Column: Pig-ball a sign of things to come

The fact that soccer-playing Russian pigs exist concerns me.

The animals are catching up.

It seems like every day a different animal masters a human activity.

The Associated Press recently ran a story about a scientific report on a group of dolphins that use the equivalent of gloves when searching for food.

These Australian dolphins place sponges over their snouts when rummaging around the ocean floor to avoid being stung by bottom-dwelling marine life like stonefish and soccer-playing Russian pigs.

Just like humans might use gloves to dig through the trash to avoid getting gross stuff on their hands like pea soup and coffee grinds, dolphins don sponges to protect their snouts.

“Cultural evolution, including tool use, is not only found in humans and our closest relatives, the primates, but also in animals that are evolutionally quite distant from us,” said the report’s author, Michael Kruetzen, to the Associated Press.

Evolutionally quite distant like pigs, which the last time I checked did not have opposable hooves.

According to the Associated Press, Russia recently held a “pig-ball” championship in which two teams of five piglets tried to move a soccer ball into the goal areas.

To get the pigs to push the ball, the organizers covered the ball in mashed carrots.

Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? Why doesn’t Major League Soccer use mashed carrot balls or something equally delicious to soccer players like chocolate pudding balls or bacon balls.

Then the players would have a dilemma every time the ball came their way.

“Do I kick this soccer ball? Or do I lick it?”

Tough choice for man.

Easy choice for pig.

I’m guessing the pigs thoroughly enjoyed their little game of soccer. The winners got a whole trough of mashed carrots and the losers kept on practicing with the soccer ball.

The spectators certainly enjoyed it. They had so much fun the Federation of Sport Pig Breeding told the Associated Press it plans on recruiting pig-ball teams from all over Russia for next year’s championship.

And it begins.

Soon pigs will be endorsing Nike troughs and quenching their thirst with Aqua Secret, “strong enough for a man, made for a pig.”

Team sports were once the domain of man, much like protective gloves. Now the animals are taking over. I saw a television show a few years back with basketball-playing mice. An aberration, I thought. If Shawn Bradley can play basketball, so can mice.

But now that pigs are playing soccer, I believe we have a full-fledged crisis on our hands.

And there’s little we can do about it. As we already know from that great documentary, “The Planet of the Apes,” the beasts will eventually take over and humans will be enslaved.

It will get even worse.

Because once we’re enslaved, the animals will slather equipment with food products and force us to play unnatural sports like lacrosse and cricket.

And I don’t know about you, but I hate mashed carrots.

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