McDowell fed up with yabba
Golfer Graeme McDowell lashed out at fans who shout out from the gallery following his World Challenge win this week. The classic calls of "You da man!" and "Get in the hole!" have suddenly given way to the bizarre "Mashed potatoes" line. "I'm kind of fed up with all this 'mashed potatoes' and all this rubbish that the crowd are kind of enjoying shouting right now," McDowell said after his win at Sherwood. "Keegan [Bradley] had a guy out there ... after every shot he was 'Yabba dabba doing' and it was just stupid ... It's not a lot of fun, and it's kind of becoming a little bit of a cool thing to do for the spectators. It gives them their two or three seconds of fame. But it gets a little frustrating for everyone."
Power of Hernandez
Manchester United star Javier Hernandez is so popular in his native Mexico that crime rates there drop and more women go into labour when he takes the field. Hernandez has been a super-sub for the Red Devils this season, scoring five goals in the league from just three starts and seven appearances off the bench. Mexico City top cop Jorge Carlos Martinez told the Sun the diminutive striker has a strong effect on crime when he gets on the pitch. "Crimes like car jacking, muggings and robberies go down. It seems even the criminals want to take time off to see our hero play. Also the birth rates go up." For the sake of crime numbers in Mexico, Sir Alex Ferguson might want to consider starting him more often.
Headline of the week
Goes to yours truly, who wrote a column that ran in APN's regional papers last week titled: "Five Reasons why the All Blacks can't possibly lose to England this weekend." Another example of the "arrogant" New Zealand media, as our British counterparts so gleefully put it, talking up the All Blacks. In my defence, they were all sound reasons which, if Steve Hansen had followed, his side would have soundly won at Twickenham.
The Carolina Panthers have one of the worst records in the NFL this season with just three wins from 12 games but that's still a better success rate than they have at the pre-game coin toss. Going into last week's clash against the Kansas City Chiefs the Panthers had lost 12 straight coin tosses so they gave their fans a chance to pick the call via a poll on Facebook. Remarkably the poll ended with a 50-50 split so the side had to made the call themselves yet again... and of course it was the wrong decision for the 13th straight time. The odds of that happening are 192 to 1.
West Bromwich Albion defender Liam Ridgewell was forced to apologise to fans after an image was posted online of him wiping his backside with a £1000 worth of £20 notes. The 28-year-old admitted the photo was taken at the start of the year after he won a bet against a friend and said it wasn't meant to go public. "I only intended him to see the photo but now it's public, I can understand how it will be viewed. I am sorry for any offence it causes," Ridgewell told the Sun. The picture was sent to the newspaper by an anonymous fan who said: "The people of West Bromwich earn a fraction of what this idiot earns yet he makes a mockery of his good fortune like this. It makes me sick. We've always thought footballers were arrogant, overpaid buffoons and this just proves it."
Strength and positioning
Gold Coast Titans chief executive David May has defended his decision to enlist a former porn star to help train the club's under-20 side. May hired Kortney Olson, a personal trainer and international bodybuilding competitor, as a volunteer to help with the players' strength and conditioning. Olson also happens to be the chief executive's wife. "Kortney did some things which perhaps in hindsight she wouldn't have done now," May told the Sunday Mail. "Everyone does things they aren't proud of but she has put it behind her. I'm proud of Kortney."
Sports punters thought they had stumbled upon the bet of the year on Wednesday when the TAB posted odds of 65-1 that Auckland City would get beaten 1-0 in their Club World Cup match against Hiroshima in Japan. Hiroshima (Japanese champions) were heavily favoured to win and a 2-0 victory was paying $6.50, so the 1-0 score line seemed like the deal of the century. But if a deal seems too good to be true, it normally is, and the option was soon suspended with the TAB admitting their typo error (the odds were meant to be $6.50) before cancelling and refunding all bets made.
Looking for a Christmas gift that will stand the test of time? Look no further. The Herald has a copy of Paul Verdon's Generals of the Rugby World Cup to give away to one lucky reader. The partially handmade book comes in a padded case and includes the signatures of the first five-eighths from each winning team. The book includes analysis and coverage of the seven tournaments and stories from each of the winning first five-eighths, photographs and full results from all matches.
To be in to win, just answer this simple question: Who started and finished the 2011 Rugby World Cup final at first five-eighths for the All Blacks?
Entries must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and must have "book giveaway" in the subject line. You should include your answer, mailing address and contact phone number in the email. We will announce the winner next week and include publishing contact details for those who missed out but would like to enquire about purchasing the book, which costs $295, plus $20 P&P.
THEY SAID IT:
"As the draw was being made, it was nice to see that we weren't in that group." - Richie McCaw on missing out on the Pool of Death, which includes England, Wales, Australia and almost certainly Fiji, for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
"What has happened... has happened by accident." - Waratahs coach Michael Cheika on the signing of double convert Israel Folau.
"I just felt there was one last push from me. The game and the day was set up for it, but it didn't last long enough." - Ricky Ponting after his 168th and last test for Australia ended in a 309-run defeat.
"It feels like we've been here for a month." - Ross Fisher, after earning his PGA Tour card at the six-round Q-school.
"My mum keeps telling me I should have won more, and mums are normally right." - Snooker player Shaun Murphy admits he has failed to advance his career after winning the World Championship in 2005.
"I've grown quite attached to these abs." - Former England cricket all-rounder Andrew Flintoff on his new boxing career.
"People think footballers just play a few games, drive fast cars and go to night clubs - we do so much more than that." - It should be noted Spurs striker Jermain Defoe was at a charity event when he said this.
"Hopefully I can win many more things - the Premier League would be amazing. The Capital One Cup and the Community Shield also." - Chelsea striker Fernando Torres wants to collect as many trophies, not goals, as possible.