Jan  9, 1998	Libero vs. Sweeper - An Off Topic Story (Paul Mettewie)
Jan 12, 1998	USSF and MLS to change their names (Howard Hamilton)
Jan 25, 1998	Maharishi Merson ("Snaps")
Feb  8, 1998	Two South American commentating greats (Juan Gonzalez)
Feb 11, 1998	Blatter strikers again (Steve Jones)
Feb 11, 1998	USA 1 Brazil 0: Top 10 Brazilian Excuses (Alan Douglas)
Mar 13, 1998	The first Oriundi (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Mar 14, 1998	You might be a US soccer fan.... (Howard Hamilton)
Mar 16, 1998 	Kakao and Limpinne (Stig Oppedal)
Apr 22, 1998	The Top 206 Brazilian Bridge Players ("Devin", Kevin Cabral)
Apr 30, 1998	SOS - Save Our Scalpers (Stig Oppedal)
May  3, 1998	Patada of the Week (Ariel Mazzarelli)
May  5, 1998	Portuguese lesson (Alex Mizuki)
May  7, 1998	AOL's biological warfare (Alan Douglas)
May 25, 1998	Chile v Uruguay Marcelo Weinberger)
May 30, 1998	Nottingham Forest (Ariel Mazzarelli, et al)
Jun  2, 1998	Top 10 reasons why Iran will beat USA (anon)
Jun  5, 1998	Top 10 Reasons the USA Will Beat Iran (Alan Douglas)

Subject: Re: Libero vs. Sweeper - An Off Topic Story
Date: Fri, 09 Jan 1998 16:08:33 -0600
From: Paul Mettewie (panino@ix.netcom.com)

Marco Paserman wrote:
> But who invented the libero? In the 30s and 40s most teams played
> either the "W" (2-3-5) or the W-M (3-2-5) formations. The center-half
> would mark the opposing centerforward, the two full backs would mark
> the inside forwards or the wings, and the half backs would mark
> the other two attacking players.

Those famous old 5-man attacks!!!

A funny story about that (I need to smile now)
was at the American School of Milan, an American and
multinational high school in Italy (that me and Massa
Sugano - many years later for Massa - went to while
living in Milano.) I was playing goalie for the soccer team.

Our coach, an older American man whose previous
experience with soccer was probably a college course
and two old textbooks, called us in for the first team
meeting of the season (and this was in the seventies)

He drew  what appeared to be a 5-3-2 on the board
and then placed me on the wrong side of it. I stood
up and pointed out that I hoped that I would not be
playing in front of the attackers (and so did the
attackers, including my best friend who said I only
dribbled well when eating.)

Yes, I was a wiseass.

(Some things never change.)

He said with a surprised expression that I was
behind the two defenders where all keepers belong.

We stared at one another. My best friend cussed
under his breath in Italian. The room was very
quiet. No one could belive it, except for a couple of
newly arrived Americans who were only out for
the soccer team because their girlfriends were
soccer cheerleaders (yes, we had cheerleaders...
which we didn't mind because they travelled with
us on road trips to Switzerland and such....:))) )
Our Brasilian winger, an advocate of attacking
soccer, was even shocked. He kept punching me
in the arm and giggling, saying

"You had better wear two cups this year, Paul!"
And an American football helmet, too. hee hee."

Of course, being a troublemaker from the start, I
stood up and asked him if we were really going to
play five attackers. My best friend stood up and
said that he (a future Division I player in the USA),
and the Brasilian and a small fast American could
handle the attack just fine.

The coach said that the formation was proven (but
didn't say *when* it was proven) and we would
use it in our first game against the International
School of Milan. And he also told Eric to shutup
and sit down (in more polite terms, because this
guy was very soft-spoken.)

NO! Not those bastards! We had a bitter rivalry
with them and they would feast on a two defender
back line!

Well, we practiced the next week with a 2-3-5
against our reserves. They even scored on us,
(the first stringers) something that they NEVER
did. I had to bear the misfortune of being scored
on by some of the worst soccer players to ever
 to pretend to be that on a pitch in Milano.
Humiliating. And this was just practice (Hmmm...
sounds like a certain Italian Cup game but I
digress from my digression.)

So the game against the International School
came. The only moment I can really remember
was the stunned look on the face of the tall
German that played center forward for the
International school when he saw five players
from the American school lined up on the mid-
field line. That shocked look changed to a smile
within minutes though.

I remember lying on my side at lot, coughing out
dust from the worn area in front the goal. I also
remember screaming a lot at my paltry defense
to get back (they WERE all back, it's just
that there weren't enough of them there to really
be called a defense.)

Anyway......6-1 loss.

