Publish date:

7 Days

While you were transfixed by the NFL, NHL, PGA, and NASCAR, you probably missed some of the weird and wondrous things that go on each week in the world of sports. Here are a few items from wire services and local papers that might have slipped under your radar.



NAPLES, Fla.--Two-time swamp buggy world champion David Sims was hospitalized when his vehicle flipped in front of about 10,000 spectators at the Budweiser Fall Classic races at the Florida Sports Park. Sims's modified four-wheel-drive vehicle collided with another buggy, went end over end, then slammed into murky water and folded over Sims like a soggy paper plate. The Naples Daily News reports that Sims was helicoptered to Naples Community Hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair broken bones on his left foot. "I'm probably done," Sims said later about his driving career. "I don't have a buggy anymore, and I doubt I'll build another one. But I went out in a blaze of glory."


ST. PAUL--A Minneapolis Star Tribune poll shows pro wrestler Jesse (the Body) Ventura running a strong third in next week's election for governor of Minnesota. Urging voters to "drop the remote, get out and vote," Ventura espouses a libertarian philosophy--he would allow some private citizens to carry concealed weapons and said recently that he's open to the idea of government oversight of prostitution. His election-day message to voters: "A vote for Jesse Ventura is a vote for Jesse Ventura."


MONTREAL--Mike Pringle, a 31-year-old halfback with the Montreal Alouettes, set the Canadian Football League single-season rushing record in Montreal's 58-44 victory over Winnipeg. His 102 yards against the Blue Bombers gave him 2,064 yards with one game still remaining. Pringle, who set the old CFL mark of 1,972 yards in 1994, became only the fifth pro to gain 2,000 rushing yards in a season. The others: Eric Dickerson, Barry Sanders and O.J. Simpson in the NFL, and Herschel Walker in the USFL.


ROSEMONT, Ill.--Lyman Sheats, an engineer for game-maker Williams Electronics, racked up 476,388,740 points to beat Glen Wilson in the finals of the Pinball Expo '98 championship. This year's event drew 7,500 players, including entrants from Argentina, Belgium, England, Japan and South Africa.


GRAND FORKS, N.Dak.--The University of North Dakota swimming teams are in the midst of a two-week rake-a-thon to raise $3,000 to pay for their annual Christmas-break training trip to Sarasota, Fla. "We charge a basic rate of $30 a lawn," says coach Mike Stromberg. "If people want to give more, they can. If not, they can give less. No matter what, we have fun. Believe it or not, there are kids on this team who have never used a rake before, so this should be good for them."



PHILADELPHIA--Arthur (Yah) Davis, who averaged 14.7 points per game as a freshman and helped St. Joseph's advance to the Sweet 16 of the 1997 NCAA tournament, was hospitalized because of what his agent described as "an adverse reaction to Excedrin." St. Joe's coach, Phil Martelli, told the Philadelphia Daily News that he'd received a call from a policeman who said someone had dropped off an incoherent Davis at the hospital, telling a staffer, "This is Arthur Davis. You have to take care of him." Davis declared his intention to turn pro last March, but he has not yet signed with a team.


ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt.--Union Baptist Christian School's soccer team was roughed up and routed 10-1 by Mid Vermont Christian School. "We never got our heads into this one," UBCS coach Jon Brady told The Caledonian Record. "We're going to forget about this game and look forward to our next match." The Conquerors (4-5) return to action on Nov. 3 for a 3:30 p.m. home game against the Austine School for the Deaf.


YOKOHAMA, Japan--The Yokohama BayStars won the Japan Series for the first time in 38 years, beating the Seibu Lions 2-1 on Norihiro Komada's two-run, eighth-inning double in Game 6. But tragedy marred the celebration 18 days earlier, when the BayStars clinched the pennant: An ardent and inebriated fan wearing a BayStars jacket jumped off a bridge and drowned. Witnesses say he was shouting praise for his favorite team as he fell.


PAWTUCKET, R.I.--The National Hockey League and its players' association have agreed to let Hasbro Inc. make toys bearing the names and likenesses of NHL players. The deal is an attempt to profit from and bolster the increasing popularity of hockey among children. "Attracting kids to hockey is critical to our strategy for growing our base," said Steve Solomon, the NHL's senior vice president and chief operating officer. Under the deal Hasbro, the nation's second-largest toymaker, plans to begin selling toys and action figures that can shoot slap shots by next fall. After that, the company plans to market an NHL version of Monopoly and Nerf-brand toys.


