Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Fandom - ESPN Playbook [Print without images]

Monday, July 2, 2012
Animals are terrible at predicting soccer

By Patrick Dorsey



We admit: The sample is tiny. But when assessing the performance of Euro 2012's official (and sort of official) prediction-making animals -- in terms of choosing who would win between Spain and Italy in Sunday's final -- there's only one way to look at it:

These animals are terrible. The late Paul the Octopus must be spinning wherever octopi go when they die.

Take the above video, and Citta -- the elephant selected by Poland to be its official pseudo-Paul. Despite correctly foreseeing Italy's upset of Germany in the semifinal, the animal that never forgets forgot something: Spain is pretty good.

(Spain won 4-0.)

The other official Euro 2012 animal, Ukraine's Funtik the pig, also had some success. But when his big moment arrived, he went LeBron James pre-2012 and choked.

Funtik the pig
This is Funtik picking Italy vs. England. But vs. Spain, they didn't pass the smell test (ha ha!).

As for not-quite-official-but-still-making-news animals, there was Otter the German ferret -- or is it Ferret the German otter? (It's the second one.) This little guy was a homer for Germany in the semifinals, then overcorrected by picking the team that beat Die Mannschaft.

Otter 'Ferret'
Nice marmot. (Or, well, Ferret.)

And then there were the homespun mascots, the ones not receiving much pub but still making picks. Maybe the lack of a spotlight would make for more accuracy?

Nope.

Examples:

This dog is cute and does cool tricks ... but still took Italy.




Another dog, another Italian mishap.




Alibaba the Cat was pretty prolific during Euro, but fell short of getting the final right.




And then there's Smokie: Adorable, but wrong.




But wait! There's hope for animals! Maverick the Cat went for Spain! Sort of? We think?




OK, here's a dog who clearly picked that 4-0 result right.




And then there was Lin Ping, the panda in Thailand who messed up when predicting the final (it went for Spain-Germany), but made up for it by choosing La Roja to win it all.

Panda Costume
This is not the actual panda.