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photo: the official ball, again
In case you've forgotten what it looks like -
here's the official ball again..

Links to Fútbol Mundial '98:

Paris:- Sunday, 21. June 1998:- The last thing I heard about football was some hours ago - before the match between Iran and the United States. So, as I write this, I assume the whole world knows what I do not. This is not unusual, because I know the results of very few other matches.

As I am also not a 'follower' of World Cup championships, I do not know if France is doing well. Not the team, I mean the country. Every day there are cries and alarms but for all I know these are normal in any country that hosts this madness. I assume the craziness is normal. It certainly seems to be a lot nuttier than the Olympics.

I mean, football fans, are not your run-of-the-mill light athletic fans are they? They wear funny clothes and they make loud noises, and they eat a lot of junk food and drink a lot of beer. On top of it, a lot more have come to France ticketless than those with tickets, and they are batting around at loose ends, hardly knowing what to do with themselves.

Well, I say, they could do worse than go to the SportsBar and Grill. Worse would be not going to it.

The SportsBar! Will Live Forever

While real FootFans are live and in color in Paris these days, the real hardcore sports fans at the SportsBar, known as the Football Café are in SportsFans' heaven - in a place that has every variety of junk-food known to mankind, both past and present.

What would sports be without junkfood? The Americans took the wiener from Vienna, put it into a plastic-foam bun and slathered it with mustard and called the concoction a 'Hot Dog.'

In honor of this historic invention, the Americans also had the wit to invent a game to go along with it and it is known throughout the world today as baseball.This is a game that takes less time than cricket but more time than twenty-minute cricket - which was invented by people who would rather eat proper sit-down meals than fastfood at a sporting event. This history could go on forever but I must remember the primary goal of the SportsFans! is sports. This 'Football Café' Web site is the great-grandpapa of them all: more than 10,000 pages! Nothing but sports.

Less uplifting are the 'official' Web sites: represented by the FIFA - which stands for Federation International - and which will be choosing a new leader any minute now - and of course, the French Organizing Committee, known to all far and wide as the CFO. I don't what the initials stand for, just like RATP does not sound like métro to me.

Unique World Cup News - From Issy!

The Paris suburb, next to Paris-Expo, of Issy-les-Moulineaux has had 11 youngsters, aged between 17 and 25, in training for six months, to be 'cyber-reporters.' With a little help from Issy and France Télécom, they have formed a 'Cyber Team' of Web reporters to 'cover' the World Cup '98.

Their reports from Issy are to appear on a city-sponsored Web site, starting Wednesday, 10. June.

What's Issy got that's worth covering? Well, there's the WC'98 International Press Centre at Paris-Expo, the Eurosport TV headquarters, the editorial offices of 'L'Equipe' - the daily sports paper - and TVRS 98, the outfit that will be sending out all worldwide TV coverage.

Libération - Mondial 98 - follow this link for constant updates and fair commentary. For example, there is a site called 'Stade de France,' which Libération says is a 'heavy loader.' Extensive links also point to African sites and even to a religious site, for those whose team is in trouble.

Of the two state-TV channels, France 3 has traditionally handled the bigger Sports Events - with extensive reports on the Paris-Dakar and the Tour de France. Now they take on the World Cup, playing in France for the first time since 1938. For daily reports, tune your Web dial to France 3 TV.

Fútbol Mundial '98 Links: Parlez-vous Foot?
  • In case you have been getting your football news from French sources, the Délégation Générale à la Langue Française has prepared a French/English dictionary of football terms to help you out. Learn French derivatives such as 'footez' and 'footix,' and I suppose I could look at it too to learn the origin of the word 'soccer.'
Anti-Football Site - Anti-SportsFans:
  • 'Down With Football Madness' Site - recommends pouring 1O,000 litres of de-grass on the pitch on the eve of the opening game at the Stade de France. Boo! Also proposes, in French, the idea of dropping 80,022 cream pies from hot-air balloons on hardcore SportsFans. Double-Boo! Linda Thalman, who only champions the Cameroon team, doesn't like this site at all.
Not Yellow Card, But Cartoon:
  • Scorbut is for those for whom 1998 'c'est déjà demi-footue,' and offers cartoons by Cabu, Kerleroux, Wozniak, Luz et Charb - all of whom are well-known lefties and dangerous guys with pencils. Like all of us raving red, commie, cartoonists.
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