And the sad thing was, the coach stayed with
formation for another three games, before the
principal suggested to him (and the principal
was hardly a soccer fan) that he try another
formation (I think some dads did some talking

We went to a 1-3-3-3 (the catenaccio style
that was in vogue in Italy then) and played
much better the rest of the year. At least I got
a chance to stand up now and then anyways.....

-Riff"A shellshocked keeper (and fan)"Ster

Subject: USSF and MLS to change their names
Date: 12 Jan 1998 21:47:55 GMT
From: howardh@cremins.stanford.edu (Howard H. Hamilton)
[Note: Alan Rothenburg quoted as wanting to experiment
with rule changes]

Just got this off Nando.  I wasn't expecting Rotten Al to
act that quickly.

' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' '
USSF, MLS to change their names

(c) Copyright 1998 NandoNut
(c) Copyright 1998 Reuters Information Service

NEW YORK - (January 12, 1998 - 13:00 EST) -  Alan Rothenburg, president
of the United States Soccer Federation, announced that his
country's federation and top-division soccer league would change their
names to better reflect the future of the game in the United States.

"We are in the entertainment business," said Rothenburg in a
press conference.  "In order to achieve a greater share of
the market, soccer must continue to evolve or it will be left
behind other major sports, like basketball and American football.
The United States have always been at the forefront of bold and
novel ideas in the world, and we should do the same in soccer.
To better reflect this new attitude, the USSF and MLS will change
their names."

The new names of the federation and the league will be the United
States Calvinball Federation and Major League Calvinball, respectively.
"We Americans like to change the rules of the game as we go along
order to ensure our continued dominance, and the word 'Calvinball'
best portrays that attitude," Rothenburg said.  "We wanted
to reach the vast number of Americans who were readers of the
'Calvin and Hobbes' comic strip.  We felt that if we could
get those readers to become fans, then the economic future of
the game in this country would be assured."

The new logo of Major League Calvinball would change from a
soccer shoe kicking a ball to a six-year-old boy wearing a mask
around the eyes and running with a ball.  "It symbolizes the
future of soccer," Rothenburg proclaimed.

Proposed changes in Major League Calvinball would include the intro-
duction of an invisible penalty zone, which would be invoked at
any time by the referee, and a hopping zone, which when activated
will force the defending players to hop on one foot for three min-
utes.  "The hopping zone will make the game more exciting, and
the invisible penalty zone shouldn't be any different than what
our referees were doing before," Doug Logan, MLC commissioner said.
"I truly believe that within five years you will be seeing these
new rules in soccer leagues around the world."

Logan also said that the league would eventually introduce time-
fracture wickets and the new rule zone, where players will be
able to invent new rules if they are on a secret location of
the field. 

Bill Watterson, the creator of 'Calvin and Hobbes', and FIFA,
soccer's world governing body, could not be reached for comment.

Subject: Maharishi Merson
Date: Sun, 25 Jan 1998 01:37:04 GMT
From: Snaps@kavana.u-net.com (Snaps)

Brother Paul,
Your journey begins. You are now at a stage in this life where you can
begin to ponder spiritual issues, such as your place in the world and
the world's placement in you. As you contemplate, consider that there
are two paths available to us -- a path of light, a path of darkness.
Your actions in the physical world determine the path you take in the
spiritual world. Open thine eyes and tred carefully, young traveller!
For you now find yourself at a cusp, a junction where the pathways
intertwine and become rocky. You must fight physical demons in your
world to stay on the path of light in the Other world!

Think back to your earthly past and consider the path you were on.
Remember the way you led your life. Remember that you allowed yourself
to be lured by wine and women. Remember that you were addicted to
cocaine. Remember that you gambled away your days and drank away your
nights. Consider the reaction to these actions. Consider not only
yourself, but your own self-portrait to the world from without. For
verily, during this period of your life you were truly on the path of
light. You were celebrated. You were treated with compassion and patted
on the back. You recieved absolutely no punishment and all good folk
were relieved and happy for this (despite the feeble assertions from
pious people that what they saw was "clear and undeniable criminal
activity from a repeat offender and he should not be allowed to escape
criminal proceedings just because he blubbered at a press conference and
had the tabloids on his side.")

But now the outlook is darker, Paul. We now discover a heinous crime has
indeed been commited this very day. Committed by your hand and by your
mind. It is a very grave situation. Did you think this crime would go
unnoticed? Did you think of the consequences? Were you aware that you
not only risk your soul, but the souls of those who consider you a
worthy example to follow? This is very grave, Paul. For as sure as day
follows night, one thing we can be certain of in this world is that the
man who kisses his shirt after scoring against Arsenal is the man who
risks throwing his very soul into the fiery pits of Hell. Satan is in
you, Paul! Cast out the wretch or all is lost!

