1) The 163rd edition of the Boat Race takes place on Sunday. The contest between Oxford and Cambridge universities has seen some epic battles down the years including a dead heat in 1877, this dramatic finish in 2003, and the chaotic 2012 race disrupted by a protester in the water. Last year almost saw the Cambridge women’s boat sink in ferocious conditions, bringing back memories of 1978. How tough is it to prepare and compete in the Boat Race? This tough.
2) Coventry City will make their first appearance at Wembley for 30 years when they take on Oxford United in the EFL Trophy final this weekend. They enjoyed happier times in 1987 when the Sky Blues overcame Tottenham in an exhilarating FA Cup final memorable for Keith Houchen’s diving header (the subject of this Golden Goal). David Pleat’s star-studded Spurs team were eventually beaten in extra time when Gary Mabbutt put through his own net:
3) At the end of last month, the hashtag #TellASadStoryIn3Words was popular on Twitter – none quite so tear-jerking as “Baresi final 1994”. Italy’s captain had injured his meniscus in their second group game, but somehow returned for the final, delivering a performance of absurd dominance as the game finished 0-0 after extra-time. Don that he was, Baresi then stepped up to take his team’s first penalty, wellying it over the bar, and when Roberto Baggio did likewise with their fifth kick, Italy were toast.
4) Chuck Liddell is a qualified accountant, the former UFC light-heavyweight champion, and a great of the sport. But perhaps his finest hour came in 2007, when he was interviewed on Good Morning Texas to promote the film 300; he had, you see, been suffering from pneumonia, and had taken vast quantities of sedatives, a deeply televisual mix.
5) In the history of sport, there have been few sides better than mid-80s to mid-90s rugby league titans Wigan. Here are the club’s best ever tries, parts one and two; here’s the league bit of their cross-code challenge match against Bath in 1996; here’s the best of the great Ellery Hanley, beginning with a classic solo effort for Bradford Northern.
6) Dara Ó Briain, the cricket commentator we need.
7) Gianluigi Buffon reached a landmark 1,000 career games last weekend in a World Cup qualifier for Italy – with a win and a clean sheet, of course. Here is the great goalkeeper at his best, and here is a look at Milan’s teenage prodigy Gianluigi Donnarumma, who has been tipped to one day emulate his hero’s achievement.
1) With a quick shuffle and swipe through the offside, VVS Laxman produces one of his best strokes during his knock of 281 against Australia in Kolkata.
2) Devin Booker becomes the youngest guy and only the fifth ever to score 70 points in the NBA – in a losing performance for the Suns against the Celtics.
3) Rainforest. Mountains. Caves. Snow. Ice. Desert. Volcano. Mike Hopkins takes mountain biking to a whole new level in Dreamride II.
4) Some very tidy rally driving, and some spectacular bits among it.
Spotters’ badges: Whobroughtoranges, BlackCaeser, HammerRed.