Who hit it big and who busted at last week's momentous Olympic
Beijing, which will host the 2008 Summer Olympics, and Belgium's
Jacques Rogge, who will succeed Juan Antonio Samaranch as IOC
president, weren't the only ones with their five-ring futures at
stake at the IOC meeting in Moscow. Here's a look at how others
Olympic sponsors. Beijing's selection means that big-money
sponsors like Coke and Kodak, who are paying roughly $70 million
each, will win exposure to an emerging Chinese market of 1.3
billion people--a tad larger than what Toronto or Paris offered.
Vancouver. Had Toronto won, Canada would have had no chance of
hosting the 2010 Winter Games. Instead, with the Olympics going
to Europe in 2004 (Greece) and 2006 (Italy) and Asia in 2008,
this third-time bidder is an early front-runner against what
insiders think will be a weak field. Toronto's loss also keeps
alive the chances that a U.S. city could land the 2012 Games.
Detente-ists. The Beijing selection was cheered by those who
think the Olympics will help create a more open China. "It is not
quite Ping-Pong diplomacy, because China was really closed [when
President Nixon visited there in 1972]," former Secretary of
State Henry Kissinger, who attended the session, told SI, "but
the Olympics will expose more of China to the world and the world
to China. This can be very good."
Reform. Rogge, unlike chief competitor Kim Un Yong, was untainted
by the Salt Lake scandal. In addition, Kim's candidacy may have
been sunk by last-minute talk that he would push for $50,000
stipends to IOC members to cover expenses. Said Swiss member Marc
Hodler of Rogge's 59-23 final margin of victory, "It sends a
wonderful message that not more than 23 votes can be bought."
NBC. The 12-hour time difference between the U.S. East Coast and
Beijing won't help the network. Still, that's less than Sydney's
15 hours, and NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol says that will
make it easier to have live events, including some finals, in
U.S. prime time.
The French. Devastated by their poor showing in the balloting for
2008--Paris received only 33 votes of the 207 cast in the two
rounds of voting--French officials say they may not even resubmit
their bid for 2012. "We were fewer than Istanbul in the first
round," says French IOC member Jean-Claude Killy. "Such little
respect for Paris is a kick in the backside."
Minor sports and wannabe Olympic events. Rogge has decried the
Games' gigantism and believes sports should be cut, not added.
Although he has not mentioned events by name, rhythmic
gymnastics, synchronized swimming and modern pentathlon might be
in trouble. Kim, on the other hand, argued that events could be
added by trimming the overall number of competitors. He had
specifically mentioned golf as a potential future Olympic sport.
Sorry, Tiger. --Brian Cazeneuve
The Eight Cities Vying to Be The U.S.'s 2012 Candidate
New York PRO Hard to ignore most important city never to have
hosted Games CON Scant history with international multisport
events; transit and traffic chaos likely
San Francisco PRO A favorite vacation spot of IOCers CON Events
would be too spread out geographically
Los Angeles PRO Perceived favorably for its $230 million profit
in '84 CON Does it deserve a third Games?
Washington, D.C. PRO Excellent facilities in place CON IOC
harbors bad memories of Samaranch's treatment by Congress
Dallas PRO Successfully hosted many amateur competitions CON
After Atlanta, IOC may never return to American South
Houston, Tampa See Dallas
Cincinnati Get real
MORE BCS B.S.
SMASH YOUR COMPUTERS!
When Florida State finished ahead of Miami in the Bowl
Championship Series rankings last year even though the Seminoles
had lost to the Hurricanes at midseason, the commissioners of the
major conferences that run the BCS defended the outcome. "The
computers are as objective as you can get," ACC chief John
Swofford said in December. After Oklahoma blew out Florida State
13-2 in the national championship game, BCS officials abandoned
So for the second time in three years the BCS guardians went back
to the drawing boards. Last week they announced that their
formula--which factors in record, strength-of-schedule rankings,
two polls and eight computer ratings--will be rejiggered. Two
computer formulas that heavily weighed margin of victory are out,
replaced by two that ignore or minimize it. Also, a team's
highest and lowest computer ranking will be thrown out.
(Previously, only the lowest score was tossed.) The biggest
change, though, is the inclusion of a reward for a win over a top
15 opponent. A team will get 1.5 BCS points for defeating the No.
1 team, 1.4 for beating No. 2 and so on. Reward points will
change weekly with the ratings, meaning if you beat the No. 5
team in October, you'll get 1.1 bonus points, but those points
will disappear if the team drops out of the top 15. Had this
system been in effect last season, the Hurricanes would have
finished ahead of the Seminoles and gone on to play the Sooners
in the Orange Bowl. That's no accident. "This issue was
accelerated by the fact that Florida State lost," says Swofford.
This knee-jerk reaction cheapens the performance of the Sooners.
Rather than point to Florida State as an example of what went
wrong with the system, shouldn't BCS officials accept the
possibility that Oklahoma played an outstanding defensive game?