[Note: Earlier in the season, Manchester United's Teddy Sheringham
(ex-Spurs) had been censured for making the same gesture to the Arsenal

Subject: Re: Spanish commentator
Date: Sun, 08 Feb 1998 20:01:48 GMT
From: dolina@nospam.stealth.net (Juan Gonzalez)

The best commentator I've ever heard is Uruguayan and his name is Victor Hugo
Morales. He does radio in Argentina. If you have real audio you can hear one
of his goals here:


This is a goal on a free kick by Enzo Francescoli. Victor Hugo as he has done
many times predicts the goal well before the kick is taken. His play by play
style seems like poetry and is great to listen to. On the same page there is
also a clip from the best Argentine TV comentator. Marcelo Araujo. Although I
think Ramos is very good he doesn't come close to these 2 guys who are on
another level like Pele and Maradona.

Subject: Re: Spanish commentator
Date: Mon, 09 Feb 1998 21:08:59 GMT
From: dolina@stealth.net (Juan Gonzalez)

Walter Garcia-Fontes (wgarcia@upf.es) wrote:

>I haven't heard much of Araujo, though, but what I've heard is too much for
>me. Sounds too "porteño canchero" (prototype of arrogant Buenos Aires
>dweller) for my taste...

I guess you can say that but the man has revolutionized how the game is called
on TV. You can watch a boring game and like it just because he is doing the
game. No one on TV can compare and only Victor Hugo Morales is better but he
does radio. I'll never forget the time Araujo said he would leave if a player
scored the goal. The player had gotten by a few defenders and the goal would
have been incredible if scored. At that point Araujo said "Si hace esta me
voy" (If he makes this one I'm leaving). Well, the goal was scored and he did
leave saying "Senores y senoras, muy buenas noches" (Ladies and Gentlemen,
good night), a few moments passed and the color comentator broke the silence
saying something like "well as you can see Marcelo has kept his promise". This
is great stuff and there are many other stories like that. Sure he is mostly
an act but at least a very good one.

Subject: Blatter strikers again
Date: 11 Feb 1998 15:29:16 +0100
From: Steve Jones (jon@bach.eurocontrol.fr)

Los Angeles, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Sepp Blatter the FIFA General
Secretary today suggested that rule changes were needed to aid
strikers.  Blatter, whose previous suggestions have included
banning tackling, was speaking at a FIFA sponsored dinner being
hosted by the USSF.  After watching The USA beat Brazil by the
only goal in the game Blatter commented "Quite clearly there isn't
enough scoring in the game these days, this needs to be addressed
so football can reach a wider audience".

He suggested that a team should be allowed to nomiate which member
of the opposition they wish to play keeper."Quite clearly Brazil
wouldn't have chosen Keller tonight and the result would have been
a lot more goals" Blatter commented. FIFA President Havelange was
said to favour the idea citing instances like the famous Gordon
Banks' save against Pele for England, "If Charlton had been the
keeper then that would have been a goal, and so the match would have
been more exciting.".

Brazilian superstar Ronaldo backed the idea saying "Forwards
are the most expensive players and when the keepers, who are
normally pretty cheap, save our shots they make us look more
stupid, people pay to see me score goals I don't see why anyone
should stop me".  But there was scorn cast on the idea from other
circles, Bobby Charlton commented "Take away the keepers and you
take away the skill from scoring, its a non starter.", Franz
Beckenbaur backed Charlton saying "The keeper is the most important
member of the team... if I'm not playing of course". England hero
Gordon Banks reacted furiously to the suggestion "It takes alot
of dedication to be a keeper, the idea that just anyone could
take over is just plain wrong, it would kill the game".  MLS
President Alan Rothenborg said however that MLS would be delighted
to test this rule in the coming season.

Subject: Re: Top 10 Brasilian Excuses
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 15:57:40 GMT
From: aland@lightspeed.bc.ca (Alan Douglas)
[CONCACAF Gold Cup sf: USA 1 Brazil 0]

GODWIN_VA@webtv.net wrote:

>some nominations:

Leave it to a WebTVer to make a Top Ten list with only 3 entries.

>From the branch office in West Vancouver, British Columbia:

Top Ten Brazilian Team Excuses
10) Keller in goal?  We were expecting Meola.

9) Preki only has one name so we thought he was on our team.

8) We got all dehydrated from not drinking the water before
remembering that's for Mexico.

7) Were afraid that if we won we might get a congratulatory call from
the White House and that Clinton would hit on us.

6) Six words: beer and hookers, hookers and beer.

