Berlin: The ode to Paul the Octopus is complete. Talismanic is certainly an overused word (have you ever seen it used more than in soccer stories, mostly from across the sea?), but it seems it applies to Paul, at least in the mind of soccer-crazed Germans.
On Thursday in Oberhausen, Germany, the tentacled star of last summer's World Cup was immortalized, so to speak, with the unveiling of a six-foot high plastic replica of the octopus engulfing a soccer ball.
The cephalopod gained nearly worldwide attention last summer when he correctly predicted the result of all seven of Germany's games at the World Cup in South Africa. He also correctly picked Spain over the Netherlands in the World Cup final. He even inspired a song.
It was serendipity under the sea (actually in an aquarium tank in Oberhausen, Germany) when Paul was presented with two boxes that each had a mussel inside with a team flag. His first meal was anointed as Paul's pick.
Paul died three months ago. His remains were cremated and are part of the "memorial" exhibit at the Sea Life aquarium.
So if Germany had its octopus, which critter should the United States latch on to?
Or how about Major League Soccer, which drafted a dolphin named Chesapeake at the National Aquarium and had it attempt to predict the No. 1 overall pick in last week's SuperDraft in Baltimore. Chesapeake settled on A.J. Soares as the top pick, but probably will not end up with his own TV show ... because New England picked Soares with the sixth pick over all!