A small portion of despair and enlightenment delivered to your inbox every Friday
4 July 2014 ~

Before the World Cup, concerns were expressed about England players suffering from burnout at the start of the new season. The extra fortnight they've had off is bound to help.

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Vandra150Badge of the week ~ JK Vändra Vaprus, Estonia
The Cheeky Bear will be well known to our Estonian readers. Said to live deep within the deepest forests (not to be confused with the Approachable Bear, who lives in a Visitors' Centre slap in the middle of town), the Cheeky Bear surprises unsuspecting travellers who wander off the forest trail. Some stories have the bear alarming two orphans by running up and sticking its tongue out at them. The orphans never recover from this and finally end up working in hospital radio.

In a tale from northern Estonia, the Cheeky Bear crashes out from gorse in front of a lone female, telling her: "My magical watch says you're not wearing any underwear – it must be an hour fast! No, only joking, no offence…". It eventually ends up marrying a much older female bear who reminds him of his mother. Estonian mothers have long told their children to steer clear of the Cheeky Bear because he is a pain in the arse. JK Vandra Vaprus honour the bear, however, because it is a deeply misunderstood individual with a heart of gold. Cameron Carter

 

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Suffering from heartburn? Mexico's coach can help.

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People smiling when they see themselves on the big screen at a major tournament is nearly always annoying – but we'll make an exception in this case.

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from Ross Adams

"Away from the World Cup, MLS provided a contender for goal of the week, from Jack McInerney of Montral Impact, whether he meant to do it or not."

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Paddy Kenny lifts a heavy weight in training. But may now be sacked because he was born on the wrong day.

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Also in the news this week
James Rodriguez's wonder goal jazzed up by local TV.
Chile's Mauricio Pinilla commemorates his miss against Brazil in an unusual way.
Sepp Blatter namechecked at Glastonbury.
Toffee hurling in Korea.

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