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Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Trending: Mike the Tiger, Torres, Howard

By Bill Speros
Special to

Mike the Tiger put RG III in the LSU backfield and a young boy in Ohio slotted Desmond Howard in the Buckeye offense during a couple of new spots promoting EA Sports NCAA Football 2013. But this Heisman Trophy winner’s transaction just might be considered a felony in Georgia, or at the very least make fans in Athens and Gainesville sick to their stomachs:

Meanwhile, Mike's newfound fame on You Tube has left LSU coach Les Miles just a bit envious, but with his sense of humor intact:

EA sports commercial......Mike the Tiger!Is A MASCOT !!!It bothers me ! I cant help it! I just.. I just need to let it Geaux!

— Les Miles (@LSUCoachMiles) July 3, 2012
The coach also issued this veiled warning to another famous first-name feline, who's grrrrrreat in his own right:

Mike the Tiger took acting lessons,it payed off!! Expect Mike to sign multiple year deal.A major corn flakes cereal.Six figures+ incentives!

— Les Miles (@LSUCoachMiles) July 3, 2012

Mixed emotions came via Twitter as the final roster of the U.S. Olympic swim team was finalized Monday. Five-time Olympian Dara Torres, 45, will be watching the Games from her Florida home, missing in her bid to compete in the 50-meter freestyle event by nine-hundredths of a second:

Well, I gave it everything I've got & left no stones unturned. Time to cheer on all the amazing USA swimmers heading to London! #soproud

— Dara Torres (@DaraTorres) July 3, 2012
Swimmer Ricky Berens learned about his spot in the 200-meter individual freestyle race when Michael Phelps' coach Bob Bowman tweeted news that Phelps was skipping that race:

WAIT WHAT!!!! RT @coach_bowman: @MichaelPhelps will be removing the individual 200 freestyle from his Olympic program.

— Ricky Berens (@RickyBerens) July 2, 2012

People pay thousands of dollars for the honor of carrying the Olympic torch, but these kids in Coventry, England, figured they'd try to do it on the cheap in this video via ITN:

At least those kids didn't cross paths with French runner Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad. The Algerian-born athlete won the gold in the European Championship's 3000 meter steeplechase in Helsinki and then marked his victory by shoving the event's mascot "Appy" (played by a 14-year-old girl) after smacking a gift-bag out of its hands:

Dwight Howard may or may not end up in Brooklyn, but some New York basketball fans are already making their choice:

@Sean_Malcolm Couldn't have said it any better ourselves, Sean - see you've made the right choice.

— Brooklyn Nets (@brooklynnets) July 3, 2012

Bryce Harper, who says he is voting for Chipper Jones for the final National League All-Star spot, got some support of his own from a Washingtonian in a different league:

Help send Bryce Harper of the @Nationals to the MLB All-Star Game via the #FinalVote... Vote at #BryceIn12!!

— John Wall (@John_Wall) July 3, 2012

Residents across the Northeast are still wrestling with power outages and storm damage from last weekend's vicious weather. Free-agent center and former-Hoya Roy Hibbert notes the loss of a personal landmark in Washington's Georgetown neighborhood:

Down goes the big tree on prospect st in gtown. Storm tore that thing down. Wow!…

— Roy Hibbert (@Hoya2aPacer) July 2, 2012

The tree held some special memories for Hibbert, which he shared with Twitter pal and fellow comedy writer Chelsea Perettl:

@Hoya2aPacer I'm sorry for your loss and for the collective loss of that community of drunks ~~~rip tree~~~

— Chelsea Peretti (@ChelseaVPeretti) July 2, 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