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North Korean soccer fans won't get the full picture from the World Cup

November 27, 2009|By Mark Medina
  • North Korean leader Kim Yong II, right, welcomes China's Wen Jiabao to Pyongyang last month.
North Korean leader Kim Yong II, right, welcomes China's Wen Jiabao… (Fan Rujun / Associated Press )

Even if it requires heavy editing, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il will ensure that his country's soccer team will at least appear to win the 2010 World Cup.

His ruling that bans state-run TV from broadcasting all live games also extends to his own country. The Sun newspaper reported that policy will also include North Korea's matches until the highlights are "heavily edited to ensure that they look like the better team."

If North Korea loses, author Mike Breen suspects Kim will suddenly stop taking credit for the country's qualifying for the first time since 1966. The variation of the age-old saying unsurprisingly relates to Kim: If the North Korean soccer team loses in the World Cup, but there's no video evidence, it didn't really happen.

"Once North Korea are knocked out," Breen said, "I would be amazed if there were any mention of the World Cup at all."

Trivia question

How many active NFL franchises haven't played on Thanksgiving Day?

Planning ahead

The Clippers don't need fans to have any more reasons to avoid their games.

But Green Day provided one Monday when the band put on a free concert outside Staples Center, coinciding with the Clippers' game against Minnesota.

NBC plans on broadcasting the concert for "New Year's Eve with Carson Daly," showing Daly's gig isn't like the old days at "Total Request Live."

Wrote Arash Markazi of Sports Illustrated: "So, um, Happy Pre-Taped New Year, folks."

Count your blessings

In a poll, the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press asked fans what they're most thankful for about the Lions this year.

Because their team was winless last season, things can only go up.

As of Thursday morning, 35% voted for the progress of rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford. The off-season departures of president Matt Millen and coach Rod Marinelli received 34% of the vote.

Trivia answer

Six. The Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and New Orleans Saints.

And finally

Stephen A. Smith on regarding Allen Iverson's announcement that he'll retire: "Only a fool would believe Iverson's completely sincere about walking away from the game for good."

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