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Posted: Monday October 30, 2006 10:17AM; Updated: Monday October 30, 2006 1:33PM
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Anna Benson
Sometimes sports wives, such as Anna Benson, can be a handful.
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1The ring's the thing: Bulgarian soccer club Litex Lovech wants its talented striker, Ivelin Popov, to curb his wild off-field living. Well, that's certainly common enough in sports. The twist here is that Litex has ordered Popov to get married in the coming year, presumably because married people have boring social lives. Perhaps more strangely, Popov -- who just turned 19 this week -- says he promises to abide by his club's demand that he walk the aisle.

Says Popov: "I know I'm a very bad boy and I want to meet my 20th birthday as a married man." One question: Where is the Bulgarian soccer players' union? American sports unions would fight to the death to prevent teams from drug-testing that involves drawing a few drops of blood, while Bulgarian squads apparently have the unchecked power to compel marriages. Still, we'd be very amused if Popov ended up marrying the Bulgarian equivalent of Anna Benson.

2. Peyton Manning threw for 345 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Colts to an impressive 34-31 win over the Broncos and their stingy defense on Sunday. Still, A-Rod wants to see Peyton do it during the playoffs.

3. More than 300,000 Cardinals fans celebrated the franchise's 10th world championship in Sunday's parade. Still, for reaching the World Series only three years after losing 119 games, the Tigers received many well-deserved kudos. Unfortunately, Detroit pitchers promptly threw them down the right-field line.

4. Now we know why baseball doesn't end a playoff series with a handshake line like the NHL -- everybody would stick to Kenny Rogers.

5. Reader feedback: Many wrote about Friday's "Ask the 10 Spot" edition that explained the origin of sports idioms. A number of readers had more information for the term "rubber match," pointing out that in bridge, a "rubber" is a unit of scoring in which a partnership tries to win a best-of-three. Thus if the teams are tied at one game apiece, the third is known as the "rubber match." (The card game whist has a similar scoring system.) As for our musing about "ducks on the pond" being easier to shoot than those flying to and fro, Michael of Colorado Springs wants us to point out that shooting at ducks as they float on a pond is unethical and, in some jurisdictions, possibly illegal. (Though we're not sure the ducks are in favor of being fired at in the air, either.) As for "off the schneid" being derived from the German or Yiddish term for tailor ("schneider"), David of Larchmont, N.Y., writes that in (unenlightened) days of yore, tailors were the butt of jokes as "notoriously cowardly, clumsy and generally worth little but sewing, i.e. what we would call a 'zero.'"

As always, of course, readers were quick to notice my missteps. In the discussion of the term "haymaker," for instance, I originally wrote that the term was popularized "around 1910" by radio boxing announcers. I should have written that the term originated around 1910 and was later popularized by radio boxing announcers, since commercial radio stations didn't spread across the country until the 1920s. In my spiel on Texas Leaguer, I mistakenly called the Gulf Stream a wind pattern rather than an ocean current, earning a five-hour environmental lecture from Al Gore. Finally, in discussing "flea-flicker," I maligned Dr. Z's good name by citing him in explaining that the phrase was meant to "evoke the quick, flicking action of a dog getting rid of fleas with a swipe of its tail." Alas, in my misguided enthusiasm, I clumsily added the phrase "with a swipe of its tail," only to have several readers say that dogs can't swipe fleas with their tails. Sorry, Dr. Z. Still, I blame my parents for not letting us have dogs. (I so too would have walked him!)

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