Sport Seattle, led by Russell Wilson, are favourites to win next month's Super Bowl

For devotees of the NFL, this is as good as it gets – the divisional round of the play-offs, four games pitting the regular season’s finest against four challengers already battle-hardened by victory in last weekend’s ever-treacherous wild-card round. And in 2014 there’s an extra twist: the prospect that one of the longest, most painful droughts in US sport might be near an end.

Letter: There's still steel in Sheffield

I LIKED James Sherwood's article on Sheffield's Devonshire Quarter ("A new friend in the North", Real Life, 5 December) but I react like Pavlov's dog when people say Sheffield's industry is dead. It is not. More than two million tons of special steels have been made here this year, far more than at the height of the Second World War. Sheffield provides the steel that has to withstand extreme stress or conditions. The steel is used, for example, in jet engines and landing gear, North Sea oil platforms, medical instruments and surgical implants, and nuclear shields and waste containers.

Boxing: Ali absent as daughter struggles for second victory

LAILA ALI'S second fight was much longer than her first, but the result was the same. The 21-year-old daughter of Muhammad Ali stopped her opponent, Shadina Pennybaker of nearby Pittsburgh, with three seconds left in their four-round bout on Wednesday night, watched by 2,000 fans at the Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort in Chester, West Virginia.

SPORT ON TV: The sadist, the loving father and a knockout end

THEY DO not care much for grey areas in the full-on world that is "Dubblyer Dubblyer Eff", unless you count the eternal question of whether the whole Lycra-clad shebang is sport or entertainment. You're a good guy or you're a bad guy, and there's an end to it. But if you think that's as much as anyone needs to know about professional wrestling, you obviously didn't catch Hitman Hart (BBC2) last night.

Official: Internet users can suffer clinical addiction

IF YOU have risked a significant relationship to carry on web surfing, or stayed online longer than you intended, you could be suffering from what is now a formally recognised illness: Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD). The syndrome includes a wide variety of behaviours, including cyber- sexual addiction, cyber-relationship addiction, and net compulsions, such as online gambling or shopping, according to a paper published today in the Student British Medical Journal.

US Airways bids for new route under open-skies

US AIRWAYS yesterday called on the British and American governments to "jump-start" their stalled open-skies talks by allowing the carrier to begin flying the unused Pittsburgh-Gatwick route.

MUSIC: PROMS 99: THE NEXT SEVEN DAYS

PROM OF THE WEEK

Edinburgh Classical: Neither spontaneous nor vulgar

JUGENDORCHESTER/ ABBADO

E.X.H.U.M.E.D.

She was the First Lady of Country and she was a survivor. She'd lived with drug addiction, depression and D.I.V.O.R.C.E. And then she died. What killed Tammy Wynette? And why?

Rudder fault caused Boeing to crash, says inquiry

THE CRASH of a USAir Boeing 737 airliner near Pittsburgh in 1994 was caused by a rudder malfunction, United States officials said yesterday after a four-year investigation.

Workers look to Labor for help

THEY WANT a 32-hour week, a national health service and the right to work to be made a legal requirement. Welcome to New Labor.

New world's New Labor to fill union gap

THEY WANT a 32-hour week, a national health service and the right to work to be made a legal requirement. Welcome to New Labor.
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A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
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Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

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Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

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Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
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International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

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Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border