World Cup Final: Paul the psychic octopus predicts Spain to beat Holland

Posted on: 11 July 2010 by Gareth Hargreaves

Englishman Howard Webb referees tonight's World Cup Final but will Weymouth-born Paul the psychic octopus have a more significant say in the destination of the Jules Rimet trophy.

Paul the psychic octopus has made his prediction for the World Cup Final – along with pundits around the globe, tonight we’ll get the game, get the result and the end of a month-long football festival!

After the dust settles – one of the two teams will have created national hysteria and the other will have a nation in a state of dejection and spur decades of debate why they didn’t win.

There's no doubt the spectacle of the final between Holland and Spain will be good TV – providing you can tune out the din of the Vuvuzelas. I will certainly watch it, but I don't think it has been worth the vast money paid for the staging of it. Football as a sport, as a game, is out of control: players are grossly overpaid and overrated. TV companies feed this financial frenzy by paying billions – yes, I said billions of pounds, for the screening rights.

Looking back to my childhood, being a footballer was a job – quite well paid by comparison to the rest of us, but a job all the same. I remember 'THE' footballer of that time was the late, great Sir Stanley Mathews – a humble man who spent significantly more time in South Africa than the current crop of 'England stars'. Matthews' legacy training young black players in Soweto in the Apartheid era – funded largely from his own pocket – did more for the development of the beautiful game than all of FIFA's millions and earned the man known to locals as 'the black man with a white face' this tribute from Archbishop Desmond Tutu:  "on behalf of our people I want to pay a very, very warm tribute to him and to say that he would not have known just how incredibly significant what he did to our self-esteem... it made a contribution to people not becoming anti-white because they were able to say there are white people who care about the plight of black people."

I wonder how many of today's players will even come close to commanding that degree of affection and respect - not many I suspect!

Everybody likes the old ones!

A few years ago I read a book called ‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell. This was about the phenomena of how products or services reach a point of acceptance by society that they become a must have particularly by young people. We have seen this over the last decade with the iPod, the iPhone and now the iPad from Apple.

The example in the book that I remember most is the story about Hush Puppy shoes. Hush Puppies were made from pig skin and came into being because there was a massive supply of pig skins in the USA. At their peak they were selling 83 million pairs a year! As time passed sales declined and the decision was made to cease production. In New York a famous ‘rapper’ bought a second-hand pair of Hush Puppies in a charity shop. That evening he wore them on stage and created a new trend and sales boomed! The factory closure was called off and production boomed and is still going strong.

Well, Clarks shoes are about to get the ‘tipping point’ treatment after Rapper Vybz Kartel wrote a song called ‘Clarks’. Apparently Clarks shoes have always been popular in Jamaica and the rapper has 50 pairs of his own. Since the song came out earlier this year, prices have doubled and there are even shoe shop raids to steal them.

I wonder if the ‘tipping point’ will ever get us to revisit egg powder – I loved egg powder omelettes just after the war! I keep looking at the shelves in Sainsbury’s but never find those yellow and red tins! Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place?

Going down the river for your groceries!

Big announcement this week in the press that Amazon the online book and gadget retailer is now going into food retailing. So you’ll now be able to order your copy of ‘Winnie the Pooh’ and get a jar of honey delivered with it!

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