Mongo lives!

A soccer fan in Portsmouth, England, punched a police horse as supporters clashed during the Portsmouth-Southampton match

No truth to the rumor the puncher in question was dressed in an Alex Karras jersey.

Headlines

• At TheOnion.com: “Overwhelmed Dolphins GM asks players to please use automated email form when making trade requests.”

• At @SportsPickle: “Have to think we could be a game or two away from Odell Beckham demanding a trade to the Giants.”

Sports quiz

The NFL banned on-field pyrotechnics after seeing:

a) A flame-throwing machine explode during Titans pregame introductions.

b) Patrick Mahomes’ aerial exploits.

Excuses, excuse

Disgruntled cornerback Jalen Ramsey missed Jaguars practice three straight days last week, citing the flu, then back stiffness and finally paternity leave.

So what’s next, the dog ate his playbook?

Moving up in the poles

The NCAA banned Georgia Tech’s basketball team from postseason play for one year because boosters provided impermissible benefits to a recruit — including clothing and a strip-club visit.

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Which certainly puts a whole new spin on “shirts and skins.”

Third grade’s a charm

A study says 70% of New Orleans second graders can’t read at a second-grade level.

That’s what they get for having a “Who Dat, Dick and Jane?” reading curriculum.

Pass the syrup

National Pancake Day, in case you missed it, was Sept. 26.

Except for Cowboys tackle Tyron Smith, who spreads it out over 16 days each season.

Brown and out

Steelers, Raiders, Patriots, Nike, Pepsi, Pizza Hut …

Antonio Brown has played only one game this season, and that’s already six drops.

Just asking

Shouldn’t Georgia wide receiver Lawrence Cager be a basketball player?

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Heard in passing

How bad has it gotten for the 0-3 Miami Dolphins, outscored 133-16 in their first three games?

Even kicker Garo Yepremian’s ill-fated pass in Super Bowl VII would make this season’s highlight film.

Talking the talk

• Jim Barach of JokesByJim.blogspot.com, after Seahawks coach Pete Carroll needed stitches after an errant throw hit him in the nose before last Sunday’s game: “Turns out he would have been better off calling for a run on that play, too.”

• Patriots coach Bill Belichick, to WEEI Radio, after two of his players missed games this season because their wives were giving birth: “Must have been some post-Super Bowl celebrations. … We’re really pumping ‘em out.”

Hell to the victors

Michigan’s football team fumbled the ball away in its first three opening drives this season.

So what’s next — bringing in Lucy to hold for extra points?

Not so fast, my friend

The International Association of Athletics Federations is ditching the term “fastest loser” — to describe track athletes who don’t win heat races but advance anyway — because the phrase devalues athletes’ achievements and will replace it with “fastest nonautomatic qualifier.”

Hey, it was either that or … participation trophies for everybody!

Quote marks

• Denver receiver Emmanuel Sanders, to reporters, on the Broncos’ 0-3 start: “Times are rough around here … Living in a world of suck.”

• Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald, to reporters, on his critics: “I understand there are 40,000 experts on Twitter that can call plays for me. My email address is hashtag I don’t care.”

• Jack Finarelli of SportsCurmudgeon.com, suggesting that the NFL give Antonio Brown his own inactive designation: “The MUC List — the Mentally Unable to Conform List.”

• Greg Cote of the Miami Herald, via Twitter, with proof the Dolphins are no longer tanking: “Just released Tank Carradine.”

Ringing in

Snappy Twitter exchange of the week:

@TheAthleticKC: “ICYMI: Patrick Mahomes has thrown 36% of Troy Aikman’s career touchdowns, in about 8% of the games.”

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@TroyAikman: “ICYMI: Talk to me when he has 33% of my Super Bowl titles.”

Quote, end quote

• Jeff Gordon of STLtoday.com, on the jobs of GM, manager and/or pitching coach possibly in peril after the Phillies spent big in free agency and still missed the playoffs: “Hitting coach John Mallee got the short haircut back in August, so the team can’t fire him again.”

• Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com, on a likely A’s-Rays wild-card matchup: “Will they set a record for lowest playoff-game attendance?”

• Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg, after the Cubs lost eight games in a row to plummet out of playoff contention: “At this point even the Miami Dolphins are laughing at the Cubs.”

No soft-soaping this

Dill’s Food City stores in Lavonia and Royston, Ga. — bracing for the big Georgia-Notre Dame game Sept. 21 — pulled all the Irish Spring soap off its grocery shelves.

Good thing the Bulldogs don’t play Southern Cal this season.