Outside Edge: Making waves in Tennessee

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The Independent Online

Department of Unfortunate Timing, Pt I: after decades of not bothering to give a name to their sporting teams' tiger mascot, Tennessee State University recently decided to put it to a student vote.

The overwhelming winner, due to be officially adopted last week: Tsunami. (Tsu for the university's initials, nami for... who knows, but probably not in honour of the popular Iranian warbler Arsi Nami.)

The idea has now been scrapped – something to do with Japan – and a new vote is under way.

No such namby-pamby sensitivities afflict the Iowa State Cyclones or the Miami Hurricanes, while the Colorado Avalanche ice hockey team have just lost their ninth straight game; the Calgary Flames buried them 5-2.

Department of Unfortunate Timing, Pt II: West Indies No 3 batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan was closeted in the gents when the first wicket fell against England in the World Cup on Thursday, and had to be replaced by his captain, Darren Sammy. Insert tasteless jokes about Sarwan being flushed with embarrassment or caught with his pants down as you wish.


The amount the BBC allegedly spend in taxi fares each week to ferry Match of the Day pundits Mark Lawrenson, Alan Shearer and Alan Hansen from London back home to Newcastle and Merseyside. Fare enough, or too much?

Cracking shots bring out big guns

Shortly after the England-West Indies World Cup match, armed police in Manchester surrounded a factory after a passer-by reported hearing gunshots.

When the shocked, and puzzled, occupants of the Power Star sports equipment firm obeyed the command to emerge, it transpired that they had been inspired by the game to play some cricket of their own indoors, and the "gunshots" were in fact the sound of the ball hitting a metal shutter. Perhaps they shouldn't have opted for a Power play.

South Africa's wicketkeeper Morne van Wyk could have done with a few loud noises to keep him awake in the match against India last Saturday; he missed three catches and a stumping, and last week confessed that just before the start he had mistakenly swallowed a sleeping pill instead of a vitamin tablet.

How dozy can you get?

Good week

Neil Nicholson and Kelli Fish, who on 6 August will become the first couple to be married at Lord's... Michael Jackson fans, after Fulham FC's chairman, Mohamed Al Fayed, announced that a commemorative statue of the late singer will be unveiled at Craven Cottageon 3 April... and Professor Splash, aka the American showman Darren Taylor, who broke his own shallow-water diving record by leaping from 36ft 2in into a children's paddling pool containing 1ft of water.

Bad week

Omega, whose digital clock counting down to the 2012 London Olympics stopped for six hours less than 24 hours after it was started... Cédric Enjolras, the president of lower-league French team FC Borne, suspended by the French Football Federation for submitting a written bid for Lionel Messi... and Lhotse Merriam, wife No 3 of the skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, who discovered he was having an affair with the wife of his best friend and business partner.

Sticking together down by the riverside

It's the Boat Race next Saturday, but for some truly international Thames action try the World Pooh Sticks Championships at Day's Lock, near Little Wittenham in Oxfordshire.

If you want to compete you can sign up on the day (see pooh-sticks.com for details), and the rules are simple: drop a short twig off the bridge into the Thames, and hope that it crosses the line, 20 metres downstream, before anybody else's. Eeyore's tip was to "drop your stick in a twitchy sort of way", and last year Edge suggested Tiger Woods might fancy a go – having ditched his mistresses, he has experiences of twitchily dropping wooden objects.

In the event, the 2010 championships had to be cancelled due to high water levels, so Tiger never got the chance to emulate Tigger. This year, Edge feels Manchester City's manager, Roberto Mancini, might benefit from some practice as struggles to deal with Mario Balotelli, though twigs as thick as two short planks are probably outlawed.