Sideline Chatter

Fifteen yards for illegal use of a foreign object, anyone?

The Carolina Panthers are 12-2 since they began uttering the battle cry of hometown rassling icon Ric Flair — “WOOOOOOO!” — whenever coach Ron Rivera hands out the game ball after a victory.

“Who didn’t grow up watching WWF, WCW and having Ric Flair slap somebody’s chest and go, ‘WOOOOOOO?’” said Panthers QB Cam Newton.

“It’s awesome!” Flair told ESPN.com: “I’m a champ, brother, so I know a thing or two about celebrating victories! I’m humbled to have achieved that much respect by my hometown team. I really believe the Panthers have the weapons to go all the way.”

Headlines

• At SportsPickle.com: “Nick Saban admits he is enjoying seeing Alabama fans suffer.”

• At TheOnion.com: “Roger Goodell fired after another .500 season.”

Wrong antifreeze

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson got pulled over for DUI again — for the second time in 1½ months.

Apparently he spun out on the learning curve.

Heard in the drink line

The most popular beverage item at the Ohio State-Clemson bowl game was the:

a) Tajh Boyd’s coffee

b) Braxton Miller High Life

c) Woody Hayes postgame punch

Instant replay

Friday’s college-football scoreboard:

• Missouri 41, Oklahoma State 31

• Clemson 40, Ohio State 35

“Regardless of which bowl you watched,” noted Fark.com, “OSU blew it to the Tigers with a turnover in the last two minutes.”

Talko time

• RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com, on Serena Williams beating Maria Sharapova for the 14th straight time in what ESPN called the renewal of their “rivalry” in Brisbane: “That’s like calling a fly a rival to a windshield.”

• Comic Torben Rolfsen, after the SEC Network hired Tim Tebow as a TV analyst: “Not sure how much screen time Tebow will get, but SEC Network jerseys are flying off the shelves.”

• Steve Harvey of The Bottom Ten, after the 2-14 Texans claimed his mythical title for 2013: “The only thing that could stop Houston from losing games was the end of the season.”

It’s in the bag

Indianapolis avoided an embarrassing local blackout of the Colts-Chiefs playoff game when the Meijer supermarket chain bought up the 1,200 unsold tickets at the last minute.

Coincidence? Meijer gets credited with all the sacks.

Dwight Perry: 206-464-8250 or dperry@seattletimes.com