Penalty flops and flips, Grand Final memories and Parkour 3.0

This week’s roundup also features a 350-pound running back, paragliding with a twist and another terrible tackle

1) Riyad Mahrez submitted his application for football’s Hall of Shame, Penalties Blazed Over division with his launching of his spot-kick into orbit over Anfield on Sunday. He joins a select group of top players who mistakenly plumped for power. For England, David Beckham v Turkey in 2003 and Chris Waddle v West Germany in 1990 come closest to mind. So does Roberto Baggio in the 1994 World Cup final, with bonus Brian Moore commentary. Perhaps Jaap Stam for Holland v Italy in Euro 2000’s semi-final is the all-time classic of the genre, though.

2) Rubin Kazan youth player Norik Avdalyan shows Mahrez, Beckham, Waddle et al how it’s done with this astonishing backflip penalty.

3) Saturday, 6pm at Old Trafford and it’s the Super League Grand Final between Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves. These teams, near-neighbours, have history between them, as shown by this New Year’s Day 1988 encounter, or “world war three” as it’s known. More recently in the Super League era, they met in the 2016 final, with Wigan winning 12-6 and in 2013’s final, when Wigan prevailed 30-16. Warrington also managed to lose their other final, in 2012, to Leeds Rhinos. Wigan are going for their fifth title, having won the very first Grand Final back in 1998, beating Leeds 10-6, with this try from Jason Robinson the key moment.

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4) An Italian paraglider finds a novel and dangerous way to check out the mountain scenery of Il Bel Paese.

5) Joshua Bubba Johnson is the 350-pound running back for Calumet high school in Gary, Indiana who brings back fond memories of William “the Refrigerator” Perry, the subject of this rap-rock crossover classic.

6) After 53 attempts, freestyle skier Andri Ragettli masters a parkour course like no other.

Our favourites from last week’s blog

1) Another one for the “terrible tackles” collection: Sol Davis for Luton against Stoke in 2007.

2) If your browser didn’t support the 360 viewer for Alex Honnold’s free solo of El Capitan, here’s the trailer for the heart-stopping documentary about the climb.

Spotters’ badges: Stuart Mansfield, Kevin Dawson.

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