/foot"bawl'/, n.
1. a game in which two opposing teams of 11 players each defend goals at opposite ends of a field having goal posts at each end, with points being scored chiefly by carrying the ball across the opponent's goal line and by place-kicking or drop-kicking the ball over the crossbar between the opponent's goal posts. Cf. conversion (def. 13), field goal (def. 1), safety (def. 6), touchdown.
2. the ball used in this game, an inflated oval with a bladder contained in a casing usually made of leather.
3. Chiefly Brit. Rugby (def. 3).
4. Chiefly Brit. soccer.
5. something sold at a reduced or special price.
6. any person or thing treated roughly or tossed about: They're making a political football of this issue.
7. (cap.) U.S. Govt. Slang. a briefcase containing the codes and options the president would use to launch a nuclear attack, carried by a military aide and kept available to the president at all times.
8. Informal. to offer for sale at a reduced or special price.
[1350-1400; ME fut ball. See FOOT, BALL1]

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Game in which two 11-member teams try to propel a ball into the opposing team's goal, using any part of the body except the hands and arms.

Only the goalkeeper, when positioned within the penalty area in front of the goal, may use hands and arms. The game's first uniform set of rules was put in place in 1863, when England's Football Association was created. Professional leagues began appearing in the late 1880s, first in England and then in other countries. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in 1904, and has hosted the World Cup every four years since 1930. Football has been included in the Olympic Games since 1908. Now played on all continents in over 150 nations, with over 40 million registered players, it is the world's most popular ball game. See also Australian Rules football; Gaelic football; football, gridiron; and rugby.
(as used in expressions)
football gridiron

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▪ 2009


Association Football (Soccer).

       Euro 2008, the latest installment of the quadrennial European association football (soccer) championship, was decided in favour of Spain, which defeated Germany 1–0 in the final, held on June 29 in Vienna. The Spanish team's free-flowing attack swarmed a rather static German defense. Despite the absence of injured David Villa—the tournament's top scorer, with four goals—Spain continued its offensive pressure and was rewarded in the 33rd minute by the sheer persistence of striker Fernando Torres. Fastening onto a shrewd pass by Spanish midfielder Xavi, Torres blew past hesitant German defender Philipp Lahm, skipped over the advancing goalkeeper, and clipped in the crucial goal. Spain, led by veteran coach Luis Aragonés, maintained this swift and effective style of play, though it produced no further goals. Xavi was named the Player of the Tournament.

      The tournament was held jointly in Austria and Switzerland, but neither of the host countries managed to survive the group stage. Though there was exactly the same number of goals scored as in 2004, far more attacking enterprise was shown by many of the competing teams. Discipline was much improved too, with just three red cards shown in the 31 matches. Greece, the reigning Euro champion, lost all three group games. Portugal, The Netherlands, and Croatia were group winners, along with unbeaten Spain. Noticeably absent from the tournament was the nonqualifying contingent from the British Isles—England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. In addition, France—the World Cup runner-up in 2006—failed to win a match, while reigning World Cup champion Italy merely scraped into the knockout round by beating a French team suffering from injury and reduced to 10 players by a penalty.

       The Netherlands showed form reminiscent of the flair that had characterized its 1988 Euro championship success. Its 3–0 win over Italy produced the finest goal of the tournament, as well as the most controversial. Ruud Van Nistelrooy, though seemingly offside, scored the opening goal; the referee allowed it despite the Dutch striker's apparently being played onside only by virtue of a defender lying injured outside the playing area. Other notable displays came from Croatia, which surprised Germany in a 2–1 win, and Turkey, which turned a 2–0 deficit into a 3–2 victory over the Czech Republic. Two of the quarterfinal ties were decided in shoot-outs. Spain won 4–2 after a goalless draw with Italy, and Turkey emerged with a 3–1 victory over Croatia after a 1–1 draw. In the semifinals the Russians were given a lesson in relentless pressure by Spain, which achieved a convincing 3–0 win, while Germany just edged Turkey 3–2 with a dramatic winning goal in the 90th minute.

      In the wake of the failure of any team from the British Isles to qualify for the Euro—and as attention switched to qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa—England axed its coach, Steve McClaren, replacing him with Fabio Capello of Italy, and Ireland appointed another Italian, Giovanni Trapattoni, to replace coach Steve Staunton. Scotland also accepted the resignation of its coach, Alex McLeish, and gave the position to fellow Scot George Burley.

      There was consolation for English fans in the Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA) Champions League. On May 21 in Moscow, Manchester United met Chelsea in an all-English final, with United securing a 6–5 victory on penalties after a 1–1 draw. United had taken the lead in the 26th minute as Portuguese international Cristiano Ronaldo headed a goal past Chelsea's Czech goalkeeper, Petr Cech, but Chelsea tied the game just before halftime when Ghanaian midfielder Michael Essien's shot was deflected by two United defenders, putting Dutch goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar on the wrong foot and allowing Frank Lampard an easy score. Chelsea was denied twice in the second half. Extra time arrived, and tempers frayed. Didier Drogba (of Côte d'Ivoire) was sent off for Chelsea, only the second player in Champions League history to have been dismissed in the final. In the shoot-out, Chelsea's John Terry slipped as he was about to take what could have been the winning kick and merely hit the post. Then Van der Sar saved French striker Nicolas Anelka's effort to clinch United's third Champions League crown.

      In UEFA Cup competition, there had been high hopes for the Rangers, the Scottish Premier League runners-up, who on May 14 competed in the Cup final against Zenit St. Petersburg. The Glasgow club, however, entered the final having been forced to play 12 competitive matches in the previous six weeks, in contrast to its fresher opponent, which the Russian Premier League had given permission to postpone several games on its domestic schedule until after the final. A tired Rangers team nevertheless managed to hold Zenit St. Petersburg to a scoreless tie until the 72nd minute, when Igor Denisov, after exchanging passes with teammate Andrey Arshavin, netted the breakthrough goal. Konstantin Zyryanov added a second goal in the dying seconds of the match to give Zenit St. Petersburg a 2–0 victory.

      Under its new president, Michel Platini, the UEFA—with support from the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)—was eager to introduce a system of quotas restricting the use of foreign players, especially in the English Premier League. Attempts were made to persuade the European Union to allow the move in contravention of the free movement of labour within its membership. That did not prevent English Premier League clubs from continuing to spend freely on trades. By the end of the summer trade deadline, a record £500 million (about $890 million) had been spent, with 12 clubs breaking their previous record deals. Sulaiman al-Fahim, the new co-owner of the Premier League football club Manchester City, was happy to pay a British record £32.5 million (more than $58 million) to sign Robinho, a Brazilian striker from the Spanish team Real Madrid.

      The UEFA took the unprecedented step of banning CSKA Sofia from participating in the Champions League for 2008–09 because of the Bulgarian club's financial debt. The move was all the more surprising since the club had just completed one of the most successful seasons in its 60-year history, winning its record 31st Bulgarian league title. Other European champions included Anorthosis, which took the title in Greek Cyprus en route to becoming the first Cypriot club to advance to the Champions League group stage; Partizan Belgrade, winners of the Serbian crown; and Dinamo Zagreb, the best of the Croatian league. In addition, Bayern Munich dominated the Bundesliga, Germany's top league, while Lyon, seemingly untouchable in France, racked up its seventh consecutive title. Despite having 6 points deducted for corruption dating back to the 2003–04 season, Porto still managed to win the Portuguese title by 14 points. Internazionale repeated in Italy's Serie A as former champion AC Milan slipped to fifth place, despite the presence of 2007 FIFA Player of the Year Kaká (Kaka ). In Scotland the fairy-tale rise of Gretna from the obscurity of English nonleague football to the Scottish Premier League ended in disaster after its owner and financial benefactor, Brookes Mileson, fell ill, plunging the team's finances into disarray. The club was eventually dissolved in August.

Jack Rollin

The Americas.
      While Argentina and Brazil had most of South America's star association football (soccer) players, including Brazil's formidable playmaker Kaká (Kaka ), those countries had not performed well in their Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup qualifying group. While neither was in danger of failing to qualify for the 2010 finals, they were easily topped in the rankings by Paraguay. With the competition just past the halfway stage, unfancied Ecuador was also well placed to gain a spot. Ecuador's advantage was playing home games at Quito's high altitude. In World Cup qualifying matches farther north, the U.S. beat Cuba both at home (3–1) and away (1–0) in the first meetings between those countries' teams in Cuba in 61 years.

      Quito's Liga Deportiva Universitaria (LDU) in 2008 became the first Ecuadoran club to win the Libertadores de América Cup. LDU also won the vice-championship of Ecuador's domestic league behind cross-town rival Deportivo and qualified for the FIFA Club World Cup but lost to Manchester (Eng.) United 1–0 in the final on December 21. São Paulo FC secured the Brazilian national championship for the third straight year as the team's goalkeeper, Rogerio Ceni, reached a total of 83 career goals from penalties and free kicks. Meanwhile, Mexico's Pachuca retained the CONCACAF club championship, and Libertad took the Paraguayan title for the third straight year. Porto Alegre's Internacional became the first Brazilian club to win the South American Cup, but the country continued to put its top four teams only into the Libertadores competition.

      In Argentina, River Plate won the 2007–08 season's closing championship but then unexpectedly finished at the bottom of the 2008–09 opening championship, which was tied by three clubs (Boca Juniors, San Lorenzo, and Tigre) for the first time since 1968. Boca Juniors gained the club's 23rd professional title by scoring one more goal in the play-offs. Another big event in Argentina was the naming of the controversial former star player Diego Maradona as the coach of the national team.

      In the U.S. the Columbus Crew was a first-time winner of the Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup. The sport appeared to be gaining in popularity. The MLS intended to expand from 14 to 16 clubs by 2010, and requests had been received from seven other cities seeking franchises.

Eric Weil

Africa and Asia.
       Egypt retained its association football (soccer) African Nations Cup title with a 1–0 win over Cameroon in the final, held on Feb. 10, 2008, in Accra, Ghana. Muhammad Aboutrika scored the game's only goal in the 77th minute. The Egyptians were able to contain Cameroon's prolific goalkicker Samuel Eto'o, who ended the tournament as the competition's all-time leading scorer, with 16 goals.

      In the East Asian championship, staged in Chongqing, China, three of the six games played in the group final ended in draws. Although the deciding match, between South Korea and Japan, was played to a 1–1 tie, the South Koreans were declared the champions, since they had scored more goals overall in the tournament. China placed third, and North Korea was fourth.

Jack Rollin

U.S. Football

       Florida won its second top college football ranking in three years by defeating Oklahoma 24–14 in the 2008–09 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) championship game on Jan. 8, 2009, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Quarterback Tim Tebow was the game's Most Outstanding Player with 109 yd rushing and 231 yd and two touchdowns on passes for the Southeastern Conference (SEC) champion Gators. Florida's (13–1) defense held Big 12 champion Oklahoma (12–2) 40 points below its regular-season average of 54.0 (the Sooners had scored a record 702 points during the season and more than 60 in their last five games). It was fifth-ranked Oklahoma's fifth BCS bowl-game loss in six years and the fifth defeat in six years for the top-ranked team entering the BCS championship game.

      Mountain West Conference winner Utah (13–0), Pacific-10 winner Southern California (12–1), and Texas (12–1) ranked second through fourth in the final reporters' Associated Press (AP) poll, with the coaches' USA Today poll placing Utah behind the others. Each school made a reasonable claim for the top ranking, however. Utah, the only undefeated team in the big-budget Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), won the Sugar Bowl 31–17 over Alabama (12–2), which had been ranked first for five weeks before losing the SEC championship game to Florida. Southern California allowed FBS-low averages of 9.0 points and 134.4 yd passing per game and defeated Big Ten winner Penn State (11–2) by a score of 38–24 in the Rose Bowl. Texas won the Fiesta Bowl 24–21 over Ohio State (10–3) after having been denied a spot in the Big 12 championship game despite having beaten Oklahoma, ranking ahead of the Sooners in the AP poll, and having identical conference and overall records as Oklahoma and Texas Tech (11–2). Oklahoma played North Division winner Missouri (10–4) for the Big 12 title because it ranked higher in the BCS formula (which includes polls and computer rankings).

      Atlantic Coast Conference champion Virginia Tech (10–4) won the Orange Bowl 20–7 over Big East champion Cincinnati (11–3), and Western Athletic Conference winner Boise State (12–1) lost 17–16 to Texas Christian (TCU; 11–2) in the Poinsettia Bowl. With Jerry Hughes's FBS-leading 15 sacks, TCU allowed per-game lows of 217.8 yd and 47.1 yd rushing over the season. Both polls ranked Alabama, TCU, and Penn State sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively. The season had six different top-ranked teams, which was more than in 2007–08, although that year had fewer undefeated and one-loss teams, as well as bigger swings in the rankings.

      Quarterback Sam Bradford of Oklahoma became the only sophomore besides Tebow in 2007 to have won the Heisman Trophy for the best overall player. Bradford, who also won the Davey O'Brien Award as best quarterback, led the FBS with 50 touchdown passes and 180.8 rating points but threw two of his eight interceptions against Florida in the BCS final. Honours also went to Tebow, the second player with two consecutive Maxwell Awards, after Notre Dame's Johnny Lattner in 1952–53, and to Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, the Walter Camp Player of the Year. Tebow also received the Disney Spirit Award for being inspirational and the Danny Wuerffel Trophy for community service.

      McCoy had the highest completion percentage, and Texas Tech's Graham Harrell had the most passing yards with 5,111, as his team led the FBS with 413.2 yd passing per game. Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Texas ranked first, third, and fifth, respectively, in scoring, with top-10 passers in yards, touchdowns, and efficiency rating. Oklahoma State and Missouri gave the Big 12 Conference 5 teams among the top 10 in total offense and passing efficiency. The other leading offenses were Tulsa, with 569.9 yd per game behind quarterback David Johnson's FBS-high 10.15 yd per pass attempt, and Navy, with 292.4 yd rushing per game.

      Rushing leader Donald Brown of Connecticut gained 2,083 yd, 18 per game more than runner-up Shonn Greene of Iowa, the Doak Walker Award winner as the best running back. The top receivers were North Texas's Casey Fitzgerald with 113 catches, Brigham Young's Austin Collie with 1,538 yd, and Texas Tech sophomore Michael Crabtree with 18 touchdowns and his second straight Fred Biletnikoff Award. Scoring leader Javon Ringer of Michigan State had 132 points on 22 rushing touchdowns. Honoured as the top defensive players were Southern California middle linebacker Rey Maualuga with the Chuck Bednarik Award and Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo with both the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Lombardi Award for best lineman or linebacker. Alabama's Nick Saban was named Coach of the Year. Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith won the Outland Trophy for interior linemen.

      East Carolina (9–4) won Conference USA, and Troy (8–5) claimed the Sun Belt Conference. Buffalo (8–6) upset previously undefeated Ball State (12–2) in the Mid-American Conference championship game before losing its first-ever bowl game, falling 38–20 to Connecticut in the International Bowl. After upgrading to the highest football division in 1999, Buffalo went 10–69 in seven years through 2005 before making a comeback under coach Turner Gill. Also ending long dry spells were 10–3 Rice, which took its first bowl win in 55 years (a 38–14 Texas Bowl victory over Western Michigan); 7–6 Vanderbilt, which secured its first bowl win in 53 years (16–14 over Boston College in the Music City Bowl); and 7–6 Notre Dame, which halted its record losing streak of nine straight bowl games by crushing Hawaii 49–21 in the Hawaii Bowl. National champions in the lower-budget divisions were 13–3 Richmond in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA), first-time winner 15–0 Minnesota-Duluth in Division II, 15–0 Mount Union (Ohio) in Division III, and 14–0 Sioux Falls (S.D.) in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

      The New York Giants of the National Football Conference (NFC) defeated the New England Patriots of the American Football Conference (AFC) 17–14 in Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Ariz., on Feb. 3, 2008, winning the National Football League's (NFL's) 2007–08 championship and denying the Patriots the league's first 19–0 record. Quarterback Eli Manning (Manning, Eli ) won the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, which had gone to his older brother Peyton the previous year. Eli Manning completed 19 of 34 passes for 255 yd and two touchdowns, including the 13-yd game winner with 35 seconds to play, but he was best remembered for escaping three tacklers on a third-and-five completion 24 seconds earlier, a move that many called the greatest Super Bowl play ever. David Tyree, a kick coverage specialist with four regular-season catches, made a jumping one-handed grab against his helmet while being tackled and gained 32 yd to the Patriots' 24-yard line.

      The Patriots' disappointment continued in the 2008–09 season when they became the only 11–5 team to miss a 12-team play-off field and the seventh Super Bowl loser in eight years to miss the play-offs the next season. The NFC East champion Giants (12–4) were the only NFC play-off team to repeat from 2007, when they had qualified as a wild card. The Giants led the league with 157.4 yd rushing behind the NFL's fourth pair of 1,000-yd runners, Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward; Ward also led the league with 5.6 yd per carry.

      Only three of the eight 2007–08 division champions returned to the play-offs. Pittsburgh (12–4) and San Diego (8–8) repeated in the AFC North and AFC West, respectively, and Indianapolis (12–4) was a wild card. Four of the other six division champions had gone more than five years without a title: Tennessee (13–3; AFC South), Miami (11–5; AFC East), Minnesota (10–6; NFC North), and Arizona (9–7; NFC West), which had waited for 33 years. Carolina (12–4) won the NFC South. The other wild-card play-off teams were the NFC's Atlanta (11–5) and Philadelphia (9–6–1) and the AFC's Baltimore (11–5). Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning won the league MVP award after taking the Colts to victory in their last nine regular-season games.

       Denver (8–8) became the first NFL team to miss the play-offs after leading its division by three games with three to play. Tampa Bay (9–7) lost its last four games when just tying one would have given it a play-off berth. Detroit experienced the most complete futility, however, as it finished with the NFL's first 0–16 record, eclipsing Tampa Bay's 1976 squad, which went winless in a 14-game season as a first-year expansion team.

      Miami quarterback Chad Pennington, with the league's best pass completion rate, was Comeback Player of the Year for the second time in three years after a sequence of events that began in August when Brett Favre rescinded his March 4 retirement announcement. Green Bay, Favre's team in 1992–2007, had planned its roster without him and traded him for a fourth-round draft pick to the New York Jets, which then cut Pennington, who signed with Miami one day later. Favre's passer rating finished more than 12 points behind those of both Pennington and Favre's Packers replacement, Aaron Rodgers, although Green Bay fell to a 6–10 record.

      The Arena Football League (AFL) championship went to the Philadelphia Soul, which had a league-best 13–3 record. Philadelphia defeated the defending champion San Jose SaberCats 59–56 in the July 27 title game in New Orleans. In December the AFL Board of Directors voted to suspend the 2009 season and reevaluate the league's future in light of the global financial crisis.

Melinda C. Shepherd

Canadian Football.
      The Calgary Stampeders won the 2008 Canadian Football League (CFL) championship with a 22–14 Grey Cup victory over the Montreal Alouettes on November 25 in Montreal. Sandro DeAngelis was the game's top Canadian with five field goals for Calgary after regular-season CFL highs of 217 points and 50 field goals. Henry Burris, the game's Most Valuable Player, threw for 328 yd, including a touchdown, and rushed for a game-high 79 yd.

      Calgary (13–5) won the West Division with league yardage leaders in both rushing (Joffrey Reynolds with 1,310) and receiving (Ken-Yon Rambo with 1,473), while its defense allowed league lows of 23.3 points and 89.7 yd rushing per game. East Division winner Montreal (11–7) led CFL offenses with 33.9 points and 428.8 yd per game behind the CFL bests of Most Outstanding Player Anthony Calvillo's 43 touchdown passes and 107.2 passer rating, Ben Cahoon's 107 catches, and Jamel Richardson's 16 touchdowns, all on catches. The top-passing Edmonton Eskimos (10–8) gained 335.1 yd per game, as quarterback Ricky Ray led the CFL with 5,661 yd passing and 9.4 yd per attempt, and Most Outstanding Canadian Kamau Peterson ranked second in catches and third in yards.

      The Saskatchewan Roughriders (12–6) allowed 354.1 yd per game, while the British Columbia Lions (11–7) had the Most Outstanding Defensive Player, defensive end Cameron Wake, with league bests of 23 sacks and five forced fumbles. Most Outstanding Special Teams Player Dominique Dorsey of the Toronto Argonauts (4–14) led in both punt and kickoff return averages with a league-high 2,892 combined yards on runs, catches, and returns. Other top-player awards went to Montreal guard Scott Flory for offensive linemen and Saskatchewan slotback Weston Dressler for rookies.

Melinda C. Shepherd

Australian Football
      Hawthorn won the Australian Football League (AFL) Grand Final on Sept. 27, 2008, by upstaging solidly favoured Geelong in front of more than 100,000 spectators at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. It was Hawthorn's 10th premiership flag and its first since 1991. Geelong, the reigning champion, cruised into the Grand Final, having lost only one game all year, whereas Hawthorn had lost five games. At halftime Hawthorn held a slender 3-point lead, but the team turned on the power in the second half to win by 26 points, with a final score of 18.7 (115)–11.23 (89). The loss was a bitter blow for Geelong, which was attempting to equal the club's feat of winning successive flags in 1951–52. Among the standouts for Hawthorn was Luke Hodge, who was awarded the Norm Smith Medal as best player in the Grand Final.

      Hawthorn's ace goal kicker, Lance Franklin, received the Coleman Medal for most goals (102) during the AFL's 22-game home-and-away season. Two goals in the Grand Final brought his year's total to 113. The AFL's most prestigious individual award, the Brownlow Medal, which recognized the season's best and fairest player, went to Western Bulldog Adam Cooney. The Rising Star Award, for best young player, was given to Fremantle's Rhys Palmer, and Carlton's Chris Judd was named captain of the All-Australian team.

Greg Hobbs

Rugby Football.
       New Zealand Rugby Union entered 2008 in disarray after having been knocked out of the 2007 Rugby World Cup in a stunning quarterfinal loss to France, but the All Blacks ended the year on top of the world again, on and off the field. The All Blacks kicked off 2008 with five straight wins against Ireland, England, and South Africa, and although they lost two times in the Tri-Nations championship tournament, they still finished on top of the standings table for the fourth successive year. The New Zealanders demonstrated their true brilliance in November, when they completed their second home nations Grand Slam in three years, recording successive victories over Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and England. In all four matches they failed to concede a try and conceded only three points in the second half in all four matches put together. With their success assured, New Zealand swept the honours board as Graham Henry was named Coach of the Year and the All Blacks were confirmed as Team of the Year.

      Earlier in the year, Wales continued its ascendancy by gaining a Six Nations Grand Slam; Welshman Shane Williams's superb form in that tournament led to his being named International Rugby Board (IRB) Player of the Year. The development of a number of new IRB tournaments continued at a strong pace. An Emerging South Africa side beat Romania in the IRB Nations Cup; Canada West won the North America 4 title; Tonga's Tautahi Gold won the Pacific Rugby Cup; and a powerful New Zealand Maori side took home the Pacific Nations Cup. Japan was the champion in the inaugural Asian Five Nations event.

      Bids went out in 2008 for the right to host the 2015 and 2019 Rugby Union World Cups. A record eight countries—England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Italy, and South Africa—made bids to hold the 2015 tournament, and Australia, Ireland, Italy, Russia, Japan, Scotland, South Africa, and Wales were looking ahead to the 2019 event. The 2011 World Cup draw was completed in December.

      On the domestic scene, Munster was crowned champion of the Heineken Cup for the second time, beating Toulouse 16–13 in the final in Cardiff, Wales. Bath continued the English domination of the European Challenge Cup, beating Worcester 24–16. The London Wasps were crowned English champions—in Lawrence Dallaglio's last game for the club—after beating archrival Leicester 26–16 in the Guinness Premiership final, and Leinster ended the season five points clear of Cardiff at the top of the Magners League. In the Southern Hemisphere, the Canterbury (N.Z.) Crusaders gave coach Robbie Deans a fitting send-off—before he became Australia's coach—by winning another Super 14 title in a 20–12 victory over Australia's New South Wales Waratahs.

      The 2008 Rugby League (RL) World Cup, the first RL World Cup to be staged since 2000, took place in Australia, with 10 national teams participating—Australia, England, Fiji, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Scotland, and Tonga. The Australia Kangaroos, who had not lost a match since 2006, topped the standings and then crushed Fiji 52–0 in one semifinal, and the New Zealand Kiwis defeated England 32–22 in the other. In the final, held in Brisbane on November 22, New Zealand “pulled off the biggest upset in World Cup history,” overturning Australia (winner of 9 of the previous 12 tournaments, including the last 6) by 34–20 to take New Zealand's first RL World Cup title.

Paul Morgan

▪ 2008


Association Football (Soccer).

 In 2007 national teams were occupied with qualifying for the final stages of Euro 2008, the European association football (soccer) championship to be held jointly in Austria and Switzerland in 2008, but concerns were raised over the proliferation of fixtures at both the club and the country level and the resulting physical demands on players. In the half century since the introduction of European cup competitions for leading clubs, the number of such matches had more than doubled, while domestic fixtures had largely remained at the same level. At the same time, there was a similar increase in the size of the World Cup and European championship commitments.

      Injuries to key players ignited the age-old conflict of club versus country, but the congested calendar was put forward as a reason for the death at age 22 of Antonio Puerta, a Seville midfield player who died three days after he collapsed in a Spanish league game. Two days later Clive Clarke, age 27, suffered a heart attack at halftime while playing for Leicester City in England. He recovered, but in a third incident, Chaswe Nsofwa, a 28-year-old Zambian international player, died during a practice session with his Israeli club.

      Racist behaviour continued to be a problem, but despite heavy fines imposed by the Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA) and matches staged behind closed doors, there seemed to be no improvement. In February an Italian policeman was killed during a riot between rival fans at the Catania–Palermo match. All Italian games were suspended, and it was several weeks before a resumption. UEFA Pres. Michel Platini, the former French player elected to the post in January, promised tough action against all violence and all forms of abuse by spectators, players, and coaches against match officials.

