So why did the chicken cross the rugby field? To tackle the streaker, of course.

A nekkid interloper in New Zealand got quite a shock when AJ the Chicken — the Otago Highlanders’ costumed mascot — ran him down and tackled him during last Saturday’s match against the Auckland Blues.

No big deal, said AJ — Andrew James in real life.

“Being a chicken mascot, I’ve got a lot of pride,” AJ told 3 News. “It was for the team, the supporters and the stadium. A couple of the Highlanders were pretty stoked with the effort.”

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• At “Report: Baseball to punish A-Rod by making him play baseball in public.”

• At “Dwight Howard proposes that entire city of L.A. leave instead.”

Letter head

A Colorado Rockies fan got his hair dyed purple with “Tulowitzki” painted on it.

Here’s hoping he wasn’t charged by the letter.

Excuses, excuses

Among the top 10 Alex Rodriguez excuses, from CBS’s David Letterman:

• “Would’ve made better decisions if I wasn’t high on deer-antler spray.

• “It was a cry for help — like dating Madonna.

• “Asked myself, ‘What would Lance Armstrong do?’ ”

Scoreless in Seattle

Friday, in case you missed it, is National Doughnut Day.

The Mariners and White Sox celebrated two days early, playing 13 innings of 0-0 ball.

Pass the popcorn

“The Purge,” opening in theaters Friday, revolves around:

a) A futuristic world in which all crimes are legal for 12 hours.

b) The Raiders, coming off a 2-14 season, show they mean business by firing their PR director.

Talking the talk

• Greg Cote of The Miami Herald, on NFL teams’ so-called Organized Team Activity days: “I love that phrase. Makes it sound like summer camp and today they’re all making log cabins out of Popsicle sticks.”

• Blogger Chad Picasner, rounding up the latest baseball news: “The good, the bad and the druggies.”

• AP’s Steven Wine, on all the grunting during the Maria Sharapova-Victoria Azarenka semifinal at the French Open: “They sounded as if they were pushing a stalled Peugeot across lanes of traffic in the Arc de Triomphe.”

Smoking section

Police in Rocky River, Ohio, are investigating after a package containing marijuana was delivered to the home of Indians closer Chris Perez.

Team officials became suspicious when Perez kept asking the batboy for another rosin baggie.

Dwight Perry: 206-464-8250 or