Monday, July 12, 2010
Paul the Oracle Octopus goes eight for eight, is amazing
Eight picks, eight correct, eight tentacles. Paul the Oracle Octopus is clearly the biggest winner of the World Cup after recording a perfect prognostication record whether he knows it or not (he probably doesn't).
The big question was whether Paul's predictive superpowers would translate to the final - the first match he was asked to predict that did not involve his native Germany. But such piddly concerns did not bother Paul. Mostly because he's an octopus. Just as he predicted, the European champions Spain became world champions for the first time with an Andres Iniesta goal in extra time. And as the Spanish celebrated, Paul floated in his tank, sure of his genius and probably craving a fresh clam.
Since Paul is an international celebrity of the highest order now, everyone wants a piece of him - both literally and figuratively. Italy is trying to claim that he was caught in Italian waters, Spanish businessmen are trying to buy him for €30,000 ($38,000), and Dutch priests tried to dismiss him.
But in Spain, Paul is an icon. The Spanish prime minister has already spoken of his desire to protect "Pulpo Paul" and the mock up of a new version of Spain's flag could be dangerously close to becoming real.
So what becomes of Paul now? Well, he'll probably continue to live out the remainder of his days at the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany, no longer forced to pick his food out of flag-covered boxes while surrounded by an obscene number of media types. He will swim at his leisure and continue to be oblivious to the existence of sports. He will retire a winner and a global sensation - what every other octopus (and even a few pundits) wishes they could be.
All hail Paul.