      High finance was never far removed from the soccer scene, and there was a growing influx of foreign investors buying into English Premier League clubs. Eight of the 20 teams had overseas owners, and others were part-owned or had majority shareholders, while more suitors were waiting in the wings. At Manchester City, Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister of Thailand, was responsible for bringing back Swedish-born former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson as manager. Even teams in the second tier attracted serious money. The board of Queens Park Rangers accepted a bid from Formula One auto-racing multimillionaires Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone. (In contrast, there was no foreign ownership in Germany or Spain, while in Italy only Juventus had a small percentage interest from a Libyan source.)

      West Ham was fined a record £5.5 million (almost $11 million) by the Premier League over a breach of rules in the signing of two Argentine players, Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez. Tevez almost single-handedly saved West Ham from relegation, but other threatened teams claimed that a points reduction should have been implemented. Sheffield United even tried through the courts to reverse its own demotion but failed. Mascherano moved on to sign for Liverpool, and, after protracted negotiations, Tevez was traded to Manchester United in the summer.

      A lengthy inquiry conducted by Lord Stevens into allegations of illegal payments listed 17 trades involving five English clubs: Bolton, Chelsea, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, and Portsmouth. Three managers—Sam Allardyce (formerly Bolton), Harry Redknapp (Portsmouth), and Graeme Souness (formerly Newcastle)—plus 15 agents were also investigated, but no evidence of wrongdoing was uncovered in the process. All of the individuals vigorously defended their reputations, and no action was taken, though the role of players' agents again came into question. Allardyce subsequently became manager of Newcastle.

      The UEFA Champions League final, played on May 23 at the OACA Spyro Louis Stadium in Athens, featured the same matchup of teams as the 2005 contest. Liverpool was hoping to repeat its earlier success against AC Milan, the oldest team ever seen in the competition's final, with an average age of 31 years 34 days. The English team had the better of a subdued first half and was unfortunate to go into halftime a goal down. From a 45th-minute free kick taken by Milan's Andrea Pirlo, the ball struck the upper arm of Filippo Inzaghi and was diverted into the net, wrong-footing Liverpool goalkeeper José Manuel Reina Páez, who had had the original shot covered. Liverpool renewed its efforts in the second half, and Steven Gerrard had the best chance to equalize, but his shot was not powerful enough to beat Brazilian goalkeeper Dida (Nelson de Jesus Silva) in the Milan goal. Liverpool Manager Rafael Benítez withdrew Mascherano, who had performed with some success against the Brazilian-born playmaker Kaká (Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite), for the attacking option of Peter Crouch, but it proved to be a crucial misjudgment. In the 82nd minute, Kaká found Inzaghi, who beat the offside trap and slid the ball under the advancing Reina. Dirk Kuyt belatedly reduced the arrears in the 89th minute with a headed goal from a corner, but Paolo Maldini (at 38 years 331 days the oldest finalist) lifted the trophy for AC Milan in his record 135th match.

      A week earlier the final of the UEFA Cup at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scot., between two Spanish teams, Espanyol and Seville, had to be decided on penalty kicks after extra time ended in a 2–2 draw. Seville, the defending champion, took the lead in the 18th minute when Brazilian Adriano Correia Claro scored in a spirited breakaway movement. Ten minutes later Espanyol leveled the score when Alberto Riera Ortega's shot was deflected off Daniel Alves da Silva. Only a quick reaction from Seville goalkeeper Andrés Palop Cevera prevented Riera from adding another goal. The match teetered one way and another until Espanyol was reduced to 10 players after Moisés Hurtado Pérez received his second yellow card. In extra time Frederic Kanoute restored Seville's lead, turning in a corner kick in the 105th minute, only for Brazilian Jonatas Domingos to tie the score 10 minutes later. In the penalty shoot-out, Seville prevailed 3–1.

       Chelsea, led by Côte d'Ivoire's Didier Drogba (Drogba, Didier ), failed to win its third straight Premier League title in England but did secure both the Football Association (FA) Cup and Carling Cup trophies. In Scotland it was a fairy-tale rise for Gretna into the Premier League, its third successive promotion from the depths of nonleague English football, backed by wealthy owner Brookes Mileson.

      Montenegro, the 53rd UEFA member, celebrated its first international match since independence from Serbia by beating Hungary 2–1. Gibraltar was denied UEFA membership, chiefly as the result of opposition from Spain. There was a photo finish to the championship in Spain, where Real Madrid ousted its eternal rival Barcelona on the last day. In The Netherlands PSV Eindhoven won the title on goal difference from Ajax. In Moldova, Serif remained unbeaten in 36 league games, a feat equaled by Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine over 30 matches.

      There was a surprise winner in the Fédération Internationale de Football Association Women's World Cup when Germany defeated the favourite, Brazil, 2–0 in the final game in Shanghai on September 30, becoming the first country to retain the women's title. The Brazilians showed flair and imagination throughout the finals to captivate the Chinese spectators, while the dour, defensive Germans racked up five shutouts (plus a goalless draw). The organized, stifling tactics employed by German coach Silvia Neid in the final match frustrated Brazil, which fell behind 1–0 in the 52nd minute from a strike by Birgit Prinz (Prinz, Birgit ) (see Biographies). The real turning point came, however, when Brazil's Marta, the outstanding player in the competition and the top scorer with seven goals, failed with a penalty kick that would have leveled the score (the German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer guessing correctly to save a weak effort). Simone Laudehr headed a second goal for Germany after 86 minutes. The U.S., comprehensively beaten 4–0 by Brazil in the semifinal, defeated Norway 4–1 for third place. Attendance totaled 1,190,971 for an average of 37,218.

Jack Rollin

The Americas.
      South America's top association football (soccer) countries, Argentina and Brazil, finished 2007 in the top two places, respectively, of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association ranking, but Brazil retained the Copa América, beating Argentina 3–0 in the final. The United States retained the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American, and Caribbean Association Football) Gold Cup with a victory over Mexico 2–1 in the final.

      Argentina's Boca Juniors won South America's most important club tournament, the Libertadores de América Cup, for the sixth time, defeating Brazil's Grêmio 3–0 and 2–0 in the two-stage final. The CONCACAF club championship went to Pachuca, which beat Guadalajara's Chivas on penalties after a 2–2 goals aggregate in an all-Mexican final.

      A curious trend emerged in South America—the success of smaller clubs—most notably Argentina's Arsenal, which won the South American Cup (its first-ever trophy). Arsenal defeated Mexico's powerful América 3–2 in Mexico and lost 2–1 at home, thus winning the title on the away-goals rule (with away goals counting double if aggregate goals are tied). The Argentine 2007–08 season opening championship was won by Lanus for the first time, with defending champion Boca Juniors only joint fourth. Just-promoted La Equidad reached the final of the Colombian closing championship. In Chile Audax Italiano won the closing championship's league, and Universidad de Concepción reached the final of the play-offs. Danubio won the Uruguayan 2006–07 title, while Defensor Sporting won the 2007–08 season's opening championship, leaving the country's big clubs (Nacional and Peñarol) titleless. San José won the Bolivian title for only the second time. In Peru Coronel Bolognesi captured its first closing championship, and Universidad San Martin became national champion by gaining the most points during the season.

      In U.S. Major League Soccer, the Houston Dynamos once again defeated the New England Revolution in the MLS Cup—a 2–1 final victory on November 18 at Washington's RFK Stadium. In late July English superstar player David Beckham joined the Los Angeles Galaxy. His arrival in the U.S., with his celebrity wife, Victoria, created a media sensation, but ankle and knee injuries caused Beckham to miss several games, and the Galaxy failed to qualify for the play-offs.

Eric Weil

Africa and Asia.
      In March 2007 Ivorian association football (soccer) star Didier Drogba (Drogba, Didier ) was voted 2006's African Footballer of the Year, narrowly defeating three-time winner Samuel Eto'o of Cameroon. On the field Al-Ahly Cairo achieved the League and Cup double in Egypt, finishing five points ahead in the league championship and fighting back against its long-time Cairo rival Zamalek in the Egyptian Cup final to force extra time and win 4–3 for a record 35th outright success in the competition.

      On July 29 at the Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta, there was a surprise winner of the Asian Cup when Iraq beat Saudi Arabia 1–0 in the final. Despite restrictive training facilities in their strife-torn country, the Iraqi players were disciplined and well organized. The winning goal came with a header from team captain Younis Mahmoud in the 71st minute.

Jack Rollin

U.S. Football.

      Louisiana State University (LSU) won the top college football ranking for 2007–08 by defeating Ohio State University 38–24 in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) championship game on Jan. 7, 2008, in New Orleans. The Tigers overcame a 10–0 deficit by scoring on four straight possessions, and quarterback Matt Flynn passed for four touchdowns in leading LSU, which won the Southeastern Conference (SEC) with a 12–2 record. LSU became the first repeat champion since the BCS began in 1998 (having shared the title with Southern California in 2003–04) and gave the SEC 5 of the 10 BCS champions. Big Ten winner Ohio State (11–2) became the fifth top-ranked team in six years to lose the championship game, its second such defeat in a row and ninth straight bowl-game loss against SEC teams. The Buckeyes still allowed the fewest points, yards, passing yards, and rushing yards per game in the big-budget Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS; formerly Division I-A), with average yields of 12.8 points and 233 yd, 40 yd fewer than the runner-up. LSU, which lost two triple-overtime games, was the first undisputed champion ever to have lost twice and the only such consensus champion besides 8–2 Minnesota in 1960.

      The unprecedented season of upsets began on the first full weekend, when Appalachian State (N.C.) won 34–32 over Michigan (9–4), the first of 13 games that top-five teams lost to unranked teams. The 13–2 Mountaineers went on to win the lower-budget Football Championship Subdivision (FCS; formerly Division I-AA) title, their fifth in six years and third straight. The spread offense they favoured, with four or five wide receivers and a shotgun quarterback, became a popular equalizer against bigger, deeper favourites.

      FBS number one teams lost four regular-season games, the most since 1990, and number two teams lost six. The top two lost on the same weekend for the first time in 11 years and then did it twice again in the regular season's last two weeks; LSU and Kansas, respectively, gave way to Missouri and West Virginia, whose own losses enabled idle Ohio State to climb from fifth to first as LSU bounced from first to seventh to second. Besides those three teams and Southern California at number one, seven others ranked number two: Boston College, South Florida, and the Universities of California, Georgia, Kansas, Oregon, and West Virginia.

       Kansas (12–1), under Coach of the Year Mark Mangino, ranked second in points per game and fourth in points allowed and won the Orange Bowl 24–21 over Atlantic Coast Conference champion Virginia Tech (11–3). Western Athletic Conference champion Hawaii (12–1) had the top offense with 43.4 points per game as Colt Brennan extended his career record to 131 touchdown passes, but the Warriors lost 41–10 to Georgia (11-2) in the Sugar Bowl. Georgia ranked third in the coaches' final USA Today poll and second in the reporters' Associated Press poll, followed by Pacific-10 winner Southern California (11–2), the 49–17 Rose Bowl winner over Illinois (9–4). The coaches ranked Ohio State fourth, just ahead of the writers' choice, Missouri (12–2). West Virginia (11–2), sixth in both polls, won the Big East as well as the Fiesta Bowl by 48–28 over Big 12 champion Oklahoma (11–3), which ranked eighth behind Kansas and ahead of Virginia Tech.

      Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, the first sophomore Heisman Trophy winner, was the FBS's first player to score 20 touchdowns both on runs and on passes and ranked second in passing efficiency, behind Oklahoma's Sam Bradford. Tebow also received the Maxwell Award for the top player and the Davey O'Brien Award for quarterbacks. Heisman runner-up Darren McFadden of Arkansas won the Walter Camp award for the top player and the Doak Walker Award for running backs, while leading rusher Kevin Smith of Central Florida ran for 2,567 yd and scored a leading 180 points on 30 touchdowns. Texas Tech's top passing offense gained 470.3 yd per game behind quarterback Graham Harrell's FBS-leading 5,705 yd passing, 48 touchdown passes, and 71.8% completions, while freshman teammate Michael Crabtree led with 134 catches for 1,962 yd and 22 touchdowns in winning the receivers' Fred Biletnikoff Award. For top defensive player, Penn State linebacker Dan Connor won the Chuck Bednarik trophy, and LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey was awarded the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as well as the Outland Trophy for interior linemen and the Lombardi Award for linemen. Navy had the best rushing offense (348.8) and scored its first victory over Notre Dame (3–9) since 1963, when Roger Staubach was Navy's Heisman-winning quarterback.

      Besides Appalachian State, lower-budget champions were 13–1 Valdosta State (Ga.) in Division II and 14–1 Wisconsin-Whitewater in Division III over 14–1 Mount Union (Ohio), which had defeated Whitewater in the two previous title games while winning 37 straight games. Carroll (Mont.) College (15–0) won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics title game 17–9 over previously undefeated defending champion Sioux Falls (S.D.). Other Bowl Subdivision conference winners were Brigham Young (11–2) in the Mountain West, Central Florida (10–4) in Conference USA, Central Michigan (8–6) in the Mid-American, and Florida Atlantic (8–5) in the Sun Belt.

      The Indianapolis Colts of the American Football Conference (AFC) defeated the Chicago Bears of the National Football Conference (NFC) 29–17 to win Super Bowl XLI in the rain in Miami on Feb. 4, 2007, and thereby made Tony Dungy the first black coach to win a National Football League (NFL) championship, in a game against his black protégé, Chicago coach Lovie Smith. Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning, named Most Valuable Player (MVP), completed 25 of 38 passes for 247 yd, one touchdown, and one interception, with help from Dominic Rhodes's 113 yd on 21 carries and Joseph Addai's 77 yd on 19 carries plus 66 yd on 10 catches.

 The New England Patriots overshadowed the Colts in the 2007–08 season, becoming the first 16–0 team in NFL history. The Patriots were the first “perfect” team in the regular season since the 1972 Miami Dolphins (14–0) became the first undefeated team to win an NFL championship game. The Patriots also set records with 75 touchdowns and 589 points (average 36.8 per game), and only four opponents held them below 30 points. Quarterback Tom Brady, the overwhelming choice for the season MVP, threw a record 50 touchdown passes with just eight interceptions, setting another record with the 42-pass differential. He led league passers with 4,806 yd, 8.3 yd per attempt, and a 117.2 rating. Wide receiver Randy Moss also set a record with 23 touchdown catches, after having been virtually unwanted in the off-season, and receiver Wes Welker's 112 catches tied Cincinnati's T.J. Houshmandzadeh for the league lead. An early-season revelation of cheating, however, stained the Patriots' record of three Super Bowl victories in four years (2002, 2004, and 2005). The NFL fined coach Bill Belichick $500,000 and the team $250,000 and revoked the team's 2008 first-round draft choice for having videotaped the New York Jets' sideline signals on September 9, but the league declined to investigate previous seasons.

      New England and Indianapolis (13-3) won their fifth straight division titles in the AFC East and South, respectively, while Seattle (10–6) won its fourth straight in the NFC West, and San Diego (11–5) repeated in the AFC West. Dallas, which finished 13–3 under quarterback Tony Romo (Romo, Tony ), ended a nine-year drought between NFC East championships. Six of the 12 teams that qualified for the play-offs had missed the 2006–07 tournament: NFC Central winner Green Bay (13–3), NFC South winner Tampa Bay (9–7), AFC North winner Pittsburgh (10–6), and wild cards Washington (9–7) in the NFC and the AFC's Jacksonville (11–5) and Tennessee (10–6). The New York Giants (10–6) earned the NFC's other wild-card berth for the best division runners-up. Cleveland (10–6) was most improved, up six games from 2006, while Baltimore (5–11) fell the farthest, eight games.

      Green Bay was the year's sentimental favourite as 38-year-old quarterback Brett Favre, Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year, set career records of 442 touchdowns, 160 victories as a starter, 61,655 yd, and 5,377 completions; he also extended his records of 288 interceptions and 253 consecutive games started. Minnesota rookie Adrian Peterson set the single-game rushing record with 296 yd and led the league overall with 5.6 yd per rushing attempt, while Chicago kick returner Devin Hester's six touchdowns on punts and kickoffs broke his own record and included a record-tying four on punts. After just two seasons, Hester was two short of the career record with 11, not including his 2006 return of a missed field goal or his opening kickoff return in the 2007 Super Bowl. Despite Hester's success, the Bears (7–9) were the seventh team in nine years to miss the play-offs the season after losing the Super Bowl.

      San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson led NFL rushers with 1,474 yd and 15 touchdowns, while teammate Antonio Cromartie led with 10 interceptions and broke Hester's record with the maximum 109-yd return of a missed field goal. Tennessee kicker Rob Bironas topped the NFL with 35 field goals, including a record 8 in one game. Other league leaders were Philadelphia's Brian Westbrook with 2,104 yd from scrimmage, Indianapolis's Reggie Wayne with 1,510 yd receiving, and Kansas City's Jared Allen with 151/2 sacks.

      Quarterback Michael Vick, whose Atlanta Falcons replica jerseys once led all NFL sales, was sentenced December 10 to 23 months in federal prison for conspiracy to operate a dog-fighting enterprise. He had funded and provided property in Virginia for the group that electrocuted, hanged, drowned, and otherwise violently killed dogs deemed unsuitable for fighting to the death. Virginia animal-cruelty charges and the NFL's indefinite suspension were still pending at year's end.

      The 13–3 San Jose SaberCats won the Arena Football League championship 55–33 over 7–9 Columbus, which ended Dallas's record 15–1 season with a play-off upset. Hamburg won the final NFL Europa championship as the NFL closed its 16-year-old developmental league after having renamed it and having disbanded all but one non-German team in the previous two years.

Kevin M. Lamb

Canadian Football.
      The Saskatchewan Roughriders won the 2007 Canadian Football League (CFL) championship with a 23–19 Grey Cup victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on November 25 in Toronto. Andy Fantuz, the game's Outstanding Canadian, caught the decisive fourth-quarter touchdown pass of 29 yd from quarterback Kerry Joseph, the regular season's Most Outstanding Player. It was the first Grey Cup for the Roughriders (12–6) since rookie coach Kent Austin was quarterback in 1989. Riders cornerback James Johnson was named the game's Outstanding Player for three interceptions and a touchdown as Winnipeg (10–7–1) played without injured starting quarterback Kevin Glenn.

      Saskatchewan and Winnipeg won play-off games over division winners British Columbia (14–3–1) in the West and Toronto (11–7) in the East, respectively. Toronto gave up per-game league lows of 18.7 points, 306 yd total, and 230 yd passing, while Calgary (7–10) led the CFL in passing, rushing, and total yards behind quarterback Henry Burris's league-best 34 touchdown passes, 9.1 yd per attempt, and a 102.0 efficiency rating.

      The B.C. Lions led the league with 542 total points during the regular season (an average of 30.1 points per game) and dominated the individual statistics and awards. The Lions' league leaders were running back Joe Smith with 1,510 yd rushing and 19 touchdowns, slotback Geroy Simon with 1,293 yd receiving, running back Ian Smart with 2,440 yd combined, defensive back Ryan Phillips with 12 interceptions, and defensive end Cameron Wake with 16 sacks. Wake received the Rogers awards for both Outstanding Rookie and Outstanding Defensive Player; the Outstanding Lineman was Rob Murphy at offensive tackle; and Outstanding Canadian went to Jason Clermont at slotback. Other league leaders were Winnipeg running back Charles Roberts with 1,737 yd from scrimmage, Montreal (8–10) slotback Ben Cahoon with 90 catches, and Hamilton (3–15) kicker Nick Setta with 167 points and 45 field goals (84.9%).

Kevin M. Lamb

Australian Football.
      After a frustrating, heartbreaking drought dating back to 1963, Geelong finally returned to the premiership dais by storming to victory in the Australian Football League (AFL) Grand Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sept. 29, 2007. A crowd of 97,302 spectators packed in to see the Cats overpower Port Adelaide by a record-breaking 119 points—24.19 (163) to 6.8 (44). After finishing the 2006 season in 10th place, Geelong lost only 4 of its 25 games (including finals) in 2007. Since winning the 1963 title, Geelong had played in five Grand Finals and lost them all.

      The star of the Grand Final was Geelong's Steve Johnson, who was presented with the Norm Smith Medal. Five days earlier Geelong's Jimmy Bartel had won the AFL's most prestigious individual award, the Brownlow Medal, as the competition's best and fairest player. Geelong also produced the AFL's Rising Star award winner, Joel Selwood, and the club had a staggering nine players on the AFL All-Australian team. In addition, Geelong's second team won the Victorian Football League premiership. One of the few awards that Geelong did not win was the Coleman Medal, which went to Brisbane Lion Jonathan Brown, who took the most goals (77) in the 22-game home-and-away season.

Greg Hobbs

Rugby Football.
      At the 2007 Rugby Union World Cup, fans were shocked and invigorated to see the biggest surprise since the game turned professional 12 years earlier. The New Zealand All Blacks went into the World Cup—which was hosted by France—as the hottest favourites in the tournament's history. The All Blacks proceeded to stroll through the pool stage, scoring a mammoth 309 points in their four games, including a 108–13 win over Portgual. New Zealand's expected procession to the final on October 20 was halted in abrupt fashion, however, as it lost to France 20–18 in the quarterfinals on an incredible day of rugby. Only a few hours earlier, England—written off after its 36–0 loss to South Africa in the pool stage—had beat Australia 12–10 to send the rugby world spinning.

      After England defeated France 14–9 in a dramatic semifinal, however, it was South Africa that lifted the trophy—for a second time—with a 15–6 win over England in the final. The South Africa Springboks were without doubt the most consistent side in the tournament. In Percy Montgomery the Springboks had the competition's leading scorer—with 105 points—and in Jake White they had a coach who had set out a four-year plan to win the Webb Ellis Cup.

      Argentina's progression was one of the most pleasing aspects of the competition as the Pumas upset France in the third-place game. The International Rugby Board (IRB), which welcomed more than two million spectators to the 2007 World Cup, declared afterward that the 2011 event, to be held in New Zealand, would again have 20 teams after a campaign to reduce the tournament to 16 was defeated.

      Over the previous few seasons, the IRB had spent its vast profits from past World Cups by developing the game across the world and sponsoring more tournaments. The Junior All Blacks won the Pacific Nations Cup; Upolu Samoa took the Pacific Rugby Cup; Canada West triumphed in the North America 4 competition; and the Emerging Springboks were victorious in the Nations Cup, which was staged in Romania.

       France, with a 4–1 record, repeated as the Six Nations champion, besting Ireland (also 4–1) on points difference. New Zealand won the 2007 Tri-Nations title and picked up a world double when its Sevens team triumphed in the IRB World Series.

      On the domestic front, the Bulls kicked off a fabulous season for South African rugby by winning the Super 14, with a late try from Bryan Habana. In the Northern Hemisphere, the London Wasps and Leicester contested the first-ever all-English Heineken Cup final in May, with the Wasps winning 25–9.

      In Britain's Rugby Football League, St. Helens finished atop the Super League table and defeated the Catalan Dragons 30–8 in the Challenge Cup final on August 24. The Melbourne Storm captured Australia's National Rugby League premiership on September 30 with a 34–8 win over the Manley Sea Eagles in the Grand Final in Sydney.

Paul Morgan

▪ 2007


Association Football (Soccer).

 In the summer of 2006, Germany hosted the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup finals. (See Sidebar (FIFA World Cup 2006 ).) In the final match, in Berlin on July 9, Italy, led by its inspirational captain, Fabio Cannavaro (Cannavaro, Fabio ) (see Biographies), defeated France 5–3 on penalty kicks after the match finished 1–1. It was Italy's fourth World Cup title.

      The tournament was overshadowed by domestic events in Italy, where a series of sensational match-fixing scandals unraveled around several leading Serie A teams and subsequently resulted in severe sanctions' being taken out against them. Juventus, the 2005–06 Serie A champion, initially was stripped of its last two championship titles, was relegated to Serie B, and had 30 points deducted from the 2006–07 season. Fiorentina was relegated with a 12-point penalty, and Lazio was demoted with the loss of 7 points. AC Milan was allowed to remain in Serie A, but with a 15-point deduction. None was allowed entry to European cup competitions. On appeal, however, these sentences were reduced: Juventus, though relegation was confirmed, had 17 points taken off; Fiorentina and Lazio were both reinstated in Serie A with 19 and 11 points deducted, respectively; and AC Milan's penalty was cut to 8 points, and the club was allowed in the Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA) Champions League from the qualifying stage. Several officials, including referees, received suspensions. Gianluca Pessotto, the sports director at Juventus, who was not implicated, attempted suicide in June by falling from a fourth-story window. The Czech Republic was also embroiled in match fixing and was forced to delay the announcement of referee appointments until match days. FIFA suspended Greece, the reigning European champion, from all competitive football because of government interference in the federation's activities. Within two weeks the ban was lifted when the state backed down. In the wake of the World Cup finals, qualifying matches began for Euro 2008, which would be cohosted by Austria and Switzerland. Germany set a record 13–0 win in San Marino.

      There was drama on the field at the UEFA Champions League final on May 17 at Stade de France in Paris when multitalented Barcelona faced England's Arsenal, which could boast that its traditionally miserly defense had conceded just two goals in 12 games and none in the last 10. Barcelona was looking to Ronaldinho (Ronaldo Assis de Moreira), the Brazilian international and reigning European and World Player of the Year, and Arsenal had high expectations for talented French striker Thierry Henry.

      Arsenal began with more confidence. Barcelona was more incisive, however, and in the 18th minute Samuel Eto'o slipped through the Arsenal defense only to have his ankle pulled by Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann. The ball broke away to Ludovic Giuly, who scored, but Norwegian referee Terje Hauge disallowed the goal, showed the red card to Lehmann, and awarded Barcelona a free kick. Arsenal coach Arsène Wenger sacrificed Robert Pirès and brought on reserve goalkeeper Manuel Almunia. Despite playing with 10 men, Arsenal took the lead after 37 minutes when right-back Emmanuel Eboué gained a free kick from a theatrical dive after a challenge by Carles Puyol. Henry floated the ball across for Sol Campbell to score for Arsenal with a powerful header. Then the Arsenal defense displayed its prowess. Though Eto'o forced Almunia to turn a shot onto a post, the hard-pressed defenders restricted the opposition to three free kicks outside the penalty area. Each time, Ronaldinho failed to hit the target. In counterattacks Arsenal posed danger, and Henry should have prevailed in a one-to-one encounter with Barcelona goalkeeper Víctor Valdés.

