"The last European monopoly, in any area, is crumbling. This recently-opened transfer window has underscored, more than anything else, that it is no longer the European football clubs’ birthright to sign the greatest players in the world." -- Leander Schaerlaeckens on the growing clout of Chinese, Brazilian, and (WTF?) Indian soccer leagues in grabbing the top talent
What happens when a multi-millionaire footballer playing for one of England's top club teams refuses to go out and play as a substitute? Possibly, he gets shipped off to prestigious second division northern Irish club squad Limavady United.
Newsfilter: Members of Iraq's tennis team shot "for wearing shorts." Being an Iraqi athlete is no easier than before. Just ask members of the Iraqi Taekwondo squad. More.
Omedetou! Japan beat Cuba 10-6 to win the first World Baseball Classic. The team was coached by Sadaharu Oh, one of the great stars of the Japanese leagues (868 home runs to boot), and featured the talents of a few Japanese players who have made the jump to American ball--Ichiro Suzuki and Akinori Otsuka. Is the World Series now an outdated misnomer?
Olympicsfilter: American skier biffs hard. How about the rest of the team? Kwan. Miller. Johnny Weir. But props to Shani Davis, the first African American to win an individual gold, and of course, plucky Norway, currently the medal leader. Among other losers: NBC.