Brandi Chastain's celebration of her World Cup-clinching kick wasn't the first striptease in sports history. Going topless is so common in soccer that FIFA, the sport's governing body, handed down a ruling making shirt removal a yellow card offense—a penalty Brazilian star Rivaldo of Spain's Deportivo la Coruña avoided in 1996 by tearing off his jersey to reveal an identical Coruña jersey beneath.
Shirt-shedding isn't soccer-specific, either. Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras routinely fling their sweat-drenched shirts to fans after tournament victories. During his years with the Bulls, Dennis Rodman often threw his top into the crowd after home wins, giving fans a peek at his latest piercings and tattoos. The postrace peel is a time-honored track and field tradition—sprinters like Dennis Mitchell often follow a 10-second race with a topless victory lap lasting a minute or more. Not even the sport of kings is immune: After Lite Light won the 1991 Coaching Club American Oaks, the filly's part owner Stanley Burrell, a.k.a. Hammer, removed his shirt and traded high-fives with other denizens of Belmont Park's posh clubhouse.
Will we see a downward trend? After he scored in an English soccer game in '95, goalie Jonathan Smith ripped off his shorts, an act for which he was fined £6 (about $10). "It came as quite a shock," Smith said of the penalty, echoing the reaction of fans who had just learned that Smith, like President Clinton, wears boxers.
UCLA Parking Scam
Anyone who saw UCLA lose to Miami 49-45 last December might call the Bruins' defense pass-challenged, but porousness is not recognized as a handicap under the Americans with Disabilities Act. That's why 14 current and former UCLA football players—including guard Oscar Cabrera, fullback Durell Price and linebackers Ryan Nece and Tony White, all starters last season—are in trouble with the law. Last Thursday, Los Angeles city attorney Jim Hahn filed criminal charges against the players, accusing them of submitting false applications for handicapped-parking permits. According to Hahn's office the players' applications claimed bogus disabilities and bore the signatures of nonexistent doctors. The Los Angeles Times reported that one player cited Bell's palsy, a condition that typically causes temporary facial paralysis, as his handicap. Another used "bad knees" as his reason for needing to use special parking spaces.
The players could face six months in jail and fines of $1,000 each. "I am embarrassed and disappointed for the young men who were involved," said UCLA coach Bob Toledo. "Those individuals will be disciplined by me."
Sports Web Sites
Agent Arn Tellem had a great NBA draft, with two of his clients among the first five picks. Michael Noonan did well, too, with two of the top six. Now Tellem will negotiate for Baron Davis and Jonathan Bender, while Noonan will try to deal off the pair of Web addresses to which he owns the rights: lamarodom.com and szczerbiak.com.
Noonan, 24, is a cybersquatter, a speculator who registers Internet addresses that contain catchy phrases or the names of the famous or potentially famous. (Anyone can register an unclaimed name by paying around $70 to one of four clearinghouses.) He recently put eight sports-related addresses, including terrelldavis.com and kerrywood.com, up for bid on a squatters' auction site, DotBroker.com.
Last year Compaq, the computer company, paid $3.35 million for the address altavista.com to use for its popular search engine. This month the National Thoroughbred Racing Association made a five-figure payment for NTRA.com. In each case the address had been registered by a company already doing business under the same name or acronym. Squatters are trickier. They often use celebrities' names to draw visitors to completely unrelated sites. Raymond McElroy hawks a vitamin guide at sammysosa.com, a site featuring a cursory tribute to the Cubs' slugger and the line, "Notice: This domain name...is for sale." Sports figures can be tough customers, however. Two years ago Ira Rainess, Cal Ripken's agent, refused to pay a squatter several thousand dollars for calripken.com. That's why Ripken's home page can be found at 2131.com.