      With time ebbing away in the increasingly rain-soaked arena, substitutions proved crucial for Barcelona. Swedish veteran striker Henrik Larsson came on and in the 76th minute touched the ball on to a suspiciously offside-looking Eto'o, who drew Almunia and drove the ball in at the near post to tie the score at 1–1. Five minutes later Larsson was again the playmaker for Brazilian full-back Juliano Belletti, whose hard-driven shot squeezed between the goalkeeper's legs to give the Spanish champions a 2–1 victory. Barcelona's Dutch coach, Frank Rijkaard, became the fifth man to win the European Cup as both a player and a manager.

      In contrast, the UEFA Cup final on May 10 in Eindhoven, Neth., finished as a one-sided affair between Seville of Spain and England's Middlesbrough. Seville opened the scoring in the 26th minute when Luis Fabiano glanced a header in off the post. Despite Seville's superiority, it did not gain a second goal until the 78th minute, when Enzo Maresca followed up to score after Freddie Kanouté's effort had been parried by goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. Six minutes later Jesús Navas, who had set up the previous goal, was the prime mover again as his cross kick was knocked on by Kanouté to Maresca, who finished with a left-foot drive to make it 3–0. Maresca almost completed his hat trick in the last minute, but Schwarzer again blocked his effort, and Kanouté scored for a 4–0 finale.

      Financial difficulties were widespread. Two of the foremost Hungarian clubs were affected. Honved was suspended by the league over failure to pay a former employee, but the Hungarian federation overturned the decision. Ferencvaros, the most popular team in Hungary, with 28 championship titles, was relegated for failing to address mounting debts. In Bulgaria, Pirin Blagoevgrad was excluded after the first two matches for failing to deal with its debt crisis and was banished to regional football. Ireland's Dublin City went bankrupt during the season and folded, while Shamrock Rovers, which in 2005 had had eight points deducted for financial reasons, played in First Division. Three Azerbaijan clubs resigned because of concerns over money, and Terek in Russia had six points taken off for delaying player-trade payments. Hasan Sas and Hakan Sukur, two leading players with Galatasaray in Turkey, contributed to the wages of cleaners and other staff of the cash-strapped club.

      Celtic won its 40th Scottish League championship, but for the first time in nine years, Celtic and the third-place Rangers failed to finish as one of the top two. Second-place Heart of Midlothian won the Scottish Cup, though only after a penalty shoot-out against Gretna, which had enjoyed a meteoric rise since joining the Scottish League in 2002 from semiprofessional football in England. Thanks in part to the wealth of owner Roman Abramovich, Chelsea retained its Premier League title in England and added substantially to the quality of its playing staff. (In the summer the team acquired Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko, Germany's World Cup captain and midfield player Michael Ballack, and England international left-back Ashley Cole in a trade that took the French international William Gallas to Arsenal.) Meanwhile, Arsenal moved to its new 60,000-capacity Emirates Stadium at Ashburton Grove.

      An unusually high number of European clubs (11) won both league and cup titles in the season: FK Austria, Bayern Munich, F91 Dudelange (Luxembourg), CSKA Moscow, Red Star Belgrade (Serbia), Porto (Portugal), Serif (Moldova), Olympiakos (Greece), Ruzomberok (Slovakia), Linfield (Northern Ireland), and TVMK (Estonia), which scored 138 league goals in 36 matches and possessed, in Tarmo Neemelo, the leading goalscorer in Europe, with 41 goals. In Ukraine, Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kiev finished level on points, and in the subsequent play-off, Shakhtar won 2–1 to retain its title. Lyon won the French championship for the fifth successive season and had a 15-point lead over the runner-up. Montenegro voted for independence from Serbia in May, which would increase UEFA membership to 53.

Jack Rollin

The Americas.
      Although Brazil failed to retain its Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup title in 2006, the country's supremacy in association football (soccer) continued in South America. Brazil beat rival Argentina 3–0 in a friendly match on neutral ground late in the year. The final of the Libertadores de América Cup (South America's major club competition) was an all-Brazilian affair for the second straight year as Pôrto Alegre's Internacional defeated cup defender São Paulo Football Club 4–3 on aggregate (2–1, 2–2). São Paulo easily won the Brazilian national championship, and goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni—who had played more than 700 games for the club since his 1991 debut—became the record goalkeeper scorer (from penalties and free kicks), with 68.

       Argentine clubs failed to make the semifinals in either the Libertadores or the South American Cup. Boca Juniors, on the point of winning their third straight Argentine league title, slipped in the rankings and were beaten in a play-off game by Estudiantes de La Plata. Boca Juniors had to be satisfied with capturing the Recopa between the two 2005 cup winners, in which they beat São Paulo on aggregate (2–2, 2–1).

      The final of the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Cup was an all-Mexican affair, with América winning it for the fifth time by beating Toluca 2–1. Mexican clubs met with success as Pachuca won the South American Cup against Chile's Colo Colo 1–1 and 2–1 in the two-game final.

      The Houston Dynamo won the Major League Soccer Cup for the first time, scoring 4–3 on penalty kicks against the New England Revolution. It was New England's second straight MLS Cup loss and the third in five years. Earlier, the Chicago Fire beat the Los Angeles Galaxy 3–1 to win the U.S. Open Cup for the fourth time. American women stretched their unbeaten run to 32 games when the national team beat Canada 2–1 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Both countries qualified for the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup in China. Argentina and Brazil qualified from South America.

Eric Weil

Africa and Asia.
      Two East Asian countries (Japan and South Korea) and four teams from sub-Saharan Africa (Angola, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Togo) participated in the 2006 association football (soccer) World Cup finals, though only Ghana qualified for the round of 16. (See Sidebar (FIFA World Cup 2006 ).)

       South Africa, the host of the World Cup finals in 2010, pulled off a coup in August when the national team persuaded Carlos Alberto Parreira, who guided Brazil to its 1994 World Cup title, to become its coach. South Africa previously had had 13 different coaches in 13 years. In the African Cup of Nations final at the National Stadium in Cairo on February 10, Egypt, the host country, defeated Côte d'Ivoire 4–2 on penalties after a goalless draw. It was a record fifth such success for Egypt.

       Tajikistan won the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup, beating Sri Lanka 4–0 in the final at Dhaka, Bangladesh, on April 16. Dzhomikhon Muhidinov scored two of the goals. Shandong Luneng Taishan won the Chinese Super League, with five matches still remaining; the team's leading scorer was Li Jinyu, with 26 goals.

Jack Rollin

U.S. Football.

      The University of Florida won the top college football ranking for the 2006–07 season by defeating Ohio State University 41–14 in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) championship game on Jan. 8, 2007, in Glendale, Ariz. Quarterback Chris Leak completed his first nine passes, and the Southeastern Conference winner scored on six of its seven first-half possessions, four of them starting in Ohio State territory, to take a 34–14 lead. With Ohio native Urban Meyer in his second season as their coach, the Gators (13–1) were the fourth team in five years to beat the top-ranked team in the championship game and became the first university to hold simultaneous national championships in football and basketball. Big Ten champion Ohio State (12–1) fell from first to fifth in scoring defense after having allowed only 125 points in 12 regular-season games.

      The only undefeated team in big-budget Division I-A was Western Athletic Conference champion Boise State (13–0), the first team from a lesser-regarded conference to play in a BCS bowl and the Fiesta Bowl's 43–42 overtime winner against Big 12 champion Oklahoma (11–3). Boise State tied the score with seven seconds left in regulation time on a 50-yd touchdown on fourth and 18, using a “hook-and-ladder” play with the pass receiver lateraling the ball back to a teammate. After falling behind by seven points in overtime, Boise State scored on wide receiver Vinny Peretta's fourth-down two-yard pass and then won on a two-point conversion when quarterback Jared Zabransky faked a pass but handed off behind his back to Ian Johnson, who scored untouched on the “Statue of Liberty” play. Johnson was the national leader, with 25 touchdowns and 152 points for Boise State's second-ranked scoring offense.

      Boise State finished fifth in the Associated Press poll of reporters, behind Florida, Ohio State, Louisiana State (11–2), and Pacific 10 champion Southern California (11–2) and just ahead of Big East champion Louisville (12–1) and Wisconsin (12–1). The coaches' USA Today poll agreed with the top four but had Wisconsin at fifth instead of seventh. Louisiana State defeated Notre Dame (10–3) in the Sugar Bowl 41–14, and Louisville won the Orange Bowl 24–13 over Atlantic Coast Conference champion Wake Forest (11–3). In the Insight Bowl, Texas Tech overcame a 38–7 deficit in less than 20 minutes for a 44–41 overtime victory over Minnesota for the biggest comeback ever in a bowl game. It followed Michigan State's record-setting regular-season comeback, a 41–38 victory over Northwestern after trailing 38–3 with less than 25 minutes to play.

      Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith won the Heisman Trophy as player of the year, giving his school a tie with Notre Dame and Southern California for the most Heismans, with seven. Smith also received the Walter Camp award and split the two national quarterback awards with Notre Dame's Brady Quinn, who won the Maxwell Award as player of the year. Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas was awarded the Outland Trophy as best interior lineman. Recognizing the top defenders, the Chuck Bednarik Award went to Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny for the second straight year, and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy went to Ohio State middle linebacker James Laurinaitis, the first sophomore winner. The Lombardi Award for linemen and linebackers was given to defensive end LaMarr Woodley of Michigan, which ranked first by allowing just 43.4 yd rushing per game, 17 yd better than any other team. Coach of the Year Greg Schiano led Rutgers (11–2) to a 37–10 Texas Bowl victory over Kansas State four seasons after the team was 1–11.

      Quarterback Colt Brennan of Hawaii (11–3) set a Division I-A record with 58 touchdown passes and also led with 5,549 yd passing, 5,915 yd of total offense, 9.93 yd per pass, 72.6% completions, and a 186.0 passer rating, 17 points above the next best. Hawaii's 46.9 points, 559.2 yd, and 441.3 yd passing per game also topped the division. Northern Illinois's Garrett Wolfe was the best runner, with 1,928 yd, and New Mexico State's Chris Williams led receivers with 92 catches and 1,415 yd.

      The lower-budget divisions' championship tournaments all produced repeat winners: 14–1 Appalachian State's (N.C.) fourth Division I-AA crown in five years, 15–0 Grand Valley State (Mich.) in Division II over previously undefeated Northwest Missouri State, and the ninth title in 14 years for 15–0 Mount Union (Ohio) over previously undefeated Wisconsin-Whitewater; 14–0 Sioux Falls (S.D.) won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics championship. Other Division I-A conference winners were Utah's Brigham Young (11–2) of the Mountain West, Central Michigan (10–4) of the Mid-American, Houston (10–4) of Conference USA, and 8–5 Troy (Ala.) of the Sun Belt.

      The Pittsburgh Steelers of the American Football Conference (AFC) won Super Bowl XL and the 2005–06 National Football League (NFL) championship in a 21–10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football Conference (NFC) on Feb. 5, 2006, in Detroit. The Steelers did not win their division but beat the AFC's top three play-off seeds as a “wild card” before winning the Super Bowl in the hometown of Jerome Bettis, who then retired after 13 seasons as the NFL's fifth best all-time rusher. Most Valuable Player (MVP) Hines Ward caught five passes for 123 yd and a touchdown from Ben Roethlisberger, who ran his record to 27–4 as a starting quarterback. The Steelers missed the 2006–07 play-offs, however, after Roethlisberger was injured in an off-season motorcycle accident and then suffered an early-season concussion.

  San Diego (14–2), led by MVP LaDainian Tomlinson (Tomlinson, LaDainian ) (see Biographies), had the best 2006–07 regular-season record. Tomlinson had a league-high 1,815 yd rushing and set records with 31 touchdowns (28 by rushing) and 186 points for San Diego's top-scoring offense with 30.8 points per game. San Diego, the AFC West champion, was joined in the conference play-offs by the other division winners—Baltimore (13–3) of the North, Indianapolis (12–4) of the South, and New England (12–4) of the East—and by Kansas City (9–7) and the New York Jets (10–6), the AFC wild cards. Baltimore's defense allowed the fewest points and yards per game as the Ravens matched New Orleans's seven-game improvement over 2005.

      NFC South winner New Orleans (10–6) was one of seven teams to reach the play-offs after missing them the previous year; the Saints returned home after Hurricane Katrina forced them to play 2005 home games in San Antonio, Texas; Baton Rouge, La.; and the New York Giants' stadium. Quarterback Drew Brees, cast off by San Diego after surgery on his throwing shoulder, led NFL passers with 4,418 yd as New Orleans led the league with 391.5 yd and 281.4 yd passing per game and improved its scoring rank from 31st to 5th. NFC division winners Chicago (13–3) of the North, Philadelphia (10–6) of the East, and Seattle (9–7) of the West qualified for the play-offs, along with the NFC wild cards, Dallas (9–7) and the Giants (8–8).

      Chicago improved in scoring from 26th to 3rd with help from rookie Devin Hester's NFL-record six kick returns for touchdowns (on punts, kickoffs, and a missed field goal), as well as a solid defense led by middle linebacker Brian Urlacher (Urlacher, Brian ) (see Biographies). Atlanta's Michael Vick was the first quarterback to run for more than 1,000 yd, gaining 1,039 yd for the league-leading rushing team with 183.7 per game. His teammate 46-year-old kicker Morten Andersen set the career scoring record with 2,445 points, and Green Bay's Brett Favre set the pass-completions record with 5,021 in what, after winning his last game, he tearfully said might have been his last season. Other league leaders were Indianapolis's Peyton Manning with 31 touchdown passes and a 101.0 passer rating, Houston's Andre Johnson with 103 catches, Cincinnati's Chad Johnson with 1,369 yd receiving, and San Diego's Shawne Merriman with 17 sacks.

      Roger Goodell replaced Paul Tagliabue as commissioner in the first year of a new television contract that moved Monday Night Football from ABC after 36 years to ESPN. NBC took ESPN's former Sunday-night slot, showing matchups that sometimes were chosen within a week or two of the game. The league's own NFL network broadcast eight games, the first ever that were not widely available over the air or on standard cable channels.

      When the Chicago Rush defeated the Orlando Predators 69–61, the Arena Football League's 20th season brought the first championship to the city where the indoor game was invented.

Kevin M. Lamb

Canadian Football.
 The B.C. Lions won the 2006 Canadian Football League (CFL) championship by defeating the Montreal Alouettes 25–14 in the Grey Cup on November 19 in Winnipeg, Man. Paul McCallum tied a Cup record with six field goals, but quarterback Dave Dickenson, with 184 yd passing and 53 yd rushing, was named Most Valuable Player. Opposing quarterback Anthony Calvillo set a cup record for career passing yards for Montreal, which lost its fourth Grey Cup in five tries since 2000.

      West Division champion British Columbia (13–5) finished the season as the only CFL team with more than 10 victories and led offenses with 26.9 points and 292.3 yd passing per game. Montreal (10–8), the East Division winner, was one of six teams to win between 7 and 10 games in the balanced eight-team league, and only two teams were below .500.

      Lions players also won six of the seven Rogers awards for outstanding performance: slotback Geroy Simon was the Outstanding Player and the Fans' Choice, with league highs of 1,856 yd receiving and 15 touchdown catches; defensive end Brent Johnson was chosen the best defensive player and the top Canadian; left tackle Rob Murphy won the Outstanding Lineman Award; and defensive tackle Aaron Hunt was designated the top rookie. The Outstanding Special Teams Player was Calgary kicker Sandro DeAngelis, who led the league with 214 points. Edmonton quarterback Ricky Ray was the CFL's best passer, with 5,000 yd passing and a rating of 89.8, while Winnipeg running back Charles Roberts led the league with 1,609 yd rushing and 2,020 yd from scrimmage.

Kevin M. Lamb

Australian Football.
      For the second successive year, the Sydney Swans played the West Coast Eagles in the Australian Football League (AFL) Grand Final, but in 2006 there was a different result. On September 30, in front of a crowd of 97,431 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Eagles won by one point. The Eagles led after each quarter and at halftime had opened up a strong 25-point lead, but the defending champion Swans fought back gallantly until the closing minutes. The 12.13 (85)–12.12 (84) win gave the Eagles their third AFL title, adding to the victories in 1992 and 1994. They were brilliantly led by captain Chris Judd. The Eagles also finished on top of the ladder after the 22 home-and-away regular-season matches.

      Andrew Embley of the Eagles won the Norm Smith Medal as best man on the ground in the Grand Final, and Adam Goodes of the Swans was awarded the Brownlow Medal as the AFL's best and fairest player. Carlton's Brendan Fevola won the Coleman Medal with the most home-and-away goals (84); Brad Johnson of the Western Bulldogs was selected captain of the All-Australian team; and Danyle Pearce of Port Adelaide earned the NAB Rising Star Award as the AFL's best youngster.

Greg Hobbs

Rugby Football.
      Another almost perfect season for the New Zealand All Blacks in 2006 reaffirmed the Kiwis as the world's number one Rugby Union side and the hot favourites for the 2007 World Cup. The only blip in their 13 Tests of 2006 was the 21–20 Tri-Nations defeat in South Africa, but the All Blacks had already clinched the title. Their run seemed all the more remarkable in a year when they lost Tana Umaga, their captain and inspirational leader. Umaga retired, but New Zealand found an equally impressive replacement in Richie McCaw. He not only led New Zealand to its seventh Tri-Nations title in 11 years but also captained the Canterbury Crusaders to the inaugural Rebel Sport Super 14 club trophy. At the Commonwealth Games, held in Melbourne in March, New Zealand won a thrilling final against England 29–21. Fiji picked up the bronze in Melbourne, and in May the Fijians were crowned IRB World Sevens Series champions. New Zealand had won that World Sevens series trophy every year since its inception in 2000, but in 2006 Fiji's consistent form took it home, with England second, and South Africa third.

       England's decline continued to baffle most observers. In 2003 the English national side was the Rugby Union World Cup champion, but in 2006 the team finished fourth in the Six Nations tournament and dropped to seventh in the world rankings. France won the Six Nations title—on points difference—after having lost to Scotland early in the tournament. Irish club Munster won the Heineken European Cup, defeating Biarritz Olympique of France 23–19 in the final. In Europe's second competition, the European Challenge Cup, Gloucester bested London Irish 36–34 in the final and earned a place in the 2006–07 Heineken Cup.

      The Sale Sharks won their first English championship, beating Leicester 45–20 in the Guinness Premiership final. Ulster triumphed in the Celtic League, and the Wasps beat Llanelli 26–10 in the final of the Powergen Cup. The famous Harlequins club won a place back in the Guinness Premiership, after having been relegated a year earlier. The South African Currie Cup was shared after the Blue Bulls and the Cheetahs drew 28–28 in the final. Waikato won the new-look Air New Zealand NPC, with a 37–31 victory over Wellington.

       Australia won the Rugby League Tri-Nations title, defeating New Zealand 16–12 in extra time in the final match on November 25. In the Australian National Rugby League championship, the Melbourne Storm finished atop the ladder at the end of the regular season but on October 1 lost to the third-place Brisbane Broncos 15–8 in the Grand Final. St. Helens was a double winner; it routed the Huddersfield Giants 42–12 in the August 26 final of the Challenge Cup and two months later overwhelmed Hull 26–4 in the English Super League.

Paul Morgan

▪ 2006


Association Football (Soccer).

      In 2005 the majority of European national association football (soccer) teams were concerned with qualifying matches for the 2006 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup finals to be held in Germany. The first European country to qualify was Ukraine, coached by Oleg Blokhin (who held the Soviet Union record of 112 international appearances as a player). The standout on Ukraine's team was AC Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko, the 2004 European Footballer of the Year.

      As a prelude to those finals, Germany staged the seventh FIFA Confederations Cup in June, featuring the champions of the five geographic areas covered by the world governing body, both European and South American champions, and the hosts. The final game in Frankfurt was a South American duel, with Brazil comfortably defeating Argentina 4–1.

 In contrast, the Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA) Champions League final on May 25 at Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul proved to be one of the most dramatic matches in the competition's 50-year history. AC Milan, in its 10th final, faced England's Liverpool FC, which had last appeared at this level in the 1985 European cup final at Heysel Stadium in Brussels, where 39 fans died and more than 400 were injured. Liverpool had reached the 2005 final by eliminating the favourite, Chelsea FC, in the semifinal.

      In Istanbul the Italian team took the lead after just 53 seconds. Andrea Pirlo's free kick reached the veteran Milan defender, Paolo Maldini, playing in his 149th European cup game, who scored with a shot that bounced down to deceive Liverpool's Polish goalkeeper, Jerzy Dudek. In the 39th minute Brazilian Ricardo Izecson Santos Leite (known as Kaká) combined with Shevchenko to provide the second goal for Argentine striker Hernán Crespo from close range. Five minutes later the enterprising Kaká again carved out the opening for Crespo to score and give Milan a 3–0 lead.

      At halftime Liverpool coach Rafael Benítez was forced into a tactical rethink in view of the team's parlous position, and in a sensational five-minute period in the second half, the English team leveled the game at 3–3. After 54 minutes John Arne Riise crossed the ball from the left, and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard headed it in. Liverpool pressed forward, and within two minutes Vladimir Smicer hit a long shot that Milan's Brazilian goalkeeper Nélson de Jesús Silva (Dida) could only help into his own net. In noticeable disarray Milan conceded the equalizer in the 59th minute from the penalty spot. Gerrard was balked by Gennaro Gattuso, and though Xabi Alonso's kick was saved by Dida, the Liverpool player scored from the rebound.

      It was only in overtime that stunned Milan coach Carlos Ancelotti was able to regroup his players. The turning point of the match came in the 117th minute, when Dudek brilliantly parried two close-range shots from Shevchenko. The initiative remained with Liverpool, however, and in the penalty shoot-out that followed, the Milan players appeared distinctly unnerved by the dancing tactics of Dudek, who saved shots from Pirlo and Shevchenko as Liverpool won 3–2 on penalties.

      In the UEFA Cup final on May 18, Sporting Lisbon had home-ground advantage in its own José Avalade Stadium against CSKA Moscow and scored first after 28 minutes through a drive by Brazilian Rogério Fidelis Régis. The Portuguese team held the lead until the 57th minute, when Aleksey Berezutsky equalized the score from a free kick taken by Daniel Carvalho of Brazil. In the 66th minute another Carvalho free kick set up CSKA's Yury Zhirkov to make it 2–1. Fifteen minutes before the end, Vagner Love, CSKA's other Brazilian player, scored a third goal after Carvalho had sprinted down the flank before finding his colleague in a scoring position. CSKA, which was sponsored in part by a company held by Roman Abramovich (Chelsea's Russian oil-billionaire owner), became the first Russian team to win a European final.

      There was even more satisfaction for Abramovich; his personal wealth and the shrewd leadership of Portuguese coach José Mourinho provided the dual incentive for Chelsea, celebrating the club's centenary year, to achieve its first English championship title in half a century. Chelsea also won the League Cup and set several Premier League records: 29 wins, fewest goals conceded (15), and 25 shutouts. Of the 30 cosmopolitan players called upon, 22 were full international players. The leading goal scorer in England was Thierry Henry of Arsenal with 25 goals; he tied with Uruguayan Diego Forlán, who was traded to the Spanish club Villarreal by Manchester United after he failed to gain a regular starting place with the Old Trafford club.

      Manchester United was itself taken over by American tycoon Malcolm Glazer and his family, who acquired ownership of Manchester United PLC for £790 million (about $1.4 billion). It was not an entirely popular move among many fans, and a minor breakaway club, to be called FC United, was formed in protest. At the other end of the financial spectrum, Germany's Borussia Dortmund had a debt of €135 million (about $160 million), but a restructuring saved it from bankruptcy.

      The English Premier League claimed the top spot as a spectator attraction, with attendance of 12.88 million people during 2004–05, in front of the German Bundesliga with 11.57 million and the Spanish La Liga with 10.92 million. Surprisingly, in fourth place ahead of Italy's Serie A was the English Football League's newly designated Championship—effectively the second division in the country—which drew 9.8 million and pressed for entry into the UEFA Intertoto Cup.

      Problems for Italy remained after Roma had to play Champions League matches behind closed doors when Swedish referee Anders Frisk was hit by a cigarette lighter thrown from the crowd. The quarterfinal between Internazionale and AC Milan was abandoned because of fan violence. This resulted in a similar ban and fine for Internazionale. During the 2004–05 season, 335 arrests were made in Italy resulting from some 231 incidents. In addition, Genoa was relegated from Serie A to Serie C1 after a match-fixing scandal. Italian referee Pierluigi Collina was allowed to continue after the retirement age of 45 but resigned when he felt a car sponsorship deal created a conflict of interest for him. Bribery and match-fixing as a consequence of betting scams also came to light in Germany, where referee Robert Hoyzer was among numerous people implicated. Portugal had similar concerns.

      Though some progress had been made in the fight against racism, an upsurge of fascist and racist behaviour at matches in Romania alarmed the UEFA, which could sanction only its own competitions and not domestic games. Bulgaria also had problems, and Spain experienced some disturbing outbreaks, with even national coach Luis Aragones fined for remarks he made concerning Arsenal's Henry, a black French international player.

      In France, where Lyon won its fourth successive championship, Guy Roux, the 66-year-old coach of Auxerre, retired after 44 years with the club following its Cup final victory. A record three-year television deal was struck in France when Canal Plus agreed to pay €600 million ($793 million) annually. Partizan Belgrade of Serbia and Montenegro, which had 25 wins and 5 draws, was the sole champion in Europe to remain unbeaten in League matches. League and Cup double winners were Brøndby (in Denmark), Levadia Tallinn (Estonia), HB Torshavn (Faeroes), Bayern Munich (Germany), Olympiakos (Greece), PSV Eindhoven (Holland), and FBK Kaunas (Lithuania). In Scotland, Rangers won its 51st championship and the League Cup.

      The sport responded generously to the tsunami tragedy in late 2004, with donations from various organizations. FIFA pledged $2 million, and a world all-stars match held in Barcelona on February 15 was earmarked as another fund-raiser. FIFA was at odds with the World Anti- Doping Agency, however, and refused to observe the agency's code, preferring individual case assessment rather than blanket sentencing.

      European football lost one of its greats with the death in November of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland player George Best (Best, George ). (See Obituaries.)

