Anyone who still believes Germans don't have a sense of humor was all wet Wednesday after the first "BunDucksLiga" final, which matched five tiny plastic ducks and a frog in an inner tube in a five-lap race around a circular water course.
Each toy animal represented a team in the Bundesliga, Germany's top soccer league, which will restart play this weekend following a seven-week winter break. The fowl event began with three group-stage races last week and was carried on the official Bundesliga YouTube channel, drawing media attention from mainstream German newspapers as well as websites in Russia, Indonesia and the U.S.
In the final, Hertha Berlin edged Bayern Munich by a beak, nearly causing "commentator duck" Jon Hartley -- who in real life is an English-language commentator on Bundesliga soccer -- to have a nervous breakdown.
Don't expect the soccer competition to be nearly as close. Defending champion Bayern Munich enters the season's second half unbeaten, having allowed just four goals in 17 games while building an 11-point lead over Wolfburg in the league table.