So who needs the Olympics when you have the Russian Slapping Championships in Siberia to fall back on?

Just picture two sumo-sized guys standing a cross a table from each other trading face-slaps until one gets knocked out or gives up. Vasily “Dumpling” Kamotskiy, a hulking farmer and the Babe Ruth of face-slapping, made news by getting KO’d for the first time, but it’s no big deal, he said in a social-media post.

“Today I had a minor nap,” he wrote. “I was sort of sleepy today.”


• At “Gordon Hayward confident he still has his most gruesome injuries ahead of him.”

• At “Rendon joins the Angels, but in the good way.”

Flag on the play

Ten former NFL players, including ex-running back Clinton Portis, have been charged with defrauding the league’s health program by filing false claims totaling $4 million.

They’re facing potential jail time and big fines, but lawyers are already scrambling to plea-bargain it down to 5 yards for illegal procedure.

Hide the hydrants

Lane Kiffin can’t wait to get started after being hired as Ole Miss’ new football coach.

First order of business, veteran observers say, is getting a leg up on end-zone celebrations.

Incomplete pass into 2020

The best place in America to experience New Year’s Eve, according to a study, is New York City.

Except now there’s bickering over whether it’s a Jets or Giants receiver who gets to drop the ball at midnight.

Unfair advantage

The average American adult wakes up grumpy 300 days of the year.

Detroit residents are already two-thirds of the way there simply from Tigers, Pistons, Red Wings and Lions losses.

False advertising

Washington State plays Air Force in the Cheez-It Bowl on Dec. 27 in Phoenix.

Best of luck to those poor TV announcers trying to explain why WSU employs the Air Raid offense and Air Force prefers to stay on the ground.

Bowling for answers:

• Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: Shouldn’t that be the Army-Navy Game?

• Cheez-It Bowl: Why wasn’t Wisconsin invited?

• Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl: Should’ve been Auburn vs. Missouri.

Get me rewrite

This is the Year of the Pig, according to the Chinese calendar, though one could argue that Russian doping and the can-banging Astros make it seem like the Year of the Cheetah.

Gone with the wind

Alas, those reports of a Ugandan man whose flatulence killed nearby mosquitoes turned out to be a hoax.

Too bad: NFL scouts were salivating at the prospect of a wide-receiver prospect who could get such easy separation.

Paging Sgt. Schultz

The NFL vowed to take an all-encompassing review of its officiating procedures this offseason.

If that probe goes anything like the pass-interference reviews this season, they league will come back with a finding of: “Upon further review, we found nothing wrong.”

Stuck on the throne

Prince Charles’ office released a statement saying 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth has no plans to step down at 95 “or any other age.”

In other words, she’s the Tom Brady of royals.

Talking the talk

• Jim Barach of, after a Patriots video crew violated league policy while taping at the Browns-Bengals game: “They say they weren’t spying, they were just putting together a blooper reel for the NFL Christmas party.”

• Hartley Miller of Prince George, B.C.’s CIRX Radio, on a survey claiming the average American adult wakes up grumpy 300 days a year: “Make that 365, if your name is Bill Belichick.”

Making an end run

Laurent Simons, the 9-year-old Belgian child prodigy, is leaving his Dutch university over a graduation delay and plans to continue his education elsewhere.

He tried to enter the transfer portal, but no one offers flag football.

Spelling quiz

Which reform did the Scripps National Spelling Bee NOT make in trying to avoid another eight-way tie next year:

a) A more challenging word list

b) Reducing the number of wild-card entrants to 140 from nearly 300

c) Giving each participant a red flag and two instant-replay challenges

NFL quiz

The closest RB Le’Veon Bell has ever come to a 300 game was when he:

a) Bowled a 251 with the flu after the Jets ruled him out of the Dec. 8 Dolphins game

b) Ran over and around the Bills for 298 scrimmage yards as a Steeler in 2016

Quote, end quote

• Jack Finarelli of, pointing out that it’s possible for an NFL team to go 3-13 and still win its division: “Suddenly, having an NFC East champ at 7-9 doesn’t look nearly as awful as one might portray it.”

• Comedian Argus Hamilton, on a study claiming each piece of bacon you eat subtracts 9 minutes from your life: “According to my calculations, I died Aug. 3, 1847.”

• Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg, on the Patriots being accused of spying on the Bengals: “That’s like the Rolling Stones spying on Milli Vanilli.”

• Mike Hart of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, on the Bills landing in the Week 15 Sunday-night game against the Steelers: “They’ll give anybody a prime-time spot. Just ask Honey Boo Boo.”