Jack Rollin

The Americas.
      In 2005 Brazil continued to take all the major association football (soccer) honours in the Americas, defeating Argentina 4–1 in the Confederations Cup final and coming out just ahead of Argentina in the regional qualifying tournament for the 2006 World Cup. Argentina, Paraguay, and Ecuador were the other South American qualifiers, while the U.S., Mexico, Costa Rica, and Trinidad and Tobago (for the first time) qualified from the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football). The U.S. was almost upset by Panama in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final but won 3–1 in a penalty shoot-out after a 0–0 extra-time draw.

      Brazil's São Paulo Football Club won the Libertadores de América Cup over another Brazilian club, Atlético Paranaense, and captured the Club World Championship in Japan with a 1–0 final victory over England's Liverpool, thanks mainly to outstanding goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni (who had also scored well over 50 goals since his club debut in 1992). Argentina's Boca Juniors completed a rare treble; the team won the Recopa between the 2004 Libertadores and South American Cup champions with 3–1 and 1–2 scores against Once Caldas of Colombia, secured the national opening championship (the team's 21st domestic title), and defeated Mexico's UNAM on penalties after two 1–1 draws in the South American Cup. A Costa Rican club won the CONCACAF club championship for the second straight year as Deportivo Saprissa defeated UNAM 2–0 and 1–2.

      The Los Angeles Galaxy captured the U.S. Major League Soccer Cup for the second time in four years, beating the New England Revolution 1–0 in the final. Rocha became the first club from outside Montevideo to win Uruguay's first division (opening) championship. Universidad Católica, which won Chile's closing championship, was undefeated through 19 games with a 33–3 goals record, and goalkeeper José Buljubasich set a Chilean record with 1,361 minutes unbeaten. Two teams celebrated becoming Brazil's champion—the Corinthians and Internacional Porto Alegre—as 11 games that were controlled by a corrupt referee were replayed and changed results. A court ordered the replays to be annulled, and the Brazilian Football Confederation declared the Corinthians the champions.

Eric Weil

Africa and Asia.
      In 2005 Japan and South Korea, cohosts of the 2002 association football (soccer) World Cup, were among the first countries to qualify for the 2006 finals to be held in Germany. Iran and Saudi Arabia were the other Asian qualifiers. China failed to qualify but won the East Asia championship, held July 31–August 7 in South Korea.

      Enyimba of Nigeria maintained its record as the leading club in Africa, beating the Ghanaian club Hearts of Oak 2–0 in overtime in the African Super Cup on February 20. The COSAFA Castle Cup for the Southern African championship produced a surprise winner when Zimbabwe defeated Zambia 1–0 in the final on August 14 with a goal by Francis Chandida in the 84th minute.

Jack Rollin

U.S. Football.

 The University of Texas won the 2005–06 college football championship on quarterback Vince Young's dramatic “fourth-and-five” touchdown run from the 8-yd line with 19 seconds to play, defeating the University of Southern California (USC) 41–38 in the Rose Bowl at Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 4, 2006. The victory gave Texas (13–0) its first national crown in 35 years, as well as a 20-game winning streak, and ended USC's (12–1) streaks of 34 victories and two national championships. Young, the game's Most Valuable Player (MVP), ran 19 times for 200 yd, three touchdowns, and a two-point conversion, setting a Rose Bowl record with 467 yd total offense on runs and passes.

      Texas and USC were the highest-scoring teams in the big-budget Division I-A of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), with 50.2 and 49.1 points per game, respectively. Pacific-10 champion USC led with 579.8 total yards per game, while Big 12 champion Texas ranked third in total yards and second in rushing, behind Navy. Young ranked third in passing efficiency, winning the top national quarterbacks award and the Maxwell Award as player of the year, although USC tailback Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy and the Walter Camp award for player of the year. Bush led Division I-A with 8.7 yd per carry and 2,890 all-purpose yards on catches, kick returns, and 1,740 yd rushing. Bush was USC's third Heisman winner in four years and joined quarterback Matt Leinart as the first Heisman-winning teammates since Army's Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis in 1945–46.

      Big Ten cochampions Penn State (11–1) and Ohio State (10–2) ranked third and fourth, respectively, in both major polls, by writers and broadcasters for the Associated Press (AP) and coaches for ESPN. Penn State coach Joe Paterno, who had been heavily criticized for a 7–16 record the previous two years, was Coach of the Year at age 79, while Paul Posluszny won the top linebackers award and the Chuck Bednarik Award for defensive players. Ohio State's only losses were to Texas and Penn State as linebacker A.J. Hawk won the linemen's Lombardi Award in leading the top rushing defense. Penn State won the Orange Bowl 26–23 in triple overtime over Atlantic Coast Conference winner Florida State (8–5), and Ohio State won the Fiesta Bowl 34–20 over Notre Dame, the latter's record-setting eighth consecutive bowl defeat.

      Big East champion West Virginia (11–1) defeated Southeastern Conference champion Georgia (10–3) by 38–35 in the Sugar Bowl, which was moved to Atlanta from New Orleans because of the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. West Virginia received the AP's fifth ranking, which ESPN gave to hurricane-affected Louisiana State (11–2), while each ranked the other team sixth. Virginia Tech (11–2) was seventh, and eighth-ranked Alabama's (10–2) defense allowed a division-low 10.7 points per game while trailing only Virginia Tech's 247.6 yd allowed per game. The polls split their ninth ranking between Notre Dame (9–3) and Mountain West champion Texas Christian (11–1) but agreed on Georgia at number 10. Nevada (9–3) won the Western Athletic Conference; Tulsa (9–4) took Conference USA; and Akron (7–6) came out atop the Mid-American Conference.

      Louisville defensive end Elvis Dumervil won the Bronko Nagurski Award for defenders, and Minnesota centre Greg Eslinger received the Outland Trophy for interior linemen. Hawaii's Colt Brennan led Division I-A with 4,301 yd passing, 4,455 yd total offense, and 35 touchdown passes.

      Winners of the lower-budget NCAA divisions' championship tournaments were 12–3 Appalachian State (N.C.) in division I-AA, 13–0 Grand Valley State (Mich.) in Division II, and 14–1 Mount Union (Ohio), which won its eighth Division III title in 13 years after a 21–14 loss to Northern Iowa on October 22 ended its 110-game regular-season winning streak. Carroll (Mont.) went 14–0 for its fourth consecutive National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics championship, while quarterback Tyler Emmert won his third straight NAIA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.

      The New England Patriots of the American Football Conference (AFC) won Super Bowl XXXIX and the 2004–05 National Football League (NFL) championship in a 24–21 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football Conference (NFC) on Feb. 6, 2005, in Jacksonville, Fla. With their second championship in a row, the Patriots became the first team to win three Super Bowls in four years, each of them by three points. Wide receiver Deion Branch was MVP with 11 catches for 133 yd, and coach Bill Belichick replaced the team's usual three linemen–four linebackers defense with a two–five alignment in winning his 10th of 11 postseason games, the best ever in the NFL.

      Philadelphia then became the fifth consecutive league runner-up to miss the play-offs in the following season, and New England barely avoided the Eagles' fate by winning the AFC East with a 10–6 record, the worst of any 2005–06 division winner. Seven teams reached the play-offs after missing them in 2004–05, and the records of 15 teams in the 32-team league improved or declined by at least four games. Chicago and Tampa Bay went from last place to first in the NFC North and South divisions, respectively, each improving by a league-best six games to 11–5, while Philadelphia's seven-game decline was the worst. Cincinnati (11–5) won the AFC North with its first winning record—or play-off berth—since 1990. The other division winners were Seattle (13–3) in the NFC West, the New York Giants (11–5) in the NFC East, Indianapolis (14–2) in the AFC South, and Denver (13–3) in the AFC West, the division's fourth champion in four years. “Wild-card” play-off teams, as their conferences' best runners-up, were Pittsburgh (11–5), Carolina (11–5), Washington (10–6), and Jacksonville (12–4), with the last two ending six-year play-off absences.

      Under quarterback Peyton Manning (Manning, Peyton ) (see Biographies) Indianapolis won its first 13 games by at least seven points, an NFL record. Green Bay had its first losing record in 13 years. The New Orleans Saints, displaced by Hurricane Katrina, played “home” games in San Antonio, Texas; Baton Rouge, La.; and suburban New York City in a 3–13 season that began with an uplifting 23–20 victory two weeks after the storm. Quarterback Doug Flutie scored an extra point in New England's last regular-season game with the NFL's first successful dropkick since 1941. Seattle led the league with 28.25 points per game, and Chicago and Tampa Bay built their improvements on defense, with league-best per-game yields of 12.6 points and 277.8 yd, respectively. Kansas City coach Dick Vermeil retired at 69 after his Chiefs (10–6) led the league with 387 yd per game of total offense but missed the play-offs.

 MVP Shaun Alexander of Seattle led the league with 1,880 yd rushing, 168 points, and a record 28 touchdowns. The unusually high number of MVP candidates included league leaders Tiki Barber with 2,390 yd from scrimmage for the Giants, Tom Brady with 4,110 yd passing for New England, Carson Palmer with 32 touchdown passes for Cincinnati, and Manning with a 104.1 passer rating. Carolina's Steve Smith led NFL receivers with 1,563 yd and tied Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald with 103 catches. Arizona's Neil Rackers kicked a record 40 field goals with a league-best .952 percentage on 42 attempts. Kansas City's Larry Johnson ran for 1,351 yd in the last nine games.

       Emmitt Smith retired on February 3 after 15 seasons, with NFL rushing records of 18,355 yd and 164 touchdowns, and Jerry Rice called it quits on September 5 after 20 seasons, with 38 league records, including 1,549 catches and receptions for 22,895 yd and 197 touchdowns. On December 26 ABC broadcast its last Monday Night Football game after 36 seasons. ESPN won the rights to Monday night games for 2006 and beyond, with Sunday night games moving to NBC in a new television package that was worth nearly a 50% increase to $3.7 billion a year.

Kevin M. Lamb

Canadian Football.
      The Edmonton Eskimos won the 2005 Canadian Football League (CFL) championship by defeating the Montreal Alouettes 38–35 in the Grey Cup on November 27 at Vancouver in the second overtime game of the Cup's 95-year history and the first in 44 years. Quarterback Ricky Ray won the game's Outstanding Player Award with a Cup-record 35 completions on 45 passes for 359 yd and two touchdowns. Ray, who had been replaced during Edmonton's previous two play-off victories, ran one yard for the touchdown that put Edmonton ahead 28–25 with 1 minute 3 seconds left in regulation play, but Damon Duval's field goal at the gun forced overtime (in which each team takes possession at its opponent's 35-yd line). Sean Fleming's 36-yd field goal on the second possession won the game after Edmonton's defense held Montreal.

      Division winners Toronto (11–7) in the East and the B.C. Lions (12–6) in the West lost in the division finals to Montreal (10–8) and Edmonton (11–7), respectively, but 42-year-old Toronto quarterback Damon Allen won the first CFL Outstanding Player Award of his 21-year career. Outstanding Special Teams Player Corey Holmes of Saskatchewan led the CFL with 3,455 yd total offense. Other awards went to Calgary linebacker John Grace for defensive players, Saskatchewan's Gene Makowsky for linemen, Winnipeg defensive end Gavin Walls for rookies, and Lions defensive end Brent Johnson, who was the top Canadian and sack leader with 16.

Kevin M. Lamb

Australian Football.
      After 72 years the Red and the White was finally rewarded with the Australian Football League (AFL) premiership when the Sydney (formerly South Melbourne) Swans defeated Perth's West Coast Eagles by a score of 8.10 (58) to 7.12 (54) in the Grand Final on Sept. 24, 2005, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. (South Melbourne had last won a premiership in 1933, and after years of financial insecurity the team had relocated to Sydney in 1982.) With the crowd of 91,898 spectators at fever pitch, the Eagles made a last-ditch effort to snatch the 2005 title, but a great high mark by Sydney's Leo Barry deep in the Eagles' forward line turned them away as the final siren sounded. In the home-and-away regular season, Sydney (15–7) finished third behind the Eagles, which had a record of 17–5. Adelaide (17–5), which finished atop the ladder, did not make it beyond the preliminary finals.

       Chris Judd of the Eagles was awarded the Norm Smith Medal as best on the ground in the Grand Final. His teammate Ben Cousins won the Brownlow Medal for the best and fairest player in the regular season, St Kilda full-forward Fraser Gehrig received the Coleman Medal for the most goals kicked (74), Richmond youngster Brett Deledio was chosen the AFL Rising Star, and Adelaide captain Mark Ricciuto was named captain of the All-Australian side.

Greg Hobbs

Rugby Football.
      In Rugby Union 2005 was the year of the New Zealand All Blacks. After being knocked out of the 2003 World Cup in the semifinals by Australia, the All Blacks had embarked on a rebuilding process that culminated in their stunning form in 2005. New Zealand rugby underwent top-to-bottom changes, including the installation of a new coaching team and the emergence of an inspirational on-field leader in Tana Umaga.

 In May New Zealand's Canterbury Crusaders outplayed Australia's New South Wales Waratahs 35–25 and lifted the last Super 12 trophy (the tri-nation tournament would expand to 14 teams in 2006). Many of the Crusaders players, including Justin Marshall, Daniel Carter, and Richie McCaw, formed the backbone of the national side that welcomed to New Zealand in June and July the British and Irish Lions (made up of the best players from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales). The All Blacks were clearly in world-class form and won all three Test matches by record margins: 21–3, 48–18, and 38–19. In more than 100 years of trying to clutch victory, the Lions had only once (in 1971) won a Test series in New Zealand, but no one expected them to lose all three Tests so badly. Although the Lions, coached by Sir Clive Woodward, lost their captain, Brian O'Driscoll, to injury inside the first minute of the first Test, the All Blacks still produced three stunning performances. Following that series victory, it came as no surprise in November when the All Blacks won all four Tests in New Zealand's “grand slam” tour of Great Britain and Ireland. The New Zealanders suffered their only defeat of 2005 in the Tri-Nations tournament when on August 6 they lost 22–16 to South Africa, the defending champion, in Cape Town. Home and away wins against Australia and a 31–27 victory over South Africa in the return match, however, gave New Zealand the Tri-Nations title.

       Wales achieved its first Six Nations grand slam since 1978. The young Welsh side, employing an expansive new playing style, completed a clean sweep, with wins over all of the other five nations. It was a huge turnaround for the Welsh players; as Captain Gareth Thomas remarked, “We've been shot down and written off but we've come through.”

      Domestically, the London Wasps lifted the team's third consecutive English title, the Neath-Swansea Ospreys won the Celtic League, and Biarritz proved too strong for Stade Français in the French championship. In the European Cup final, held on May 22 in Edinburgh, Toulouse defeated Stade Français 18–12 to capture a record third Heineken Cup.

      In Rugby League the Bradford Bulls avenged their 2004 loss to the Leeds Rhinos with a 15–6 victory over their rivals on October 15 in the English Super League Grand Final. Wests Tigers capped an incredible come-from-behind season by securing the team's first Australian National Rugby League championship in its first finals appearance. In June the Tigers fell to 12th place in the league, but they surged back to win 12 of their last 14 matches, including a 30–16 triumph on October 2 over the North Queensland Cowboys for the title.

Paul Morgan

▪ 2005


Association Football (Soccer).

      The outcome of Euro 2004, the quadrennial European association football (soccer) championship, produced one of the biggest upsets in the game's history as Greece—without any record of even modest achievement at the highest level—defeated the host nation, Portugal, 1–0 in the final, held on July 4 in the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon. With one previous appearance in the 1994 World Cup finals and an earlier qualification for the 1988 European championship, the Greek team had never managed to win a game. In 2004, however, Greece twice beat Portugal, as well as the defending titlist and favourite, France. The 2004 champion's sole loss was against Russia, the one opponent that, before the tournament opened, Greece might have been expected to beat.

      In a disappointing defensive-minded, and fear-ridden competition, Greece adhered relentlessly to its strategy of sound defense, counterattacking only when the options were obvious. Greece's German-born 65-year-old coach, Otto Rehhagel, who had been appointed in 2001 with a reputation of success at domestic level in his own country, maintained a cautious policy on the field, and his emphasis on defense was completely vindicated when Greece came away the winner.

      While Greece applied itself with a stifling tactical approach involving industrious man marking, its style of play was visually boring. Since the performance of the favoured teams (Italy, Spain, Germany, and France) fell below the standard expected of them, however, Greece fully deserved its success. The timing of Greece's only goal in the semifinal against the most attack-minded team, Czech Republic, could not have been better, with seconds to go before the end of the first period of extra time; it thus qualified as a silver goal and virtually ended the match at 1–0.

      In the final an inswinging corner kick from Greece's Angelos Basinas in the 57th minute cleared the head of Portuguese defender Jorge Andrade, and Angelos Charisteas, who played professionally in Germany for Werder Bremen, headed the crucial goal. Despite redoubling its effort to get back into the game, Portugal, coached by Felipe Scolari (who guided Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title), found itself unable to break down the Greek resolve. Fifteen of the 23 Greek players were home-based, though many had had experience playing abroad. Another record was established when Swiss international Johan Vonlanthen, at 18 years 141 days old became the youngest European championship scorer.

      Official attendance figures of l,165,192 for the finals showed an improvement over four years earlier (1,126,443), but the average crowd of 37,587 was well under the record 56,656 for the tournament staged in West Germany in 1988. The poor showings of Italy, Spain, Germany, and France were attributed in part to the increasing numbers of foreign players (and the attendant decrease in young home-grown talent) in these and other countries, including England, which failed to adopt the correct tactics at crucial stages in Euro 2004. Moreover, the emphasis placed on club football in those countries through the Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA) Champions League and to a lesser degree the UEFA Cup had helped to reduce national team status.

      Before the disappointment of losing in Euro 2004, there had been better news at club level for Portugal when FC Porto defeated AS Monaco FC 3–0 for the Champions League title. For Porto coach José Mourinho it was a double European triumph; in 2003 the club had won the UEFA Cup. In the Champions League final on May 26 in Gelsenkirchen, Ger., both Mourinho and his Monaco counterpart, Didier Deschamps, displayed unwillingness to take chances in attack and preferred defense as their chief weapon. Porto broke the deadlock in the 39th minute when Carlos Alberto took advantage of hesitancy in the Monaco rearguard to strike the ball past goalkeeper Flavio Roma. Porto's offside trap kept Monaco at bay until the 71st minute, when substitute Dmitry Alenichev of Russia made an opening for Anderson de Souza Deco, the Brazilian-born Portuguese international, to score at 2–0. Alenichev completed the scoring four minutes later, accepting a pass from Brazilian Vanderlei Fernandes Derlei.

      On May 19 the UEFA Cup final in Göteborg, Swed., proved a success for Valencia of Spain against the French team Olympique Marseille but not before the incident that arguably settled the outcome. On the stroke of halftime, Marseille goalkeeper Fabien Barthez, on loan from England's Manchester United, bundled over the Spanish forward Miguel Ángel Ferrer Mista inside the penalty area and was dismissed. Jeremy Gavanon had to come on as a replacement goalkeeper, with outfield player Camel Meriem sacrificed. Vicente Rodríguez Guillen scored from the penalty and was responsible for setting up the second goal converted by Mista in the 58th minute. A low-key game underlined the second-class stamp that the tournament had been handed in recent years. In 2004–05 the introduction of a Champions League-style group stage was intended to revamp it. Valencia also provided the oldest player to win a European cup medal, Italian-born left-back Amedeo Carboni, age 39.

      Both UEFA-tournament-winning coaches moved on to England, still considered the mecca for top mercenaries. Mourinho was drawn by the Roman Abramovich wealth of Chelsea, while Rafael Benítez moved from Valencia to Liverpool. Mourinho was quickly into trading mode and signed five players for a total of £61 million (£1 = about $1.80), the most expensive of them being the Marseille striker Didier Drogba for £24 million.

      Modest Norwegian champion Rosenborg continued its remarkable consistency by qualifying for the Champions League for the ninth time in 10 years, and captain Roar Strand maintained his record of appearing in each season. Paolo Maldini of AC Milan made his 130th appearance in a European cup match.

      The Fédération Internationale de Football (FIFA) decided to end the silver- and golden-goals experiment. In the future, penalty shoot-outs would be used to decide matches unresolved at the end of overtime. The world governing body also decreed an end to unlimited numbers of substitutes in noncompetitive international matches, restricting them to six only. Another innovation was the sanction of previously banned artificial pitches (playing surfaces), because of the improved technology that had been developed in preparing surfaces on which to play.

      On the domestic front Lyon achieved its third successive French league title and Ajax won its 29th overall in Holland, while AC Milan took its first Serie A title in five years. Valencia achieved the La Liga championship, and Lokomotiv Plovdiv gained a notable first championship in Bulgaria. Double League and Cup winners were Graz (in Austria), FC Copenhagen, HJK Helsinki (Finland), Werder Bremen, Panathinaikos (Greece), Rosenborg, Dinamo Bucharest (Romania), Glasgow Celtic (Scotland), and Red Star Belgrade (Serbia and Montenegro).

      In the English Football Association (FA), Arsenal became the third team to avoid league defeat in a season, and only the second to achieve it at top level, when it won 26 and drew 12 of 38 FA Premier League games. (Early in the 2004–05 season, Arsenal reached 43 straight victories to break the record set by Nottingham Forest in the former First Division of the Football League between November 1977 and November 1978.) Arsenal's French international Thierry Henry (see Biographies (Henry, Thierry )) won the Golden Shoe as Europe's top scorer (with 30 goals) and was second behind Brazilian Ronaldinho for FIFA World Player of the Year. Manchester United won the FA Cup, beating First Division Millwall 3–0. Celtic set a Scottish record with 25 consecutive wins in the Premier League. Celtic's Swedish international striker Henrik Larsson left the club after seven seasons, having scored 242 goals in 315 games.

Jack Rollin

The Americas.
       Brazil and Argentina continued to be the giants in South American association football (soccer) in 2004, finishing the year respectively in first and third place in the Fédération Internationale de Football Association's world rankings. In July the two countries met in the final of the South American championship (Copa América), held in Peru, where Brazil, despite not fielding its strongest team, defeated Argentina 4–2 on penalties.

      In club action, however, several less-fashionable teams had their day. Colombia's Once Caldas beat Argentina's Boca Juniors 2–0 on penalties, after a 1–1 draw in goals, to win its first Libertadores de América Cup and reached the final of the last Intercontinental Cup, losing to European Cup winners FC Porto of Portugal. (The Intercontinental Cup was to be replaced in 2005 by a club championship between continental champions.) It was an all- Costa Rican final in the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Champions' Cup as Alajuelense beat Saprissa. Second division Santo André won the Brazil Cup, while Newell's Old Boys captured the opening championship in Argentina to end a run of 24 titles won by the country's big six clubs since 1992. In Uruguay modest Danubio won the 2004 title after 12 years of domination by Peñarol and Nacional. On the other hand, top club Cerro Porteño won both tournaments in Paraguay, as did UNAM Pumas in Mexico. Brazil's Santos won its second national title in three years, and Alianza Lima captured its 20th Peruvian championship. Boca Juniors ended a poor year on a positive note after capturing the South American Cup with a victory over Bolívar, the first Bolivian team to reach a continental cup final. In the U.S., D.C. United won its fourth Major League Soccer championship, defeating the Kansas City Wizards 3–2 in the MLS Cup final.

      Most South American clubs continued to struggle financially and managed to keep afloat by selling their best players, mostly to Europe. In Chile, Colo Colo and Universidad de Chile, which had been declared bankrupt, were in the hands of administrators, and half a dozen clubs had points deducted for not paying players' salaries on time.

Eric Weil

Africa and Asia.
      On Feb. 14, 2004, the final of the African Nations Cup was held in Radès, Tun., and was won by the host country, which defeated neighbours Morocco 2–1 in front of a crowd of 60,000 in the November 7 Stadium. The top player of the tournament was adjudged to have been Jay Jay Okocha of Nigeria. That country's Enyimba won the African Super Cup to confirm its status as the leading club side on the continent, beating Étoile Sahel of Tunisia 1–0 in Aba, Nigeria, on February 22.

      In the Asian Cup, staged in China, Japan beat the host nation 3–1 in the final, held in Beijing on August 7 in front of a crowd of 62,000. It was Japan's third Asian Cup title in four years.

Jack Rollin

U.S. Football.

      The 2004–05 college football season culminated in the first-ever college game between Heisman Trophy winners, but it was a lopsided contest. The University of Southern California (USC), led by 2004 Heisman winner Matt Leinart and coach Pete Carroll, captured its second consecutive national championship and ninth overall by defeating the University of Oklahoma 55–19 in the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla., on Jan. 4, 2005. The teams went into the game with identical 12–0 records and with two of the top-ranked defenses in Division I-A of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). USC, however, took advantage of four Oklahoma turnovers, and Leinart threw five touchdowns, including three to Steve Smith, to extend the Trojans' winning streak to 22 games. It was the second straight defeat in a national championship game for Oklahoma quarterback Jason White, the 2003 Heisman winner, who had lost the previous year to Louisiana State University (LSU), the 2003–04 cochampion. Although teammate Adrian Peterson, the 2004 Heisman runner-up, managed only 82 yd rushing against the Trojans, that helped him set a record for freshmen of 1,925 yd rushing. Forced to pass, White, winner of the Davey O'Brien Award for top quarterback and the Maxwell Award for best player, threw three interceptions, half his regular-season total.

      Auburn (13–0), the Southeastern Conference champion, was the first team in the seven-year history of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) not to make the national championship game despite having an unbeaten record in one of the six conferences with automatic berths in the four BCS bowl games. Auburn won the Sugar Bowl, defeating Atlantic Coast Conference winner Virginia Tech (10–3), which was new to the ACC after having bolted the Big East along with the University of Miami (Fla.). Winners of the other BCS conferences were USC (13–0) in the Pacific-10, Oklahoma (12–1) in the Big 12, cochampions Michigan (9–3) and Iowa (10–2) in the Big Ten, and Pittsburgh (8–4) in the depleted Big East.

       Utah (12–0) of the Mountain West and Boise State (11–1) of the Western Athletic Conference also had undefeated regular seasons. Utah, the first team from a non-BCS conference to play in a BCS bowl, beat Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl, led by Urban Meyer, named Coach of the Year. The top two scoring teams were Conference USA winner Louisville (11–1) and Boise State, respectively. They met in the Liberty Bowl, where Louisville won 44–40. In other exciting bowl games, a last-play field goal in the Rose Bowl gave Texas (11–1) a 38–37 victory over Michigan in the first matchup between those traditional powerhouses, and Iowa beat LSU (9–3) 30–25 in the Capital One Bowl on a last-second 56-yd touchdown pass.

