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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Sports Dating Is Anything but Obvious

August 09, 2000|MIKE TERRY

Where do men and women prefer to go on a first sports date? According to a survey by SportsDating.com--no, we're not making this up, it's a real Web site--the sexes have vastly different opinions.

More than 500 female sports fans responded to the survey and a majority wanted to go to a baseball or football game. The top choice was baseball (41%), followed by football (32%).

Of the more than 500 men polled, 32% believed a woman would prefer figure skating. The women gave that 10% of their votes.

The men also believed their dates would enjoy women's tennis (22%), but only 4% of the women chose that sport.

In fact, 78% of the men thought women preferred to view female sports. But only 16% of the women responded that way.

"Many of the females responding stated that they preferred a sport where they could converse with their date and still follow the action," said Joel Benson, a founder of SportsDating.com. "Baseball and football are two spectator sports where there are enough breaks in the action to permit that."

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Trivia time: Who was the last U.S. boxer to win an Olympic gold medal as a middleweight?

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He's worthy: Football writer John McClain of the Houston Chronicle contends that Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones will be a worthy candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible.

"Remember, the only criteria is what a candidate does on the field," McClain said. "In this case, it's what Jones has done for his team. Jones is a legitimate candidate, not only because his teams have won three Super Bowls, but he's also been a trendsetter when it comes to marketing his product, generating revenue and promoting himself."

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Hey, batter, batter: Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras traded his high-tech racquet for some good old-fashioned wood Monday, taking a brief round of batting practice with the Cincinnati Reds.

He hit a line drive over second base the first time he made contact, had a few awkward swings and achieved his primary goal--he didn't hurt or embarrass himself.

"I know my place on earth is not on the baseball field," Sampras said.

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On this day: In 1976, Pittsburgh's John Candelaria threw a no-hitter against the Dodgers, winning 2-0. Candelaria would later pitch for the Dodgers from 1991-1992.

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Birds of pray: Although the Cardinals have been leading the National League Central all season, St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz doesn't sound as if he expects a long playoff run.

"The great teams . . . get it done, no matter what. And right now, the Cardinals don't qualify," Miklasz said. "Thanks to the Reds, Cubs, Brewers, Pirates and Astros, the Cardinals probably will be kings of the NL Comedy Central. But that doesn't make them royalty."

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Home-field advantage: St. Louis is home to the Super Bowl champions, the NHL team with the best regular-season record and a contending baseball team.

Now it has another honor: Best sports city in North America, according to the Sporting News--itself a St. Louis product.

The publication announced its annual list of top sports cities Tuesday, with St. Louis at No. 1, bumping the 1999 winner, New York, to second.

Finishing third was Dallas/Fort Worth, followed by Phoenix and Miami. The ranking, made by editors of the magazine, was based on team success, fan loyalty and support, as well as facilities, media attention and the sports ambience of the community.

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Trivia answer: Michael Spinks, 1976.

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And finally: Carolina Panther defensive lineman Eric Swann, on the grievance against his former team, the Arizona Cardinals, accusing them of hindering his recovery from knee surgery:

"It's a grievance where you set it down and let teams know they can't take players and just use them up like soda cans and toss them out in the trash."

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