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Even American Viewers Can Understand Soccer

As analyst for TNT’s coverage of the World Cup soccer tournament, Mick Luckhurst, a former English soccer player, realizes that he won’t be speaking to a well informed audience.

Still, Luckhurst doesn’t believe he’ll have to explain much to the American public.

“The game of soccer is not a difficult game,” Luckhurst told the Baltimore Sun. “One team is trying to kick it in one goal, and the other team is trying to kick it in the other goal.

“It’s not a very technical game.”

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Add World Cup: How did Argentines react to their team’s stunning 1-0 loss to Cameroon Friday in the opening game of the tournament?

According to Reuters, grown men whimpered during television interviews or cried out in anger on the streets of Buenos Aires.

“This was the most humiliating defeat for Argentina in all its World Cup history,” commentator Antonio Carrizo told his audience on the state-owned television station, ATC. “Not only did we lose to Cameroon--they beat us with nine men.”

Cameroon ended the game two players short.

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Trivia time: Who was the last 20-game winner in the California League?

Mistaken Identity: George Lanning has yet to win in seven seasons on the PGA Senior Tour. And he did not win on the regular PGA Tour.

But fans still hound him.

Tall, thin and graying, the left-handed Lanning bears a remarkable resemblance to Bob Charles, the New Zealand lefty who has been the player of the year on the senior tour in each of the last two seasons.

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“I get a lot of autograph requests,” Lanning said. “But only because people think I’m Bob Charles.”

Ignorance is bliss: Ruben Sosa of Uruguay claims not to be bothered by his team’s ban on sex during the World Cup.

“When you like football as much as I do, abstaining from sex is not a problem, you can overcome that,” he said. “But, by the way, what is sex?”

Money talks: Karch Kiraly and Steve Timmons, who led the U.S. men’s volleyball team to Olympic gold medals at Los Angeles in 1984 and at Seoul in 1988 before retiring from the team last year, recently signed contracts that will pay them each about $500,000 to play in an Italian indoor league.

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“We were as shocked as anyone that they made these offers,” Kiraly told USA Today. “I’ve been saying for a long time I wanted to help promote volleyball in the United States, and I hate to be thought of as selling out. But I guess they found our price.”

Look elsewhere, man: Said Steve Gutman, president of the New York Jets: “Mark (Gastineau) indicated a desire to return to football. We have no desire for him to play here.”

Standout: It was more than his height that distinguished 6-foot-10 Randy Johnson when the left-hander pitched at USC.

According to Johnson’s bio in the 1985 USC baseball press guide: “He’s also quite a cheerleader. He talks to himself on the mound, frequently runs around the infield shouting encouragement to teammates, and congratulates himself for good pitches.”

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Former USC Coach Rod Dedeaux described Johnson as “one of the most colorful personalities in college baseball. He always provides an exciting performance.”

Trivia Answer: Bob Knepper, who was 20-5 at Fresno in 1974.

Quotebook: Said publicist Bob Latford, after Greg Sacks had bashed the right side of his Ultra Slim-Fast Chevrolet Lumina into the wall during the Winston Open at Charlotte Motor Speedway: “That’s the best job of promoting a sponsor I’ve ever seen. He made that car ultra-slim, fast.”


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