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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3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
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Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
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Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
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Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
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A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone