Do they have free agency?The Asian Games,...


Do they have free agency?

The Asian Games, which just began in Beijing, feature many of the usual Olympic sports. And then there's kabaddi.

Kabaddi, played mainly in South Asia, is contested on an outdoor dirt court about the size of a volleyball court and by mostly barefoot kabaddi-ists, seven to a team. To score, a lone raider from one side crosses a line into his opponent's side and tries to touch enemy players and escape before they can tackle or otherwise pin him down.

If he is caught, his opponents get a point, and he must sit out the rest of the round, which ends when all seven on one team have been sent to the bench.

Oh, one more thing: The raider must maintain a steady chant o"kabaddi, kabaddi" while in enemy territory, all without pausing for a breath.

Does that sound strange? Perhaps. But try explaining football to the uninitiated: There are 11 players to a team, see, and they wear all this hard plastic and they hit each other a lot while trying to carry an oblong ball across a goal line . . .

The quote

Allison Welder, assistant professor of pharmacology at the University of Oklahoma: "A football player who uses cocaine is a heart attack waiting to happen."

He'd love to chew out Dykstra

A few weeks ago, Andy Van Slyke of the Pittsburgh Pirates accused tobacco-chomping Lenny Dykstra of the Philadelphia Phillies of turning center field into a toxic waste dump with all that tobacco juice he sprays around.

Well, it finally happened. Van Slyke made an error on a ball hit by Dykstra -- and blamed that on Dykstra, too.

"The ball hit a toxic piece of cancerous tobacco," Van Slyke said. "He's not only hazardous to your health out there -- he's hazardous to your fielding average."

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