The constant tinkering also underscores the basic flaw in relying
on math as a substitute for on-field competition. But, as
Swofford emphasized again last week, Division I-A presidents show
no interest in playoffs, and they're certainly not going to go
back to the two-poll system. That, in a nutshell, is why the BCS
has to apply symptomatic cures year after year, redressing
perceived wrongs of the seasons just past. The lords of the BCS
insist upon relying on their ever-objective, and yet
ever-suspect, computers. --Ivan Maisel
The artists at Alexander Global Promotions--the Bellevue, Wash.,
company responsible for most of the bobble-head dolls that have
become the super-hot promotional giveaway for sports teams--have
an unenviable task: creating tiny likenesses of well-known sports
stars using only a few ounces of ceramic and a couple dabs of
paint. After all, they're dealing with particularly touchy
subjects: image-conscious jocks. Some athletes, unhappy with the
resemblance, have been known to send their dolls back to be
redone--maybe the skin tone isn't quite right, the eye color is
off or the muscles aren't sufficiently cut. We assembled a few
recent dolls for a little side-by-side test. You be the judge of
how closely these bobble-heads mimic the real thing.
Q Who are Street and Smith?
A Their names are instantly familiar to any fan who has perused
newsstands for season previews of any sport from college
football to hockey. Yet neither Francis Scott Street nor Francis
Shubael Smith had even a passing interest in sports. In 1855
Street and Smith took over The New York Weekly Dispatch, a
popular newspaper, from its aging owner, Amos Williamson. At the
time, Street was a 24-year-old office manager for the Dispatch,
and Smith was a 36-year-old reporter who had worked for the
hard-nosed New York Tribune. Together they built the Dispatch
into one of the city's top weeklies.
Upon Smith's death in 1887--Street had died four years
earlier--his son, Ormond, took control of the company. Under
Ormond's direction, Street & Smith became one of the largest
publishing firms in the world, printing newspapers, magazines,
comics and paperbacks. (Street & Smith published the famous
Horatio Alger series.) In 1940 the company debuted its Football
Year Book, a college football preview, and followed up the next
year with the Baseball Year Book. By 1955 the sports guides had
become established sellers, and by the time a pro football
annual was added in 1963, sports books had become Street &
Smith's sole focus--which would have come as a surprise to the
company's founders. As Martin Bounds, Street & Smith's vice
president of marketing and business development, says, "These
guys never saw a football game, and they probably never saw a
How to hold off Lance Armstrong in the mountains
Lance Armstrong has won two straight Tour de France titles
largely on his strength in the race's brutal mountain stages. As
of Monday he was 23rd in this year's Tour, with the Alps and
Pyrenees awaiting him. Here are tactics that rivals might want
to try to keep the yellow jersey off his back.
1. Separate him from his team By sending a second-tier rider on
an early breakaway, an opposing team can force Armstrong's U.S.
Postal Service mates to chase. Once they tire and fall back,
Armstrong will be vulnerable to an attacking team's No. 1 rider.
Says Sean Petty, a director of USA Cycling, "Lance doesn't want
to find himself on the base of the final climb alone."
2. Attack multiple times late in a stage Because energy is at
such a premium in the mountains, Armstrong must pick carefully
which attacks to counter and which to let go. "If he counters
everything," says Petty, "eventually an attack will slip by him."
3. Go early A tactic favored by five-time champion Bernard
Hinault, who would break away near the beginning of a mountain
stage. The peloton, or main pack, would let him go, thinking
Hinault couldn't last 100 kilometers in the mountains. Often he'd
prove them wrong. "It's a classic tactic but a huge risk," says
Andy Hampsten, who rode in eight Tours and finished fourth twice.
"You have to be really strong to do it."
4. Steal his food In his two Tour wins Armstrong lost significant
time to key rivals in just one mountain stage, when he didn't eat
enough and bonked on the final climb. His greatest enemy, then,
may be himself. "If he's on his form," Petty says, "he could ride
away no matter what the tactics are."
The Japanese media, by Mariners All-Stars Ichiro Suzuki and
Kazuhiro Sasaki. After Suzuki nearly struck a group of
photographers with his car while backing out of his driveway,
the two decided the press entourage from their home country had
gotten out of hand. Said their agent, Tony Attanasio, "They have
a right to be left alone when they leave the field. It's that
Construction on the Arizona Cardinals' new $335 million stadium
in Tempe, until the state's Tourism and Sports Authority
resolves concerns raised by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The FAA is worried that the venue may be a hazard to planes
flying in and out of Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport,
two miles away. Flight paths take planes over the site of the
planned 196-foot-tall stadium at 400 to 800 feet.
The Sammy Sosa Charitable Foundation, which the Cubs slugger
founded in 1998. It came under scrutiny in the spring of 2000
after a FORTUNE magazine article depicted it as ineptly managed.
The foundation's assets will be transferred to a child-care
clinic in Sosa's native Dominican Republic.