      Victories by Colorado and Ohio State in the Houston Bowl and Alamo Bowl, respectively, were overshadowed by scandals off the field. At Colorado sexual assault allegations against football players led to an investigation that found the team had used sex, alcohol, and drugs as recruiting tools. Though it was never proved that he sanctioned such recruitment methods, Colorado's coach, Gary Barnett, was suspended for three months in the off-season for offensive comments he made regarding the assault cases. Ohio State suspended quarterback Troy Smith from its bowl game after allegations were made that a booster had given him benefits that violated NCAA rules.

      The final rankings diverged slightly after USC, Auburn, and Oklahoma. The writers' poll chose Utah, Texas, Louisville, Georgia (10–2), Iowa, California (10–2), and Virginia Tech, in that order, but the coaches' poll reversed the order of Texas-Utah and Georgia-Louisville. Other Division I-A conference winners were Toledo (9–4) in the Mid-American and North Texas (7–5) in the Sun Belt.

      In individual awards the Chuck Bednarik Award went to Georgia defensive end David Pollack, who also won the Vince Lombardi Trophy for linemen, and Derrick Johnson of Texas received the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Dick Butkus Award (both for defenders). The Outland Trophy, honouring interior linemen, went to Oklahoma's Jammal Brown.

      Winners of the lower-budget NCAA divisions' championship tournaments were 13–2 James Madison (Va.) in Division I-AA, 13–1 Valdosta State (Ga.) in Division II, and 13–0 Linfield (Ore.) in Division III, while 12–2 Carroll (Mont.) won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics title.

      The New England Patriots of the American Football Conference (AFC) defeated the Carolina Panthers of the National Football Conference (NFC) 32–29 to win Super Bowl XXXVIII, held in Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, on Feb. 1, 2004. It was their second National Football League (NFL) championship in three years. Quarterback Tom Brady (see Biographies (Brady, Tom )) was named the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the second time after throwing three touchdowns and moving the Patriots into position for a game-winning 41-yd field goal by Adam Vinatieri in the final seconds.

      The Patriots (14–2) continued their winning streak into the 2004–05 regular season, setting a record for consecutive victories (21). The Pittsburgh Steelers and rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, however, upstaged the Patriots and Brady, finishing with the fourth 15–1 record in NFL history and the first by a team that had a losing record the previous season. Roethlisberger became the starter after Tommy Maddox injured his elbow in the second game, and he led the Steelers to 13 consecutive wins before missing game 16 because of an injury. Along the way, Pittsburgh ended New England's winning streak and defeated previously unbeaten Philadelphia. Pittsburgh's defense helped the rookie by allowing league-best per-game averages of 15.7 points, 258.4 total yards, and 81.2 yd rushing.

      High scoring was the theme elsewhere in a season that featured 1,268 touchdowns and 11,000 total points. With newly strict enforcement of the five-yard limit for bumping a receiver, five quarterbacks passed for at least 4,000 yd and four threw more than three times as many touchdown passes as interceptions. Peyton Manning of Indianapolis was the game's marquee quarterback and regular season MVP, breaking Dan Marino's 20-year-old record for single-season touchdown passes (48) with 49 and Steve Young's efficiency-rating record with 121.1 points. Manning's Colts were the first team to have three players catch at least 10 touchdown passes, and Indianapolis averaged 32.6 points and 288.9 yd passing per game, both league highs. Daunte Culpepper of Minnesota led all passers with 4,717 yd and a .692 completion percentage. Quarterback Drew Brees, who had lost the starting job in 2003 owing to poor play, experienced a comeback, guiding San Diego (12–4) to its first winning season and first play-off berth in nine years. His favourite receiver, Antonio Gates, set a record for tight ends with 13 touchdown catches.

      During the summer Ricky Williams of Miami abruptly retired, but the league still had plenty of exciting running backs. The Jets' Curtis Martin led the NFL with 1,697 yd, one more than Seattle's Shaun Alexander, who topped the league with 20 touchdowns. Martin and Pittsburgh's Jerome Bettis finished the season fourth and fifth, respectively, among all-time rushing leaders. Leading receivers were Kansas City's Tony Gonzalez with 102 catches, a record for tight ends, and Carolina's Muhsin Muhammad with 1,405 yd. Tory Holt of St. Louis set a record with a fifth straight season of more than 1,300 yd receiving.

      The balance between the AFC and the NFC tilted heavily toward the former, where division winners Pittsburgh, New England, Indianapolis, and San Diego each won at least 12 games, and the runners-up with “wild-card” play-off berths, the New York Jets and Denver Broncos, went 10–6. In the NFC, division winners Philadelphia, Atlanta, Green Bay, and Seattle had the only winning records, while wild cards Minnesota and St. Louis made the play-offs with 8–8 records.

      Two televised episodes provoked controversies that embarrassed the league. The brief exposure of singer Janet Jackson's breast punctuated a Super Bowl halftime show that featured sexually suggestive lyrics, and the carefully cropped introduction to a Monday night telecast showed TV actress Nicollette Sheridan dropping her shower towel and jumping into the arms of Philadelphia's Terrell Owens. Outside the court of public opinion, the NFL fared better when the Supreme Court declined to hear Maurice Clarett's failed challenge to the draft's eligibility rules.

      Among the deaths during the year were Crazylegs Hirsch (Hirsch, Crazylegs ), Roosevelt Brown (Brown, Roosevelt ), and Reggie White (White, Reggie ). (See Obituaries.)

Kevin M. Lamb

Canadian Football.
      The Toronto Argonauts won the 2004 Canadian Football League (CFL) championship by defeating the B.C. Lions 27–19 in the Grey Cup on November 21 at Ottawa, behind 41-year-old quarterback Damon Allen, the game's Most Outstanding Player, with two touchdowns rushing and another passing. Allen had recovered from a broken leg in August to win his fourth championship and a league-high 15th title for Toronto. The Argonauts (10–7–1) had finished second in the East Division and reached the Grey Cup with a play-off upset of the Montreal Alouettes (14–4), the division champion.

      Quarterback Casey Printers of the West Division winner Lions (13–5) was the regular-season Most Outstanding Player, leading all passers with 35 touchdowns, 10.3 yd per pass, a .658 completion percentage, and an efficiency rating of 115.0. Printers replaced injured Dave Dickenson during the regular season, but Dickenson played in the Grey Cup after Printers hurt his shoulder in the division final. Teammate Jason Clermont was named the CFL's Outstanding Canadian. Outstanding-player awards also went to Gene Makowsky of the Saskatchewan Roughriders (9–9) for linemen, Montreal's Anwar Stewart for defensive players, receiver Nikolas Lewis of the Calgary Stampeders (4–14) for rookies, and Keith Stokes of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (7–11) for special teams. Individual leaders included kicker Sean Fleming of the Edmonton Eskimos (9–9) with 180 points and a .787 field-goal percentage and Troy Davis, who rushed for 1,628 yd for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (9–8–1).

Kevin M. Lamb

Australian Football.
      Port Adelaide captured its first premiership in the Australian Football League (AFL) on Sept. 25, 2004. Port Adelaide, the last club to join the AFL, in 1997, scored 17.11 (113) against 10.13 (73) for the Brisbane Lions, which had won the previous three premierships. Brisbane had been strongly tipped to equal an ancient league record of four straight titles (attained by Collingwood in 1927–30). The game was played before 77,671 spectators at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which was well short of its normal capacity because of a rebuilding program. It was the first Grand Final played between two clubs from outside Victoria, the recognized home of Australian football. The other teams to qualify for the finals were St. Kilda, Geelong, Melbourne, Sydney, West Coast, and Essendon.

      Port Adelaide's Byron Pickett was judged best on the ground in the Grand Final and awarded the Norm Smith Medal. The Brownlow Medal, for the regular season's fairest and best player, was won for the first time by a West Coast Eagles player, Chris Judd. St. Kilda's Fraser Gehrig won the John Coleman Medal for the most goals (90) kicked in the regular season; when the finals were included, his total swelled to 103. Other honours went to Adelaide's Mark Ricciuto, named captain of the All-Australian team; St. Kilda's Nick Riewoldt, the AFL Players' Association Most Valuable Player; and Melbourne's Jared Rivers, the AFL Rising Star.

Greg Hobbs

Rugby Football.
      In 2003 England became the first side from the Northern Hemisphere to win the Rugby Union World Cup, but it was brought down to earth in 2004. Within 12 months of their magnificent triumph in Sydney, Australia, the English had lost two captains and their coach. Martin Johnson, the man who led England to the World Cup, quit soon after the tournament, and his successor, Lawrence Dallaglio, retired from international rugby in August, a few days before coach Clive Woodward resigned. Woodward, who was knighted in October, was selected to coach the British and Irish Lions on their trip to New Zealand in 2005. Johnson's decision to leave led to the departure of other squad members, and England proceeded to go on an awful run, surrendering its Six Nations title to France and losing five out of six games from March to June, its worst showing since the game turned professional in 1995. Under new coach Andy Robinson and new captain Jonny Wilkinson, the world champions hoped to start a new era as they headed toward the 2007 World Cup.

      England's failure in 2004 was the most significant issue in the rugby world, but the year also signaled the return of the South African Springboks to the top three in the world rankings. Stung by a poor showing in the World Cup—in which they were knocked out in the quarterfinals—the Springboks appointed a new coach and captain, with startling effect, as they won the Tri-Nations, the championship of the Southern Hemisphere. Each side won its home matches in the Tri-Nations, so South Africa took the title by virtue of having grabbed more bonus points during the tournament. Significantly, it picked up one point by scoring four tries in a 40–26 thrashing of New Zealand.

      In the Six Nations championship, England's failures allowed France to claim a grand slam, as it earned victories over all of the other five nations. The trophy was clinched with a 24–21 win over England in Paris. Scotland finished last and without a victory. Australia's ACT Brumbies won the Super 12, the domestic Southern Hemisphere championship, beating the Canterbury Crusaders from New Zealand 47–38 in the final. It was confirmed that the competition was to become a Super 14 in 2006, with two more teams (from Australia and South Africa) joining.

      In Europe the Wasps were the dominant side, lifting the Heineken (European) Cup and the English domestic premiership title. The London-based Wasps won a sensational Heineken Cup, as they were drawing until the final moments, when scrum-half Rob Howley scored a daring try to give them a 27–20 victory over Toulouse of France.

      In Rugby League the Leeds Rhinos won their first English Super League championship in 32 years, defeating the Bradford Bulls 16–8. Llanelli won the Celtic League, and in France Stade Français was league winner. In Australia the Canterbury Bulldogs beat the Sydney Roosters 16–13 in the National Rugby League grand final.

Paul Morgan

▪ 2004


Association Football (Soccer).

      In 2003 national teams were occupied with qualifying for the final stages of Euro 2004, the European association football (soccer) championship to be held in Portugal in 2004, but the continuing conflict of club against country dominated the region.

      While fan violence had not vanished from the soccer scene, another worrying trend was the increase in racist abuse, particularly against black players. Some of the worst instances involved countries of the former Yugoslavia against players from Western Europe. The English Football Association (FA) was fined £99,000 (£1 = about $1.67) in May for two pitch invasions and racist chanting by spectators at England's match with Turkey in Sunderland, Eng., the previous month. The Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA) also warned the FA that further misconduct would result in expulsion from the Euro 2004 competition.

      While there was a consensus of opinion concerning the extensive demands on the physical fitness of leading players, there were differing views on a solution. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) wanted fewer domestic matches, while clubs, which paid the players' wages, considered that there were too many international matches. The situation was brought into sharp focus by the untimely death of Marc-Vivien Foé, the 28-year-old international player (for the Cameroon national team) who collapsed during the Confederations Cup match with Colombia on June 26. As an example of the punishing schedule faced by some players, Gilberto Silva, a Brazilian international midfielder, was due to travel more than 28,900 km (about 18,000 mi) in a round trip from England, where he played for Arsenal, to Brazil in order to compete for his country in two World Cup qualifying matches. This included 36 hours of air travel in 10 days.

      FIFA was also keen to restrict the number of international noncompetitive games (friendlies) and replace them with more competitive matches, in which substitutions were restricted to three per team. This would prevent national team managers and coaches from fielding unlimited numbers of substitutes. When England met Australia in February, it used one team in the first half and another 11 players in the second half. Increasing the number of competitive international games in which clubs would be forced to release star players could provide another collision course between FIFA and the clubs.

      Though transfer fees (the money involved in player trades) and the number of transfers had been reduced somewhat since the introduction of the so-called Bosman ruling in 1995, which allowed more freedom of contract for players, the purchase by Russian oil billionaire Roman Abramovich of the English club Chelsea in July saw unprecedented spending on 13 players for a total of £111 million. The arrivals included Juan Sebastián Verón, the Argentine international midfield player who had been, for a year, the most expensive player in England when he was signed by Manchester United from Italy's Lazio in 2001 for £28.1 million. Chelsea paid United only £15.2 million for Verón, while its most expensive recruit was Ireland international playmaker Damien Duff, who was acquired from Blackburn Rovers for £17 million. Chelsea also pulled off another coup with the capture of Manchester United chief executive Peter Kenyon, who was thought to have been the architect over the previous three years of extending the Old Trafford club's global popularity and wealth.

      David Beckham, the Manchester United and England midfielder and the most celebrated soccer player in the world, was transferred to Spain's Real Madrid in a complicated financial deal disclosed at £23.5 million. As part of the deal, United decided to take £11.1 million of the transfer fee up front instead of waiting for staggered payments totalling £12 million over four years because it wanted to balance its accounts, despite being considered one of the richest clubs in the world. Beckham was said to be earning £100,000 a week plus £20 million a year in commercial contracts.

      On May 28 the UEFA Champions League final, played at United's Old Trafford ground, was decided by a penalty shoot-out after a defense-dominated goalless draw. It was an all-Italian affair, with AC Milan edging Juventus 3–2 on penalties. Milan's Clarence Seedorf made history as the first player to have appeared on the winning team for three different clubs in the competition—he had previously appeared with Amsterdam's Ajax in 1995 and Real Madrid in 1998. Milan's captain, Paolo Maldini, tied with Beckham with 81 Champions League appearances, the most in qualifying and group games over the 11 seasons since the former European Cup of the Champions changed its name. Maldini also equaled the feat of his father, Cesare Maldini, who had led Milan to European Cup success in 1963.

      In the 2003 final Milan probably deserved ultimate victory for its enterprise over the first 90 minutes. Both teams employed a 4–4–2 formation, and neither yielded any ground. It was appropriate that Milan's standout player, Ukrainian Andrey Shevchenko, scored the crucial goal in the shoot-out. He had come closest to scoring in the ninth minute of play when his effort was ruled out for being offside. Eight minutes later Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon had made the save of the match from Filippo Inzaghi. Juventus, which missed the influence of suspended playmaker Pavel Nedved, the Czech Republic international, had additional problems when five members of the team refused to take penalties in the shoot-out. Dida Silva Nelson, Milan's Brazilian goalkeeper, made three penalty saves, but—in a clear violation of the rules—moved before the kick was taken on each occasion.

      Barcelona enjoyed a record 11 successive victories in Champions League matches. Rosenborg of Norway's ninth consecutive qualification in the 2003–04 series was another milestone, with captain Roar Strand having appeared in each season. Another Norwegian team, Lyn, produced an outstanding individual feat when Eldar Hadzhimemedovic, an 18-year-old Bosnian, scored not only his first goals for the club but also all six goals in a qualifying match against Runavik of the Faroe Islands.

      On May 21 the final of the UEFA Cup between Scotland's Glasgow Celtic and Portugal's FC Porto in a baking-hot Sevilla, Spain, also needed overtime and produced five goals from open play. The traditional formula with a clash of styles made for an absorbing contest as Porto revealed patience, technical skill, and enough gamesmanship to upset the opposition but not the referee. Celtic used a more direct, physical approach but went behind in first-half injury time when Brazilian Anderson de Souza Deco crossed the ball for Russian Dmitry Alenichev to shoot. Celtic goalkeeper Robert Douglas parried the effort, but Deco's Brazilian colleague Vanderlei Fernandes Derlei followed up to open the score.

      It took only two minutes after the break for Celtic to level the scoring when Swedish international Henrik Larsson, unchallenged, headed a centre by Didier Agathe. In 54 minutes Porto restored its lead. Derlei set up Alenichev only for Larsson to head the second and Celtic's equalizer three minutes later. In case of overtime UEFA had decided to use its new “silver goal” ruling: if a goal was scored in either of the two halves of extra time, the match would conclude at the next break, in contrast to a golden goal, which would instantly signal the end of play. Crucially for Celtic it had had defender Bobo Balde sent off for his second yellow card in the 95th minute, and 10 minutes later Derlei settled the issue when Celtic defenders were slow to clear after Douglas had made a partial save.

      Domestically the most serious problems surrounded Azerbaijan, where the dispute between leading clubs and the Football Association prevented the championship from being held. This was followed by a ban from FIFA on international matches, which threatened Azerbaijan's involvement in Euro 2004 until a settlement was reached. In Bulgaria, CSKA Sofia broke all local records by winning its first 13 league games and recaptured the title from rival Levski. League and Cup double winners included Bayern Munich, Germany's most successful club in both competitions, while in Scotland, Glasgow Rangers won all three senior trophies.

      Because of the Middle East crisis, Israel was forced to play all international and club matches against foreign teams in a neutral European country.

Jack Rollin

The Americas.
      Brazil, winner of the 2002 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup, finished 2003 as the champion in all men's categories after having defeated Spain for the under-20 and under-17 titles. In both events three of the four semifinalists (Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia) were from South America. The only tournaments Brazil did not win in 2003 were the CONFUT (formerly CONCACAF) Gold Cup, in which it lost to Mexico 1–0 in the final, and FIFA's Confederations Cup, but on both occasions Brazil sent below-strength teams.

      Boca Juniors was South America's most successful club, winning its fifth Libertadores de América Cup by beating Brazil's Santos 5–1 on aggregate in home and away finals and its third Intercontinental Cup with a 3–1 victory on penalties, after a 1–1 draw on goals, over Italy's European Cup champion AC Milan in Yokohama, Japan. The South American Cup, in its second season, had a surprise winner in Cienciano from Cuzco, Peru, which beat Argentina's River Plate 4–3 on aggregate in the final. Two Mexican clubs played the final of the CONFUT club tournament, with Toluca defeating Morelia 5–4 on aggregate at home and away.

      On the domestic scene, Brazil's Cruzeiro captured the Minas Gerais state championship, the Brazilian Cup (knockout), and the national championship. Cruzeiro also had a 36-match unbeaten run, but the club did not take part in international cups. In Argentina the opening championship was stopped for almost a month after serious hooligan trouble, while in Peru the closing championship was suspended when players went on strike for lack of payment and no agreement could be reached. Serious financial difficulties continued at many of the continent's clubs, despite an influx of cash from the transfer of South America's top players to Europe. In the U.S. the San Jose Earthquakes won their second Major League Soccer championship when they defeated the Chicago Fire 4–2 in the MLS Cup final.

      The women's FIFA World Cup, which had been scheduled to be held in China, was moved to the U.S. because of the outbreak of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in Asia. Germany defeated Sweden 2–1 in the final, held in Carson, Calif., on October 12. The top-ranked U.S. finished in third place. In the Women's United Soccer Association, the Washington Freedom beat the Atlanta Beat 2–1 in overtime for the Founders Cup in August, but the U.S. professional organization was shut down just days before the World Cup began.

Eric Weil

Africa and Asia.
      On Nov. 30, 2003, in Aba, Nigeria, Enyimba established a 2–0 lead on its home leg of the African Champions League final against the Egyptian team Ismaili. In the second leg, played in Ismailia, Egypt, on December 12, Ismaili won 1–0, but it was beaten 2–1 on aggregate scores for the title. In the African Cup Winners' Cup, Étoile du Sahel from Tunisia achieved a dramatic victory over the Nigerian team Julius Berger on December 6 in Sousse, Tun., having lost its away leg 2–0 in Abeokuta, Nigeria, on November 15. The Tunisian team scored three times for a 3–2 aggregate win.

      The Asian Football Confederation Champions League saw the U.A.E. team Al-Ain defeat BEC Tero Sasana of Thailand 2–0, 0–1 in the two-leg final. The inaugural East Asian Cup was won by South Korea, which drew 0–0 with Japan but was victorious because the team had scored more goals in the tournament. A crowd of 62,633 watched the final in the Yokohama (Japan) International Stadium on December 10.

Jack Rollin

U.S. Football

      For the 2003–04 season, the University of Southern California (USC) and Louisiana State University (LSU) shared the national championship of college football in the first split decision since 1997, despite a six-year-old process designed to crown an undisputed champion in the big budget teams' Division I-A of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Pacific-10 Conference winner USC (12–1) defeated Big Ten champion Michigan (10–3) by a score of 28–14 in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2004, and Southeastern Conference winner LSU (13–1) defeated Oklahoma (12–2) 21–14 in the Sugar Bowl, the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) nominal national championship game, three days later. USC won its first national title since 1978 in the media members' poll, while LSU won its first title since 1958 in the coaches' poll, which was obligated to select the Sugar Bowl winner. The computerized selection of the teams to play in the BCS championship game was controversial for the fourth time in six years, and there was pressure to change the process after USC was left out of the Sugar Bowl despite ranking first in both the coaches' and media polls before the bowl games.

      The polls agreed on the third through fifth rankings of Oklahoma (12–2), Fiesta Bowl winner Ohio State (11–2), and Big East champion Miami of Florida (11–2), which defeated Atlantic Coast Conference champion Florida State (10–3) in the Orange Bowl. Other conference champions were Fiesta Bowl loser Kansas State (11–4) in the Big 12, Utah (10–2) in the Mountain West, Boise State (13–1) in the Western Athletic, North Texas (9–4) in the Sun Belt, and Southern Mississippi (9–4) in Conference U.S.

      Oklahoma dominated individual awards, led by Jason White, who won the Heisman Trophy as the top player and the Davey O'Brien Award as the top quarterback. Teddy Lehman won both the Chuck Bednarik Award (for defensive players) and the Dick Butkus Award for linebackers, while Derrick Strait gained both the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (for defenders) and the Jim Thorpe Award for cornerbacks. Defensive tackle Tommie Harris was awarded the Vince Lombardi Award for linemen. Oklahoma led Division I-A with 45.2 points per regular-season game and defensive averages of 145.9 yd passing and 255.6 total yards allowed.

      Also winning recognition as top players were Maxwell Award-winning quarterback Eli Manning of Mississippi (Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning's younger brother) and Walter Camp Award-winning wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald of Pittsburgh, who received the top receiver's award with 1,672 yd and 22 touchdowns, both of which led Division 1-A. Offensive tackle Robert Gallery of Iowa won the Outland Trophy for interior linemen, while other position awards went to Michigan's Chris Perry for running backs, Miami's Kellen Winslow II for tight ends, Mississippi's Jonathan Nichols for kickers, and Ohio State's B.J. Sander for punters. B.J. Symons was the I-A leader with 5,336 yd passing, 48 touchdown passes, and 456.3 yd total offense per game for Texas Tech, which was also the team leader with 473.5 yd passing and 584.6 total yards per game. Patrick Cobbs's 152.7 yd rushing per game for North Texas and DeAngelo Williams's 192.1 all-purpose yards per game for Memphis were designated the best (Kansas State's Darren Sproles exceeded both totals but played in more games). Other individual highs were Lance Moore's 103 catches for Toledo, Bradlee Van Pelt's 9.9 yd per pass for Colorado State, and Philip Rivers's 170.5 passer rating points and .720 completion percentage for North Carolina State. LSU allowed the fewest points, 10.8 per game, while the team rushing leaders per game were Navy with 326.1 yd on offense and Ohio State with 60.5 yd allowed per game.

      Delaware (15–1) was the champion in Division I-AA, Grand Valley State of Michigan (14–1) topped Division II, St. John's of Minnesota (14–0) headed Division III, and Carroll of Montana (15–0) won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) championship. St. John's ended the NCAA-record 55-game winning streak of Mount Union of Ohio and gave coach John Gagliardi a record 414 wins, while Blake Elliott of St. John's won the Gagliardi Trophy as the best Division III player. Other divisions' top-player awards went to North Alabama's Will Hall in Division II, Colgate's Jamaal Branch for I-AA offense, Idaho State's Jared Allen for I-AA defense, and Carroll's Tyler Emmert in the NAIA.

      It was the “Pats” versus the “Cats” in Super Bowl XXXVIII, held in Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, on Feb. 1, 2004, and the game proved to be a real nail-biter. With only four seconds on the clock and the score tied, the American Football Conference (AFC) New England Patriots defeated the National Football Conference (NFC) Carolina Panthers 32–29 on a 41-yd field goal by Adam Vinatieri to win their second National Football League (NFL) title in three years. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw for 354 yd and three touchdowns and was named the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the second time. New England, led by coach Bill Belichick, had come into the Super Bowl with an impressive 14-game winning streak, including a 17–14 win over Tennessee in the divisional play-offs and a 24–14 triumph over Indianapolis for the AFC title. Carolina, which had made an astonishing comeback in 2003–04 under coach John Fox after a 1–15 season just two years earlier, had overcome Dallas 29–10 in the wild-card game, St. Louis 29–23 in the divisional play-offs, and Philadelphia 14–3 in the NFC championship game.

      Eight of the previous year's 12 play-off teams finished the season with losing records, including both defending conference champions for only the second time in 37 years. Tampa Bay, the 2002–03 Super Bowl champion under first-year coach Jon Gruden (see Biographies (Gruden, Jon )), was one of seven teams whose won-lost records dropped by at least four games, led by defending AFC champion Oakland's seven-game decline. Cincinnati made the biggest improvement, six games, as six teams added at least four wins to their previous year's total.

      NFC South champion Carolina won its first division title in seven years, AFC West leader Kansas City gained its first in six years, and AFC North champion Baltimore captured its first since 1989, when it played in Cleveland (Baltimore had won the 2000–01 Super Bowl as a wild-card play-off team as one of the best division runners-up). The only repeating division champions were Philadelphia of the NFC East for the third consecutive year and Green Bay of the NFC North for the second. The other division winners were St. Louis in the NFC West, New England in the AFC East, and Indianapolis in the AFC South. The wild-card teams were Tennessee and Denver in the AFC and Dallas and Seattle in the NFC.

