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Something's been bothering us about the World Cup. We've had a nagging feeling that something was vaguely familiar, but we couldn't quite put our finger on it. No, it wasn't the rampant groping. It had to be ... the ball. Yes, it suddenly occured to us that the new soccer ball that FIFA threw into play for the World Cup looks just like the Shmoo, the Al Capp comic strip character from Lil' Abner that was all the rage in the 1940s and '50s.

Shmoo was a hit in the U.S., but moreso in Germany (just like David Hasselhoff). From

Shmoos were air-dropped to hungry Berliners by America's 17th Military Airport Squadron during the Soviet Union's tense blockade of West Berlin in 1948. "When the candy-chocked Shmoos were dropped a near-riot resulted." -Newsweek 9-5-49 (and 10-11-48).

So perhaps, we're thinking, subtle subconcious messages were at work when FIFA scientists designed the new World Cup ball. Anyway, the Shmoo has returned to Germany. And he's causing riots once again.

UPDATE: Actually, he also kinda looks like David Wells.

World Cup Ball More Advanced Than Your PC [Gizmodo]
Germany, Poland Fans In Street Battles [ABC News]
German Police Arrest Italian TV Crew For Groping Female Soccer Fan [Munich News]