5) Just too gosh darned disappointed that we didn't get to meet

4) The Americans were just too good for us.  No no!  Wait that's not
what we meant... we were abducted by aliens... yeah, aliens, that's

3) We stayed up the entire night before watching Olympic coverage
before realising that Brazil hasn't even sent a team to Nagano.

2) Got totally overconfident after reading all the CONCALAUGH posts in

And the Number One Brazilian Team Excuse:

1) Romario to Edmundo: "my turn to score the hat trick?  I thought it
was YOUR turn?"

Subject: The first Oriundi (was Re: Argentina-Bulgaria [R])
Date: 13 Mar 1998 15:10:01 -0700
From: mazzare@primenet.erase2mail.com (Ariel Mazzarelli)

Marco Paserman dixit:
> Ariel Mazzarelli writes:
>[snip list of candidates for the albiceleste with Italian
>names and Italian blood: if Argentina is any good at futbol,
>that's because of the high percentage of Italian genes
>in its population; same goes for Uruguay, of course]

Italian genes? I take it you have not heard of the recent finding in the
Parana delta of the long-lost tomes from the Titus Livius opus. The most
important discovery is that Book I had a preface, in which Livius states
conclusively that Romulus and Remus were oriundi. Based on his description,
we now know that their birthplace was located in what is today called
Caseros, a suburb of Buenos Aires.

Furthermore, Romulus and Remus were not just twins--they were triplets.
Their third brother was called Montevideus. After his brothers left and
made their fortune, he felt the urge to emulate them without the
complications of a long voyage across the Atlantic, so he swam across the
Rio de La Plata and founded a small settling on the other side. Because
the trip was shorter, he was able to substitute a cow for the female wolf.

Subject: You might be a US soccer fan....
Date: 14 Mar 1998 13:46:05 GMT
From: howardh@cremins.NOSPAM.stanford.edu (Howard H. Hamilton)

You might be a US soccer fan if...

* you know how to say chants in more than two languages

* you use your vacation time to follow the US national team

* you've learned a new language just so you can understand
  soccer broadcasts on shortwave

* you are stunned when you see a pro-American crowd in
  a stadium in your own country

* you think of a match in California as an away game

* other attendees look at you strangely when you stand up
  and sing

* someone comes up to you during a match and tells you to sit
  down because 'you're making too much noise'

* you religiously listen to 'Sports Roundup' on BBC World Service

* you wish that there was a way to clone Martin Tyler or Toby Charles

* you hope that the rules will get changed so that Mia Hamm
  could play for the men's national team

* your local MLS team is more concerned about acquiring a
  player of the right ethnic makeup than acquiring a good player

* you can do a better job of pronouncing soccer players' names
  than the announcers on ESPN

* the president of the federation suggests bigger goals
  and three-point zones, and you're not surprised to hear it

* you know the location of every bar within a 50-mile radius
  that shows the English Premiership on closed-circuit TV

* you can't remember the last time you saw the FA Cup Final
  for free

* you CAN remember the last time you couldn't watch the
  US national team play a World Cup qualifier

* you can remember missing a goal in a soccer match because
  they went to a commercial

* you still recall the 'hang time' clocks and 'MITRE PowerShot'
  radar guns

* you can find better news on the US national team in foreign
  newspapers than your hometown paper

* Alexi Lalas and Carlos Valderrama wigs don't look weird to you

* ties seem strange and shootouts seem normal

* you hear 'the official time is now kept by the referee' at
  stadiums and it doesn't strike you as odd

* the league trophy is named for someone who's still alive

* you know the proper plural term for 'stadium'

* you keep telling your friends from overseas that the US
  is only 10-15 years away from beating the rest of the world

* you told your friends from overseas 10 years ago that the
  US was only 10-15 years away from beating the rest of the

Subject: Re: TB or not TB? (Re: "Hands of God")
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 1998 12:24:01 +0100
From: Stig Oppedal (stigopp@mail.hf.uio.no)

Massa Sugano wrote:

> Had Brolin not been injured, Juve would never have become the leading force in
> world club football.  The most talented Scandinavian football player since Nils
> Liedholm, he had greater potential than Miki Laudrup.

Regarding this sweeping claim as to which Scandinavian player of the
last 30-40 years has possessed the greatest talent and "potential", I
don't see how you can possibly ignore Limpinne and Kakao.

