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Monday, December 31, 2012 - Page updated at 08:30 p.m.

Sideline Chatter
You want flair? LeBron James definitely did as a kid

By Dwight Perry
The Seattle Times

LeBron James got his thirst for a lavish lifestyle from ... Ric Flair?

"I mean, when I was a kid, I loved wrestling," the Heat star told The Miami Herald after the WWE icon paid him a postgame locker-room visit. "He was one of the guys I loved, too. I think he's probably one of the creators of what we call swag these days, with the Rolexes and the stretch limos, and all the girls and all that stuff.

"He's like the creator of swag. Ric Flair definitely kept me watching TV."

Headlines

• At SportsPickle.com: "Rex Ryan names Tim Tebow offseason starter at quarterback."

• In the Weirton (W.Va.) Daily Times: "WVU loses bowel" (as in the Pinstripe Bowel).

Wrong turn

Someone in the Texas DMV office messed up and classified Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy as female on his new driver's license, his wife tweeted.

On the bright side, it's nice to see that those NFL replacement refs are finding gainful employment.

Excessive celebration

Neglected spouses, rejoice: It's finally 4F — Freedom From Fantasy Football — Day.

Talko time

• Country singer Willie Nelson, as quoted in the Port Arthur (Texas) News, on the perks of owning Pedernales Golf Club outside Austin: "Par is anything you want it to be. For instance, this hole here is a par-47, and yesterday I birdied the sucker."

• NFL referee Ed Hochuli, to Sports Illustrated, when asked if he watched any games during the officials' lockout: "I don't watch a lot of football for fun. I've tried, but I'm always looking to see if the left tackle is holding."

• Reader Reggie Walker, to DeadSpin.com, after the Belk Bowl on Thursday featured a 79-yard punt by Duke's Will Monday: "Why couldn't Jeff Saturday have snapped it? Why?"

• RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com, on the Jamaican legend that "mannish water" — a spicy soup made with goat testicles — is what makes its sprinters run so fast: "It's also what makes Jamaican goats run so fast."

Money Players Dept.

"Two players for the Texas Longhorns were suspended from the Alamo Bowl," noted Greg Cote of The Miami Herald. "I wonder if that was without pay."

Getting the take sign

Stanley Komins, 78, and his son, Stephen, 45, have been charged with larceny by embezzlement after more than $50,000 is missing from the West Medford (Mass.) Hillside Little League they ran, The Boston Globe reported.

Kids, can you say "double steal"?

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

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