KABUL, Afghanistan--The Taliban army, which controls 90% of Afghanistan and enforces a strict interpretation of Islam, asked organizers of both the Asian and the Olympic Games to revise their ban on beards. Taliban men must emulate the unshaven prophet Muhammad or face public beatings. The Taliban's sports minister, Mullah Abdul Shakoor Muttmayan, said that bearded boxers have been barred from international competitions, including three in Pakistan in October. The Taliban hopes to send 40 bearded athletes to the Asian Games in Thailand in December and to the 2000 Summer Olympics in Australia.



BIRMINGHAM--In the sixth inning of the Birmingham-Southern Fall Classic, Gadsden State's Kevin Horton served up a pitch that Birmingham-Southern's Chad Post hit 450 feet over the left centerfield fence, over some netting and into the parking lot for a home run. After the game, which Gadsden lost 9-7, Horton found that the windshield of his Chevrolet Cavalier had been smashed.

On his backseat, amid the broken glass, was a baseball. The baseball hit by Post.


HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY Announced that the sports information office has been renamed the office of athletic communications.


KINSHASA, Congo--The Congolese Press Agency reported that a lightning bolt killed all 11 soccer players on a team from the village of Bena Tshadi. Investigators, noting that none of the opposing players from a nearby village were injured by the strike, blamed the lightning on witchcraft. Sorcery is often used by locals in an attempt to influence soccer games.


MILAN--A French doctor who lives in Italy admitted that he has given the banned drug EPO to Serie A soccer players. Dr. Jerome Malzac, who advocates the use of EPO even during halftimes of games, told the Gazzetta dello Sport that he has been questioned by a Turin state prosecutor who is investigating the black market for drugs in Italy.


Kew Gardens, N.Y.--Former New York Jets defensive lineman Mark Gastineau posted bail at a Queens courthouse to ensure his reappearance there for a trial in November. The charges against him stem from a February assault against a woman he was dating at the time and threats he made in August against another woman, who is now his wife. In the latter case, he was charged with a misdemeanor assault of his then fiancee, Patricia Schorr, and she was issued an order of protection. He married Schorr on Sept. 28 and reportedly skipped a court date to go on his honeymoon.



ATLANTA--The late Lloyd Mangrum, who won the 1946 U.S. Open and 35 other tournaments during a career interrupted by World War II, was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame. Mangrum received exactly the 75% of the vote required for induction.

Greg Norman was the only other PGA Tour player who came close in the balloting, receiving 65.8% of the vote. There is no truth to the rumor that Norman had 80% of the vote going into the final ballot.


TOKYO--Seeking to make matches more exciting, volleyball's world governing body changed scoring rules to award points to the team that wins a rally in all five games in a match, regardless of which team is serving.


NEW YORK CITY--Michael Jordan announced he will retire at the end of this year. Jordan is CBS's chairman and CEO.


DARWIN, Australia--Australian Rules football player John Darling was banned for seven weeks for smearing his own blood onto an opponent's face. Northern Territory Football League general manager Greg Trappett said the relatively light sentence was due to the fact that Darling, who has no memory of the incident, may have been concussed at the time.


MILWAUKEE--Milwaukee Brewers infielder John Jaha's scheduled talk with students as part of his drunken-driving sentence has been vetoed by school administrators. Matthew Gibson, superintendent of the suburban Elmbrook School District, said parents and principals disliked the idea because, as one man wrote, Jaha has "not met the test of time to qualify as a role model for children."

Jaha pleaded guilty in July to drunken driving and was fined $783. He agreed to speak to students as part of his community-service sentence.



BOSTON--Police have increased security for a courthouse vault after learning that the wills of baseball Hall of Famers Hugh Duffy, Tommy McCarthy, George Wright and another, unnamed Hall of Famer are missing. "It's a sad day," said Richard Iannella, the Suffolk County registrar of probate, "[when] people can't come in to freely look at these files, which are public records."


NORTHRIDGE, Calif.--Cal State-Northridge relieved women's basketball coach Michael Abraham of his duties and placed him on paid administrative leave. Abraham was arrested on federal drug charges for possession of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. If convicted, Abraham, who reportedly told his team that he is innocent, faces a minimum 10-year prison term.


EDINBURGH, Scotland--Tynecastle Hearts midfielder Colin Cameron underwent a secret double-hernia operation in a final bid to repair the debilitating injury that has hampered his play this year, The Scotsman reported.


HOUSTON--Robert McNair, who is trying to get an NFL team for Houston, said he may try to buy the Broncos if a Denver stadium referendum fails on Nov. 3. The Denver Post reports that McNair said he'd like to own the "Houston Broncos."

