Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dr. Mabongo Wins Witch Doctor of the Year Award

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive
Dr. Mabongo, the German Women's Ski Team's witch doctor, won the prestigious Dave Seville* Award for Witch Doctor of the Year. He was presented with his award at a ceremony at Concordia University** in Montreal, Canada. Almost immediately after receiving his award, Facebook and Twitter erupted with posts criticizing Dr. Mabongo's award. Most people felt that he only won the award as a consolation prize for recently retired German superstar ski racer Maria Hoefl-Riesch placing second in the overall World Cup standings and getting injured during the first race of finals. Our intrepid research team analyzed all five nominees and we will present their findings. Let's find out what they have to say. The nominees are presented in alphabetical order.

1. Nana Kwaku Bonsam (Ghana): Dr. Bonsam was the witch doctor who put a curse on Portuguese football (soccer) player Christiano Ronaldo. Before the recent football World Cup, Ronaldo had a recurring injury, which Dr. Bonsam claimed to have caused. Cursing Ronaldo was basically cursing the whole Portuguese team. Because of Dr. Bonsam's curse, Portugal did not make it past the group stage of the World Cup and Ronaldo did not play up to his usual standard. On the minus side, the curse agains Portugal did not help Ghana in the World Cup. Ghana also did not make it out of the group stage. Dr. Bonsam has been hired by HEAD and will work with ski racers who use HEAD equipment.

2. Dr. Patrice Frederick Djibuku (Congo): Dr. Djibuku is the French Men's Ski Team's witch doctor. He was also nominated for the Dave Seville Award last year after his last minute heroics resulted in French ski racer Gauthier de Tessieres winning a silver medal at the World Championships. This past season Dr. Djibuku was also a favorite for the Dave Seville Award. French star Alexis Pinturault was third in both the World Cup overall and giant slalom standings and won a bronze medal at the Sochi Olympics. In addition, he tied for the most points in the super-combined standings. Pinturault's teammate Steve Missillier won a silver medal in Sochi. Pinturault won his first speed race, the World Cup finals Super-G, and teammate Thomas Mermillod-Blondin was second in that race. Dr. Djibuku also started the season in great form, with 9 men qualifying for the second run in the season opener in Soelden. However, the French men were not consistent last season, which worked against Dr. Djibuku.

3. Bela Guttmann (Hungary): Mr. Guttmann, who died in 1981, is our only posthumous nominee. Even though he was not a real witch doctor, his 100-year curse is a life's dream for every witch doctor today. Guttmann was a former football player and coach. As a trainer he led his teams to three Portuguese league titles and also won the European Cup with Benfica for two years in a row. After winning his second European Cup title in 1962, Guttmann asked for a pay raise and was turned down. He resigned and put a curse on Benfica, saying, "Not in a hundred years from now will Benfica ever be European champion." Benfica has been in 8 European football finals since 1962 and has lost all of them, the most recent being last May's Europa League final, when Benfica lost to Sevilla on penalties. After 52 years, Guttman's curse is still going strong and even prayers at his grave have failed to lift it.

4. Ante Kostelic (Croatia): Mr. Kostelic is the Croatian national ski team trainer and, like Bela Guttmann, is not a real witch doctor. But many athletes who race on his slalom courses claim that they are bewitched. At the Sochi Olympics Kostelic set the slalom course in the men's super-combined race and the second run of the men's slalom. A large percentage of the athletes in both of those races failed to finish on Kostelic's slalom courses. Kostelic tied for a bronze medal in Sochi for best witch doctor because of his course settings that vexed even the best slalom specialists. Slovak ski racer Adam Zampa was the master of Kostelic's courses in Sochi and tied for the witch doctoring bronze medal. However, it was later revealed that Zampa has no special witch doctoring powers that gave him the advantage. He trains with Ante and his son Ivica.

5. Robert David Louis Mabongo (Congo): Dr. Mabongo is the German Women's Ski Team witch doctor, though he will be working with the men this coming season. Using his potions, Maria Hoefl-Riesch won the downhill globe and was second in the overall standings. Hoefl-Riesch also won a gold and a silver medal in Sochi and was the only ski racer, male or female, to defend a gold medal from 2010. In addition, she finished in the top 5 in three other disciplines in the World Cup: slalom (5th), Super-G (5th), and super-combined (3rd). Her teammate Viktoria Rebensburg won a bronze medal in Sochi. But there are some strikes against Dr. Mabongo, which is why he has been criticized for winning the Dave Seville Award. First of all, Rebensburg was ill with a lung infection for much of the season. It turned out that her illness was caused by a curse from an opposing witch doctor that Dr. Mabongo was unable to counteract. Maria Hoefl-Riesch also got injured at World Cup finals, which forced her to withdraw after winning the downhill globe. The biggest criticism of Dr. Mabongo was that he was supposed to have put a curse on Sweden as a punishment for kidnapping him during last year's World Championships. However, Swedish skiers won two races last season, which led many to believe that Dr. Mabongo's powers are fading.

So dear readers, which one of the five nominees do you think deserved the Dave Seville Award?

And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive story.
The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: Our reporters always win awards for being intrepid.
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* Dave Seville was the singer of the hit song "Witch Doctor" with Alvin and the Chipmunks
** Home of Canada's famous witch doctoring program.

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