If Fabio Capello starts sporting a new pair of designer glasses, we'll know England are in trouble; apparently he refuses to change them while his team are winning. The France manager, Raymond Domenech, has a rather loonier superstition; he doesn't like selecting Scorpios "They always end up killing each other," he says bafflingly which was bad news for Robert Pires and would have been for Wayne Rooney and Joe Cole, among others, if he had taken charge over here. David James probably takes the players' award for weirdness: his pre-match rituals used to include "going to the urinals, waiting until they were empty, then spitting on the walls". But then he is a goalkeeper.
The tip Michael Schumacher gave a German cabbie on top of the 60 fare after taking the wheel when running late to catch a plane. Sounds generous, but as he "drove at full throttle round the corners", the taxi will probably need a new set of tyres soon.
Boxing bout of the week
What is it with female lawyers and boxing? First Laura Saperstein, an Aussie who worked as a corporate solicitor in the City, threw up her job to turn pro at the age of 31. And last Wednesday, Ali "Boomaye" Battison, a private equity lawyer, took on "Luscious" Lisa Bauch of America in London. Extensive research (10 minutes on the internet) has failed to uncover the result; perhaps Ms Saperstein could post it on boxergirl.net, the website she has founded to promote the world of punching Judys.
Good week for
Joe Calzaghe, world super-middleweight champion, won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award... Frank Warren, promoter, was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame... and Ryan Giggs, evergreen Manchester United forward, collected his OBE from the Queen.
Bad week for
Terry Butcher, former England football hero, sacked as manager of Brentford... Michael Vick, Atlanta Falcons quarterback, jailed for 23 months for organising dogfights... David Leggat, Aberdeen bowler, locked in his bowling club lavatories for four days after door jammed... and Olivia Hislop, Kiwi surfer, suffered two separate shark attacks on the same day off New Zealand's South Island.
Website of the week
Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia, is a boon for journalists too idle to do original research. Caution is the watchword, though; reading the entry for Lee Trundle, the former Swansea City folk hero now at Bristol City, The Spectator was surprised to learn that "he instantly became a Pikey favourite with his goalscoring exploits, extraordinary tricks and astoundingly large belly"; that he "is now sponsored by Ginsters Pasties"; and that his nicknames include "Ronald McTrundle and Blubba the Gut". By the following day, these "facts" had been expunged; perhaps Ginsters put in a complaint.