McNair and Houston civic leaders have already agreed on plans for a $310 million, 70,000-seat retractable-roof stadium to be built next to the Astrodome.


SEATTLE MARINERS Signed infielder Davide Dallospedale.



HURST, Texas--Irving High junior Tyson Thompson rushed for a state Class 5-A record 526 yards on 33 carries against L.D. Bell high school. He scored seven touchdowns in the Tigers' 45-29 victory. His longest scoring run was 91 yards, and his shortest was 47 yards.

The overall state record was established in a 1978 private school game, when Houston Marian's Rudy Rudison rushed for 599 yards against Memorial Hall.


LOS ANGELES--El Camino Real High coach Rick Hayashida and assistants Terry Fischer and Brandon Fuchs dressed in uniform and pads and participated in full-contact drills during warmups for their game with unbeaten Granada Hills. "We might win and we might lose," Fischer told the Los Angeles Times, "but nobody is going to accuse of us of not doing everything we can." Granada Hills won 28-21.


AUCKLAND, New Zealand--Olympic decathlete Simon Poelman was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison after being found guilty of importing $100,000 worth of Ecstasy into New Zealand. Prosecutors alleged that Poelman mailed a toy rabbit stuffed with 1,990 tablets of the drug from Antwerp to an unsuspecting friend in Auckland.

Poelman, who competed in the 1988 and '92 Olympics and was once ranked sixth in the world, showed no emotion as the sentence was announced, but outside the courthouse his lawyer, Peter Kaye, said his client felt "a complete sense of relief that it's over."


HAYS, Mont.--Lisa Woods, an exchange student from Australia, set the state high school girls' scoring record with 59 points in Turner's 67-54 victory over Hays-Lodgepole. Woods, who made two three-pointers and hit 23 of 38 free throws, surpassed Big Sandy standout Marietta Bahnmiller, who scored 58 points in a 1985 game. Turner High has an enrollment of 30, and four of its seven girls' basketball players are foreign-exchange students.


BERLIN--Bayer Leverkusen hammered Moenchengladbach 8-2 on Friday in the most one-sided Bundesliga match in 13 years. Moenchengladbach had to play without any of its regular starters, who were all out with injuries. Its roster was so depleted that the team suited up its marketing director, Thomas Eichin, a former Moenchengladbach midfielder who retired two years ago.

LONDON--After a 75-minute hearing Aston Villa's Australian goalkeeper Mark Bosnich was cleared of misconduct charges when the league's three-man disciplinary committee found no proof that he had cursed at soccer fans during a match against Everton on Aug. 15.

In 1996 Bosnich was fined $1,600 for making a Nazi-style salute during a game at Tottenham. He said later he didn't mean to offend anyone.



ASBURY PARK, N.J.--The Asbury Park High football team, in the midst of its best season in more than a decade, swept to a 48-7 homecoming victory over Point Pleasant Beach, running its record to 8-0. But the Blue Bishops must forfeit six of those wins because the school's athletic director misread a rule and allowed an ineligible student to play.

Last year an administrative blunder over a player's eligibility and the resulting forfeiture cost the team two games and a share of the conference title. The mistakes have angered many in the economically depressed town, which one city council member has described to the Newark Star-Ledger as "Sarajevo-by-the-Sea."


CHEYNEY, Pa.--Ameer Hayes threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns as Cheyney ended a Division II-record 52-game winless streak with a 40-13 rout of Mansfield.

Cheyney (1-8), which had lost 39 in a row since playing to a tie three years ago, ended the streak with a 34-point second half. The Wolves last won in 1993, against Kutztown.


AUTO RACING Sergio Paese of Brazil was fined $10,000 and suspended from Indy Lights competition for kicking another driver at California Speedway.


SACRAMENTO--Eastern Washington's Bashir Levingston ran back three kickoffs for touchdowns--an NCAA Division I-AA game and season record--and set three other single-game records in a 31-25 victory over Sacramento State. The others: kickoff return yards, average return yardage and total return yardage. After Sacramento State took a 25-23 lead with 7:29 remaining, Levingston returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for the game-winning score.


