World Cup Digest — plus baboons!

Duty has called so this will be a hastily-crafted update. But suffice it to say, it has been a day of carnage for World Cup teams, with two stars going out of the tournament to injury.

Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba will miss the world cup after suffering a fractured elbow in today’s exhibition against Japan. Drogba is one of the top African players in the World Cup and his loss severely dampens the hopes for Ivory Coast to advance out of the Group G “Group of Death” with Brazil, Portugal and North Korea.

Perhaps you could now downgrade it to Group of Critical Condition.

The news also was bad for England, which lost team captain Rio Ferdinand to a knee injury sustained in practice. It’s tough loss of a veteran leader for England, just a week and a day before its opener with the U.S. But it may actually make England quicker in the back, something that could be useful against the American attack.

Speaking of which, a sprained ankle will sideline striker Jozy Altidore in the final U.S. tune-up for the World Cup Saturday against Australia. He’s expected to be ready when the real play begins, and his health is a key for a U.S. team already hit hard by key injuries and still somewhat banged up entering the World Cup.

But enough injury. On to the baboons. One reason to follow World Cup soccer is to read the kinds of news you don’t often get to read in the typical American sports reports. Consider this. Henry Winter, football correspondent for the Daily Telegraph of London, filed the following Tweets this morning from his @henrywinter feed:

— At Sun City [resort] near England camp. Sun rising but early-morning dip freezing. Baboons circling breakfast.

— Baboons everywhere, grabbing bread off table. Kitchen cats hissing at them & staff seeing them off with pebbles & paint-ball gun. Score-draw.

— Baboons just taken the lead — & the sugar, five sachets at a time, even the canderel, now sitting in trees pouring sugar down throats. 2-1.

At that point, exterminators rolled in to break up the baboon party, and led to a final Tweet.

— Baboons on roof now just out of range of gun-man firing small marbles. “I aim for the arse” says Mr Primate Control. Accurate up to 50 yards.

You don’t get that stuff from the SEC meetings in Destin.

DISCLAIMER: No animals were harmed during the writing of this blog entry. I don’t think.

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