Outside Edge: 15/03/2009

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The Independent Online

Jose Mourinho's visit to Old Trafford last week with Internazionale resulted in a 2-0 defeat. But did it also result in the manager biffing a home supporter as he made for the team bus? No way, say Jose and Inter, but police say they "are investigating an allegation of common assault".

Can't be true, then – there's nothing common about the Special One. In the past, at least one Manchester United manager has been on the receiving end; Tommy Docherty was once attacked on a train by a rival supporter, leading one would-be humourist to comment that it was the first case he'd heard of the fan hitting the shit. But did the assailant really mean it, or was he just going through the motions?

2 tons of breakfast cereal in boxes featuring swimming's bong-wielding wunderkind Michael Phelps that Kellogg's donated to charity last week. A spokesman said the firm routinely donated food that was nearing the end of its shelf life. As, possibly, is Phelps himself.

Beastly activities of the week

Animal wrestling is seemingly all the rage. Hollywood's Hard Rock Casino has just staged a deep-water alligator-wrestling competition – no namby-pamby shallow-water action for these boys – while in north-western Spain, the "Rapa das Bestas" season will soon be upon us. (Calm down: "rapa" means "shearing"). The locals like nothing better, apparently, than grappling unbroken horses to the ground before cutting off their manes. Why? Who knows, though we wouldn't mind getting our hands on a couple of nags who let us down at Cheltenham last week. Next week, if nothing better turns up, we'll be reporting on jelly-wrestling in Antarctica. Food for thought indeed.

Good week for...

Laura Marsh, took 5 for 15 as England closed in on the Women's World Cup final... Steve Davis, who won the last of his six snooker World Championship titles in 1989, qualified for this year's event... and Paul Drinkhall won a clean sweep of senior titles at the English National Table Tennis Championships, plus the U-21 singles crown.

Bad week for...

Victor Anichebe, Everton's striker out for the season through injury, challenged by police and saw his friend handcuffed as they looked at a jeweller's window display... Bradley Wiggins, double Olympic pursuit cycling champion, withdrew from the Paris-Nice race to attend a family funeral... and the McLaren F1 team, struggled for pace during pre-season testing in Barcelona.

Shouting chances of the week

If you want to help your team at home, start shouting. Researchers at Florida State University asked referees to officiate videotapes of football games, and found that those who watched matches with the sound on were more anxious and awarded 21 per cent fewer fouls to the home side than those who couldn't hear the crowd. And Ryan Boyko of the University of California analysed 5,000 League games in England and found that for every 10,000 fans, the home side's advantage increased by a tenth of a goal. When the home fans start booing David Beckham on his return to LA Galaxy, expect the odds to change.

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