In the 18th minute of play last Friday in Göteborg, Danish midfielder John Jensen fired a shot into the upper right corner of the net. The Danes protected their lead by falling back on defense, allowing Germany to dominate play at midfield. Denmark would then retaliate with fast breaks. As the increasingly desperate Germans shifted into full-on attack, the Danes were bolstered by repeated heroics from their goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel. In the 79th minute midfielder Kim Vilfort slipped by two defenders to give Denmark a stunning 2-0 victory.
In a stadium awash in red-and-white roliganism, the elated Vilfort proclaimed, "We are Number One in the world. We beat the world champion."
Profit and Loss
The Barcelona Olympic Organizing Committee announced on June 19 that it expects to make a $3 million profit from the Summer Games. By contrast, three days earlier it was reported that the Winter Games in Albertville had lost at least $38 million. But compared with Montreal's debt from the 1976 Summer Olympics, $38 million is peanuts. Sixteen years later, Montreal and the province of Quebec are still trying to pay off a $1 billion Olympic debt. Cost overruns included $58 million for the velodrome and $506 million for shabbily constructed Olympic Stadium.
A few days after Albertville's $38 million loss was reported, the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles announced it was contributing almost $500,000 to youth sports programs in L.A. this year. Over the last eight years the foundation has donated more than $46 million to such programs. Where did the foundation get the money? From a trust created out of the $250 million surplus from the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles.
On March 16, Matt Keough was a 36-year-old pitcher attempting a comeback with the California Angels. He was sitting in the visitors' dugout at Scottsdale Stadium outside Phoenix when he was hit in the right temple by a foul ball off the bat of the San Francisco Giants' John Patterson. The blow caused a life-threatening blood clot, which required surgery.
On June 14, Keough, now a minor league scout for the Angels, made his first trip back to Scottsdale Stadium. He was sitting in the stands when Patterson, now of the Giants' Triple A team in Phoenix, fouled another screamer into the visitors' dugout. Although Chris Nichting, a pitcher for the Albuquerque Dukes, was struck on the head, he was able to pitch two days later. Says Keough, "It was virtually the same. The odds of getting hit by lightning have to be better."
The foul balls that hit Keough and Nichting were among several that have injured players and spectators since Scottsdale Stadium opened in February. The dugouts and stands there are closer to home plate than they are in most stadiums. Keough said, "I sat with a bunch of scouts in the stands for four days, and they said that someone gets hit practically every day."
Players have asked that screens be erected in front of the dugouts, but Al Rosen, general manager of the San Francisco Giants, who lease the stadium from the city of Scottsdale, has declined to do so, saying that these incidents "could have happened anywhere." Says Keough, "Maybe they'll change it when someone gets hurt worse than I did, but there's only one level worse than what happened to me."