      Kansas City had the league's most potent offense, with 30.3 points per game as Priest Holmes scored a record 27 touchdowns. Jamal Lewis of Baltimore led all rushers with 2,066 yd, and his team's 167.1 yd rushing per game was the league's best. Indianapolis led with 261.2 yd passing per game behind Manning's league-best 4,267 yd and .670 completion percentage. Overall passing leader Steve McNair of Tennessee had 100.4 rating points with 8.0 yd per attempt, the league's most. Brett Favre's 32 touchdown passes for Green Bay and Aaron Brooks's .154 interception percentage for New Orleans also led the NFL. Manning and McNair shared the regular-season MVP award.

      Torry Holt of St. Louis made 117 pass receptions and gained 1,696 yd, both league highs. Randy Moss, the receptions runner-up, led the league with 17 touchdowns receiving for Minnesota, the total offense leader with 393.4 yd per game. LaDainian Tomlinson of San Diego gained the most yards from scrimmage with 2,370. Kansas City's Dante Hall scored four times on kick returns and led with 16.3 yd per punt return, while Chicago's Jerry Azumah had the best kickoff-return average with 29.0 yd. Scoring leader Jeff Wilkins of St. Louis made a league-high 39 field goals among his 163 points, and Indianapolis's Mike Vanderjagt made all 37 field goal attempts, setting a record of 41 consecutive field goals over more than one season. The punting leaders were Oakland's Shane Lechler with 46.9 yd per punt and New Orleans's Mitch Berger with 38.2 net yards per punting play. New England allowed the fewest points, 14.9 per game, and the defensive yardage leaders were Dallas with 253.5 total yards and 164.4 yd passing per game and Tennessee with 80.9 yd rushing per game. Individually, Michael Strahan of the New York Giants had a league-high 18.5 sacks, and Minnesota's Brian Russell and San Francisco's Tony Parrish each made nine interceptions.

      In the springtime leagues, the Tampa Bay Storm (15–4) won the indoor Arena Football League championship with a 43–29 victory over the Arizona Rattlers (13–7) on June 22, and the Frankfurt Galaxy (7–4) won the developmental NFL Europe League by prevailing 35–16 over its German rival, the Rhein Fire (6–5), in the World Bowl on June 14.

Kevin M. Lamb

Canadian Football.
      The Edmonton Eskimos won the 2003 Canadian Football League (CFL) championship by defeating the Montreal Alouettes 34–22 in the Grey Cup on November 16 at Regina, Sask., avenging their 2002 loss to Montreal. Eskimos receiver Jason Tucker was named the game's Most Outstanding Player. West Division winner Edmonton (13–5) led the league both offensively and defensively, having scored an average of 29.1 points per game and allowed an average of 20.4, while Mike Pringle's 15 touchdowns gave him a career record of 128 and tied him for the league lead with Montreal's Ben Cahoon and Milt Stegall of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (11–7). Cahoon also led the league with 112 catches and was named the Outstanding Canadian.

      Quarterback Anthony Calvillo of East Division winner Montreal (13–5) was the regular-season Most Outstanding Player. He led the league with 37 touchdown passes and 5,891 yd passing, while his teammate Jermaine Copeland led with 1,757 yd on receptions. Dave Dickenson's 112.7 passer rating and 10.0 yd per pass led the league for the B.C. Lions (11–7), as did Ricky Ray's .676 completion percentage for Edmonton. Winnipeg's Charles Roberts gained a league-leading 1,554 yd rushing, 2,102 yd from scrimmage, and 3,147 yd combined on run, pass, and return plays. Other outstanding-player awards went to Joe Fleming of the Calgary Stampeders (5–13) for defensive players, Andrew Greene of the Saskatchewan Roughriders (11–7) for linemen, B.C.'s Frank Cutolo for rookies, and Bashir Levingston, who scored a record five special-teams touchdowns for the Toronto Argonauts (9–9), for special teams. Eric England made a league-leading 14 sacks for Toronto, while kickers Lawrence Tynes of the Ottawa Renegades (7–11) and Winnipeg's Troy Westwood were the scoring coleaders, with 198 points each. Montreal, with 343.3 yd passing, 240.9 yd allowed on passes, and 302.0 total yards allowed, had the league's best per-game averages. B.C.'s 421.8 total yards, Saskatchewan's 144.7 yd rushing, and Winnipeg's 72.8 yd allowed rushing also were per-game bests.

Kevin M. Lamb

Australian Football.
      The Brisbane Lions won their third successive Australian Football League (AFL) premiership on Sept. 27, 2003, and for the second year in a row Collingwood was the victim. The Lions won the Grand Final by 50 points for a final score of 20.14 (134) to 12.12 (84), a far bigger winning margin than in 2002, when they had defeated the Magpies by only 9 points. A crowd of 79,451 attended the game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, although attendance was down from previous years because a huge new grandstand was still under construction. The star of the match was Brisbane's Simon Black, who won the Norm Smith Medal as the game's best player.

      At the completion of the 22 home-and-away matches leading up to the finals, Port Adelaide had topped the ladder, with Collingwood second and Brisbane third in the 16-club AFL competition. Three players—Adam Goodes of Sydney, Mark Ricciuto of Adelaide, and Collingwood's Nathan Buckley—tied for the Brownlow Medal, awarded to the regular season's fairest and best player. Other leading medalists in the regular season included the Coleman Medal winner, Matthew Lloyd of Essendon, and Hawthorn's Sam Mitchell, who won the Rising Star Award. Michael Voss of Brisbane was selected captain of the All-Australian team.

Greg Hobbs

Rugby Football.
      The 2003 Rugby Union World Cup included 48 games, played in 10 Australian towns and cities, and almost two million fans, but just one winner emerged—England, the first Rugby Union champion from the Northern Hemisphere. In a fitting climax to what observers called the biggest and best Rugby World Cup to date, the final on November 22 between England and Australia, the defending champion, was one of the greatest spectacles the sport had ever seen. Sydney's Olympic Stadium was packed with 83,000 fans, about 35,000 of them from England, and in the end the result came down to one drop kick, with just 25 seconds left in the final. With the score tied at 17–17 (and the end of extra time looming), it was left to England outside-half Jonny Wilkinson to produce the winning kick, off his weaker right foot. The foundation of England's victory was built on the team's inspirational captain, Martin Johnson.

      The Australians emerged from the tournament with their heads held high, and both team captain George Gregan and coach Eddie Jones were dignified in their praise of England. The fallout from the near miss in Australia, where rugby was not the biggest sport, would not be huge. In New Zealand, however, where rugby was regarded as the national sport, it could take some time to recover from the team's semifinal exit in a 22–10 loss to Australia. It was the second World Cup in a row in which the All Blacks had been knocked out in the last four, and within days applications were being accepted for a new New Zealand coach. In December respected coach Graham Henry was named to fill the post with the All Blacks.

      Australia, which had originally expected to share the competition with cohost New Zealand, gave the event 100% support. In Tasmania, where one game between Romania and Namibia took place, the mayor of Launceston suggested that all citizens born on even days back Namibia and those born on odd days support Romania.

      A team of young players restored some pride to the Welsh nation with spectacular displays against England in the Welsh 28–17 quarterfinal loss and in an earlier match against New Zealand. A new breed of fledgling rugby nations also emerged. Georgia appeared for the first time, Uruguay picked up its one and only victory of the tournament, and Japan overachieved with four great matches. With a one-point victory over Argentina, Ireland moved back into the world's top eight nations.

      As usual in a World Cup year, other domestic and international competitions were overshadowed. New Zealand's victory in the Tri-Nations tournament did not help it in the World Cup, while England's Six Nations grand slam set it up for a tilt at the World Cup. Domestically, the Wasps were the champions of England, beating Gloucester in a new play-off format. Toulouse was crowned the European champion, and the Auckland Blues emerged triumphant from the Super 12.

      In Rugby League the Bradford Bulls won the English Super League grand final 25–12 over the Wigan Warriors. In Australia the Penrith Panthers upset the defending National Rugby League champion Sydney Roosters 18–6 in the NRL grand final. Meanwhile, Australia swept the three-Test-match Ashes series against England.

Paul Morgan

▪ 2003


Association Football (Soccer).

      In the summer of 2002, Japan and South Korea served as joint hosts of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup finals. (See Sidebar (World Cup 2002 ).) In the final match, in Yokohama, Japan, on June 30, Brazil, led by a resurgent Ronaldo (see Biographies (Ronaldo )), defeated Germany 2–0, despite the efforts of German goalkeeper and captain Oliver Kahn (see Biographies (Kahn, Oliver )), who won the Golden Ball award as the tournament's top player. It was Brazil's record fifth World Cup title. At year's end Ronaldo was named European Player of the Year and, for a record third time, FIFA World Player of the Year.

      While the main thrust of attention was centred on the events in South Korea and Japan, there was considerable speculation over the future of FIFA's president Joseph S. Blatter. Despite concerns over the financial situation that affected the world's governing body of football and a strong challenge for Blatter's position from Issa Hayatou, FIFA vice president and African Football Confederation president, the incumbent received enough votes to secure another four years in office with a 139–56 endorsement from member countries.

      Unease of a different nature affected Europe, with the growth of the Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA) Champions League (formerly the European Champion Clubs' Cup) and the UEFA Cup making excessive demand upon domestic football schedules and causing concern over the fitness of leading players for international duty. On May 15 Real Madrid, the Spanish champions, returned to Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scot., the scene of the club's 1960 European Champion Clubs' Cup triumph, to register its ninth championship by defeating Bayer 04 Leverkusen of Germany 2–1. The German team, which already had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the German Bundesliga and had similarly thrown away its chances in the domestic cup competition, lost a goal in the ninth minute to a well-directed strike from Real's Raúl (Raúl González Blanco). A firmly headed goal for Leverkusen by the Brazilian Lucio (Lucimar da Silva Ferreira) from a free kick by Bernd Schneider leveled the score only five minutes later.

      On the stroke of halftime, the French international player Zinedine Zidane restored Real's advantage with a classic goal. A ball centred from the left wing by Roberto Carlos (da Silva) found Zidane just outside the penalty area. His left-foot volley was of such precision and power that German goalkeeper Hans-Jörg Butt had no chance of stopping it. A succession of injuries in the second half extended normal time by seven minutes, during which Real's replacement goalkeeper, Iker Casillas Fernández, made three breathtaking saves to deny Leverkusen an equalizer. The Germans had committed everyone into attack, including Butt, who had a header attempt of his own.

      Seven days earlier, in the UEFA Cup final in Rotterdam, Neth., there had been disappointment for Germany's Borussia Dortmund, which was beaten 3–2 by the local Dutch team Feyenoord. (Ironically, Borussia had won the German championship ahead of Leverkusen.) Pierre van Hooijdonk put Feyenoord ahead from a 33rd-minute penalty after Jon Dahl Tomasson had been pulled down in the penalty area by Jürgen Kohler. For this indiscretion 36-year-old Kohler was sent off in his last competitive match. Reduced to 10 players, Dortmund had more problems when van Hooijdonk doubled Feyenoord's lead with a 40th-minute free kick. Within two minutes of the restart following halftime, Marcio Amoroso converted a penalty after he had been shoved off the ball by Patrick Paauwe. The respite lasted barely three minutes before Tomasson restored Feyenoord's two-goal lead by taking advantage of a deflected through ball. Back came Dortmund, and in the 58th minute Jan Koller scored with a dipping half-volley to make it 3–2. This led to a frantic finale, but the Germans were unable to save the match.

      Domestically, Ajax achieved the Dutch League and Cup double, taking its number of such titles to 28 and 15, respectively. In Italy, Juventus won its 26th championship. Olympique Lyonnais, the most steadily improved team in France over the past six years, captured its first national title. Sporting Lisbon's title in Portugal owed much to Europe's leading scorer, Brazilian Mario Jardel, who had made 42 of the team's 74 league goals.

      Celtic and Rangers, which between them had accounted for all but 19 of Scotland's championships since 1891, were at loggerheads with the rest of the Scottish Premier League clubs over voting rights and were threatening to break away to play in a new European league or to make an unprecedented move to the English league.

      Shakhtyor Donetsk was the unbeaten champion in Ukraine, winning 20 and drawing just 6 of its 26 matches. Kazakhstan, another former Soviet constituent, was transferred from Asia to Europe and thereby brought UEFA's membership to 52 out of a global total of 204 under the overall control of FIFA.

      The dominance of European clubs was evident at the World Cup, where countries from around the world featured players based in Europe, notably Ronaldo, who transferred from Internazionale (Inter Milan) to Real Madrid for the 2002–03 season. The majority of Africa's more gifted players played for European clubs. Senegal recruited all but 2 of its 23-man World Cup squad from French clubs, while Cameroon had players who were based in eight different countries. Ireland's contingent was drawn almost entirely from English clubs, while Spain, Italy, and England each had just one player based abroad. English teams provided 101 World Cup players from 21 nations and several others who had been loaned to English clubs. The attraction of the English Premier League helped to boost overall local attendance figures with those of the three Football League divisions to 27,756,977, a level last achieved 30 years earlier. In 2001–02 the Premier League's average crowd of 34,324 was Europe's highest.

Jack Rollin

The Americas.
      Brazil returned to the number one spot in the FIFA ranking of teams in 2002, mainly as a result of its World Cup win, its fifth. Paraguay's Olimpia celebrated its 100th anniversary in style by winning South America's premier club competition, the Libertadores de América Cup, for the third time, beating small-town Brazilian club São Caetano on penalties after scores of 0–1 and 2–1 in the two-legged final. Olimpia could not regain the Intercontinental Cup for South America, however, losing 2–0 to Real Madrid. Following the cancellation of the Mercosur and Merconorte cups for financial reasons, a proposed Pan-American Cup, for leading clubs from the Americas, had to be postponed. In its place a South American Cup, without Brazilian clubs, was played and won by Argentina's San Lorenzo, which had qualified by winning the previous year's Mercosur Cup. In the final San Lorenzo beat Colombia's Atlético Nacional (4–0, 0–0).

      On the domestic scene most clubs continued to experience financial difficulties and owed their players between two and five months' salaries. This resulted in a three-week strike by all clubs in Chile and by clubs in Uruguay, Bolivia, and Peru; in the latter two countries, players even complained of not having enough food and of lacking money for transport to training sessions and matches. Some clubs could continue playing only with amateur youngsters from time to time. Fan interest in the game was as high as ever, and clubs' financial problems were primarily due to bad administration, in spite of the continual exodus of leading South American players, mostly to European clubs, for good transfer fees.

      In league action Santos won its first Brazilian national title since 1984. Santos had collected numerous trophies in the 1950s and '60s when Pelé was the team star, in the days before the national championship (dating from 1971) was played. In 2002 the cash-strapped team relied on youngsters, with Diego, age 17, and Robinho, 18, among the continent's brightest stars and worthy heirs of Pelé. Meanwhile, striker Joaquín Botero, of Bolivian champion Bolivar, set a professional world record by scoring 49 league goals during the season. On December 21, however, Paraguayan José Saturnino Cardozo scored his 50th league goal of the season for Toluca as it won the Mexican winter tournament in the second leg of the final.

      In the MLS Cup, held in Foxboro, Mass., on October 20, the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the New England Revolution 1–0 on a golden goal by rookie Carlos Ruiz in sudden-death overtime to capture its first Major League Soccer title. Los Angeles, which finished the regular season with a league-best record of 16 wins, 9 losses, and 3 ties, had lost in the championship match in 1996, 1999, and 2001. In the second full season of the Women's United Soccer Association, the Carolina Courage beat the Washington Freedom 3–2 in Founders Cup II on August 24.

Eric Weil

Africa and Asia.
      In 2002 the association football world was focused on Asia as Japan and South Korea served as joint hosts of the 17th FIFA World Cup finals. It was the first time that the quadrennial tournament had been held in Asia and the first time that two countries had shared the honour. In the final match, held in Yokohama, Japan, on June 30, Brazil defeated Germany 2–0 in front of an appreciative crowd of some 69,000. South Korea lost 3–2 to Turkey in the semifinals for its best finish in six World Cup appearances, while Japan reached the round of 16 in only its second World Cup. China, playing in its first World Cup, lost all three games in its group. In May, however, Chinese defender Fan Zhiyi was named Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Player of the Year for 2001.

      In Bamako, Mali, on February 10, Cameroon won its second consecutive African Cup of Nations, despite the absence from the semifinal and the final of injured striker Patrick Mboma. The Indomitable Lions defeated Senegal 3–2 on penalties after a scoreless final match. Senegal unexpectedly outdid Cameroon in the World Cup, however, upsetting defending champion France in the opening game and reaching the quarterfinals for the best finish of any African team. In April Senegal's El Hadji Diouf was named African Football Confederation (CAF) Player of the Year for 2001, and in December he was selected as a finalist for the 2002 title, which was expected to be awarded in spring 2003.

      In club football Al Hilal of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, won the final AFC Cup Winners' Cup, defeating Chonbuk Hyundai of South Korea 2–1 in the final, held in Doha, Qatar, in March. In 2003 the Cup Winners' Cup, the Asian Super Cup, and the Asian Club Championship would be replaced by the AFC Champions League. Wydad Casablanca narrowly won the CAF Cup Winners' Cup 2–2 on aggregate over Asante Kotoko of Ghana. It was the first Cup Winners' Cup title for a Moroccan club. A few days later Zamalek of Egypt captured the CAF Champions League, beating Morocco's Raja Casablanca (0–0, 1–0) in the two-leg final.

Melinda C. Shepherd

U.S. Football.

      The 2002 college football season ended on a high as Ohio State University won its first national football championship since 1968 by defeating the University of Miami (Fla.) 31–24 in double overtime in the Fiesta Bowl at Tempe, Ariz., on Jan. 3, 2003. Big Ten cochampion Ohio State (14–0) won for the seventh time in the season by seven points or less when it stopped heavily favoured Big East champion Miami (12–1) at its one-yard line on the last three plays of the game, breaking Miami's 34-game winning streak. The teams had finished the regular season with the only two undefeated records in Division I-A of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)—Miami scoring the third most points per game and Ohio State allowing the second fewest. The Buckeyes were the eighth different national champion in eight years, which had not happened since 1963.

      Southeastern Conference and Sugar Bowl winner Georgia (13–1) ranked third in both the media reporters' and coaches' polls, followed by Orange Bowl winner Southern California (12–2) and Big 12 and Rose Bowl winner Oklahoma (12–2). The coaches ranked Kansas State (11–2) ahead of Texas (11–2) for sixth, with the reporters reversing the order, and the polls each rounded out the top 10 with Big Ten cochampion Iowa (11–2), Michigan (10–3), and Pacific-10 champion Washington State. Other Division I-A conference champions were Boise State (12–1) in the Western Athletic, Marshall (11–2) in the Mid-American, Texas Christian (10–2) in Conference USA, Colorado State (10–3) in the Mountain West, Florida State (9–5) in the Atlantic Coast, and North Texas (8–5) in the Sunbelt.

      Southern Cal senior quarterback Carson Palmer was honoured as Player of the Year with the Heisman Trophy, as were Iowa senior quarterback Brad Banks, who was named the Associated Press's top player, and Penn State senior tailback Larry Johnson, winner of the Walter Camp Award and the Maxwell Trophy. Johnson led the division with 2,015 yd rushing, 8 yd per carry, and 2,575 all-purpose yards and won the Doak Walker Award for running backs. Banks won the Davey O'Brien Award for quarterbacks and led all passers with 166.1 efficiency-rating points, 8.2 yd per attempt, a 9.7 touchdown percentage, and a 1.55 interception percentage with just four passes picked off. Iowa's Kirk Ferentz and Notre Dame's Tyrone Willingham won top awards for Coach of the Year.

      Other passing leaders were Brian Jones of Toledo with 70.2% of his passes completed and Kliff Kingsbury of Texas Tech, who made 45 touchdowns, 5,017 yd passing, and 4,903 yd total offense, including losses on sacks, as his team led Division I-A with 388.9 yd passing per game. Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich had the most total offense per game, 355.6 yd in 12 games. Receiving leaders were Nate Burleson with 138 catches for Nevada, J.R. Tolver with 1,785 yd for San Diego State, and Rashaun Woods with 17 touchdowns for Oklahoma State, while Michigan State's Charles Rogers won the Fred Biletnikoff Award for the best receiver. Willis McGahee had the most rushing touchdowns with 27 for Miami, and Brock Forsey scored the most total touchdowns with 29 for Boise State, which ranked first with both 516.8 yd per game and 46.6 points per game. Air Force led all teams in rushing with 314.5 yd per game.

      Kansas State led all defenses by allowing only 249 yd and 11.8 points per game, along with a second-ranked offensive output of 44.8 points per game. Texas Christian allowed the fewest rushing yards per game yield, 62.6, and Miami led pass defenses by allowing both 119.5 yd per game and a passer efficiency rating of 85.2. Arizona State defensive end Terrell Suggs set a Division I-A record with 22 sacks and won the Vince Lombardi Trophy for all linemen and the Bronko Nagurski Award, one of two honours for the top defensive player. The other, the Chuck Bednarik Award, went to Maryland linebacker E.J. Henderson, who also won the top linebacker award, named for Dick Butkus. Washington defensive tackle Rien Long was awarded the Outland Trophy for interior linemen; Kansas State's Terence Newman won the Jim Thorpe Award for defensive backs; and Wisconsin's Jim Leonhard was the interception leader with 11.

      Ohio State's Mike Nugent had the most field goals and the best percentage, .923 (24 for 26 attempts), just ahead of Lou Groza Award winner Iowa's Nate Kaeding's .909. Colorado's Mark Mariscal won the Ray Guy Award with a 47.55-yd punting average that was only 0.04 yd behind that of leader Matt Payne for Brigham Young.

      Among schools with smaller football budgets, 12–3 Western Kentucky won the Division I-AA championship game over 13–2 McNeese State (La.), 14–0 Grand Valley State (Mich.) defeated 14–1 Valdosta State (Ga.) for the Division II championship, 14–0 Mount Union (Ohio) won its sixth Division III title in seven years (and 96th game out of 97) by beating 14–1 Trinity (Texas), and 12–2 Carroll (Mont.) won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) championship game over 12–2 Georgetown (Ky.). Players of the Year were Sioux Falls (S.D.) running back Nick Kortan in the NAIA, Eastern Illinois quarterback Tony Romo on offense and Bethune-Cookman safety Rashean Mathis on defense in Division I-AA, Grand Valley State quarterback Curt Anes in Division II, and Mount Union running back Dan Pugh in Division III, where the trophy was named for St. John's (Minn.) coach John Gagliardi, who ended the season with 400 victories, eight short of the all-division record.

      The old adage “A good defense beats a good offense” rang true on Jan. 26, 2003, when the National Football Conference (NFC) Tampa Bay Buccaneers routed the American Football Conference (AFC) Oakland Raiders 48–21 in Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego, Calif. The Bucs' defense sacked Oakland's veteran quarterback Rich Gannon five times and made five interceptions as the 27-year-old franchise captured the National Football League (NFL) championship in its first Super Bowl appearance. Tampa Bay safety Dexter Jackson became only the seventh defensive player to be named Super Bowl Most Valuable Player (MVP). The win was a vindication for the Bucs' 39-year-old head coach, Jon Gruden, who had been acquired from the Raiders in March for what many thought was an outrageous price (two first-round draft picks, two second-round picks, and $8 million). In the playoffs Tampa Bay crushed the San Francisco 49ers 31–6 and then upset the Philadelphia Eagles 27–10 for the NFC title. Oakland beat the New York Jets 30–10 and defeated the Tennessee Titans 41–24 in the AFC championship game for the Raiders' first trip to the Super Bowl since 1984.

      In the regular season the AFC West champion Raiders had the league's best offense, with Gannon winning the MVP award. Oakland led the league with 389.8 yd total and 279.7 yd passing per game and finished second to the Kansas City Chiefs' league-high 29.2 points per game. Gannon, in his 15th season, set NFL records with 418 completions, 21 consecutive completions in a game, and 10 games of at least 300 yd passing. He led the league with 4,689 yd passing, ranked second to Chad Pennington's 104.2 passer rating for the Jets, and was only two touchdown passes behind league leader New England's Tom Brady, who had 28. Pennington tied Tampa Bay's Brad Johnson for fewest interceptions at six, with Johnson's .013 percentage the lowest, and the Chiefs' Trent Green led the league with 7.9 yd per pass attempt.

      NFC South champion Tampa Bay's defense was the most statistically dominating in 17 years, its per-game yield of 252.8 yd leading the second-ranked Carolina Panthers by more than the Panthers led the 16th-ranked team. The Bucs also allowed NFL lows of 155.6 yd passing and 12.2 points per game and tied the Green Bay Packers for best turnover differential at plus-17.

      The league realigned from six divisions into eight, each with four teams, as the expansion Houston Texans became the 32nd NFL team. Three teams repeated as champions after only two had done so in the previous four seasons. They were the Eagles in the NFC East, the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC North, and the Raiders, the first team in five years to win a third consecutive division title. The San Francisco 49ers won the NFC West, and the Packers took the NFC North for the first time in five years.

      Other division winners were the Jets in the AFC East and the Titans in the AFC South. “Wild-card” play-off berths to the two best division runners-up in each conference went to the Colts and Cleveland Browns in the AFC and the New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons in the NFC. After having last qualified in 1994, the Browns had moved to Baltimore in 1996 and rejoined the league as an expansion team in 1999. The Panthers improved their record the most, by six games, and the biggest declines were by the Chicago Bears at nine games and the St. Louis Rams at seven.

      The Dallas Cowboys' Emmitt Smith (see Biographies (Smith, Emmitt )) broke Walter Payton's career records with 17,162 yd rushing and 4,052 carries after the season, his 13th. NFL rushing leader Ricky Williams's 1,853 yd for the Miami Dolphins brought his team within five total yards of the league-leading Minnesota Vikings' 156.7 per game. The Denver Broncos' Clinton Portis led with 5.5 yd per carry, as did the Chiefs' Priest Holmes with 2,297 yd from scrimmage, 144 points, and 24 touchdowns (21 by rushing). Pittsburgh's league-best rushing defense allowed 85.9 yd per game.

