But now, after putting our finest brains onto the matter, we've established exactly how the fleet-footed Mustelids have managed to outfox the Tory cull plans.
As you can see from the diagram, Owen Paterson, as befits a Conservative, has lined up in an old-fashioned 4-4-2. A formation that might have worked in the good old days, but lacks the flexibility and adaptability of the modern world.
The badgers, on the other hand, have adopted a much more intelligent formation. The overlapping full-backs - dependent on having the sort of fitness you only get by running away from big blokes with guns all day - are able to serve a defensive role, while also getting forward to help in the all-important midfield battle. By comparison, the left wing of the Tories is dreadfully weak, while the right wing is always in danger of running out of control - or even going off to play for UKIP.
The versatility of the badger full-backs means that they can adopt the tactic of reversed wingers. This employs a right-pawed badger on the left side of midfield, and vice-versa. Playing with a traditional "target badger" at centre forward, this would be a bad move - reducing the number of crosses. But in this formation, it enables the wingers to wrong-foot the Paterson full backs, coming in onto their strong paws to shoot.
The top of the badger's attacking diamond is the "false number 9". A "false number 9" is a central striker who lacks the normal attributes of an old-fashioned centre forward. Since a badger is about two feet tall, quadrupedal and good at digging, it has very few of these attributes - hairiness being the only possibility. Instead of crashing into the box and putting his head in where it hurts, the false number 9 badger is more likely to drop off, hoping to pick up the ball from the midfielders and sett up somebody else.
So, in a nutshell, that's the tactical analysis of how the badgers upset the odds, through intelligent tactics and looking a bit like Newcastle United. But as they say, the season's a marathon and not a sprint. We'll need to wait and see what Paterson brings in during the transfer window. Probably the army, we reckon.