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TYT Sports everybody. I'm Ben Mankiewicz. We've done quite a few soccer stories lately.
I don't want anybody to think that has anything to do with me believing soccer has any place
in American society. It doesn't. Anyway, this soccer story is out of Bogota, Colombia. In
a game between Athletico Junior, my favorite Colombian soccer team, and their opponent,
Depotivo Perero. Obviously, a big rivalry game. Anyway, a defender for Depotivo is a
fellow named Luis Moreno. Jesus, let's go to the video tape.
Sometime during the game, one of the teams--I don't know which one--is heading downfield.
Trips, falls, some sort of soccer play--and you see there, down on the field is an owl.
Could you stop the tape for a moment here, Jesus? It turns out that owl isn't a mascot,
but is a good luck charm for the team Athletico Junior. Now, the guy I mentioned, Luis Moreno,
defender for Deportivo--he didn't know, apparently, that it was a mascot. He thought it was just
a bird, an owl on the field, because of course there are always plenty of owls on the field.
Happens all the time. But this owl was the mascot, and he came onto the field. So let's
continue the video and you will see what happens. The play stops because they recognize that
the owl, injured now because it has been kicked, is on the field. Then you see Moreno of Porera.
He's making a move towards the owl, but then he does something puzzling. He simply kicks
it. So the guys from Athletico Junior are like, "Dude. What are you doing? That's our
good luck charm!" They're obviously pissed. And Moreno is like, "I don't know. I just
kicked the owl. What's the big deal? I saw an injured animal on the field, so I kicked
it! No big deal!" So I think we have a reply of Moreno kicking
the owl. Is that about to happen? So here's the injured owl. He's about to kick it, and...
what is wrong with that guy? He didn't kill the owl. It was taken into surgery. I think
it had a broken leg, thought to be a minor injury. The owl had a fracture in its right
leg. Of course, it was thought the animal would recover--that was the opinion of the
veterinarian, a fellow named Camilo Tapilla. Everyone thought it was a minor injury, but
when the owl had surgery it went into shock and died. A bit of a tragic end to the story...
by the way, 2-1 victory for Athletico Junior but no consolation for the death of their
good luck charm. "I want to apologize to the fans," said Luis Moreno after the game, "I
wasn't trying to hurt the owl. I did it to see if it would fly." Here we go. He didn't
want to hurt it--BAM! "I just wanted to see if it would fly."
"What I wanted to do was get it off the field. The kick was a product of tension over the
game." The director of the agency overseeing environmental issues in Baronquia--where it
happened--was considering possible sanctions against Moreno and gathering information to
determine the level of aggression. I read a lot more about the story, and there's obviously
a great degree of anger there. Some people think he should be charged with a serious
crime; some people think he should be charged with ***. Big story there in Colombia.
We will not stay on top of it, and we will not tell you how it turns out. That's going
to have to be done on your own.