      Marvin Harrison's 143 catches for Indianapolis broke the previous record by 20, and his 1,722 yd receiving also led the league. San Francisco's Terrell Owens led receivers with 13 touchdowns, while Oakland's Jerry Rice became the first player with more than 200 touchdowns in his career and broke Payton's career record for yards from scrimmage with 22,242.

      Defensive leaders were Miami's Jason Taylor with 18.5 sacks, Oakland's Rod Woodson and Tampa Bay's Brian Kelly with 8 interceptions each, and Chicago's Brian Urlacher with 116 official tackles, in which assists count for half. Leaders in the kicking game were Atlanta's Jay Feely with 138 points, New England's Adam Vinatieri with a .900 field-goal percentage (27 for 30), Carolina's Todd Sauerbrun with 45.5 gross yards per punt, San Francisco's Jimmy Williams with 16.8 yd per punt return, and the Arizona Cardinals' MarTay Jenkins with 28 yd per kickoff return.

Kevin M. Lamb

Canadian Football.
      The Montreal Alouettes won the Canadian Football League (CFL) championship by defeating the Edmonton Eskimos 25–16 in the Grey Cup on Nov. 24, 2002, at Edmonton, Alta. Quarterback Anthony Calvillo was the game's Most Valuable Player for Montreal, which won its first Grey Cup in 25 years. East Division champion Montreal (13–5) led the league with 32.1 points and 398.3 yd per game behind Calvillo's league-high 8.8 yd per pass.

      West Division winner Edmonton (13–5) featured league rushing leader John Avery with 1,448 yd and 6.3 yd per attempt, passing efficiency leader Ricky Ray, with 101.3 rating points, and Elfrid Payton, who had 16 sacks and was voted the league's most outstanding defensive player. The Saskatchewan Roughriders (8–10) led the league defensively with per-game yields of 21.8 points and 218.7 yd passing while leading CFL offenses with 139.9 yd rushing per game.

      Most Outstanding Player Milt Stegall set CFL records with 23 touchdowns, both total and receiving, for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (12–6). The slotback also led the league with 106 catches and 1,896 yd receiving as Winnipeg led with 308 yd passing per game. Bombers quarterback Khari Jones led league passers with 5,334 yd and 46 touchdowns, while the team's defense led the league by allowing 293.5 total yards and 84 yd rushing per game. Other individual honours went to Sean Millington with 14 rushing touchdowns for the British Columbia Lions (10–8), BC slotback Jason Clermont as outstanding rookie, Saskatchewan's Corey Holmes as outstanding special teams player, Montreal centre Brian Chiu as outstanding offensive lineman, and Montreal slotback Ben Cahoon as outstanding Canadian. The CFL added a team in Canada's capital after a six-year absence by expanding to nine teams with the Ottawa Renegades (4–14).

Kevin M. Lamb

Australian Football.
      On a rainy Sept. 28, 2002, the Brisbane Lions established themselves as one of the greatest clubs in Australian Football League (AFL) history by winning the AFL Grand Final for the second successive year. A crowd of 91,817 packed into the Melbourne Cricket Ground to see the Lions beat Collingwood, one of footy's most famous clubs, by nine points, for a final score of 10.15 (75) to 9.12 (66). The Lions became the first club since the Adelaide Crows in 1997–98 to win back-to-back premierships. Before the game many tipsters had predicted a huge Lions win, but Collingwood played brilliantly and made Brisbane call on all its reserves to win. The star of the match was Collingwood captain Nathan Buckley, who, as best man on the ground, won the Norm Smith Medal.

      Brisbane's Simon Black won the 2002 Brownlow Medal as the season's fairest and best player, and Brisbane captain Michael Voss was selected captain of the All-Australian team. Melbourne captain David Neitz won the Coleman Medal as the AFL's top goalkicker, while St. Kilda's Nick Riewoldt won the AFL Rising Star award as the best young player.

Greg Hobbs

Rugby Football.
      The year 2002 would be remembered as the 12 months in Rugby Union's history in which the New Zealand All Blacks returned to the top of the game's roll of honour. Fourth place in the 1999 Rugby World Cup was far below the expectations of the world's most famous Rugby Union team, and since then a top-to-bottom review of the game in New Zealand had been undertaken.

      That review eventually resulted in a new team headed by coach John Mitchell that led New Zealand back to the top of the world rankings and to an impressive victory in the Tri-Nations championship in August 2002. The All Blacks won three of their four games, including a crucial 30–23 victory over South Africa.

      The 2003 World Cup would have some new entrants after Georgia secured its place in the tournament with a close win over Russia in qualifying competition. Levan Tsabadze scored the try that sealed the victory for Georgia, which would be drawn against England as the World Cup opened.

      England once again went into the Six Nations championship as the clear favourite but failed to achieve that elusive grand slam (victories against all five of the other nations). France emerged triumphant from the championship, its 20–15 victory over England in Paris proving the decisive result. Italy stayed at the bottom, conceding 183 points while Ireland emerged from the Celtic pack to take third, with wins over Wales, Scotland, and Italy.

      It was a big year for the women's game, with the World Cup being staged in Barcelona, Spain, and the final in the city's Olympic Stadium. The tournament revolved around the two teams that had dominated the women's game in recent years, New Zealand and England. Unfortunately for England, the team showed its best form in the semifinals, where it thrashed Canada 53–10. New Zealand prevailed over England in the final by a score of 19–9 to retain the trophy it had won in 1998.

      The Super 12 championship (contested by the best sides in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa) also went to New Zealand as the Canterbury Crusaders defeated Australia's ACT Brumbies 31–13 in the final. In Europe Leicester continued to be the dominant club, capturing its second consecutive Heineken European Cup and its fourth consecutive English title.

      In Rugby League, St. Helens won the English grand final, clinching a nerve-wracking 19–18 victory over the Bradford Bulls with a late kick from halfback Sean Long before 61,138 fans—a grand final record. In Australia the Sydney Roosters ended a 27-year title drought with a 30–8 victory over the New Zealand Warriors in a bruising National Rugby League grand final.

Paul Morgan

▪ 2002


Association Football (Soccer).

      In 2001 the majority of European national association football (soccer) teams concerned themselves with qualifying matches for the 2002 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup, to be held in Japan and South Korea. Nine European nations qualified for the World Cup finals by winning their respective Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA) groups: Croatia, Denmark, England, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, and Sweden. By year's end five second-place teams also had qualified: Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Slovenia, and Turkey. The prospects for England, led by captain David Beckham (see Biographies (Beckham, David and Victoria )), had improved with the appointment of a Swede, Sven-Goran Eriksson, as its first foreign coach. France, the defending champion and therefore exempt from the preliminaries, was able to add another trophy to its 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 titles by winning the FIFA 2001 Confederations Cup for area champions, which also was staged in Japan and South Korea. The triumphant French beat Japan 1–0 in the final on June 10. In September young players representing France defeated Nigeria 3–0 to capture the under-17 world championship.

      At club level, despite moves toward more freedom of contract, the scramble for first-class players continued to escalate transfer fees. In July the Spanish club Real Madrid paid some $64 million to Italy's Juventus for French forward Zinedine Zidane, the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year. England, with eight current French internationals playing in its Premier League, saw champions Manchester United pay £19 million (about $28.1 million) for Dutch striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy from PSV Eindhoven and a British-record fee of £28.1 million (about $41.6 million) for Argentine midfield player Juan Sebastián Verón from Italy's Lazio, Eriksson's former club.

      Manchester United's record third championship in succession—and its seventh in the nine years of Premier League football—produced an average crowd attendance of 67,544, the highest ever achieved in 112 years of professional football in the country. Overall attendance in the Premier League increased by 6.89%, chiefly through increases in stadium capacities. The aggregate figure of 12,472,094 for the entire competition yielded an average of 32,821, while the overall total including the three Football League divisions of 26,030,155 was the highest since 1976–77.

      United's league title achievement was overshadowed by the three cup victories of Liverpool, which had also managed twice to beat United in league games. Under the tutelage of French coach Gerard Houllier, Liverpool annexed the League Cup, the Football Association (FA) Cup, and the UEFA Cup for a unique treble. In August it defeated Manchester United 2–1 in the annual Charity Shield match between FA league and cup winners and then added the European Super Cup to its list of honours, beating Germany's Bayern Munich 3–2.

      By the conclusion of its UEFA Cup venture, Liverpool had completed 63 competitive games during the season. The UEFA final in Dortmund, Ger., on May 16 against the Spanish finalist, Alavés, was an absorbing encounter full of goals, unlike the tight, defense-dominated contest that had been widely forecast.

      For Alavés, only six years out of the third division, it was a fairy-tale scenario, but when the team found itself a goal down in three minutes to Liverpool's first serious attack, the Spanish players' prospects seemed poor. Scotsman Gary McAllister's free kick was headed in for Liverpool by Germany's Markus Babbel, and worse followed for the team from Spain's Basque region. Liverpool's other German international, Dietmar Hamann, combined with Michael Owen after 17 minutes to produce a goal for Steven Gerrard to make the score 2–0.

      Rather than lapse into free fall, Alavés shrugged off these early setbacks. Coach José Manuel Esnal (“Mané”) brought on striker Iván Alonso for defender Dan Eggen and switched from a 4-5-1 formation to an attacking 3-5-2 system. In the 27th minute the substitute headed in Cosmin Contra's cross to reduce the deficit to one. Alavés goalkeeper Martín Herrera then tripped Owen, and McAllister restored Liverpool's two-goal advantage at 3–1 from the resulting penalty kick in the 41st minute. Surprisingly, Herrera received only a yellow card for his indiscretion.

      By the 51st minute Alavés had evened the score at 3–3 through two goals by Javi Moreno early in the second half. In the 48th minute he headed in Contra's centre and then converted a free kick for his second successful effort. Houllier then changed tactics, bringing on Vladimir Smicer in midfield for defender Stephane Henchoz, shuffling the team around, and replacing Emile Heskey with Robbie Fowler up front. Mané's response was to withdraw Moreno, a move that arguably cost them the chance of taking the initiative. In the 73rd minute Fowler ran through to make it 4–3 for Liverpool, only to have Alavés tie the score in the dying seconds of normal time. From a corner kick from Pablo Gómez, Jordi Cruyff headed in to force the game into overtime.

      Alas, the Spaniards then fell apart. Magno Mocelin of Brazil was shown the red card for a foul on Babbel in the 99th minute. Captain Antonio Karmona, already on a yellow card, was cautioned again for pulling back Smicer in the 117th minute, and Alavés was left with only nine players. From McAllister's resulting free kick, the ball clipped the head of defender Delfí Geli and found the corner of the net to give Liverpool a 5–4 sudden-death victory.

      In contrast, the European Champions League final a week later between Bayern Munich and Valencia of Spain in Milan's San Siro Stadium was dominated by penalties and caution, although there was a similar 5–4 score from the final shoot-out. The Spaniards took a dramatic lead in the second minute when Swedish international defender Patrik Andersson was adjudged to have handled the ball in a scramble at the mouth of the goal. Gaizka Mendieta drove the penalty kick past goalkeeper Oliver Kahn's right hand. Four minutes later Bayern had the opportunity to level the score with a penalty of its own. Jocelyn Angloma tripped Stefan Effenberg, and although Mehmet Scholl's penalty kick was on target, the ball hit Valencia goalkeeper Santiago Cañizares's legs and rebounded over the crossbar.

      Both teams made second-half changes, and Bayern equalized from the game's third penalty award in the 50th minute. Amedeo Carboni handled the ball in a panic, and Effenberg put the teams into a tie at 1–1. Neither team seemed ambitious enough to take undue risks from then on as the game drifted toward the end of 90 minutes. It was only in overtime that the Bayern players stirred themselves more than the opposition, who seemed content to await the fate of the inevitable shoot-out. Paulo Sergio missed for Bayern with the first penalty attempt, but the Germans emerged 5–4 victors after Mauricio Pellegrino's effort was saved by Kahn with what was the 17th penalty kick of the match.

      In purely domestic terms Bayern had won the German Bundesliga on the last day of the season. The team needed at least a draw at Hamburg to prevent Schalke 04 from overtaking it, and it did so 1–1. It was Bayern's 17th championship and its third in succession. In Azerbaijan there was a closer contest, which had to be determined by a play-off in which Shamkir beat Neftchi Baku after both teams had finished level on goal difference. Boavista became only the fifth different team in 66 years to win the title in Portugal, while the French first division club Toulouse was relegated to the third division when it was unable to make adequate financial guarantees. French cup winner Strasbourg also suffered relegation to the second division. Europe's ace marksman was Swedish international striker Henrik Larsson of Scotland's Celtic. He scored 35 league goals and 52 in all competitions as the Glasgow club won all three domestic trophies. Cypriot champion Omonia Nicosia saw its German striker Rainer Raufmann head the leading scorers for the fourth season in succession.

Jack Rollin

The Americas.
      There were some significant changes in association football (soccer) in Latin America during 2001. While Argentina easily won the South American World Cup qualifying group, Brazil—which lost its number one spot in the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) ranking for the first time in years—struggled all the way and managed to make sure of a top-four automatic qualifying place only at the end. Uruguay, the other usual powerhouse, reached the finals only after a play-off against Oceania winner Australia. Ecuador made the finals, to be held in South Korea and Japan in July 2002, for the first time ever.

      The South American championship, the Copa América, held in Colombia in July, lost stature when it was canceled owing to local terrorist activity and then reinstated with six days to go (owing to pressure from television-rights holders). By that time Argentina, the favourite, had disbanded its squad and withdrawn, and guest nations and most other countries sent weak squads. Colombia took the cup for the first time, winning all six of its games with no goals against, but there were plans to revitalize the tournament, which was next scheduled for Peru in 2003.

      Argentina's Boca Juniors retained the South American club championship, the Libertadores de América Cup, beating Mexico's Cruz Azul on penalties in the two-legged final, which finished with a 1–1 aggregate score. The Argentine team could not retain the Intercontinental Cup against the European champions, however, and lost 1–0 to Germany's Bayern Munich.

      The made-for-TV Mercosur and Merconorte cups were played for the fourth and last time. In spite of lucrative prizes, rising from $200,000 per home match in the first round to $3 million for the final winner, many clubs fielded virtual teams, and crowds were small at most games—only six tickets were sold for one match—in spite of reduced admission prices. All four Merconorte tournaments were won by Colombian clubs, with Bogotá's Millonarios crowned in 2001. The Mercosur Cup, which had been won by Brazilian clubs on the three previous occasions, could not be completed in 2001. Flamengo (Brazil) and San Lorenzo (Argentina) drew the first leg 0–0 in Rio de Janeiro. The second leg in Buenos Aires was scheduled on the day an uprising started that brought down the Argentine government. The match was postponed until January 2002.

      In domestic leagues it was the year of the small club. Atlético Paranense took the Brazilian title for the first time, beating another small club, São Caetano, in the final. In Chile the Wanderers triumphed for the first time in 33 years. While Nacional retained the Uruguayan championship, it had to face modest opening-tournament winner Danubio in the final. Alianza Lima took the Peruvian title after winning the opening tournament and then beating Cienciano of Cusco, which won the closing tournament. Both clubs were celebrating their 100th anniversary.

      Though popular Racing Club was one of Argentina's big clubs, its opening-tournament title, without established stars, was its first success in 35 years. Racing Club was Argentina's only top-division club run by a company; other Argentine clubs, as well as some in Brazil and other South American countries, were close to bankruptcy through bad management, in spite of the continued sale of star players to European clubs.

      In the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), Costa Rica, Mexico, and the U.S. qualified for the 2002 World Cup finals. On October 21 the San Jose Earthquakes won their first Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup, scoring a sudden-death overtime goal to defeat the Los Angeles Galaxy 2–1. There were reports, however, that two MLS teams—possibly the Tampa Bay Mutiny and Miami Fusion—could soon be eliminated. The eight-team professional Women's United Soccer Association finished its first year of play, with the Atlanta Beat defeating the Bay Area CyberRays on penalty kicks in the final on August 25.

Eric Weil

U.S. Football.

      The University of Miami (Fla.) won its fifth national championship of college football and its first in 10 years by defeating the University of Nebraska 37–14 in the Rose Bowl at Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 3, 2002. This was the first Rose Bowl contest since 1946 that did not match the Big Ten and Pacific conference winners. Big East champion Miami (12–0) had the only undefeated record in Division I-A of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which it led with 45 turnovers on defense and the lowest regular-season defensive yields: 9.4 points per game and a 75.6 passing-efficiency rating. Larry Coker was the second rookie coach to win a national championship and the first since 1948.

      Although Miami was the fourth undisputed champion in four years of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), Nebraska's inclusion in the title game generated the third controversy in identifying the two finalists. The BCS computer formula ranked Nebraska (11–2) second, but both the media reporters' and coaches' regular-season polls ranked it behind Pacific-10 champion Oregon (11–1) and Colorado (10–3), which had defeated Nebraska 62–36 during the season and won the Big 12 championship before losing to Oregon 38–16 in the Fiesta Bowl.

      With Miami's victory, its third in four national championship games against Nebraska, both final polls ranked Oregon, Orange Bowl winner Florida (10–2), Tennessee (11–2), Texas (11–2), and Cotton Bowl champion Oklahoma (11–2) next in the top six. The media's Associated Press poll followed in order with Southeastern Conference champion Louisiana State (10–3), Nebraska, Colorado, Washington State (10–2), Atlantic Coast champ Maryland (10–2), and Big Ten winner Illinois (10–2), which lost to Louisiana State in the Sugar Bowl. The coaches' USA Today-ESPN poll flipped two pairs of those rankings with higher positions for Nebraska and Maryland; Maryland's Ralph Friedgen was the consensus Coach of the Year. Other I-A conference winners were Louisville (11–2) in Conference USA, Toledo (11–2) in the Mid-American, Brigham Young (12–2) in the Mountain West, and Louisiana Tech (7–5) in the Western Athletic, while North Texas (5–7) and Middle Tennessee State (8–3) shared the Sun Belt title.

      Quarterbacks for Miami and Nebraska each won Player of the Year honours, with the Maxwell Award going to Miami's Ken Dorsey and Nebraska's Eric Crouch winning the Heisman Trophy, the Walter Camp Award, and the Davy O'Brien Award for quarterbacks. Nebraska also led Division I-A with 314.7 yd rushing per game. Oregon's 11 turnovers lost were the fewest. Miami offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie won the Outland Trophy for interior linemen.

      Florida and Brigham Young were the top offensive teams. Florida passed for 405.2 yd per game behind quarterback Rex Grossman, the leader with 9.9 yd per pass attempt, 354.9 yd total offense per game, and an efficiency rating of 170.8. Brigham Young averaged 542.8 yd and 46.8 points per game, with a division-high 28 touchdowns by Luke Staley, the Doak Walker Award-winning running back.

      Fresno State quarterback David Carr's 42 touchdown passes and 4,299 yd passing were best, as was Wes Counts's .726 completion percentage for Middle Tennessee State. The receiving leaders were Hawaii's Ashley Lelie with 19 touchdowns, Utah State's Kevin Curtis with 100 catches, and Fred Biletnikoff Award winner Josh Reed with 1,740 yd for Louisiana State. Nevada freshman Chance Kretschmer's 1,732 yd rushing and Levron Williams's 200.1 all-purpose yards per game for Indiana also were tops.

      North Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers won the Chuck Bednarik Award for best defender and the Vince Lombardi Award for linemen. Oklahoma teammates Rocky Calmus and Roy Williams, respectively, won the Dick Butkus Award for linebackers and the Jim Thorpe Award for defensive backs. Miami's Edward Reed led with nine interceptions, and Texas allowed the fewest yards per game, 236.2.

      Ray Guy Award winner Travis Dorsch of Purdue led punters with a 48.4-yd average. New Mexico's Vladimir Borombozin had the best field-goal percentage, .944 on 17-for-18, just ahead of Lou Groza Award winner Seth Marler's 15-for-16 for Tulane.

      Among schools with smaller football budgets, 15–1 Montana defeated 12–3 Furman for the Division I-AA championship, 14–1 North Dakota won the Division II championship game over 12–1 Grand Valley State (Mich.), 14–0 Mount Union (Ohio) won its fifth Division III title in six years (and its 82nd game out of 83) by beating Bridgewater (Va.), and 14–0 Georgetown (Ky.) won its second straight National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) championship game against 12–2 Sioux Falls (S.D.). The Walter Payton and Buck Buchanan awards for Division I-AA recognized Villanova running back Brian Westbrook and James Madison linebacker Derrick Lloyd, respectively, as the top overall and defensive players. Valdosta State (Ga.) quarterback Dusty Bonner won his second Harlon Hill Trophy for Division II; Mount Union running back Chuck Moore received the John Gagliardi Trophy for Division III; and Georgetown quarterback Eddie Eviston won his third NAIA Player of the Year award.

      On Feb. 3, 2002, in a surprisingly thrilling Super Bowl XXXVI, the American Football Conference (AFC) New England Patriots upset the heavily favoured National Football Conference (NFC) St. Louis Rams 20–17 before a crowd of 72,922 in the New Orleans Superdome. New England started with a 47-yd interception touchdown by Ty Law and unexpectedly led 14—3 at the half; St. Louis came back in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 17. Then Adam Vinatieri kicked a 48-yd field goal in the final seconds to give New England its first National Football League (NFL) championship in the franchise's 42-year history. Most Valuable Player (MVP) honours went to the Patriots' 24-year-old quarterback Tom Brady, in only his second year in the NFL. During the play-offs, the Patriots had upset Oakland 16–13 with a game-ending 45-yd field goal and then beat Pittsburgh 24–17 with veteran quarterback Drew Bledsoe filling in for an injured Brady. St. Louis crushed Green Bay 45–17 and then defeated Philadelphia 29–24 to reach the final matchup.

      In regular-season play NFC West champion St. Louis had the league's best offense with per-game averages of 31.4 points, 418.1 yd, and 306.4 yd passing. That was more than five points and 35 yd ahead of runner-up Indianapolis, the AFC leader in each category. AFC Central winner Pittsburgh ran for the most yards on offense with 173.4 per game, allowed the fewest yards on defense with 258.6 per game total and 74.7 on the ground, ranked second to NFC Central champion Chicago's league-low yield of 12.7 points per game, and led the NFL with 55 sacks. Dallas's top-ranked pass defense allowed 188.7 yd per game. Other NFC defensive leaders were St. Louis in total yards and Chicago in rushing yards.

      Other division winners were Philadelphia in the NFC East, New England in the AFC East, and Oakland in the AFC West, which repeated as division champion. Of the five other division winners in 2000, only Miami made the play-offs as a “wild-card” team, as did defending champion Baltimore and the New York Jets in the AFC, along with San Francisco, Green Bay, and Tampa Bay in the NFC. Miami's five consecutive play-off appearances led the league. Chicago won its division for the first time since 1990 with a league-best improvement of eight games, and Philadelphia won its first since 1988. Like Chicago, New England improved from last place to first, matching San Francisco's second-best improvement of six games, and all three were among the six play-off teams that had missed the tournament in 2000–01, joining Green Bay, Pittsburgh and the New York Jets. The worst declines were the seven-game drop by Detroit and the six-game slides by Carolina, Tennessee, and Minnesota.

      New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan set an NFL record with 22.5 sacks. Other records included Emmitt Smith's 11th season with at least 1,000 yd rushing for Dallas and Marshall Faulk's fourth with at least 2,000 yd from scrimmage. Faulk was 22 yd behind that category's leader, Kansas City's Priest Holmes, who gained 2,169 yd from scrimmage and also led the NFL with 1,555 yd rushing. Faulk had the best average gain with 5.3 yd per rush and led the league with 21 touchdowns and 128 points, one more than teammate and top-scoring kicker Jeff Wilkins. San Francisco's Terrell Owens and Seattle's Shaun Alexander had league highs of 16 touchdowns receiving and 14 rushing, respectively.

      Kurt Warner of St. Louis, the regular-season MVP, led most passing categories with a 101.4 efficiency rating, 4,830 yd, 8.85 yd per attempt, and 36 touchdowns with an .066 touchdown percentage. Oakland's Rich Gannon's nine interceptions were the fewest, as was his .016 percentage. The receiving leaders were Denver's Rod Smith with 113 catches and Arizona's David Boston with 1,598 yd. Tampa Bay's Ronde Barber and Cleveland's Anthony Henry shared the interception lead with 10 apiece. Cleveland led the league with 41 defensive turnovers; San Francisco's 19 on offense were the fewest; and the Jets had the best turnover differential, plus-18.

      The league's top kick returners were Ronney Jenkins of San Diego with 26.6 yd per kickoff return and Troy Brown of New England with 14.2 yd per punt return. Todd Sauerbrun of Carolina had the best punting averages, 47.5 yd gross and 38.9 yd net. Jason Elam's 31 field goals for Denver were the NFL's most, while Miami's Olindo Mare had the best percentage, .905 on 19 for 21.

      In spring and summer leagues, the Grand Rapids Rampage defeated the Nashville Kats 64–42 for the 15th Arena Football League championship, and the Berlin Thunder won the NFL's developmental NFL Europe championship by beating the Barcelona Dragons 24–17. The XFL, a winter-spring league standing for extreme football, folded after its only season, which included the lowest-rated prime-time telecast in network history.

Kevin M. Lamb

Canadian Football.
      The Calgary Stampeders won the 2001 Canadian Football League (CFL) championship by upsetting the favoured Winnipeg Blue Bombers 27–19 in the Grey Cup on November 25 at Montreal. Calgary's championship was its second in four years and the second in a row by a team with a losing regular-season record, something that never had happened in the cup's previous 87 years. Calgary, with a won-lost record of 8–10, overpowered West Division champion Edmonton (9–9) by 34–16 for the division title before beating East Division winner Winnipeg (14–4) in the cup final.

      Calgary led the league with 136.9 yd rushing per game, and Grey Cup Most Outstanding Player Marcus Crandell led quarterbacks with 61.9% pass completions. Winnipeg led CFL defenses with per-game yields of 336 yd, 83.8 yd rushing, and 21.3 points. The Blue Bombers also had four top-ranked players: quarterback Khari Jones, the league's Most Outstanding Player, had CFL passing highs of 4,545 yd and 30 touchdowns, as well as an 87.8 efficiency rating; Milt Stegall led the league with 14 touchdown catches; tackle Dave Mudge was the Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman; and defensive lineman Doug Brown was Most Outstanding Canadian.