Nils Limpinne was, as you might recall, the tricky Danish winger who
played in the same Ajax youth team as Marco van Basten. Limpinne's
amazing dribbling abilities spellbound opposing defenders, who could
never - and I mean never - take the ball away from his right foot.
Unfortunately, Limpinne could never get rid of the ball himself; in the
end, the only thing that stuck to him was the label of "the next Jesper

"Kakao" Medkrem warmed many a Norwegian fan who braved the snow and
sub-zero temperatures of mid-winter league games. With a mixture of
fluidity and zest reminiscent of the great Brazilians, Kakao was a vital
ingredient in Freia SF's success in the early 70's. It's a fact that
"totaalvoetbal" would not have become the leading force in world
football if Kakao hadn't more or less disintegrated after colliding with
Wim van Frieshmelk in a 1972 WC qualifier.

The most gifted Japanese footballer in this 40-year period? Without
question Miyamoto Usagi, the idiosyncratic midfield wanderer who played
for Kitakyushu Steel. Between 1987 and 1991 I never gave his
performances a rating lower than 7.23! Sadly, Usagi never recovered
after the wily newcomer Takahito Kitsune "had him for breakfast" in a
vital encounter.

[Note: other threads at the time included "Top 40 Brazilian
strikers", "Top 36 Brazilian defenders", etc.]
Subject: The Top 206 Brazilian Bridge Players
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 17:37:19 -0500
From: Devin (devtex@swbell.net)

#1 Giorgino Sampao
#2 Flavio Herberto
#3 Jiao Sao Paulo
ummm.......oh nevermind. ;-)

Subject: Re: The Top 206 Brazilian Bridge Players
Date: 22 Apr 1998 22:42:55 -0400
From: kcabral@freenet.columbus.oh.us (Kevin Cabral)

Sampao is highly overrated. Ever since he came onto the world scene four
years ago, he's done nothing but befuddle bridge players with his mental
speed, agility, and strength; yet I can't help to think that there is
something missing. Something special that cannot merely be defined by
points. Any drunk gaucho can score points, especially against a weak
defense that plays the bluffside-trap, but only a few can really be called
Scorers. After all, the circus tricks of Sampao and to a lesser extent Sao
Paulo can only get you so far. In the big matches, you need someone who
can put the hand away with a simple move and finish; the sort of
dependable utility that one can expect from a Scorer combined with the
skill to occasionally pull off a scissor-shuffle or a well-balanced volley
of the top card onto the draw pile. Unfortunately, I just don't see that
in Sampao. Until he develops that ability he will NEVER be the best, no
matter how many cheap "points" he scores..
BTW, when Sampao moved over to BS Ynneb I fully expected that his
point-scoring ability would be severely limited by hard defense. I
thought that his opposition would have *finally learned* by now
that the way to stop him is to break, or at least bruise beyond the point
of repair, his wrist. Thus I suppose I should admit my failure. Yet, it
still remains a fact that no matter how many points Sampao scores in the
best league in the world, or the World Championships these accomplishments
are all mickey-mouse until he wins a Euro Championship. No matter how many
points he scores, and no matter how many circus tricks he pulls off - it
will hardly matter if he has'nt won an EC.

Subject: Re: The Top 206 Brazilian Bridge Players
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 22:04:58 -0500
From: Devin (devtex@swbell.net)

Again with this arrogant Euro-drivel? You know it works both ways. I'll
believe that a so called superior European bridge player such as the much
hailed Teddy Salad can really trump when he does it consistently in the
Brazilian League.

Lastly, when you underestimate Sampao, and the sheer brilliance and strength
of his wrist, you are just asking for a letdown.

Subject: S.O.S. (Save Our Scalpers) (was Re: World Cup Tickets)
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 10:09:14 +0200
From: "St. Stig av Oppedal" (stigned@mail.hf.uio.no)
Organization: The City of Brotherly Love

Steve Walker (summit@easynet.co.uk) wrote:
> "Geir Mjösund" (amjoesun@online.no) wrote:
> >I Got lots of tickets for the World Cup this summer
> >[...]
> >Send me an Email with your bid
> I hope you die a nasty horrible death before you can collect the money
> you've made at the expense of genuine fans.

Whatever happened to brotherly love? Whatever happened to

This unfortunate man begs us: "Send me an Email with your bid". As this
is the third time we hear his moving plea, it is obvious that his
anticipated "bidding war" has sadly failed to materialize. :-(  Yet,
though his tickets are clearly burning a hole in his pocket, causing him
great discomfort, all we say to this poor wretch is "Die, scum, die"!

Brothers and sisters, I have a dream.

I have a dream of a kinder, gentler world, where football fans unite and
don't try to rip each other off. I believe we all share this dream.
However, it won't happen if only 10 or 20 of us follow up. So I'm
talking to YOU. Yes, YOU. And I say: let us listen to this poor scalper.
Let us reach out to him.

Let us all send him an e-mail with our bids.

