Hold The Back Page: 25/09/2010

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The Independent Online

Squeaky bum time for...

Commonwealth Games athletes

It's quite literally squeaky bum time as the few athletes courageous enough to risk their bellies in Delhi arrive for the 19th Commonwealth Games.

Super Mario of Nintendo fame is the Indian bookies' favourite for gold, if only because he alone possesses the skills to cross collapsing bridges, dodge falling masonry and foil al-Qa'ida operatives to reach the finish line first. And he only eats pizza, of course, none of that mucky foreign stuff. Don't worry about the fact he's Italian and shouldn't be there, get your money on Mario, because if Indian bookies say he'll win, he'll win.

We applaud you wholeheartedly

Rugby League players

Now, it's not often in this column that men from the 13-man code come in for anything better than stinging criticism for their off-field exploits. But while they've seemingly abdicated their "When Sportsmen Go Bad" throne to the footballers, they've proved themselves fitter than their round-ball brethren and cricketers to boot. Organised by sports nutritionist Multipower, players from Castleford Tigers, Sheffield United and Yorkshire CCC went head to head in tests of agility, endurance, power, speed and strength, with the leaguers winning by a country mile. Brian Jacks would have had them, though.

And the stories you may have missed

Goalkeepers... mad?

"Rams star's garden art attacked as an 'eyesore',", screamed the Derby Evening Telegraph this week. Stephen Bywater, Derby County's custodian of the white sticks, erected an "installation" in his garden which he calls his "masterpiece" – and which incurred the wrath of Nimby neighbours trying to sell their house. But if Mark Wallinger can win the Turner Prize for a pile of bricks, then why can't Bywater have a blow-up doll, graffitied portaloo, planks and rubber genitalia in the back garden? Derby County "completely disassociates itself with this type of behaviour", apparently.

Watch out, Shaq

There's a new basketball team in town. The New York Towers, an all-dwarf basketball team whose tallest player is 4ft 8in, have been formed. Come on, there's nothing funny about that.