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THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

Some Men Will Do Anything for Beer

July 07, 1998|SHAV GLICK

Here's a new sport for those bored with the usual fare--wife carrying.

Two Estonian men, each seeking to win his wife's weight in beer, carried their partners on their backs to first and second places in the Wife Carrying World Championships in Helsinki, Finland.

The winning couple, Imre Ambos and Annela Ojaste, beat a field of 37 couples from eight countries. The top two finishers carried their wives upside down over their backs, a departure from previous years when the piggyback carry triumphed.

"We had some really fit, young sportsmen, and the women were as light as grasshoppers," said Hannu Keranen, one of the organizers.

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Feminist view: Reacting to suggestions that wife carrying was demeaning to women, the region's governor, Pirjo Ala-Kapee, said she approved of the contest.

"If anything, it's uplifting," she said. "It's also authentic and exotic."

Any word from Gloria Allred?

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Trivia time: Who holds the record for most home runs in All-Star games?

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All in the K's: Strikeout king Roger Clemens obviously loves the letter K, baseball's scoring code for a strikeout. The Toronto Blue Jays pitcher's four children all have names beginning with K--Koby, Kory, Kacy and Kody.

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Some imagination: Stacy Compton, a regular in NASCAR's truck series, explains what it's like to drive a 3,400-pound truck in a 200-mile race:

"Imagine yourself in a dryer on tumble dry going wide-open. You are trying to focus, stay out of trouble and race door-to-door with 30 drivers without hitting anybody."

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A Rose is a Rose: When the Cincinnati Reds dropped Pete Rose Jr. from their future plans, it didn't sit well with Junior's dad, who toiled for the Reds for 16 years.

"There's too many players in the big leagues who can't play as good as my kid," said the elder Rose. "I just don't understand why he can't get a chance."

Rose Jr. is now playing with the triple-A Nashville Sounds, a Pittsburgh Pirate affiliate.

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Worth a try: Olympic gold-medal winning wrestler winner Jeff Blatnick, after being named president of the newly formed Mixed Martial Arts Council, said one of his main objectives was "to prove to critics that MMA is a sport."

Good luck.

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Secret weapon: When Bret Saberhagen's fastball was clocked between 78 and 81 mph in the Boston Red Sox's win over Montreal, he explained his success:

"I think the guys over there thought, 'Geez, he's throwing a lot of changeups.' Those were fastballs."

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Trivia answer: Stan Musial, with six.

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And finally: Ann Killion, who is covering the World Cup for the San Jose Mercury News, is not happy with U.S. Soccer's recommendation that its young prospects skip college, or even leave high school early, to get professional experience.

"That's not what most of us soccer moms envision when we pile the kids into the sport-utility vehicles," she wrote. "Most of the American public, I believe, considers college a good thing."

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