Our Mission of Mercy
* Use a mere 30 seconds of your time and, as he requested, send a bid to
Mr. Geir Mjösund at his verified e-address at amjoesun@online.no. NB! Do
NOT send your bid to this newsgroup - we're not the ones in need!

* No bids are, of course, binding, nor does your "reply-address" have to
be 100% accurate. Feel free to send several seperate bids - the more the
merrier! Indeed, feel a moral obligation to send "bids" to all scalpers
who ask us for them. Let us be charitable!

* Remember that your bids, in accordance with the prices at


should be no higher than 145-350 FF. Preferably much, much less. Or
perhaps frustrate his expectations with a 800 FF offer and a fake

* Don't hesitate to form your bid in your local currency (baht, rupees,
zlotys, whatever). Remember, this is help for self-help - let the
scalper sweat a bit to find out that 1 million Turkish lira is actually
about $10. Hey, you can even make up your own currency - or even your
own country! Eg "I'll give you 50 Smithsonian institutes for 4 BRA-NOR
tickets". Actually, since he hasn't made any specifications whatsoever,
he probably won't mind if you offer a favor ("I bid 5 tango lessons for
2 ARG-CRO tickets), local goods ("I bid 7 1/2 bagpipe cleansers for 3
SCO-NOR tickets") or just some words of kindness ("I bid you farewell,
please don't bother us again").

Let there be no doubt: this is serious. Let the scalpers know how much
we appreciate them. Send in your bids NOW!

Subject: Re: The Argie wrong again => Re: Argentina > Brasil
Date: Tue, 05 May 1998 08:51:28 -0400
From: Alex Mizuki (gt7290b@prism.gatech.edu)

Ariel Mazzarelli wrote:

> > [Argie ineptitude in the World Cup relative to BRASIL!!]
> Maracaná.

Isn't it cute:  A hispano trying to write in Portuguese.  Let me give
you a little lesson in the Lusitanian language:

   It is spelled:  Maracanã (with a tilde)

Now what's the difference between a tilde and an agudo(á)?  Simple.
One is pronounced like "Ah"(agudo) and the other "Uh"(tilde).

Or more precisely:

TILDE:  Maracan(Uh?)--  As in Uh?  why is the auriverde performing like
such crap in a tune-up game in which the only true meaning is preparation
for the World Cup?  [April, 1998]

AGUDO:  Maracan(AAAAHHH!!) -- As in AAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!  sh*t!!, we just
lost in the finals of the World Cup in front of 200,000 spectators!!
[July, 1950]

But even in the second case, things worked out for the better:  Brasil
finally won its first World Cup in 1958.  And 40 years down the road,
enjoys a World Cup record twice of what Argentina has.  What's really
impressive about Brasil's World Cup record is that a country with half
its achievements -- Argentina -- is number FOUR! 

So, a FOUR finger salute to all Argies to remind you of your ranking
and how many World Cup titles your beloved rivals have.

Next Lesson:  How to count in Portuguese.  Here's a preview:

  .......One (58), Two (62), Three(70), FOUR (94)
  .......Uno (58), Dos (62), Tres (70), CUATRO (94)
  .......Um (58), Dois (62), Treis(70), QUATRO (94)

Subject: Patada of the Week
Date: 3 May 1998 02:44:01 -0700
From: mazzare@primenet.erase2mail.com (Ariel Mazzarelli)

Maracana, Brasil-Argentina. Leonardo comes in a substitute to try to revive
a moribund Brasil, and five minutes later he decides to do his elbow thing
on Simeone. Simeone sees it coming and is able to fend it off by putting up
his hands to block the blow. He then proceeds to recount the complicated
structure of Leonardo's family tree to the worldwide audience, while
Leonardo quickly runs back without facing him.

Those who know Simeone know that it is not a good idea to provoke him. He is
a hard but fair player, and in his code of fairness there is an extensive
section covering the topic of protection through retaliation. Sensing this
reality, Leonardo disappears from any part of the game that is within
shouting distance of Simeone, which is more or less the whole field.  Only
Edmundo, in his finite wisdom, decides to occasionally stimulate Simeone
further; Simeone caresses his cheek, perhaps reminding him of Zandona, and
plays on masterfully without coming anywhere near a yellow card.

Some twenty minutes later, Argentina is leading 1-0 and there are two
minutes left in the game, when Junior Baiano--whose behavior had been quite
correct throughout the game--is presented with the bill for Leonardo's
overdue account. As he goes to fetch a complicated ball, Simeone beats him
to it from behind. With his forward leg outstretched, Simeone taps the ball
away with the foot; with the back leg forming an "L", he delivers a compact
blow to the supporting leg of JB, on the Achilles tendon. Since Simeone has
lessened the danger of the maneuver by using his shin rather than his shoe
to deliver the blow, since the referee remembers the Leonardo incident--and
as an additional factor, since he is European--the color of Simeone's card
is yellow. The rest of the Brasilian team walks around in a daze, going
nowhere near Simeone and barely even paying attention to JB's pain. One
wonders what kind of conversation will take place between Leonardo and JB
when they recount this incident.

