Monday, May 4, 2015

Witch Doctor of the Year Finalists Announced

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

The five finalists for the Dave Seville Witch Doctor of the Year Award have just been announced. Four are from the sport of Alpine skiing, while the fifth nominee is from football (soccer to our North American readers). The five finalists are: Two-time Dave Seville Award winner  Dr. Mabongo, two-time Dave Seville Award runner-up Dr. Djibuku, Kjetil Jansrud's grandmother, former Bayern Munich team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt, and the Stone of Doom. We will do an analysis of the five candidates and then ask our Answer Man, who is really one of our intrepid researchers, who he thinks will win the Dave Seville Award in July.

The five candidates will be presented in alphabetical order and not ranked by the odds of winning the award.

1. Dr. Djibuku. Dr. Djibuku has been the French men's team witch doctor for the past two seasons and has done a great job with both the technical and speed teams. In 2013 and 2014 he was the runner-up for this award, though many felt that he should have won it last year.
Pro: Has done an excellent job with the French men's team, especially with Guillermo Fayed and Alexis Pinturault. Guillermo had a great season and was on the podium, or had top-5 finishes, in the speed disciplines. Alexis was 3rd overall, 2nd in the giant slalom standings, and won a bronze medal in Vail. Jean-Baptiste Grange also won a gold medal in Vail under Dr. Djibuku's guidance.
Con: The French men were good, but not always very consistent in both the speed and technical disciplines. This could work against Dr. Djibuku.

2. Grandma Jansrud. Kjetil Jansrud's grandmother is not a witch doctor by training. She is the official supplier of ojlmsfjaegger to both the Norwegian men's and women's ski teams. Grandma Jansrud is the first woman to be nominated for the Dave Seville Award.
Pro: Kjetil Jansrud was 2nd overall and won the downhill and Super-G globes. He was practically unbeatable in the speed events early in the season. Lotte Smithest Sejersted and Ragnhild Mowinckel were also starting to have good results. When Grandma Jansrud was hospitalized during the season, Kjetil Jansrud went into a slump. That showed how powerful her ojlmsfjaegger are.
Con: Injuries to both Sejersted and Mowinkel prevented them from competing for a full season.

3. Dr. Mabongo. Dr. Mabongo was the first witch doctor to be hired by a national ski team. He spent two years working with the German women's team and the past season with the men's team. In 2013 and 2014 he was the winner of the Dave Seville Award.
Pro: Fritz Dopfer had one of his best seasons and was very consistent in both slalom and giant slalom. Felix Neureuther led the slalom standings until finals. Linus Strasser showed that he is one to watch next season. Stefan Luitz had his first World Cup podium. Dopfer and Neureuther also won medals in Vail.
Con: Stefan Luitz was injured and sat out a lot of the season. Neureuther was ahead by 55 points in the slalom standings going into finals and lost the globe to Marcel Hirscher. It turned out that he was having back problems, which Dr. Mabongo could not prevent.

4. Dr. Mueller-Wohlfahrt. The former team doctor of the Bayern Munich football club is not a witch doctor. But his actions could qualify him as one.
Pro: He put a hex on his whole team and many of the starters have been injured. Somehow he has psychic powers and must have known that he would leave the team. His parting shot was to curse the team with injuries. Even Bayern Munich's trainer knew that Dr. Mueller-Wohlfahrt cursed the team because he was blamed for Bayern's Champions League loss to Porto.
Con: He basically bit the hand that fed him by cursing his own team.

5. The Stone of Doom. Yes, a rock is the fifth candidate for the Dave Seville Award. But if a dead person (Bela Gutmann) could be nominated, then so can an inanimate object. The Naughty Ninja Stone of Doom is just as worthy a candidate for the Dave Seville Award as the other four.
Pro: The Stone of Doom derailed Ted Ligety's chance for a fourth consecutive win in Soelden and also  ended his winning streak in Kranjska Gora. It also prevented Lindsey Vonn from winning a medal in the downhill in Vail. The stone was so stealthy in the downhill race that Vonn didn't even feel that she had run over it. Having the ability to teleport itself from place to place also helped it become a nominee for year's best witch doctor.
Con: Nobody knows what the Naughty Stone really looks like. If the Stone of Doom wins, how will anyone know if the real stone is accepting the award or a rock that's an imposter?

BB: Now we ask our Answer Man who he thinks has the best chance to be crowned Witch Doctor of the Year.
Answer Man: I think that this year there is no clear favorite. Dr. Mabongo was the clear winner in 2013 and it was close with Dr. Djibuku last year. This year could be Dr. Djibuku's year to finally win. Grandma Jansrud has a good chance to bribe the award committee with her homemade ojlmsfjaegger,  although the committee members claim that they cannot be bought. But her ojlmsfjaegger is hard to resist and she could become the first woman to win the Dave Seville Award. I don't see Dr. Mueller-Wohlfahrt winning the Dave Seville Award. Football player David Alaba may be the Austrian Athlete of the Year, but the award committee seems to favor witch doctors who work for ski teams. The Stone of Doom is setting an interesting precedent because it is the first inanimate object to be nominated for the Dave Seville award. If the stone wins, it could open the door for other inanimate objects to be award candidates. Does the award committee want to be conservative and vote for a real person, or will it dare to be different? I foresee a three-way race between Drs. Mabongo and Djibuku and Grandma Jansrud. We will have to wait until July to find out if the award goes to a real witch doctor, a Norwegian grandmother, a former football team doctor, or a rock.
BB: Of course we will have one of our intrepid reporters bringing everyone all of the action at the award ceremony. Well, we are just about out of time. I want to thank our intrepid research team for summarizing the pros and cons of each candidate and our Answer Man for his analysis of who he thinks will win. 

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: You don't have to wait until July to read our stories.

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