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Friday, November 23, 2012 - Page updated at 06:00 p.m.

Sideline Chatter
An odd look at odds is poor panacea for Panthers

By Dwight Perry
The Seattle Times

Lucky: two Aussie duffers.

Unlucky: the Carolina Panthers.

Peter Hough and Jonathan Cook — playing at The Lakes, site of next month's Australian Open — hit back-to-back holes-in-one on the 136-yard ninth hole. Odds of doing that, according to the National Hole in One Registry: 17 million to 1.

The 2-8 Panthers, meanwhile, have lost their first 10 coin tosses this season — and made it 0 for 11 when last Sunday's game went into overtime and they lost that toss, too.

"The odds of losing 11 straight coin tosses are 2,048-1," pointed out Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, "or roughly the equivalent of Carolina making the playoffs over the next five years."

Headlines

• At Fark.com: "NCAA Division III team scores 138 points. Wait, check that — NCAA Division III player scores 138 points."

• At SportsPickle.com: "Big Ten changes its name to 'Big 64,' insists it's done expanding."

Bench not included

Arriving online this week, just in time for Black Friday: the Mariners' Holiday Gift Guide.

Prices range from $7.97 for an M's cuff-knit stocking cap to $8.5 million for a gently-worn Chone Figgins.

Vroom for improvement

Among the top 10 signs you're not cut out to be a race-car driver, from CBS's David Letterman:

• "You're only in it for the intensely vibrating seat.

• "Friends know you as 'Mr. Motion Sickness.'

• "You don't like to be rushed.

• "You can't even handle high-speed Internet."

Talking the talk

• Retiring football coach John Gagliardi, 86, to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, recalling his arrival at the Minnesota college: "When I came to St. John's, the monks told me there was a vow of poverty. I didn't realize that included the football coach."

• Ron Kantowski of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, on USC going from preseason No. 1 to a 7-4 record: "This is good for the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas. This is not so good for USC football."

• Lakers assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff, 68, to the L.A. Times, on the significance of Bernie Bickerstaff Boulevard in his hometown of Benham, Ky.: "You have to drive on it, it's the only damn street in town."

• Giants QB Eli Manning, to The N.Y. Times, on special rules for the family's Thanksgiving Day pickup football game: "The quarterback can't run. With us, that obviously wasn't a problem."

Go power

Microsoft's latest venture: a sewage-powered data center in Cheyenne, Wyo., and the possibilities are endless.

Just the byproducts of boxing press conferences, you have to figure, could keep Las Vegas lit for years.

Dwight Perry: 206-464-8250 or dperry@seattletimes.com

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