TALK OF THE TOWN? : How Others Pick the America's Cup

Dick Vitale, ESPN College Basketball Analyst

"Stars and Stripes? Oh, that's right, America 3. I gotta go with America 3. NO QUESTION! They're going to be awesome, baby , with a capital A! It's going to be celebration time, jubilation time for Mr. K, Mr. Koch. Over in six. It will be crying time and celebrating time."

Tony Gwynn, Padre right fielder

"Come on, what kind of stupid question is that. The race is in our town, in our waters, for our country. What am I supposed to say, 'The Italians.' Come on, America 3 in five."

Craig Lefferts, Padre right fielder

"No contest. America 3 in five. It's a lock."

David Lowery, San Diego State quarterback

"It's America 3 and Italy, right? I'm going to go with America 3; I'd say in six. I've gotta go with my countrymen."

Selene, an assistant to Mayor Ugo Bergamo of Venice, Italy

"America's Cup? We do good, no?"

Joe Rollo, bartender, the Beachcomber in Mission Beach

"Some lawyer is going to win and thus I and the rest of America don't care. They'll prey on yours and mine patriotism to further their own glory."

Tony Petricca, owner of Petricca's Restraurant

"(We Italians) are going to win. No question. The Italians, of course. Italians have been sailing for years. This is the 500th year of Christopher Columbus. We got it in the bag."

Isadoro Balistreri, owner of The Godfather Restaurant

"The Italians. What a question. Better organization. I don't want to say more intelligent. (But) I think they're like me, they like to win. OK."

Don Waddell, general manager-coach of the Gulls

"I look at it like I view other sports. Any time you're in your own back yard, you have to have the advantage. Look at any home record. I have to view America 3 the same. They're at home so they have an advantage right off the bat."

Jeanie Buss, wife of pro volleyball player Steve Timmons and daughter of Laker owner Jerry Buss

"Steve plays on a team in Italy that's owned by a corporation that has family ties with (Raul) Gardini. But I dig the America 3 thing. That little 3 they put up there? I don't know where they came up with that, but that's smarter than Stars & Stripes."

Jose Luis Noriega, University of San Diego tennis player

"I think that the Italian boat is going to win, because it looked faster and the skipper, Mr. Cayard, has more experience than Bill Koch."

Bobby Beathard, Chargers general manager

"You see our first minicamp practice and you ask me about boats. I guess that tells me what you think of us. . . . America 3 in six races. I have a couple of friends on America 3and friendship is a better hunch than knowing anything about sailing."

Bobby Ross, Chargers coach

"What's that? I think New Zealand will win."

Burt Grossman, Charger defensive lineman

"I have no idea; I don't follow that garbage. I don't even know who is in it. Throw a bunch of Indians out in a canoe and let them represent the real America and go for the win. That's who I like."

Robbie Nichols, Gulls left wing

"I'm going with the youth. I know the start the Italians get all the time. In my sailing background, I know the starts are most crucial and the Italians get off the line quick. I'm going with the Italians."

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