Outside Edge

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The Independent Online

A sack for Santa at the New York Giants Stadium last week, but this one was used to cover up Sondra Fortunato, a diehard fan of the American football team for over 30 years. Security staff objected to her Father Christmas outfit, which displayed rather more cleavage than is traditional, and was matched with fishnet stockings, bikini bottoms and high-heeled boots. "Bah humbug," we say, but the fact she was also carrying a sign reading "Have A No Guns Christmas", an allusion to an incident mentioned here two weeks ago in which a Giants player shot himself in the leg, may also have had something to do with it. The Giants lost 14-20. Serve 'em right for being such Grinches.


The number of women who disrobed for the 2009 Women of Curling Calendar, including Scotland's Kim Brewster. "It's not for everyone," warns a spokesman for 'The Curling News', who are marketing it. So modest. So probably true.

Reckless drivers of the week

If you enjoy being a couch potato, it's best to stay in the sitting room, as another American football fan, Mike Meredith, has discovered. He constructed a motorised sofa, powered by a lawnmower engine, which initially he used off-road for pre-match parties. Then he got ambitious and decided to drive his "Go-Kouch" to the Cleveland Browns stadium. He claims several cops waved him through, but one spoilsport arrested him for various traffic violations. In Pennsylvania, police were also not amused to find the Penn State gridiron team mascot, the Nittany Lion, driving under the influence at 3am. His name? James Sheep. A Sheep in lion's clothing. Or maybe just Sheepish.

Good week for

Chris Hoy, British cycling's triple gold medallist in Beijing, voted BBC TV's Sports Personality of the Year... Nathan Foy, scored a century as England's blind cricket team retained the Ashes... Sam Allardyce, returned to football management with Blackburn... and non-League Garforth Town, who will field Cafu, Brazil's most-capped player,at right-back next year.

Bad week for

Aiden McGeady, suspended and fined two weeks' wages by Celtic after a bust-up with manager Gordon Strachan... Mike Golding, forced to abandon the Vendée Globe yacht race while in the lead after losing his mast... Ronnie O'Sullivan, lost in the second round while trying to retain his UK Champion-ship snooker title... and the World Rally Championship, left with only two manufacturers' teams for 2009 after both Suzuki and Subaru pulled out.

Last-minute gift ideas of the week

Left it late to buy a Christmas present for the football fan in your life? Left it late to find a last item for your column? Help is at hand for both of us at catflapmag.com, courtesy of their annual trawl of club-shop tat. They say the Arsenal jelly mould seems appropriate given the club's wobbles of late, and how better to celebrate Gianfranco Zola's arrival at Upton Park than with a garden gnome in West Ham strip? Prize for the most poetic product goes to the 'Queen of the South Cup Final Season in Verse 2007-08'; prize for the most optimistic to the Chelsea toaster which brands 'CFC' on each slice, because these days the team don't seem to work very well at home when the heat is on.