OK. OK. The mini mystics got it wrong, but I never asked you to bet your house on it.
At least at the Master Football Academy Euro 2012 kindergarten tournament they had a good time, unlike our farmyard cousins in Germany, who are apparently being treated rather harshly by certain media outlets, according to animal rights activists.
Two years after the death of Paul the Octopus, German media outlets have upset those who care about our furry, and not so furry, friends by working them too hard during the tournament.
The BBC reports that the Tierschutzbund group said it was worried animal oracles had been overused during the tournament.
Marius Tunte of Tierschutzbund told the BBC: “These days, everybody who has an animal seems to put it in front of a camera. Every station has its own animal.”
Well at least you just have me, and the kids.
The group said the use of animals as psychics threatened the dignity of the creatures.
Lucky, I do not have any left and the kids do not know what it means (yet).
Apparently, the activists took particular exception to an Internet radio station which used a python called Ado.
Internet radio, what a gig.
The snake was offered the choice of two rats, one with a stripe representing Germany and the other without a stripe representing Denmark, the BBC reported.
“Unnecessary suffering is being inflicted purely for the sake of enjoyment,” the activists said.
Then there is Yvonne the cow, who has made a name for herself by managing to predict the loser as the winner, in much the same way as President Ma Ying-jeou backs lifting the ban on US beef imports containing, well let’s be honest, who knows what chemicals.
Now I have never met Yvonne, but it seems to me she is just the figurehead we need to negotiate on the US beef issue because, let’s be honest, we are not the ones the Americans are shooting up with drugs for the sake of profit.
Enough of this future-telling nonsense though, because the final is upon us — Spain against Italy — two proud, but virtually bankrupt nations trying to lift the trophy, but enough of this negativity.
Into the spotlight strides the man whose goals put Italy in the final — Mario Ballotelli, a man who, can we say, is something of a colorful character.
My guess is if there are infinite universes with infinite possibilities, as discussed in my previous article, then a down-to-earth version of Mario inhabits none of them.
He is an interesting story.
This is from Ballotelli’s official Web site:
Mario Balotelli was born Mario Barwuah in Palmero, Italy, to Rose and Thomas Barwuah on Aug. 12, 1990. Thomas, a metal worker originally from Ghana, traveled many hours each weekend for work, and was gone all week long. Rose stayed home with the children, who included Mario and soon three other siblings.
Mario was a sick baby who suffered from intestinal problems. The doctors feared that Mario would die several times, and when Mario was two, the family moved to Brescia, Italy. As is often the case, the story has some discrepancies at this point, but one thing is clear: The family was extremely poor.
Thomas insists that they asked social services to help the family and that is how Mario ended up living with Francesco and Silvio Balotelli. Mario, on the other hand, believes he was beaten and that is why social services placed him with the family, which already contained two biological sons and a biological daughter.