Perhaps Derrick Coleman was listening. New Jersey's querulous power forward, the Norman Vincent Peale of negativity, stepped out of character last Friday: Two weeks after reportedly demanding a trade, he announced that he is committed to the Nets "for the haul." Still, given Coleman's history, it might be better if he doesn't bunk with O'Bannon on the road.
Kasparov on High
In a soundproof glass cage a quarter of a mile above Wall Street, a couple of cavemen named Garry Kasparov and Viswanathan Anand spent the past month clubbing it out at the Intel World Chess Championship. Caveman is the chess term for a player of primitive and brutal instincts. Kasparov, the champion who treats chess as blood sport, showed he's still the game's top troglodyte by bludgeoning his opponent in the best-of-20 series.
The $1.5 million battle ($1 million goes to the winner) on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center, had promised to be the worst mismatch since Tyson-McNeeley. Kasparov, a 32-year-old Russian, was expected to pin his 25-year-old Indian challenger to the ropes early, bounce him around at will and score a quick knockout.
It didn't play out that way. For eight games Anand jabbed, probed and feinted with astonishing speed, frustrating Kasparov's best efforts and earning draws. Then Anand, the mild, jokey son of a Madras railroad executive, won the ninth game in a display of tactical genius that left his rival stunned. "You catch a tiger by the whiskers, next day he's going to be ferocious," Anand reckoned.
He was right. Kasparov mauled Anand in Game 10. And Game 11. And two of the three after that. Then, on Monday, Kasparov drew Game 17 to secure his fifth title defense since 1985. "Anand showed he could hold his own," said one grandmaster analyst. "But he's an intuitive player, and you can't beat Kasparov on intuition alone."
In the tournament's final days, the question was not whether Anand would win another game, but whether he would survive to play championship chess again after his psychological and intellectual battering. The $500,000 loser's share may help him recover. Even cavemen have to eat.
Who Hates U, Baby?
In the early 1800s Percy Shelley penned the lines, "There is no sport in hate when all the rage/Is on one side." Well, these days a Florida outfit called ii inc. is making a game of it. Capitalizing on the Sunshine State's emotional, three-pronged college football rivalry, ii inc. has set up a 900 number advertised as the I Hate U. line. For 99 cents, Touch-Tone callers can direct enmity at the Florida Gators, the Florida State Seminoles or the Miami Hurricanes.
The line's voice-prompt teases the presumably waxed-up caller with references to trash-talking and score-padding, and urges him to use his vote to "get some revenge" on the team he most despises. The early hate count, if not one-sided, was certainly listing; after a week, Miami had nearly 50% of the votes. Maybe nice guys do finish last.