Huevos, profound justice, perfect patience, understanding of the referee,
and classical technique are all present in this canonical patada.

Subject: Re: Post of the Week
Date: Thu, 07 May 1998 12:31:24 GMT
From: aland@lightspeed.bc.ca (Alan Douglas)

brenjo1@aol.com (Brenjo1) wrote:
>I hate your soccer crap!!!

Expect the number of such posts to increase dramatically .  The latest
news for those "in the know" is that AOL has resorted to drastic means
to enlarge its customer-base.  Fearful that Web TV is gobbling up too
much of the lucrative idiot market, AOL is now resorting to bioligical

Each AOL disk or CD is now coated with a genetically engineered
bacteria that eats away living brain tissue.  Once touched by human
flesh, the bacteria is activated, invades the body, and very quickly
reduces the person's intelligence.  The idea is that before they can
put the AOL disk/CD down, they have become so stupid that they think,
"hey, I should sign up for this!"  By the time they're on AOL, they've
become so totally dimwitted that they would have no hope of ever being
able to figure out how to unsubscribe or cancel their payments.

The only flaw in the plan is that often the bacteria goes too far and
the people become so dumb that they cannot earn a living and end up
penniless and on the streets.  Go to the downtown core of any major US
city, and you will find an ever-increasing number of demented homeless
people shouting "I HAVE MAIL!  I HAVE MAIL!"

According to my sources, AOL stole the bacteria from secret US
government research labs which developed it for the Republican party
during their last term in office.  The Republican plan was to infect
college students with the bacteria, so as to increase the number of
voters for their party.  The AOL programers had tried to hack into the
research lab computers to download the data in total secret, but
couldn't figure out how to use a simple terminal program that didn't
talk or have cute icons, and so they just ended up driving a pick-up
truck through the back door.

I understand that Major League Baseball is also very interested in the
bactreriaf, and plans to inject it into the beer and hot dogs that are
served at soccer games.  They figure if you like beer or hot dogs and
are sufficiently stupid, then you'll go watch baseball.

As is usually the case with such evil ploys, the bacteria was tested
out on a number of unsuspecting people, such as the OJ Simpson jury,
all the guests of the Jerry Springer show, Real Madrid's bank manager,
and 95% of all the people who honestly think that pro wrestling is for
real .  And of course, Sepp Blatter.

Subject: [R] Chile - Uruguay
Date: 25 May 1998 00:40:00 GMT
From: marcelo@fc.hp.com (Marcelo Weinberger)

In Santiago, Chile: Chile 2 (Zamorano, Salas)
                    Uruguay 2 (Olivera, Zalayeta)

>From what I gathered, the game started with the Uruguayan players
getting to know each other. At the 10th minute it was funny to see
Diego Lopez (Racing Santander) greet his fellow defender Paolo Montero;
"Hey, Paolo! When did you arrive? We didn't expect you, we saw you on TV
at the EC final!" and Montero's answer: "Who are you? Diego who?"
'C'mon Paolo, we played together 5 months ago in Saudi Arabia!" "Oh,
yeah! And who is this guy playing left fullback?" "Apparently his name
is Gastan; Adinolfi is not here because Pen~arol didn't release their
players. But beware, here come Salas and Zamorano!"

Up front the situation was equally surprising. Especially when Correa
(15 goals this season with Racing Santander) complained that Nico
Olivera didn't want to pass to him. "I keep saying "here Nico" and the
black guy doesn't even look at me." "Of course - replied Mendez, who
knew the group from the King Fahd Cup - this is not Nico, this is
Zalayeta! Don't you know the black guy from the TV close-ups at Juve's
bench? Nico is on the bench, he said that he got used to that in
Valencia and he actually likes it." "Ah, negro! Mucho gusto, la
rompiste en Malasia, guacho!"

When the greeting ceremony was over, Chile was already 2-0 up. The
situation didn't look good, especially when early in the second half
Magallanes (relegated with Atalanta to Serie B) decided that he didn't
want to take part of this carnage and asked the ref to send him off. So
the score was 0-2, playing with 10 men away to a team that is preparing
for the WC... By then, Nico Olivera decided that he wanted to play after
all. He saw that Zalayeta was there and he remembered that they had lots
of fun together in Malaysia last year. After a few minutes on the field,
penalty on him. He takes it, and it's 2-1. With 9 minutes to go, he
escapes down the right wing, sees Zalayeta coming on the center and says
"Tuya, negro!" for an easy tap-in goal (I'm sure Benny would love it!).

