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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Give Me an N, Give Me an O ... Oh, Never Mind

December 18, 2005|Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writer

American sports teams, for the most part, have brief, snappy, headline-friendly names. Not so in international soccer.

Responding to a reader query, England's Guardian newspaper recently set out to find the sport's longest team name.

One candidate was Germany's Verein fur Leibesubungen Borussia Moenchengladbach, but it wasn't the winner. Not even close.

Neither, astonishingly, was Clyb Pel-droed Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwylllantysiliogogogoch of Wales.

Until another candidate comes along, the leader is the Dutch club NAC Breda, whose full name is Nooit Opgeven Altijd Doorzetten Aangenaam Door Vermaak En Nuttig Door Ontspanning Combinatie Breda.

Try sticking that on a jersey.

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Trivia time: Five-time world champion Michael Schumacher won 13 of 15 Formula One races in 2004. How many did he win in 2005?

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Fast company: A Swede with the imposing name of Christian von Koenigsegg has developed a car that has been officially clocked at 241 mph, earning it a place in the Guinness World Records book.

Koenigsegg claims the 806-horsepower vehicle, known as the CCR, can surpass that speed.

"But it's not as easy as you think," he told Reuters. "You have to have a really, really long straight."

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Just as fast: Luol Deng, the Chicago Bull forward, was born in Sudan and is a member of the Dinka tribe. One tribal custom calls for abstinence before marriage.

Asked by the Guardian how he was holding up in that regard now that he is an NBA star, Deng laughed.

"Well, that part ... " he began. "Yeah, some laws we break. If you like somebody, it's OK. So, yeah, I have a girlfriend and I act like a normal 20-year-old. That feels right to me."

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Heavy weight: Another NBA player making moves is Indiana Pacer Ron Artest, who might be traded to New York.

If so, he won't be going alone, according to the Seattle Times' Dwight Perry.

"Rumor has it," Perry wrote, "that airport security at La Guardia has already cordoned off carousels A through E just to expedite all the baggage."

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A really bad date: From the Perhaps He Should Have Thought This Through department comes word that 27-year-old midfielder Alberto Rivera of the Spanish soccer club Real Betis has set his wedding date for June 23.

Since proposing, Rivera has been called into Spain's national team. On June 23, Spain plays Saudi Arabia in the World Cup in Kaiserslautern, Germany. If he makes the Spanish squad, Rivera will have the unenviable task of explaining all this to his bride-to-be.

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Trivia answer: One, the U.S. Grand Prix.

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And finally: According to the Sporting News' Caught on the Fly column, "a Pennsylvania man has painted his farm animals and family dogs bright orange so deer hunters don't accidentally hit the wrong target."

No word on whether he also painted himself or his family.

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