- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
CASTING A SHADOW
With the XI Asian Games scheduled to begin in Beijing in late September, no one is sure who, if anyone, will represent Kuwait. International Olympic Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch says his organization supports "100 percent a true Kuwaiti team," but by last week's deadline neither the government-in-exile nor the current Iraqi-installed regime had submitted a roster of athletes to the games' Chinese organizers. If both governments eventually apply, a decision on which team to recognize would rest with the Beijing regime, which joined a dozen other nations on the United Nations Security Council last Saturday in voting to extend and to strengthen trade sanctions against Iraq.
Whatever the fate of the Asian Games, Iraq's annexation of Kuwait has already left its mark on sport. Among the 200 Kuwaitis who died during the invasion was IOC member Sheikh Fahd al-Ahmed al-Sabah, 45, the brother of exiled Kuwaiti emir Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah. He was shot while defending the palace. A distinguished figure in an array of international sports organizations, Sheikh Fahd had, ironically, helped smooth the way for Iraq's and Iran's participation in the Seoul Olympics. The Chinese took his death particularly hard, for as president of the Olympic Council of Asia, he would have presided over the Asian Games.
? New England linebacker Ed Reynolds, a captain in the Army Reserve and a Patriot in more ways than one, may be activated as part of President Bush's move last week to call up some 50,000 reservists. By law, the Pats must hold a spot for him on the team as long as his unit is activated—even if he's never sent to the Middle East.
?Itzik Cohen, 22, a 6'8" forward from Israel, had planned to play basketball at Wake Forest this season, but tensions in the Persian Gulf have prompted him to scrap those plans. Cohen has chosen instead to serve a three-year stint as a navigator with his country's air force. "As important as ACC basketball is," said his would-be coach, Dave Odom, "it's not the same thing as war."
?Three thoroughbreds entered in the forthcoming Arlington Million stakes race were scratched because officials couldn't reach their owners, including Prince Yazid Saud, a member of the Saudi royal family and owner of He de Niski. "Many European horse owners are from the Middle East, and these same owners are important members of their governments," said Nick Clark of the International Racing Bureau. "Their overriding preoccupation is the safety of their countries."
We're not making any guarantees, but one secret to an enduring marriage may be having a major league baseball team to watch. According to a study of census data by psychologist Howard Markman, director of the University of Denver's Center for Marital and Family Studies, the divorce rate in cities with major league baseball teams is 23% lower than the rate in cities now seeking big league franchises, among them Buffalo, Denver, Indianapolis, Miami and Phoenix. (All the aforementioned towns do have pro football teams, a fact that might be worthy of another study.) "I wouldn't want to overestimate how big a factor baseball is," says Markman, who is determined to have fun with his findings, "but [the numbers] are interesting."