New York Giants 2001 first-rounder Will Allen, of $150,000 in
jewelry, in his Syracuse apartment building. He joins a
jewelry-theft victims' Hall of Fame that in recent years has
added Stephon Marbury of the Suns ($150,000 necklace ripped from
his neck on a Manhattan street), the Broncos' Bill Romanowski
(carry-on bag with $250,000 in jewelry pinched at Miami
airport), Jalen Rose of the Pacers ($250,000 in jewelry stolen
from Milwaukee's Bradley Center) and the Celtics' Antoine Walker
($55,000 watch stolen at gunpoint in Chicago).
Word for Word
A Real Tester
In Germany you need a license not just to drive, but to pitch and
putt. To regulate the quality of play, many of the country's
links require duffers to get a license, known as a Platzreife,
from the Association of Club-Free Golf Players. Golfers must take
a skills test and pass a written exam of 30 multiple-choice
questions based on the rules of the game as recognized by the
Royal & Ancient Golf Club and the USGA. Here are a few sample
1. A player swings at the ball and misses, then notices it
was not his ball at all but another player's. What happens?
A. 1-stroke penalty B. 2-stroke penalty C. No penalty
2. A player's ball ricochets off a tree, comes back, hits him
and comes to rest near his foot. He must play the ball where it
is, and he gets how many penalty strokes?
A. 1 stroke B. 2 strokes
3. A player marks his ball on the green with a tee. Does
he incur a penalty?
A. Yes B. No
4. A player is sure a ball stuck in a tree is his. He can see it
but can't positively identify it. Is his ball considered lost?
A. Yes B. No
5. What bunker obstacles are you allowed to move?
A. Cigarette pack B. Rake C. Pinecone
6. You land in the rough. As you are addressing the ball, you
step into the hole of a burrowing animal. Are you permitted
A. Yes, one-club length B. No
7. A ball has not completely rolled into the hole. The
player jumps up and down to shake the ground, and as a result the
ball falls in. Is this a violation?
A. Yes, 1- or 2-stroke penalty depending on whether ball was
moving B. No violation
ANSWERS: 1-B, 2-B, 3-B, 4-A, 5-A and B, 6-A, 7-A
Barry Bonds has been dealing with a lot of big numbers this
season, but earlier this month the figure 37 loomed particularly
large. On July 3, Barry's wife, Liz, threw an early surprise
birthday party at the Belly Lounge in L.A. for the slugger, who
hits the big three-seven on July 24. Gary Sheffield lured Barry
to the fete, where he was met by 150 guests, including Farrah
Fawcett, actor Paul Walker (The Fast and the Furious) and several
Giants teammates (among them Rich Aurilia and Eric Davis). Bonds
was particularly taken with Fawcett, holding her hand and
introducing her to the other players. Bill Cosby also phoned in
during the bash....
Faced with declining viewership, ESPN has decided to step into
new areas of programming, announcing last week that it will
produce its first made-for-TV movie. Production begins in
November on A Season on the Brink: A Year with Bob Knight and
the Indiana Hoosiers, a two-hour film based on John Feinstein's
1986 book. Casting on Season, which will debut next March, has
yet to begin. Might we suggest Dennis Hopper as the General
Chris Webber has reportedly closed the deal--with Tyra Banks.
The couple has been spotted acting cozy at various L.A. hot
spots. Neither Webber's nor Banks's spokespersons would comment,
but a source close to the model says they're keeping quiet for
fear of jinxing the relationship....
Who let the Dogg out? Rapper Snoop Dogg suited up for Magic
Johnson's All-Stars last week in L.A., for a Summer Pro League
game. In his first three minutes Snoop was whistled for three
fouls (not counting the style violation committed by his purple
sweatpants). At one point the hip-hopper went up to block a shot
and came down on an opposing player's shoulders. Later he hacked
Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez across the nose. In the end the
Doggfather acquitted himself decently on the courts: Against a
squad stocked with NBA hopefuls, he finished with 10 points, two
of which came on a spectacular drive through the lane. Guess his
game's got bite after all.
Average number of medications--including multivitamins,
painkillers and antiasthma drugs--used by Olympians during the
Sydney Games, according to an IOC survey; one athlete reported
taking 29 medications simultaneously.
Players used by the Angels as DH this season; through Sunday
they had combined to hit .220, with seven homers and 37 RBIs.
Stadiums that have hosted the Giants-Mariners series over the
past four seasons: 3Com Park, the Kingdome, Pac Bell Park and
Emmy nominations received by 61*, the HBO movie about the 1961
home run race between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle.
Winning 100-meter time of Les Amey, 101, in the men's 100-to-104
age group at the world over-40 track and field championships in
This Week's Sign of the Apocalypse
The URL www.tourdefrance.com takes users to a German adult site
called the NoCreditCard-Peepshow.
Capitals owner and America Online executive, justifying his
$19.7 million contract with former Penguins star Jaromir Jagr:
"I lost more in AOL stock yesterday than it cost me to sign Jagr."