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Winners and losers in the world of sports

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IT’S BEEN A GOOD WEEK FOR LOIC REMY: The French striker was all set to join Newcastle United last week until Queens Park Rangers swooped in to pluck him from under their noses on Wednesday. But while his decision to join the Premier League’s bottom team looks surprising, Remy insists it’s all in the game – the EA Sports game, to be precise. The striker beat club owner Tony Fernandes at the FIFA 12 video game and said this swayed his decision because it “showed to me what a good person Tony is.” Well, that and the $118,000 a week plus bonuses he’s paying you to play for his club.

Philippe Laurenson/Reuters

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IT’S BEEN A GOOD WEEK FOR KOBE BRYANT: The Lakers’ 17-22 record this season may not be what everyone expected heading into the campaign, but it hasn’t affected the Black Mamba’s confidence levels. As Bryant told ESPN this week, his game “was complete” at the end of 2003, he’s never lost at one-on-one, and is the “best to ever do it,” Michael Jordan and LeBron James included. So, in Kobe-speak, what he’s really saying is that the fault for his team’s less than stellar record falls on Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and the rest of the Lakers’ star-studded lineup

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

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IT’S BEEN A BAD WEEK FOR MANTI TE’O: Score it A.J. McCarron 2, Manti Te’o 0. A week after having his national championship hopes crushed at the hand of the Alabama quarterback, it appears the Notre Dame linebacker could also learn a thing or two from McCarron in the relationship stakes. Like Te’o, McCarron also met his girlfriend online, but like most normal folk, A.J. actually wanted to meet her in person. So, while McCarron’s squeeze is now set to go from the gossip pages to those of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, it appears an erroneous appearance on the obits page will be the height of celebrity for Te’o’s “girlfriend.”

Joe Raymond/AP

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IT’S BEEN A BAD WEEK FOR PEYTON MANNING: Surprisingly, eight of the quarterback’s 12 trips to the NFL playoffs have ended at the first hurdle, a record compounded by last Saturday’s overtime loss to the Ravens. The Broncos’ quarterback has to take as much responsibility as anyone for that reverse, particularly when he disobeyed a cardinal rule of quarterbacks by throwing across his body and giving up the interception that led to the game-winning field goal. But as he explained after a Week 10 win over Carolina, those rules don’t apply to Manning: “When you’re in your 15th year, you kinda say, ‘Who gives a [expletive]?’” Brett Favre couldn’t have said it any better

Charlie Riedel/AP

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IT’S BEEN A BAD WEEK FOR JOHN ROCKER: As if the labels homophobe and racist weren’t bad enough, the former Braves pitcher outdid himself this week on the topic of gun control in the United States. Apparently, as our revisionist reliever informs us, the Holocaust would never have taken place had “the Jewish citizenry of Hitler’s Germany had the right to bear arms and defended themselves with those arms.” Strange how there are just some people who would better serve as historic neanderthals as opposed to real-life ones. After all, if there’s ever a good time to consider bearing arms, it’s when you have a dinosaur in your backyard

G. Paul Burnett/NYT

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