Outside Edge (17/01/10)

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The Independent Online

Geoffrey Boycott has kindly offered help to Michael Owen in his bid to secure a World Cup place. The answer for the struggling striker? Feng shui, of course. "I wrote to him to say, 'Look at this," explains The Greatest Living Englishman. "He needs that spark which maybe this can give him. During treatment for cancer I slept in different rooms, facing different ways... it worked for me." Always has been particular about his accommodation, our Geoff, as the note he once left for an expat admirer who had graciously given him free, exclusive use of a luxury villa in Barbados indicates: "Next time I stay here, make sure there are cereal bowls. I don't like eating my breakfast from flat dishes." Plenty of snap with the crackle and pop.

£8

Price of Manchester City's new "Roberto Mancini designer Italian bar scarf". Price of remarkably similar scarves in clearance bins at the club shop a few weeks ago: £3.

Nose job of the week

No sporting winners in the 2009 Darwin Awards, which salute those who have improved our gene pool by removing themselves from it, but an honourable mention for a student named Elbrus, even though he stopped short of the ultimate sacrifice. During a tennis lesson in Gstaad he decided to examine the inner workings of a tennis ball machine by peering into it. You're probably ahead of the game here – young Elbrus had neglected to switch the machine off first, and the next ball smacked him in the face, breaking his nose and knocking him cold. New balls, please. And a new conk as well. If Elbrus ever visits England, he'd be advised to steer well clear of cricket nets.

Good week for

Mo Farah, British distance runner declared fit to train again having twice collapsed after races... Colin Montgomerie, led Europe to victory over Asia in the Royal Trophy golf event in Thailand... Shontayne Hape, rugby league convert named in England's Six Nations squad... and defender Sol Campbell, returned to Arsenal at 35.

Bad week for

Tom Hicks Jnr, resigned from the Liverpool board after sending an obscene email to a club supporter... Harry Redknapp and Milan Mandaric, charged with tax evasion relating to their time together as manager and chairman at Portsmouth... Tiger Woods, lost several cars after General Motors ended their loan deal... and Cypress Mountain, a venue for next month's Winter Olympics, forced to close to the public to preserve snow.

Wizard Oz events of the week

A feast of sport Down Under next weekend in the run-up to Australia Day on the 26th. In Port Lincoln, the Championship Tuna Toss will see competitors flinging 10kg specimens around – though the claimed world record of 37.23 metres sounds a bit fishy. For kids, there's a Prawn Toss – no need to come with your own raw prawns, they're provided. At Mount Compass, it's the 37th Compass Cup, "Australia's only cow race", with each team consisting of a jockey and three "urgers" – for the cow not the jockey, we think. If that doesn't appeal, there's always the self-explanatory Dung Fling event. Difficult at first, but with a little practice you can get it down pat.

a.tong@independent.co.uk

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