of NASCAR.
12 wallaby, dressed in Chase finalist fire suits, take on each other mono y mono, knocking out their opponents faster than Edwards could bump Keselowski off in turn four!
In the end, the last wallaby standing foretells the outcome of the Chase.
C'mon who doesn't like a good redneck boxing match?!
One well hydrated dog, 12 fire hydrants, each representing one the Chase drivers, you know where I'm headed with this.
Let nature take it's course.
The driver who gets his "territory" marked first by the dog is dubbed the predicted winner at the end of the NASCAR season!
Possums have the uncanny ability to appear dead to an observer, while otherwise alive. It is a defense mechanism to fool potential predators.
In perfect crystal-ball divinity, allow 12 NASCAR fans, each representing a Chase driver, to poke said possum with a stick in hopes to "wake the dead."
The fan who successfully stirs the creature from it's sleep-like state, takes their big win all the way to Homestead's victory lane.
Possums are known to attack if disturbed, so all contributors would be automatically be entitled to receive a full round of rabies shots as a parting gift for their participation.
We all know that mules are stubborn, so once again I propose to bring out 12 of NASCAR's finest fans to defy an ornery donkey in a challenge that I'd like to call, "Who's the jack ass now?"
Think of it as a modern day "Duck, Duck, Goose!"
The rules are simple—diehard NASCAR fans will adorn one of the 12 Chaser's most vibrant t-shirts and patiently stand behind one of 12 donkeys.
After a proper countdown, the fans will simultaneously "start their engines," by giving their donkeys a good slap on the rump.
The first "loser" to get the wind knocked out of him by a donkey kick to the gut will predict who will win the Chase.
12 regulation sized pigs will be marked with one of the Chase driver's numbers, "greased" with corn oil, then released into controlled environment ready for the catching.
In a race for the chase of it's own, the numbered pig that is caught first, forecasts the winner of the Chase.
In a pinch, our version of the "pot-bellied pig" will suffice. Spray paint 12 of these bellies with a Chase driver's number, add a couple kegs of beer and there is magic to be made.
The first to pass out or make an attempt to remove his overalls is declared the winner and Chase history is made.
Paul the Octopus chose a container of food to determine the winner of each game.
In the same vein, hang 12 picnic baskets adoring the Chase driver's numbers from the trees, release a hungry bear, and the fate is in it's hands.
The basket that the bear choses first determines the ultimate winner of the Chase.
While NASCAR may be our drivers favorite sport, Bass Fishing is a close second, so much so that many of them hold yearly charity tournaments to benefit their individual foundations.
This concept is elementary. Immediately following September's "Last Race Before The Chase" race, pack up all 12 drivers and send them to a local watering hole for some competition bass fishing.
The driver who catches the biggest fish is the favorite to win it all on the track.
The image of a 2,000 pound bull bucking wildly out of control at a rodeo is frightening, but a rodeo clown is downright terrifying!
Clowns are often used to distract the bull when it's rider has been thrown off during competition.
Why not "sponsor" a clown in the true NASCAR style? Don each of 12 clowns head to toe in Chase driver paint schemes and send them out into the arena.
The last clown standing after a night of being knocked around by an angry bull will hear by represent the winner of the Sprint Cup.
For NASCAR loving, clown haters like me, it is a win-win situation!