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MORNING BRIEFING

Beckham remains Galaxy's money man

September 01, 2008|Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writer

Which is more important for the Galaxy these days: To finish with a better record than the expansion San Jose Earthquakes, who have matched Los Angeles stride for stride, or to make a bit more money off David Beckham?

If you guessed the latter, you win.

In its continuing quest to become a global brand, the Galaxy will head Down Under again in the off-season, with one match planned against an Oceania XI in Auckland, New Zealand, on Dec. 6.

Here, though, is the kicker: The Major League Soccer team is charging a $1.2-million appearance fee, according to the New Zealand Herald, which said a second match is being arranged for Beckham and company in Brisbane, Australia.

"We are pretty confident that Becks is still big news," said a spokesman for the Auckland Regional Council, which is footing the bill.

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Trivia time

Over the last 120 years, these two "Old Firm" soccer rivals have played each other more than 375 times. Who are they?

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Quiet, please

The Beijing Olympics are fading into memory, but not fast enough for Tom Fordyce of BBC Sport, who can't get one tune out of his head.

Everywhere you went in China, Fordyce wrote, "your weeping ears were unable to avoid the horror that was Sarah Brightman and Liu Huan warbling the official song, 'You and Me.'

"I've heard more tuneful pneumatic drills."

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Scot-free

Nick Faldo opted to leave Colin Montgomerie off the European team that will play the U.S. in the 37th Ryder Cup at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., later this month.

The decision means there is no Scottish player on the European team for the first time since 1937.

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In the swim

It's not that Miami Herald columnist Greg Cote is envious or anything, it's just that he sees a certain dissimilarity between himself and Michael Phelps.

"Olympic swimming sensation Phelps has eight gold medals, is dating Australian gold-medal swimmer Stephanie Rice, has signed to write his autobiography, will present at the Video Music Awards and will host the season premiere of 'Saturday Night Live,' " Cote wrote.

"When I was Phelps' age, I bought a new pair of foam dice for the rearview mirror of my '64 Buick Skylark."

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Trivia answer

Glasgow soccer rivals Rangers and Celtic.

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And finally

From Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, noting that Charles Barkley is thinking of having his upcoming colonoscopy televised to help cancer-prevention awareness:

"This is clearly not the time to purchase an HD televi- sion."

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grahame.jones@latimes.com

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