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MORNING BRIEFING

This guy smelled a possible payday

August 20, 2008|Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writer

The judicial system operates a little differently in Italy, especially when it comes to trash talk.

A court in Naples this month awarded damages to a Napoli soccer fan upset by banners displayed by Inter Milan fans when the teams played each other in Milan in October.

One banner referred to Naples as the "sewer of Italy" while another said "ciao, cholera sufferers." Both signs were in reference to the thousands of tons of rotting garbage that piled up for weeks on Naples streets during a labor dispute.

The Napoli fan was said to be "indignant and deeply hurt" by the banners, according to his lawyer, and the Naples court ordered Inter Milan to pay him $2,200 for "existential damage," as well as legal fees.

It pays to kick up a stink.

Trivia time

Chris Corp, the father of USC quarterback Aaron Corp, played for an NCAA Division I-AA championship team at Idaho State in 1981 under which current NFL coach?

Oi, oi, oi

Those Australians have a way with words. Remember "Oi, Oi, Oi" at the 2000 Sydney Olympics? Well, this is how the Age of Melbourne described one Beijing 2008 sport:

"The triathlon is a funny event. First you do a lot of wrestling while you're swimming, then you cycle in your swimming gear, then you ditch your wheels and start running when surely you'd be better off sticking with your bike. Weird. Still, we're not complaining because we're bloody good at it."

Well, at least the women are. They won gold and bronze.

Slumping

Tuesday was the third day in a row that Michael Phelps failed to win a gold medal.

Baffled

Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster might be 14-5 this season and a potential Cy Young Award candidate, but there are some sports that leave him befuddled.

While waiting for the start of Sunday's game against the Florida Marlins in Miami, Dempster rode an exercise bike and watched some Olympic women's handball.

"Who won?" asked Yahoo! Sports' Gordon Edes.

"I don't know," Dempster replied. "I couldn't figure it out. I was watching Norway and Romania."

Fast fade

According to the BBC, greyhound racing in Britain in the late 1940s annually attracted 50 million spectators to 109 tracks. Now, only 29 tracks remain and attendance is down to 3 million.

Driving range

Fresno State will play at Rutgers, Toledo, UCLA, Utah State, Louisiana Tech, San Jose State and Boise State this college football season.

According to the rivals.com website, that means the Bulldogs will travel the equivalent of 18,190 road miles, most of any major college football team, excluding Hawaii, whose "road games are not drivable."

Trivia answer

Cincinnati's Marvin Lewis, an assistant at Idaho State in 1981.

And finally

From David Thomas of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "Out on the West Coast, Phelps just won his third gold medal."

--

grahame.jones@latimes.com

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