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Scorecard
June 29, 1998
Paternity Follow-up A Fan's (Legal) Notes
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June 29, 1998

Scorecard

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YEAR

AUSTRALIAN OPEN

FRENCH OPEN

WIMBLEDON

U.S. OPEN

1998

3

1

5

??

1997

3

3

13

2

1996

6

0

11

0

1995

24

0

17

7

1994

24

0

10

4

1993

15

1

13

11

1992

20

1

12

12

Paternity Follow-up
A Fan's (Legal) Notes

The irresponsibility documented in last month's report on athletes who have fathered children out of wedlock (Paternity Ward, May 4) is not restricted to the athletic world. Consider Joel Fryer, a Georgia superior court judge who should be wearing an Atlanta Braves jersey instead of a jurist's robe.

We heard about Fryer from Jacquelyn Barnett, who says she conceived her seven-month-old daughter, Madison, with Braves outfielder Andruw Jones. (A DNA test placed the likelihood of Jones's being the father at 99.97%, but Jones has still not acknowledged fatherhood.) Though Barnett and Madison live in an Adanta suburb, Jones has, by Barnett's account, never seen his daughter outside a courtroom. Barnett claims she recently sent Jones pictures of the child in hopes of fostering a father-daughter relationship. "I called to see if he had gotten them, and he went off on me," says Barnett. "He said, 'I don't want you calling. I don't care about Madison.' " Neither Jones nor his lawyers would comment to SI.

A Cal grad who intends to pursue a master's degree in psychology, Barnett sought $4,449 a month in child support, roughly the amount that's commonly awarded when the father's salary is in the area of the $411,000 Jones earned last year. Had she known that Fryer was an avid Braves fan, Barnett might have accepted Jones's settlement offer of $2,500 per month.

In his opening argument Barnett's attorney, Christopher Bracken, was explaining Jones's status as an up-and-coming player for Atlanta when Fryer cut him short. "He's magnificent," gushed the judge. Over the next few minutes, Fryer interjected the following comments. "I watch him every day.... He's going to play much better this year because he has to.... He's got the full responsibility of a lot of ground out there."

Shortly thereafter, Jones's attorney, Pamela Tremayne, argued that Jones's financial obligations should be diminished because Jones and Barnett never formally dated. "Where did they have sex," the judge asked, "in the back seat of a car?"

Despite the fact that Jones inexplicably failed to submit a required list of his own expenses, Fryer (who declined SI's interview request) awarded the startlingly low sum of $1,500 in monthly support. (That was a temporary order contingent upon Jones's taking another blood test) More stunning was the soliloquy that accompanied his decision. "We've got a 23-year-old mother [Barnett is 24] here who's got a wonderful education [and] who wants to stay home until her infant becomes 18 years of age [though Barnett had testified that she intended to go to work as soon as she felt Madison was old enough to enter day care], so long as that fat cow continues to pay," Fryer pontificated. "Well, I don't have great sympathy for that.... I'm going to make her starve to death if that is what she plans on doing."
Lester Munson

Soccer Violence
The English Beat

The word is 100 years old and hails from the Southwark section of London, which was home in 1898 to a hoodlum named Patrick Hooligan. Like other eponymous pioneers in England—Thomas Crapper, for instance, or the Earl of Sandwich-Hooligan is now immortal; his name has been invoked daily during the World Cup in France, where English hooligans have been a distasteful, disruptive, dispiriting presence at an otherwise pleasant picnic. They're a crap sandwich, you might say, in the sack lunch of soccer.

Hooliganism is often called "the English disease," a phrase that's unfair if only because it doesn't give tooth decay its due. The phenomenon is unmistakably Anglo, even as English fans point fingers—more often than not middle ones—elsewhere. Sometimes they are correct to do so. Last Saturday a German hooligan took an iron bar to the head of a French policeman, leaving the gendarme in a coma. But blame-shifting is a longstanding tradition among English hooligans. The very epithet that describes these louts is an Irish, not English, surname. After English fans rioted in Marseilles on the opening weekend of the World Cup, apologists blamed overly aggressive police, overly rabid fans of Tunisia (England's first opponent), even schedulers who slated England to play on a Monday, which gave its fans a full weekend to load up on lager.

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