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June 6, 2014

The Porter Report

Spirited away

PRYOR, OK — My early frontrunner for Sports Story of the Year (an award invented for the purpose of this column) comes to us from the African nation of Ghana, which will send its men's national soccer team to the World Cup in Brazil later this month.

The nation's foremost witch doctor, Nana Kwaku Bonsam, claims he foresaw and caused a knee injury to Portuguese star striker Cristiano Ronaldo, which is a now a sentence that has a meaning and not just a random series of letters and punctuation.

"This injury can never be cured by any medic," Bonsam, who looks like Wesley Snipes playing a cross between Bob Marley and Gandhi, said in an interview with a UK radio station. "They can never see what is causing the injury because it is spiritual."

Ronaldo may miss Portugal's June 12 World Cup opener due to tendinitis in his left knee and a left thigh strain, which could greatly influence Ghana's chances in the so-called and now seemingly not-so-far-fetched "Pool of Death."

Ghana will compete in the same pool as Portugal and the United States in this month's World Cup preliminaries, a scary thought for any fan of the United States men's national team. Each of the players on the team's 23-man roster has at least two functioning knees — knees that Bonsam could easily injure through his use of magic, if his claims regarding Ronaldo are true.

Bonsam (whose full name roughly translates to "The Devil of Wednesday" and marks him as a distant relative of the Devil of Friday, Rebecca Black) and his bad juju have no place in the world of sports.

International soccer's governing body, FIFA, needs to take a page from other major sporting organizations and outlaw all performance-enhancing voodoo dolls, spirit-summoning "M-V-P" chants and any other supernatural rituals designed to gain a competitive edge.

Until there are regulations on magic in place, like those seen in the Harry Potter universe, athletes need to be very aware.

You never know when you might get a common athletic injury that a witch doctor from an under-developed country could claim he sent you from thousands of miles away.

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