LEFTOVERS: Pacquiao still giant attraction

Anyone who follows Manny Pacquiao knows the eight-time world champion boxer is religious and always puts God first. So is it any surprise Pacquiao went to the Bible in talking up Saturday’s fight in Macau with Brandon Rios?

Talking to reporters Tuesday after his arrival from the Philippines for the fight, Pacquiao made mention that Rios is taller than he is and this might be boxing’s version of David vs. Goliath.

“Am I confident for my fight with Rios? I am more than confident,” Pacquiao said. “Rios is bigger than me. Remember Goliath was bigger than David, and yet David needed just one stone to fell the giant.”

Truth is, Pacquiao is the giant in this fight. He is the bigger attraction. He’ll have the most support. He’s getting paid much more than Rios ($18 million to $3 million).

So who’s the true Goliath?

■ ICELAND RIPOFF — In its quest to dominate the world of soccer, the United States apparently will leave no stone unturned. It will go to all ends of the earth, even Iceland, to find talent.

Aron Johannsson is a 22-year-old striker and Icelandic national who plays for AZ Alkmaar. But he was born in Alabama, which makes him eligible for the U.S. national team. On Monday, Johannsson announced on his Facebook page that he’s going to play for the USA.

That’s not sitting well with Iceland’s soccer federation. He received his soccer education in Iceland, and he’s played there most of his life. But FIFA, the sport’s governing body, allows players to switch allegiances, and since Johannsson was born in the U.S., he can switch.

But it begs the question: Are we hurting that much in soccer that we have to go to Iceland to broaden our player pool? Shouldn’t we throw the Icelanders a bone and let Johannsson play for them? After all, we already got the pop group Of Monsters and Men from Iceland. That should be more than enough.

■ NICE ICE — Christmas is coming, and for the Chicago Blackhawks fan in your life, the team has the perfect gift: some United Center ice from last season’s Stanley Cup championship run.

Well, it allegedly was ice at some point. The team is selling vials of what was the ice for $99 (plus shipping and handling of course). The “ice” comes in a collectible leatherette box with a certificate of authenticity (naturally). Proceeds from the 2013 vials (cute, eh? 2013 to commemorate the year the ’Hawks won the Cup) go to Chicago Blackhawks Charities.

And if that doesn’t work for you, there’s always the Jonathan Toews snuggie (We’re not kidding), which retails for $26.99.

■ TOXIC TEBOW — The Jersey City, N.J., city hall was evacuated briefly Monday after a letter addressed to the mayor was found to have white powder within its contents, as well as a photo of onetime New York Jet Tim Tebow.

An alert aide to Mayor Steven Fulop intercepted the letter, and the powder proved to be harmless.

But Tebow, who hasn’t hooked up with an NFL team since the New England Patriots released him in the preseason, remains a toxic commodity.

His value has been reduced to threatening mayors.


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