Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing upon Further Review

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Morning Briefing upon Further Review

Article excerpt

You see a soccer-sized sheet of ice. You see a small, orange plastic ball. You see guys on skates carrying hooked sticks and goaltenders armed only with webbed gloves.

Is this the Neptune Hockey League? Nope, it's the 1995 Bandy World Championships in Roseville, Minn.

For the first time in 38 years, the U.S. is hosting this august event. According to the Associated Press, "One of the sporting world's more obscure events, the bandy championships have drawn sparse but slowly swelling crowds this week as word has spread of the talent and enthusiasm on display."

The crowds aren't the only thing slowly swelling.

"A bandy ball goes faster than a ball in almost any sport - well over 100 mph in these championships," said Team USA player PAT QUINLAN. "And it hurts like hell when you get hit."

In the last 18 years, Russia has won 14 titles. Sweden won four titles and Hungary - a humbled 27-0 loser to Kazakhstan earlier in the tourney - has zero. The sport evolved from a glacial pick-up game involving quick-frozen badgers and tire irons.

Just kidding. Some 27 journalists from Russia and Sweden covered these dead-serious championships and live broadcasts were planned.

Elsewhere in the weird world of sports:

UFR's Crummy Event of the Week came at the sporting goods "Super Show" in Atlanta. Numerous athletes passed through the "Planet Reebok" display to chat, through a computer via Internet, with on-line fans. Among those available Friday was Atlanta Hawks pylon JON KONCAK.

UFR's Crummy Event of Next Week will feature Olympic skater DEBI THOMAS taking on the American Gladiators in the special "Gold Medal Challenge of Champions III" that airs Feb. 11-12. Suddenly, everybody wants to be like LACE.

On the MARADONA beat, soccer's wacky misfit incurred the wrath of Argentine referees FRANCISCO LAMOLINA and JAVIER CASTRILLI by making some negative comments about their work.

He said Lamolina "was good for nothing."

Ouch!

As for the other arbiter, Maradona said: "Soccer cannot allow what Castrilli did in the last Boca-River game. He made faces to (Boca player) ALBERTO MARCIO and posed to TV cameras like he was ROBERT REDFORD."

Stop it! Not surprisingly, both men have threatened Maradona with lawsuits.

Among those ex-major leaguers threatening to come back as replacement players is 900-year-old GORMAN THOMAS, whose most recent doomed comeback bid came in 1986. Why would he risk permanent embarrassment and possible disfigurement?

Well, his bar in South Carolina went under and his only current work is a part-time scouting gig with the Brewers. "My heart is made up. Let's see if the rest of my body can catch up," he said bravely.

Oh. GEORGE FOREMAN is now the heavyweight champion of something called the World Boxing Union. Oh.

According to the Chicago Tribune, old-time wooden fishing lures are HUGE collectors items. At fishing lure conventions, some of the rare classics have been known to fetch $4,000 or more.

Here are some actual names of beloved lures: Hawaiian Wigglers, Hula Poppers, Pocono Minnows, Wiggle Wizards, BassMerizers, Waukazoo Surface Spinners and Bassey Biff Surface Single Wobblers. …

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