A bear helped start match in Russia and we can only hope we see this at the 2018 World Cup

Russia, apparently, is on an entirely different level when it comes to soccer. In a third division match between Mashuk-KMV vs. FC Aungusht, a freaking real bear was used to hand the ball to the referee. This isn't a joke. A real bear, a massive, scary yet cute creature, handed the ref to the ball and also started clapping. Take a look:

What is going on in the world? I mean, this is awesome visually but who thought this was a good idea? I don't care who thinks this is safe because the bear is trained. Did we not learn anything after that Mastiff bit that Denver news anchor in the face? Not to mention this is not obviously a bear's natural environment and could border on the line of animal abuse. 

And if that bear looks a bit familiar, he kind of reminds me of the bear from the movie "Semi-Pro." 

(Warning: NSFW language)

In the end, this has to be the craziest thing you see all day. And this can't settle well with Russia president Vladimir Putin. You just know he's going to have to upstage this at the 2018 World Cup, but how? I think it will be with him being named to the final roster for the Russia national team or having this bear be part of the opening ceremonies with a Russia jersey on. 

Man, this World Cup is going to be bonkers. 

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CBS Sports Writer

Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

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