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Aw rats, no tats

The MAACO Bowl Las Vegas has this year's best swag among the 35 bowls, according to the L.A. Times' rankings. Washington and Boise State players got to choose a combination of gifts -- including a 24-inch flat-screen T, iPod Touch, a Blu-ray player or Nintendo Wii -- totalling up to $550 from a list of 43 items.

Alas, wrote Steve Carp of The Las Vegas Review-Journal, "No, the tattoo parlor in the Hard Rock Hotel wasn't offering a gift card as an option."

Numbers game

The derisive term "47 per cent" will be forever linked to 2012 because of:

a) A campaign comment by Mitt Romney

b) The accuracy of Jets quarterbacks

Stat of the day

The Kansas City Chiefs have drafted 10 quarterbacks since 1987 who combined for two NFL wins -- none for the Chiefs -- according to Sportige.com.

Out of the box

A group of Italian chefs have baked the world's largest pizza -- 131 feet in diameter and weighing 51,000 pounds.

Wondered Tony Siragusa, "Can I get that to go?"

Magic Beanes Dept.

"New Oakland shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima from Japan says he signed with the A's because GM Billy Beane is 'extremely sexy and cool,' " wrote Len Berman of ThatsSports.com. "He does know that was Brad Pitt playing him in the movie, right?"

0-for-threes

The Bulls' Joakim Noah is 0 for 5 from the three-point range in his six NBA seasons.

Which is probably why the line isn't known as Noah's arc.

Still collecting sacks

The daughter of former Bears linebacker John Helwig has been charged with cashing his NFL pension cheques -- despite the fact he's been dead since 1994.

Possible penalties range from jail time for fraud to 15 yards for illegal participation.

Quote marks

-- NBC's Jay Leno, after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton passed out and suffered a minor concussion: "Apparently, she heard the Lakers won two games in a row."

-- Blogger Vod Kanockers, on the Bronx Bombers' aging roster: "Golf has the Senior Tour, and MLB has the Yankees."

-- Headline at SportsPickle.com: "Vikings to wait to donate Peterson to science until after Week 17."

-- Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, on the Mayan prediction that the world would end Friday: "Which means Ball State vs. UCF could be the last football game ever played... Naw, I'm still skipping it."

He's open-minded

Former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan told Elle magazine he has no plans to ever close that trademark space between his front teeth.

Or as NFL orthodontists prefer to call it, the A-gap.

-- McClatchey News Service

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 23, 2012 ??65535

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