COLOR PHOTO: AP [Plaque for George Wright]

B/W PHOTO: MARTIN MEJIA/AP [Andrea Gonzalez and others in in-line skating event]

B/W PHOTO: CHERYL HATCH/NAPLES DAILY NEWS [David Sims driving swamp buggy]

COLOR PHOTO: SHERWIN CASTRO/AP [People practicing circus acrobatics on apparatus on beach]

B/W PHOTO: RYAN REMIORZ/AP [Hockey player knocking opposing player in air in front of net]


COLOR PHOTO: WILL HART/HBO [Danny Romero's hand punching Vuyani Bungu in nose in boxing match]

B/W PHOTO: ADAM PRETTY/ALLSPORT [Man in wheelchair holding basketball]

B/W PHOTO: REUTERS UNLUCKY STRIKE JOHANNESBURG, South Africa--Two pro soccer players were hospitalized after lightning struck a field, injuring six members of the Moroka Swallows during their match against the Jomo Cosmos. [Trainers attending to injured soccer player]

COLOR PHOTO: STEVE WOIT/NEW YORK TIMES [Jesse (the Body) Ventura exercising]

COLOR PHOTO: CHERYL HATCH/NAPLES DAILY NEWS [David Sims driving swamp buggy]

COLOR PHOTO: LAURENCE GRIFFITHS/ALLSPORT PERTH, Australia--English cricketer Darren Gough ignores the advice of kibbitzers at the Vine Golf Club. [Darren Gough finishing golfing in front of kangaroos]

B/W PHOTO: KYODO NEWS/AP [Yokahama BayStars team celebrating after winning the Japan Series]

COLOR PHOTO: AFP [Bearded Muslim man]

COLOR PHOTO: ETHAN MILLER/LAS VEGAS SUN REMAIN SEATED! LAS VEGAS--Freshman forward Chris Richardson won the slam dunk competition at the UNLV Fan Jam by throwing down a lob from a Runnin' Rebel teammate sitting in front of the basket.

COLOR PHOTO: ERIC GAY/AP FORT WORTH--Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez returns a borrowed sombrero after opening a youth ballpark he helped fund.

COLOR PHOTO: DAVID DUPREY/AP Magic Flutie Doug Flutie's brand of cornflakes were so hot in Buffalo that stores could not keep them in stock. [Box of Flutie Flakes cereal]

COLOR PHOTO: ED BAILEY/AP [Mark Gastineau being escorted in handcuffs]

COLOR PHOTO: ADAM PRETTY/ALLSPORT Chairmen of the Board SYDNEY--England and Australia clashed in the quarterfinals of the World Wheelchair Championships. [Man in wheelchair holding basketball]

COLOR PHOTO: DAN STAUDACHER-BAY CITY TIMES/AP ON PINS AND NEEDLES BAY CITY, MICH.--Avid bowling fans monitor action at the Bay City Classic live and on TV. [Bowling fans watching bowling tournament on television sets in bowling alley]

COLOR PHOTO: BRIAN ERLER SHUTTLE DIPLOMACY CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.--Dean O'Flaherty gets a close look at the launch of space shuttle Discovery. [Dean O'Flaherty, dressed as Uncle Sam, skysurfing while space shuttle Discovery takes off in background]

COLOR PHOTO: MARTIN MEJIA/AP [Plaque for George Wright]

COLOR PHOTO: AP Blade RunCUENCA, Ecuador--Andrea Gonzalez of Argentina entered 14 in-line skating events at the South American Games, and won them all. [Andrea Gonzalez leading others in in-line skating event]

B/W PHOTO: THOMAS KIENZLE/AP STUTTGART, Germany--Marcelo Rios defaulted in the Eurocard Open after pulling a muscle playing soccer with a tennis ball during warmups. [Marcelo Rios in tennis match]

COLOR PHOTO: JEFF BASSETT--OTTAWA SUN/AP Mugged Shot KANATA, Ont.--The Ottawa Senators' Andreas Dackell shows off the 30 stitches he got after a bodycheck by the Flyers' Eric Lindros. [Andreas Dackell]

COLOR PHOTO: MARK BAKER/REUTERS JURASSIC LARK SYDNEY--Schoolboy races dinosaur on a 15-meter track at the Terrorsaurus exhibit at the Australian Museum. [Boy running next to moving image of dinosaur]

COLOR PHOTO: LEILA GORCHEV/AP PYRAMID POWER GIZA, Egypt--Arantxa Sanchez Vicario served to Anna Kournikova in the finals of the Al-Ahram International Tennis Championships at the Giza pyramids. Sanchez Vicario won 6-4, 6-2.

COLOR PHOTO: WILL HART/HBO ATLANTIC CITY--Before all eyes turned to the Prince Naseem Hamed-Wayne McCullough main event, Vuyani Bungu (left) nosed out Danny Romero to retain his IBF junior featherweight title. [Danny Romero punching Vuyani Bungu in nose in boxing match]

COLOR PHOTO: CATHY SEITH/ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION ATLANTA--Tiger Woods let his hair way down during the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club. [Tiger Woods wearing Afro wig]