Israel's State Cup, by the predominantly Arab Bnei Sakhnin soccer club, the first Arab-dominated team to win Israel's top tournament and qualify for the UEFA Cup. On May 19, just hours after 19 Palestinians died in a clash with Israeli troops in Gaza, Sakhnin's team of 12 Israeli Arabs, seven Israeli Jews and four foreigners won the final, 4-1 over Hapoel Haifa in Tel Aviv. Cash-strapped Sakhnin's own stadium is in such poor condition that it is unfit for play. Said Mohamed Bashir, the mayor of Sakhnin, "If a football team can overcome all these barriers, so can the politicians, the clergy and the educators."
By Manchester United and its New Jersey-bred goalie Tim Howard, the FA Cup, with a 3-0 victory over Millwall last Saturday. Howard '#$& (right, on shoulders) is the first American to hoist the 133-year-old Cup, the oldest team trophy in sports. After five years in MLS, Howard, 24, joined Man U before the 2003-2004 season and was named goal-' keeper of the year in England's Premier i League. "It is a good feeling," said Howard of winning the title, "better than advertised."
Before a Colorado grand jury, a former escort service manager who claims her agency was paid $2,000 by Nathan Maxcey, a former Colorado University assistant recruiting coordinator, to arrange sex for recruits. Pasha Cowen, who no longer works for Best Variety escort service in Boulder, was among three witnesses who spoke before the grand jury last Friday as part of attorney general Ken Salazar's investigation into allegations of sexual assault and misappropriation of school (read: state) funds at CU. (Salazar recently decided not to press criminal charges in nine alleged assaults, citing concerns about lack of evidence and the reluctance of women to move forward with their cases.) The 28-year-old Maxcey, who is no longer affiliated with CU, has repeatedly said that he hired Best Variety escorts for his personal use.
By the Yankees, Cracker Jack. The III-year-old snack is being replaced by a rival caramel popcorn at Yankee Stadium concession stands, leaving ballpark singers to yearn for "peanuts and...Crunch 'n Munch." Blasphemy? "[Crunch 'n Munch] is the same thing as Cracker Jack," Yankees COO Lonn Trost told The New York Times. The move comes after Crunch 'n Munch won a taste test and, says a Yankees spokesman, because Cracker Jack now comes only in bags, which break open more easily than boxes.
As golf coach at Utah, Wayne Fisher, 45, after students complained I that his drinking and driving had endangered their lives. Fisher consumed alcohol on the team's flight from Salt Lake City to Portland in late April, then drove the players in a van four hours to a tournament. After returning to school, five players signed a letter to the athletic department in which they said Fisher was obviously impaired and that he did not realize "the importance of his responsibility as a coach, guardian and role model." Fisher, who had been at Utah since 1995, said he had only two drinks and did not endanger the students. But with an investigation in progress he stepped down last Friday, saying it was "the best thing" for the program and his family.
TONY RANDALL 1920-2004
Eulogized At a funeral in New York City, actor Tony Randall, 84, who died on May 17 of pneumonia. Randall's classic role as anal-retentive bachelor Felix Unger on ABC's The Odd Couple (1970-75) included a visit to the Monday Night Football set with his sports-writer roomie Oscar Madison ( Jack Klugman) who was to sit in with Howard Cosell. When Madison became paralyzed with fear, Unger grabbed the mike to do play-by-play: " Roger Staubach takes the snap from center. He elegantly fakes a handoff to Duane Thomas and fades back to pass. He's in trouble...he's scrambling...he's scrambling with the dexterity of a lizard!" Said Klugman, 82, at the service, "A world without Tony Randall is a world I will never recognize."