Soccerstoriesbook's Blog


R.I.P., PAUL

Paul the Psychic Octopus, who became almost as famous as German stars Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose and Thomas Mueller for his flawless string of predictions during the 2010 World Cup, has died in his tank at the Oberhausen Sea Life Center.  He was 2 1/2, said to be a normal lifespan for his species.

Paul correctly forecast all eight matches he was asked to predict, including Germany’s loss in the semifinals and Spain’s victory in the final.  Two boxes, representing opposing teams, were lowered into his tank, each containing a mussel.  With journalists looking on, the octopus would swim to one box and open the lid to get at his reward.  [October 25]

Comment:  Soccer fans in some of America’s more remote outposts can thank Paul for getting them twice as much World Cup media coverage than they ordinarily could have hoped for.

In parts of the Midwest, in the South, where there’s only one kind of football, soccer fans among the viewers of local TV news shows were lucky if the sports anchor would mention any scores at all during the World Cup.  However, it’s a cardinal rule to end a local newscast with a story involving animals or cute kids.  Paul was no cute kid, but he helped bring the world’s greatest sporting event into living rooms from Billings to Birmingham, if only for 30 seconds at a time.

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