Mystic Marcus the pig was perfect at picking England results in the World Cup until the semifinal loss to Croatia. And fans aren’t pleased.

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Who says England couldn’t bring home the bacon in the World Cup?

A psychic pig named Mystic Marcus could use a good witness-protection program after the previously perfect porcine incorrectly predicted a semifinal win over Croatia, sending Brit fans squealing on Twitter with utterances such as:

• “What a (bleeping) liar Marcus the pig turned out to be, snake.”

• “You deserve to be bacon #oink.”

• “Who fancies mystic sausages!”


• At “ESPN ditches its comments sections, unfairly silencing thousands of morons.”

• On Sporting News Twitter: “J.R. Smith thinks LeBron re-signed with the Cavaliers.”

Backdoor Cut Dept.

Ex-NBA player Charles Oakley was arrested on a gambling-fraud charge at a Las Vegas casino after allegedly getting caught on camera trying to take back a $100 chip from a losing hand.

Oakley apologists, though, say it’s no more than an over-and-back violation.

Envelope, please

Sorry about that, World Cup fans, but soccer’s save of the year occurred in Thailand, not Russia.

Hands team

In honor of the World Series of Poker, a formidable card-playing sports table:

• Antonio Cromartie: good for a full house

• Peyton Manning: avoid him in Omaha

• Joey Chestnut: count on a big flush

• Grayson Allen: specializes in trips

• Neymar: has no equal on the flop

Soccer to us

Facebook is set to offer Ronaldo $10 million for a 13-episode reality show, Variety reported.

In keeping with the futbol theme, critics plan to give it two big toes up.

Pass the Wite-Out

New Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper says he’s “contractually obligated” to keep a 13-foot-high statue of predecessor Jerry Richardson, fined $2.75 million by the NFL for racial and sexual abuse, outside the team’s stadium.

Here’s guessing there’ll be a huge spike in local pigeon-coop sales.

Roger and out $70K

England not only lost to 2-1 Croatia in the semifinals, but the team was fined $70,000 for wearing “unauthorized socks.”

Since when has Roger Goodell been in charge of the World Cup?

Circle the date

The Class AA Montgomery (Ala.) Biscuits will hold Millennial Night on July 21, giving away “free things without doing much work” such as napping and selfie stations, participation ribbons and “lots of avocados.”

So what’ll they follow up that brainstorm with, a special event for codgers called Get Off My AstroTurf Night?

Talking the talk

• Comedy writer Tim Hunter, on the annual Running of the Bulls under way in Pamplona, Spain: “And you think your commute has been tough this week.”

• Comedian Argus Hamilton, with a World Cup update: “The Russian team that lost to Croatia will now be known as Team Siberia.”

• Torben Rolfsen, via Twitter, on the best name in baseball: “If Pearl Jam were just starting out now, their name would be Mookie Betts.”

Pass the Allen wrench

David Beckham won some Ikea furniture in a bet with fellow soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic after England beat Sweden in the World Cup.

But Ibrahimovic might have the last laugh: Rumor has it the furniture came unassembled.

It’s a mad, Madden world

Another clear sign that the end is near: Jacksonville running back Leonard Fournette has asked to be released.

No, not from the Jaguars, silly — from EA Sports’ Madden 19 video game, because he’s unhappy with the 87 rating that game-makers gave him.

Extra innings, anyone?

Kevin Anderson outlasted John Isner 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 26-24 in the longest one-day match in Wimbledon history — 6 hours and 35 minutes.

“6½ hours? Hey, try coming up with your own shtick,” said Major League Baseball.

Phoning it in

The Indians blew a phone call to the bullpen in the ninth inning against the Reds Tuesday — the miscommunication resulting in the wrong pitcher entering the game — and it proved costly as Cleveland blew a 4-0 lead by coughing up a seven-spot.

Well, that’s one bad call they can’t blame on the umpires.

Costly turnovers

Ex-NBA player Kermit Washington, 66, who pleaded guilty to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in charity donations on vacations, shopping sprees and plastic surgery for his girlfriend, has been sentenced to six years in federal prison.

In other words, triple doubled.

Give ’em the chair

Okotoks (Alberta) Dawgs manager Mitch Schmidt, incensed over an umpire’s call, made like a former Hoosier basketball coach and hurled a bunch of dugout chairs onto the field.

On the bright side, though, the Dawgs are now 1-0 in Knight games.

Clearing the air

Jim Brandstatter, the Detroit Lions’ color commentator during the team’s 1-9 playoff showing the past 31 seasons, has been sacked by the team.

Well, now that they’ve fixed that problem … on to the Super Bowl!

Quote marks

• Mike Bianchi of the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, on the breakup of NASCAR’s power couple, Ricky Stenhouse and Danica Patrick: “Valentine’s Day in the garage at Daytona just won’t be the same without Ricky romantically giving Danica a dozen long-stemmed socket wrenches and a box of chocolate-covered lug nuts.”

• NBC Sports California, via Twitter, after fixing its camera next to the third-base dugout that the Indians’ Edwin Encarnacion shattered with a foul line drive: “Good news, guys! We replaced the lens. Now you’ll be able to see the 3rd-base coach’s butt in high-def again!”

• Jim Barach of, after Erik Jones won the NASCAR Coke Zero Sugar 400: “Remember when ‘no carbs’ in auto racing meant going over to fuel injection?”

• Janice Hough of, on Joey Chestnut winning the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog eating contest for the 11th time: “So who needs the World Cup when we still have American supremacy in eating?”

• Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg, after President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court: “So much for my bet: Justice Dennis Rodman.”

Old news

“As Bartolo Colon starts his outing at Fenway,” tweeted Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe, “the Red Sox coaching staff has more plate appearances against him (63) than do the players on the roster (62).”

They said it

• Bob Molinaro in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, on reports that the Dodgers are interested in trading for the Orioles’ Manny Machado: “That is, if the Warriors don’t sign him first.”

• RJ Currie of, on Serena Williams making her 10th Wimbledon final in just her fourth tournament back since giving birth: “Face it, she knows how to deliver.”

• Veteran Vikings fan Millie Wall, to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, on what it feels like to turn 100 years old: “Well, it doesn’t feel any different than 99.”

• Mets manager Mickey Callaway, complimenting ace Jacob deGrom for having only a 5-4 record despite an MLB-best 1.68 ERA: “I think the most impressive part is his ability not to worry about the lack of offense.”

• Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, not stumping for the Soccer Fan of the Year award: “Those in the know tell me that of all the World Cups I haven’t seen, this is the best one.”

Picky, picky

First baseman Mark Reynolds went 5 for 5 with two homers, a double and 10 RBI in the Nationals’ 18-4 win over the Marlins.

In other words, he failed to hit for the cycle.