On May 29, 1985, at a stadium in Brussels, English soccer fans rioted during the European Cup final between Liverpool and Turin, Italy. Thirty-eight spectators were killed in the melee. Shortly thereafter English soccer teams were banned from European competition.
On Easter Sunday a team from Liverpool played a national team from Belgium on English soil. Five hundred people came to Liverpool's Kirkby Sports Center to watch two Special Olympics squads compete. Liverpool won 9-1, but both teams went out to celebrate together. Special Olympics, which sponsors athletic events for the mentally retarded and has staged Arab-Israeli and Northern Ireland- Irish Republic soccer games, called this one the Leading-the-Way-Back Match.
Now that Tampa Bay has signed Vinny Testaverde to a reported six-year, $8.2 million contract preparatory to making him the No. 1 pick in next week's NFL draft, it's worth noting a bit of draft trivia. Of the 16 quarterbacks who have been the No. 1 selection in the draft, only one—Terry Bradshaw of the Steelers—has led the team that picked him to an NFL championship. Two others, Bill Wade and Jim Plunkett, led teams other than the ones that drafted them to NFL titles, and Paul Hornung, the No. 1 choice in the 1957 draft, helped the Green Bay Packers to five championships after being switched from quarterback to running back.
Just something to think about, Tampa Bay.
BALLPLAYERS FOR SALE
Have $1,500 to invest on a long shot? Call Miles Wolff, president of the Butte ( Mont.) Copper Kings of the rookie Pioneer League. Wolff plans to "sell" the contracts of some of his players for $1,500 each to help defray operational costs. "We don't have a major league affiliation this year," says Wolff, publisher of the tabloid Baseball America. "We have to find some way to meet expenses. Butte isn't a big town."
Investors won't actually own a player's contract, but their $1,500 will pay his salary ($600 a month for a 2�-month season) and possibly bring them a solid return—if the player is picked by a major league organization for the $4,000 Class A draft price. "If big league clubs are interested in two or three of your players, that's as much as you can hope," says Wolff.
The team's roster will be assembled in June, mostly from undrafted college players. Prospective investors will receive scouting reports on each player from Butte's yet-to-be-hired manager. "We'll only sell the contracts of six or eight of our players," says Wolff. "We don't want to sell a utility infielder in the Pioneer League as a prospect." Even at that, he says, investors "shouldn't be looking at this as anything other than fun. If they happen to get their money back, that's just icing on the cake."