Morning Briefing upon Further Review

Article excerpt

The more the Upon Further Review staff thinks about it, the more we wonder if this whole World Cup thing is a good idea.

Consider the following soccer news items and connect the dots:

Last week in the English League playoffs, two players from Darby were assaulted at the New Den Stadium by grumpy Millwall fans who ran onto the field. After the game, a 1,000-person mob attacked cars in the parking lot. Thoughtless Millwall fans spit on television cameramen filming the incidents, reporters were attacked and Darby fans needed a police escort to leave the stadium.

It seems playoff soccer just makes people crazy. "If I had my way, the playoffs would be scrapped or else changed radically," Millwall chairman REG BURR said. "The people who were causing the problems aren't people who normally come here. They just come when there is a big match."

Thank god England didn't qualify for the World Cup.

Speaking of crazy, in a match west of Algiers, Algeria, referee NOURREDINE TERHKI issued a red card to Ain Boudinar player MOHAMED KORTI for insulting him. Miffed, Korti punched Terhki in the temple, killing him instantly. The match was cancelled. (Let's hope Korti gets a longer suspension than RICK ZOMBO.)

International soccer officials criticized U.S. security teams for installing restraining fences at World Cup site stadiums to keep fans off the field. The officials warned that fans could get bowled into the fences and crushed when crowds get excited.

Near Palo Alto, Calif., Sunday, a reserve police officer was killed during a pre-Cup hostage training exercise on an Amtrak train. Do you ever hear about hostage training exercises at the Super Bowl?

Now would be a good time to buy stock in companies that manufacture pepper gas.

Elsewhere in sports this week:

This just in from the Gatorade Science Sports Institute: "Apparently some athletes are performing at their best when they are highly aroused, others when they are deeply relaxed, and others still when moderately aroused." How this connects with the World Cup team celibacy trend, we don't know.

The stars of the Brazilian World Cup team are ROMARIO, RAI, DUNGA, BABETO, BRANCO and JUNIOR. Didn't these guys used to be Menudo?

Marion County, Ind., court officials have announced they will charge admission to the MIKE TYSON sentence reduction hearing June 13. No word yet on whether the fee with include unlimited nachos and soft drinks.

The Colorado Silver Bullets finally scored their first run. Somewhere, TOM HANKS was smiling.

From the UFR Gift Shop: OZZIE SMITH has finally hit the big time. He is one of 20 major leaguers this year to get his own commemorative coin from the Environment people in Chicago. Oddly, VINCENTE PALACIOS didn't make the cut. For information, call 1-800-299-MINT.

What's happening to our country? First hot-shot Los Angeles Kings owner BRUCE MCNALL implodes financially, then we get word that New York Yankees boss GEORGE STEINBRENNER might be going belly up. Maybe it's harder being rich than we thought.

On the other hand, America is still the land of opportunity. TOM WINELAND, social coordinator for JENNIFER CAPRIATI, apparently managed to sell his "story" to the bottom feeding TV show American Journal for $17,000. …