The boxing business certainly can be a dog-eat-dog world. That's something world champion Manny Pacquiao should know.
For Pacquiao, boxing actually is a man-eat-dog proposition.
The Filipino fighter, a champ at multiple weight classes, got into the sport while trying to escape crushing poverty. And what was it that finally pushed Pacquiao to become a boxer?
His father ate his pet dog.
"That's why Manny ran away from home and became a boxer," said his trainer, Freddie Roach, according to England's Daily Star. "He saw his dad eat his dog. The Philippines is a poor place; there's no welfare, no health system, and if you don't have a job or money, then ...
"Manny was 14. He was very upset, and that's why he ran away from home. He ran away to Manila and ended up in a boxing gym."
In deference to the Flip Pup, whom Mr. Flip heard barking while he typed, this item will not end with a little quip.
The referees will make you keep your shirt tucked in while you're playing basketball - though Mr. Flip still has a soft spot for those old Marquette jerseys worn with the shirt out - or the ref might T you up. But what if your jersey itself is a violation?
That's what happened in the Illinois state championships. North Lawndale College Prep had played 33 games, reaching the state semifinals in Peoria, when an Illinois High School Association official ruled that North Lawndale's stripes under the arms were too thick, measuring more than the allowable four inches. So the official told the referees to call a technical foul on the Phoenix.
"We wore these uniforms all year," North Lawndale coach Lewis Thorpe told the Peoria Journal Star. "I don't understand why this was not brought up before today."
North Lawndale had a lead during the game but lost by one. It messed up the team, one player said.
"It was in our heads during the game," guard Terry Johnson said. "I think it rattled us. Got us down and our confidence down."
Because nothing upsets basketball players like somebody telling them their uniforms are ugly.
"It was a personal reason for him," Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello told The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J. "It wasn't the team that prevented him from doing it."
His reason? It was the birthday of Brodeur's young daughter, and he had told her he would be there to celebrate it.
And there's your No. 1 reason to become a fan of Brodeur.
(Tips of the Flip to fark.com.)
Compiled from news service and Web reports by Mr. Flip, who stopped counting birthdays awhile ago but still accepts presents.