Subject: Re: Real Madrid is the KING of kings.
Date: 30 May 1998 03:18:00 -0700
From: mazzare@primenet.erase2mail.com (Ariel Mazzarelli)

Robert Chapman (robertc@ihug.co.nz) dixit:
> chiavar@ibm.net wrote:
>> Well most definetely if there is one team that can compare to the legend and
>> greatness of Real Madrid it's got to be an english one and most precisely
>> Nottingham Forest. I still remember when Robin Hood was their center
>> forward.
>Don't we all.  Quite a stylish player, excellent at stealing the ball
>although he kept giving it away again.  But don't forget they also had
>'the Sheriff' in goal. 

And lest we forget, the predecessor of Di Menticato, a fearsome fullback
named Little John; he originated the motto "the player or the ball may pass,
but not both".

Forest's striker was a poacher in the finest Benny tradition, Friar Tuck.
He looked like a saint, but he did not forgive. His bulbous shape--it seems
he "suffered" from a case of gluttony--lulled the opposition into a false
sense of security. His most famous golazo was in an FA cup final where, so
the story goes, he scored by punching the ball over the goalkeeper, which
was missed by the referee because he thought Tuck was giving absolution to
the goalkeeper.

The weak link in Forest was the trainer, King John. Ineffectual, cowardly
and a bit on the ugly side. He had trouble gaining the respect of his
players after the rumor had spread that he had engineered the firing of his
own brother Richard so as to replace him as the trainer. After a crisis
erupted and the club was staring relegation in the face, Nottingham had to
pay a princely sum to snatch Richard back from the continental club that had
his signature on an ironclad contract.

Of course, the game was different in those days. Players were routinely
ambushed by their adversaries, thus placing their family jewels at risk.
Referees were usually bribed or threatened into making dubious calls.

Naturally, the stands were filled with drunken hooligans.

Forest usually won thanks to the deadly accuracy on free kicks by Hood.
There is a tale, possibly apocryphal, that Hood once won a big bet (her name
was Marian) from the Sheriff by taking a free kick from 25 meters, over the
wall, with comba, and hitting another ball that was hung from the crossbar.
The Sheriff did not take this very well, and only after the return of
Richard did the club regain its harmonious play.

Subject: Top 10 reasons why Iran will beat USA
Date: 2 Jun 1998 18:10:21 GMT
From: user2963@digilinlk.net

10- Reading the date of their match 21/6/98, the Americans            
    cannot figure out what is the 21st month!!
 9- Citing the success of the Aussies against
    Iran, US hires Terry Venables to advise them on how to    
    preserve a possible lead in the game.
 8- Half the US starting line-up gives up their US
    citizenships and return to their native countries.
 7- Lalas's goatee gets tangled up with Balboa's pony tail.
 6- US players are playing soccer because they couldn't throw,    
    catch, hit, pitch or dunk!
 5- US players don't have any beer comercials.
 4- No cheerleader on the sidelines.
 3- Nobody in their country cares what they do.
 2- Michael Jordan is playing basketball.
 1- To boost their morale, Monika Lewinsky visits the US team    
    before the game.

Subject: The REAL Top 10 Reasons the USA Will Beat Iran
Date: Fri, 05 Jun 1998 11:16:42 GMT
From: aland@lightspeed.bc.ca (Alan Douglas)

>From the branch office in Burnaby, British Columbia:

Top 10 Reasons the USA Will Beat Iran

10. Lalas dies his beard and hair black -- convinces Iran he's the

9. Just before the game, Ali Daei reveals that he is really an
American spy planted in Iran and changes sides to play for the US.

8. Just before the game, Mike Burns reveals that he is really an
Iranian spy planted in the US and changes sides to play for Iran.

7. Iranian players all put their backs out trying to use the bidets
properly, while the Americans just used them as drinking fountains.

6. God is with the Americans, as His US citizenship was rushed through
the day before.

5. "We're not going to let a country run by that maniac Saddam Hussein
beat us.  We'll make scud-meat out of them.  We'll pound them all the
way back to Baghdad.  We'll... we'll... wait a sec, which one is Iran

4. Wynalda yells "look, there's Salman Rushdie in the crowd" and when
all the Iranian players rush into the stands to carry out the death
sentence, the US scores.

3. Iranians all distracted trying to drill for oil in McBride's hair.

2. "I am Claudio Reyna; you imprisoned our embassy staff; prepare to

And the Number One Reason the USA Will Beat Iran:

1. Six words: the ref is from the Maldives.