Sports is serious business, plain and simple. It's so serious in some areas that it practically borders on the absurd. Such is the case of Paul the Octopus and the current rash of animals that is following in his foot….er, tentacle, steps.
Paul the Octopus is, of course, an octopus who gained fame and adoration by predicting eight 2010 World Cup matches correctly, including Germany's run to the semifinals and Spain's victory over the Netherlands in the final. He made these predictions by opening the lid of one of two clear plastic boxes, each containing a mussel and bearing a team flag.
Though Paul was lost to the world of the living, he died a year after his Nostradamus act, and his legacy still thrives today as two other animals are being tapped to predict the winners of Euro 2012; Eastern European's most prestigious soccer championship which takes place from June 8 to July 1.
The event is being hosted by Poland and Ukraine, both of which will be bringing their own livestock to bear in predicting the outcomes of games.
For Poland, Citta the elephant is on tap to do the honors this year. Citti, apparently a clairvoyant and temperamental 33-year-old female pachyderm, was chosen over a donkey, a parrot and another elephant after she correctly predicted that Chelsea would win the Champions League last week; the annual competition between Europe's top clubs. Citti made this prediction by choosing an apple above a blue-and-white logo for Chelsea rather one from opponent Bayern Munich, which sports a red, white and blue logo.
This apple picking method will be the same one used by Citti the day before each of the 31 matches during the European championship. It won't, however, be the one used by Ukraine's champion, a 2 year old pig aptly named Psychic Pig.
Psychic Pig, who reportedly has a fondness for beer and fries and grunts in pleasure when he watches matches on television with his farmer owner, will indicate the winner by deciding whether to eat from one of two plates of food, each marked with the national flags of the teams playing. This will take place in a specially-built house in central Kiev outside the Olympic Stadium, where some of the Euro 2012 matches will be played.
Considering that in the Ukraine, slices of hog fat are the national dish, Psychic Pig had best live up to the hype if he's to avoid going from having lunch to being lunch.
Though the true extent of the abilities of these quirky animals have yet to be revealed — quirky in that apparently Citti the elephant has not given birth due to a fear of males and Psychic Pig is said to be nervous on camera — one thing can be certain when these two arcane animals clash.
A mess will be made and I wouldn't want to clean it up!
The European championship is held once every four years and this is Poland's and Ukraine’s first time hosting the event.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.