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Monday, June 25, 2012
Trending: Not even Loki can help England

By Bill Speros
Special to

You don't want to get Tom "Loki" Hiddleston mad, but he couldn't even help England in Euro 2012.
Not even the support of Thor's bad-boy brother "Loki" could keep England from being eliminated in Euro 2012 play by Italy via a penalty kicks. Sadly for his team, his "Henry V" call from Shakespeare went unheeded:

"Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard favoured rage" #England #Euro2012

— Tom Hiddleston (@twhiddleston) June 24, 2012

There is no denying the impact of Euro 2012, even when you fail to advance:

TV audience peaked at 23m, twitter 'choked' with mentions, newspaper 'comments' section crammed.....#eng matter. Even when they're poor

— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) June 25, 2012

Those penalty kicks by the soccer merchants of Venice, Rome and across Italy exacted more than a pound of flesh. Second-guessing came from former Manchester United star Michael Owen, who suggested technical shortcomings and the absence of his ex-teammate Paul Scholes were the keys to England's exit.

Easy for people to say 'until we keep possession better we will never win anything'. We are not as good as others at doing that.

— michael owen (@themichaelowen) June 24, 2012

Contrition was in order for Joey Barton, who has stripped of his Queens Park Rangers captaincy Monday and fined him six weeks' wages for his conduct against Manchester City in the final round of the Premier League. The move came a month after Barton was banned for 12 matches by the English Football Association for elbowing Carlos Tevez, kicking Sergio Aguero and trying to head-butt Vincent Kompany before being escorted off the pitch by his teammates.

I was reckless and deserved every punishment I received. Money comes and goes, it's not important to me. Losing the captaincy and missing...

— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) June 25, 2012

...12 games, is what really hurts. I was stupid and that what happens when u do dumb things. I am confident ill bounce back. Cannot wait.

— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) June 25, 2012

Up next on Wednesday - Spain vs. Portugal. No one is taking it easy:

Check out these photos from today's training

— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) June 25, 2012

Now, for a different type of pitch, Tampa Bay's David Price answered a few questions from his Twitter followers. As far as this one goes, we've certainly got nothing but love right here:

@DAVIDprice14 @Zing2525 and it's true, we get no love! #redheadedstepchildren

— Evan Longoria (@Evan3Longoria) June 25, 2012

School's out for some, but not for this NBA superstar:

Went and watched some basketball at Barry farms and @RiseAboveAll3 displayed the best pump fake I've ever seen, need to steal it!

— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) June 25, 2012

There are bigger thrills than winning a NASCAR race: ur saying I'm trending with Paris Hilton and #WhatReallyTurnsMeOn???So proud...Wait...isn't that the same thing!!!

— Clint Bowyer (@ClintBowyer) June 25, 2012

Sometimes you can have too much sunblock in Florida:

I have always respected authority... just received a citation because my window tint is to dark on my "Smart Car" Highway Patrol is awesome

— Chad Ochocinco (@ochocinco) June 25, 2012
If you see any offbeat and fresh newsy links from your favorite sports site that might be of interest to others, pass them along to me @billsperos or