      Other league award winners included Most Outstanding Defensive Player Joe Montford of Hamilton with 19 sacks and Most Outstanding Rookie Barrin Simpson of British Columbia with 115 tackles.

Kevin M. Lamb

Australian Football.
      In 2001 the Brisbane Lions ended a historic year by winning the Australian Football League (AFL) premiership for the first time. Once the Cinderella club of the AFL and the worst-performing club in a 16-team competition as late as 1998, the Lions beat 2000 titleholder Essendon 15.18 (108) to 12.10 (82) in the Grand Final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 29 before a crowd of 91,482. The win also brought much joy to the former Fitzroy supporters, whose club had dropped from the competition after the 1996 season and merged with the former Brisbane Bears to form the Lions in 1997. In 1999 celebrated former Hawthorn player and Collingwood coach Leigh Matthews had taken over as coach.

      The Grand Final victory was the Lions' 16th successive win, easily breaking the previous club record of 10. Five days earlier Brisbane had also been on centre stage when it was announced that team member Jason Akermanis was the upset winner of the Brownlow Medal, awarded to the fairest and best player in the 22 home-and-away rounds as adjudged by the field umpires.

      Essendon started the Grand Final a slight favourite, but it could not withstand the pressure. The defending champions opened up an early lead, but the Lions produced a sizzling third quarter of 6.2 to 1.2 that virtually won it the match. Shaun Hart, the Brisbane on-baller, was voted best man on the ground and won the Norm Smith Medal.

Greg Hobbs

Rugby Football.
      Australia's global domination of Rugby Union continued in 2001, as it again won the Tri-Nations Championship and gained the first series victory over the Lions (a team comprising the best players from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales) in its history. The Lions—in Australia with Rugby League convert Jason Robinson as one of their stars—opened the series with a stunning 29–13 win in Brisbane, only to fall to Australia in Melbourne (35–14) and Sydney (29–23) as the Wallabies took the series 2–1.

      The Lions tour was unfortunately marred by a number of players' open criticism of the management team—headed by Graham Henry and Donal Lenihan—and one player's launch of a tirade against the Australian side. These outbursts led to two English players, Austin Healey and Matt Dawson, being fined for their actions. Australia's victory in the Tri-Nations was confirmed with a dramatic 29–26 win over New Zealand on September 1. The triumph was sealed with a last-minute try from Toutai Kefu in a game that was legendary captain John Eales's last match. Eales ended his career as possibly the most successful Rugby Union captain of all time, with two World Cups (1991 and 1999), the Tri-Nations title, and a series victory over the Lions.

      England's failure to win a Six Nations (formerly Five Nations) grand slam (a clean sweep of all five wins) continued, as it suffered its only loss on the final day of the championship for the third successive season. In 2001 it was Ireland that exposed England's inability to win under pressure, and the Irish won a pulsating encounter 20–14. England still walked off with the Six Nations title, but it was scant reward for its efforts. The championship—usually staged between February and April—was finished in October owing to the foot-and-mouth crisis, which caused the postponement of three Ireland matches.

      In domestic competition the ACT Brumbies struck a big blow for Australia in the Super 12 championship (contested by the best sides in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa), winning the final against the South African Sharks 36–6. Most of the previous competitions had been dominated by sides from New Zealand, but this time none of the Kiwi teams made the semifinals. The Leicester Tigers won the championship in England for a third successive year and lifted the Heineken (European) Cup in an exciting 34–30 win over Stade Français in Paris, with centre Leon Lloyd scoring two tries. Newcastle took the Tetley's Bitter Cup in England, beating Harlequins 30–27. Swansea was confirmed as the Welsh champion, winning the title over Cardiff by six points, while Newport lifted the Principality Cup. In Scotland Hawick was champion, and in Ireland it was Dungannon. In France Christian Califano said goodbye to Toulouse—before he moved to Auckland—by delivering the French championship in a 34–22 final win over Montferrand in Paris.

      In Rugby League's Super League, the Bradford Bulls defeated the Wigan Warriors 37–6 to be crowned English champions. In Australia the Newcastle Knights won the National Rugby League premiership in front of a sellout crowd of more than 90,000 at Stadium Australia, beating the Parramatta Eels 30–24.

Paul Morgan

▪ 2001


Association Football ( Soccer).

      France emphasized its domination of international association football (soccer) events by adding the 2000 European championship title to the World Cup success it had achieved in 1998. Euro 2000, which was held in Belgium and The Netherlands, was the sport's first major tournament to be staged in two countries, and there was a high standard of play from many of the finalists.

      Italy provided France's opposition in the final, staged in Rotterdam, Neth., on July 2, and proved a worthy adversary despite a contrasting style. While the French used one lone, mobile striker and relied on relentless waves of support from midfield, the Italians stuck to three central defenders and a reinforced blanket of five in midfield, leaving two attackers to forage up front. There was also a distinct difference in the composition of the two teams. While Italy had only home-based players in its lineup, France fielded no fewer than 9 “mercenaries” in its starting 11—players who plied their professional trade in other countries.

      In the semifinals France beat Portugal 2–1 with a penalty goal in sudden-death overtime. The Italians had to play for much of their semifinal game against The Netherlands with 10 men, following a dismissal just after half an hour's play. The Dutch missed two penalties during normal time, but Italy survived and won the subsequent penalty shoot-out 3–1.

      In the final the Italians were noticeably tired after their marathon with The Netherlands, but they coped well enough with the first-half onslaught from the French and took the lead in the 55th minute following the best move of the match. Francesco Totti, finding no space ahead of him, cleverly back-heeled the ball to Gianluca Pessotto, whose cross was side-footed in by Marco Delvecchio.

      The Italians then squandered several opportunities to add to the lead, and France's manager, Roger Lemerre, was forced to use his three substitutes in an effort to wrest the initiative from Italy. It proved an inspired decision. With the game in injury time, one of the replacements, Sylvain Wiltord, latched onto a misheaded clearance, cut in from the left, and fired into the far corner. In the 103rd minute the other two substitutes combined for the sudden-death winner in overtime as Robert Pires crossed the ball for David Trézéguet to produce an unstoppable, spectacular volley. There was some consolation for Italy in winning the under-21 championship, but France was not to be denied another honour, taking the under-18 title.

      On May 24 Paris was the venue for the final of the Champions League European Cup. In an all-Spanish affair, Real Madrid convincingly beat Valencia 3–0 in front of 78,759 spectators. Fernando Morientes, who was playing only because of a slight injury to the Brazilian Savio (Savio Bortolini Pimentel), headed Real into a 39th-minute lead from a short right-wing cross by Michel Salgado. In the 67th minute the Valencia defense failed to clear the ball, and Steve McManaman volleyed the second goal. Eight minutes later Raúl (Raúl González Blanco) ran unchallenged from the halfway line for the third score. It was Real's eighth championship in the competition.

      In contrast, in the Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA) Cup final, held in Copenhagen a week earlier in front of 38,919 spectators, Galatasaray became the first Turkish team to win a major European trophy when it beat England's Arsenal 4–1 on penalties following a low-key goalless draw. The Turkish side played for all but two minutes of overtime without Gheorghe Hagi, the Romanian playmaker, who was sent off for punching Arsenal's Tony Adams. Galatasaray's first-leg semifinal against Leeds United had been marred by the death of two English supporters in rioting in Istanbul the day before the match.

      In domestic football the high and low points both came in Ukraine. Dynamo Kiev won its eighth consecutive Ukrainian national championship and was undefeated in the 30 games played, dropping just six points (in three draws), while Zirka Kirovograd finished at the bottom and failed to win one match. Spain's Real Club Deportivo of La Coruña won its first national title in its 94-year history. Thanks to goal difference, Bayern Munich retained the Bundesliga crown in Germany on the last day of the season.

      In France there was a surprise in the cup tournament when Calais, a team composed entirely of amateur players with full-time occupations outside football, reached the final and then lost 2–1 to Nantes. In Scotland a 3–1 defeat on its own ground for Celtic in an early round against Inverness Caledonian Thistle (elected to the Scottish League as recently as 1994) produced immediate reaction. This sensational defeat cost the jobs of the entire Celtic coaching staff. Celtic's longtime Glasgow rivals, the Rangers, achieved that team's 49th championship and its 11th title in 12 years. The Rangers also won the Scottish Cup for the 29th time. Manchester United won the English Premier League for the sixth time since the league's formation in 1992. The leading scorer in Europe was Mario Jardel of Porto in Portugal with 38 league goals.

      The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world governing body, came under severe criticism after the voting to choose the host nation for the 2006 World Cup. South Africa, the favourite, was edged out in the final count in favour of Germany. The New Zealand representative, thought likely to be voting for the South Africans, abstained amid alleged offers of bribery and threats on his life. The African bloc blamed Asia and broke off relations with it. England, which had been convinced of the strength of its own bid, spent about $16 million of taxpayers' money on what was considered to be a poorly organized campaign and blamed fan violence by English hooligans at the start of the Euro 2000 championship for its failure.

      Meanwhile, FIFA membership continued to grow, with the admission of Bhutan bringing the total up to 204 countries. A record number of 198 members entered the 2002 World Cup, scheduled to be held in Japan and South Korea, but the possibility that two of the games would be staged in North Korea was not substantiated.

      More problems for the authorities came when the European Union (EU) insisted that the transfer system be severely restricted, with players over 24 years of age being allowed to move without payment of a fee. This represented the greatest threat yet to a professional sport for which the transfer system had been a cornerstone for more than a century. Thus, the record deal in Spain that took Portuguese midfielder Luis Figo from Barcelona to Real Madrid for about $56 million in July seemed likely to stay the record. His move came less than two weeks after Hernan Crespo's transfer in Italy from Parma to Lazio for about $55 million.

      Escalating salaries in Western Europe were chiefly sustained by money from television and other communications. The highest paid player, at about $130,000 a week, was reputed to be 1999 European and World Footballer of the Year Rivaldo Vitor Borba Ferreira—Barcelona's Brazilian midfielder known simply as Rivaldo. (See Biographies (Rivaldo ).) If the EU's proposals went through, the principal beneficiaries would be players and their agents.

      Another contentious issue concerned FIFA's wish to introduce a coordinated international match calendar specifying dates upon which all first-class fixtures would be played. Four weeks would be set aside for holidays, with another four weeks for preseason training. On the basis of two matches per week, this would leave 76 match dates—46 for national league and cup matches, 16 for continental club competitions, and 12 for national team matches including friendlies, with a further two dates in reserve.

Jack Rollin

The Americas.
      Brazil's long reign as number one in Latin American association football (soccer) came to an end in 2000. Although it beat Argentina 3–1 at home in the first round of the South American zone's World Cup qualifying group, the year ended with Argentina leading the group comfortably by five points after 10 of the 18 games had been played.

      The continent's most important club competition, the Libertadores de América Cup, was also won by an Argentine club, Boca Juniors, which went on to beat Real Madrid 2–1 in the annual Intercontinental Cup between the champions of South America and Europe. Brazil was not quite eclipsed, however, as Corinthians of São Paulo defeated Rio de Janeiro's Vasco da Gama 4–3 in the inaugural world club championship in January. The Mercosur Cup—a made-for-television tournament between leading clubs from part of the continent—had an all-Brazilian final for the third consecutive year, with Palmeiras losing to Vasco da Gama 4–3. The similarly organized Merconorte Cup had an all-Colombian final for the third straight year, with Atlético Nacional taking the title in a two-legged final 0–0, 2–0 over Millonarios.

      Brazil had other problems off the field. Brazilian football authorities and clubs were being investigated by the country's legislature for tax evasion and dubious contracts, while its national championship could not be held in 2000 because a small club (Gama), in order to avoid relegation in 1999, had gone to court complaining of unfair practices.

      Otherwise, the continent's most popular game had three main worries—escalating hooligan violence in many countries, the continued exodus of leading stars to Europe, notably Brazil's 1999 World Player of the Year, Rivaldo (see Biographies (Rivaldo )), and the bankruptcy of many clubs. Some clubs faced bitterly fought takeovers by investors and other dire consequences. In Brazil, Corinthians' star players were sold after the team won the world club championship.

      In February Canada pulled off a major upset, overcoming Colombia 2–0 to win the men's CONCACAF Gold Cup. The U.S. women remained strong, topping Brazil 1–0 in the women's Gold Cup in July after having overpowered Canada 4–0 in the U.S. Cup in May.

      The Kansas City Wizards (16–7) won the team's first U.S. Major League Soccer (MLS) championship, defeating the Chicago Fire (17–9) 1–0 in the MLS Cup on October 15. The Wizards' goalkeeper, 31-year-old Tony Meola, was named Most Valuable Player for the final, as well as being chosen the regular season's MVP, best goalkeeper, and Comeback Player of the Year. In February the Women's United Soccer Association announced an eight-team U.S. women's professional league to begin playing in April 2001.

Eric Weil

U.S. Football.

      The University of Oklahoma won its seventh national championship of U.S. college football and its first since 1985 by defeating Florida State University 13–2 in the Orange Bowl at Miami, Fla., on Jan. 3, 2001. Big 12 Conference champion Oklahoma, with a 13–0 record, held scoreless a Florida State offense that led Division I-A of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the regular season with 384 yd passing and 549 total yards per game while ranking third with 42.4 points. The two teams' quarterbacks each won Player of the Year awards, with Chris Weinke of Florida State winning the prestigious Heisman Trophy and Josh Heupel of Oklahoma winning the Associated Press (AP) and Walter Camp Foundation awards. Purdue quarterback Drew Brees won the Maxwell Award.

      Oklahoma, the only undefeated I-A team in the regular season, was the third consecutive undisputed champion under the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) format, which determined the championship game's opponents on the basis of two established news media polls and eight computerized rankings. Identifying the title game's contenders, however, generated controversy for the second time in three BCS seasons. The polls' second-ranked team, Big East champion University of Miami (11–1), had defeated Atlantic Coast champion Florida State (11–2) during the regular season, which prompted BCS chairman John Swofford to propose that future computer rankings give more value to head-to-head games and less value to high margins of victory.

      The final writers' and coaches' polls agreed only through three places, with Miami second after its 37–20 Sugar Bowl victory over Southeastern Conference champion Florida (10–3), and Pacific-10 cochampion Washington (11–1) third after its 34–24 Rose Bowl victory over Big Ten cochampion Purdue (8–4). The coaches ranked Florida State fourth, but the writers ended Florida State's 13-year streak of top-four finishes in their AP poll by selecting Oregon State, which defeated Notre Dame (9–3) by a score of 41–9 in the Fiesta Bowl. The writers' 6th through 10th spots went to Virginia Tech (11–1), Oregon (10–2), Nebraska (10–2), Cotton Bowl winner Kansas State (11–3), and Florida. The coaches' poll dropped Oregon from 7th to 9th and replaced Florida with Michigan (9–3) at 10th. Oregon and Oregon State were the other Pacific-10 cochampions, and Northwestern and Michigan the others in the Big Ten. Other I-A conference winners were Colorado State (10–2) in the Mountain West, Louisville (9–3) in Conference USA, Boise State (10–2) in the Big West, and Marshall (8–5) in the Mid-American, while Texas Christian (10–2) and Texas–El Paso (8–4) tied for the Western Athletic championship.

      Weinke, Heupel, and Brees each led Division I-A in quarterbacking categories, Weinke with 4,167 yd passing, Heupel with a .647 completion percentage, and Brees with 358.1 yd per game of total offense. Weinke also won the Davey O'Brien Award for quarterbacks. Bart Hendricks of Boise State led all quarterbacks with an efficiency rating of 170.6 points, 35 touchdowns, 10.1% of his passes for touchdowns, and 9.69 yd per attempt. Boise State was the scoring leader with 44.9 points per game and Nebraska the rushing leader with 349.3 yd per game. Individual scoring leader Lee Suggs had 28 touchdowns for Virginia Tech, and the receiving leaders were James Jordan with 109 catches for Louisiana Tech, Lee Mays with 15 touchdowns for Texas–El Paso, Fred Biletnikoff Award winner Antonio Bryant with 130.2 yd per game for Pittsburgh, and Marvin Minnis with 1,340 total yards in Florida State's longer schedule. LaDanian Tomlinson won the Doak Walker Award and his second-straight rushing crown with 2,158 yd for Texas Christian, which also was the national defensive leader with per-game yields of 245 total yards and 9.6 points allowed.

      Florida State defensive end Jamal Reynolds won the Vince Lombardi Award as the best lineman, and Tennessee defensive lineman John Henderson won the Outland Trophy for interior linemen. Akron's Dwight Smith and Louisville's Anthony Floyd were the interception leaders with 10 apiece, while Jamar Fletcher of Wisconsin won the Jim Thorpe Award for defensive backs. Miami linebacker Dan Morgan won the Chuck Bednarik Award for defensive players and the Dick Butkus Award for linebackers. Cincinnati kicker Jonathan Ruffin won the Lou Groza Award with his division-high 26 field goals, but Nick Calaycay of Boise State had the highest percentage, .938 on 15 for 16. Wisconsin punter Kevin Stemke won the Ray Guy Award.

      In the National Football League (NFL), the American Football Conference (AFC) Baltimore Ravens (formerly the Cleveland Browns) crushed the National Football Conference (NFC) New York Giants 34–7 in Super Bowl XXXV, on Jan. 28, 2001, in Tampa, Fla. The Ravens defense, led by middle linebacker Ray Lewis, who was named the game's Most Valuable Player (MVP), held the Giants to only 149 net yards (66 yd rushing). Baltimore's defense also had upset Denver 21–3 in the "wild-card" play-off game, Tennessee 24–10 in the division championship, and Oakland 16–3 in the AFC championship. The Giants had shocked Minnesota 41–0 in the NFC championship match-up.

      The defending champion St. Louis Rams were eliminated in the first round of the play-offs by New Orleans, which also won the NFC West division and improved by seven games from 1999, the league's best gain. None of the 1999 division winners defended their crowns successfully, and three of the six did not even qualify for the play-offs. The New York Giants won the NFC East with a five-game improvement; Minnesota topped the NFC Central; Miami claimed the AFC East; Tennessee won the AFC Central; and Oakland captured the AFC West. The wild-card play-off teams with the best runner-up records were Indianapolis, Baltimore, and Denver in the AFC and St. Louis, Tampa Bay, and Philadelphia (improving by six games) in the NFC. Not since 1986, before the play-off pool expanded from 10 teams to 12, had all NFL play-off teams won at least 10 games. The season's worst declines from the previous year were seven games by San Diego and Jacksonville, which, along with Washington and Seattle, fell from a division championship out of the play-offs.

      Baltimore broke the record for fewest points allowed in a 16-game regular season with 165 (10.3 per game) and also led NFL defenses by giving up only 60.6 yd rushing per game and taking away 49 interceptions and fumbles, part of its league-best turnover differential of plus-23. Baltimore's Ray Lewis was the league's Defensive Player of the Year. Tennessee's defensive yield of 151.4 yd passing and 238.3 total yards per game helped it become the only team to win at least 11 games in consecutive seasons. Darren Sharper's nine interceptions for Green Bay led the league, as did the 17 sacks by La'Roi Glover of New Orleans.

      St. Louis set a record with 7,075 yd on offense (442.2 per game) and also led the league with 327 yd passing per game. NFL MVP Marshall Faulk sparked the Rams with 26 touchdowns, which set a record even though he missed two games with an injury. Terrell Owens of San Francisco broke Tom Fears's 50-year-old record by catching 20 passes in one game, and Corey Dillon of Cincinnati broke Walter Payton's 23-year-old record by running for 278 yd in a game.

      The passing leaders were Denver's Brian Griese with a 102.9 efficiency rating and a league-low 1.2% of his passes intercepted, St. Louis's Kurt Warner (see Biographies (Warner, Kurt )) with 9.88 yd per attempt, Minnesota's Daunte Culpepper with 7% of his passes resulting in touchdowns, and Indianapolis's Peyton Manning with 4,413 yd and 33 touchdowns, which tied Culpepper. Griese completed the first father-son pair to lead the league in passing efficiency, following Bob Griese, who had an 87.8 rating for Miami in 1977. Among receivers, Carolina's Muhsin Muhammad and Indianapolis's Marvin Harrison led with 102 catches, Minnesota's Randy Moss scored 15 touchdowns, and St. Louis's Torry Holt gained a total of 1,635 yd and an average of 19.9 yd per catch.

      Oakland's 154.4 yd rushing led the league, with individual titles going to Edgerrin James of Indianapolis with 1,709 yd and to Faulk for 18 rushing touchdowns. In the kicking game, Jermaine Lewis of Baltimore led the league with 16.1 yd per punt return. Other league leaders included Darrick Vaughn of Atlanta with 27.7 yd per kickoff return, Darren Bennett of San Diego with 46.2 yd per punt, and Matt Stover of Baltimore with 135 points on kicks. Jeff Wilkins tied an unbreakable record for field-goal accuracy by making all 17 of his attempts.

      The Rhine Fire (7–3) defeated the Scottish Claymores (6–4) by a score of 13–10 in Frankfurt, Ger., on June 25 for the championship of NFL Europe. The Orlando Predators (11–3) won the Arena Football League championship with a game-ending field goal for a 41–38 victory over the Nashville Kats (9–5) in ArenaBowl XIV on August 20 in Orlando, Fla.

Kevin M. Lamb

Canadian Football.
      The British Columbia Lions won the 2000 Canadian Football League (CFL) championship by defeating the Montreal Alouettes 28–26 in the Grey Cup on November 26 at Calgary, Alta., becoming the first champion in the Cup's 88 years with a losing won-lost-tied record in the regular season (8–10–0). The Lions led all CFL offenses with averages of 139.2 yd rushing, 316.8 yd passing, and 436.7 total net yd per game, and then won play-off games against Western Division champion Calgary (12–5–1) and Eastern Division champion Montreal (12–6).

      Lions quarterback Damon Allen led the league with 4,840 yd passing and finished the season with career CFL records of 3,588 completions, 6,480 attempts, and 50,789 yd. Kicker Lui Passaglia set a field-goal percentage record of .909 (40 for 44) in the last of his 25 seasons with British Columbia, retiring at age 46 with CFL records for points (3,984), field goals (875), and punting and kickoff yardage.

      Calgary quarterback Dave Dickenson was the league's Most Outstanding Player with a record of 114.1 passing efficiency points and league highs of 36 touchdown passes and a .643 completion percentage. His teammate, receiver Allen Pitts, set career records of 966 catches, 14,891 yd, and 117 touchdowns. Montreal running back Mike Pringle led the league with 1,778 yd rushing and 19 touchdowns, another record. Curtis Marsh of Saskatchewan had league highs of 102 catches and 1,560 yd receiving. Most Outstanding Defensive Player Joe Montford of Hamilton had 20 quarterback sacks.

Kevin M. Lamb

Australian Football.
      Essendon—the invincibles. That was the cry at the finish of the 2000 Australian Football League (AFL) season as Essendon swept to its 16th premiership. It was a season that belonged to Essendon in every way as the Bombers maintained top position on the ladder after every round, lost only one of their 22 home and away games (in round 21), and then raced through the three finals. In the Grand Final Essendon beat Melbourne (which had failed to qualify for the play-offs in 1999) 19.21 (135) to 11.9 (75) before a crowd of 96,249 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. It was Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy's fourth premiership since he started in the position in 1981.

      Essendon's chief goalkicker Matthew Lloyd kicked 94 goals in the home and away rounds to gain the Coleman Medal and then booted a further 15 goals in the finals to finish with a season total of 109. Shane Woewodin won the Brownlow Medal as the best and fairest player in the competition, while James Hird earned the Norm Smith Medal as best player in the Grand Final. Wayne Carey, the captain of the North Melbourne Kangaroos, was named captain of the All-Australian team, and Paul Hasleby of the Fremantle Dockers was voted the best rookie, winning the Norwich Union AFL Rising Star Award.

Greg Hobbs

Rugby Football.
      Following their Rugby Union World Cup triumph in 1999, the Australians silenced any remaining critics by claiming the Tri-Nations series in August 2000, with wins over South Africa and New Zealand. The Australian side, however, was in something of a rebuilding phase. The last match in the Tri-Nations marked the final international appearances of centre Jason Little after representing Australia in 75 matches, flanker David Wilson (79 international matches), and prop Richard Harry (37), all of whom retired from international rugby, along with injured centre Tim Horan (80).

      England's Rugby Union side struck a decisive blow for the Northern Hemisphere in June, winning on South African soil for the first time in six years. The 27–22 victory was built around the outstanding form of England's young outside half Jonny Wilkinson, who scored all 27 points. England arrived in South Africa after having lost the Grand Slam (earned by winning all five matches in the tournament) in the Six Nations with a dramatic defeat in the tournament's last match at Scotland. Scotland's Duncan Hodge scored a converted second-half try and four penalties to snatch victory from England. England—despite that single defeat—won the Six Nations (formerly the Five Nations) championship. France finished second, with Ireland third, Wales fourth, Scotland fifth, and Italy (the recently expanded event's newest member) sixth.

      The Heineken (European) Cup again was won by an English team, Northampton, following Bath's victory in 1998. For Northampton this was its first trophy in its 120-year history, with Paul Grayson kicking all nine points in their 9–8 victory over Ireland's Munster. Leicester was the English champion for the second year running. Other domestic honours went to Wasps (Tetley's Bitter [English] Cup), Cardiff (Welsh/Scottish League champion), Llanelli (Welsh Cup), Heriot's (Scottish premiership champion), Boroughmuir (Scottish Cup), St. Mary's College (Irish champion), and Stade Français (French champion).

      In the Southern Hemisphere, Todd Blackadder's climb to be captain of New Zealand was confirmed when he led the Canterbury Crusaders to the Super 12 championship, beating Australia's finest provincial side, ACT Brumbies, 20–19, in the final. In South Africa the national coach, Nick Mallett, resigned and left Harry Viljoen to take the Springboks to Europe and Argentina on tour. In October Western Province won South Africa's provincial Currie Cup with a solid 25–15 victory over archrival Natal.

      New Zealand took the first World Sevens series title from Fiji. Off the field, Rugby Union renewed its campaign to be accepted as an Olympic sport in 2008.

      In Rugby League, St. Helens repeated as the European Super League champion with a 29–16 victory over the Wigan Warriors in the final at Old Trafford in Manchester, Eng., on October 14. The Brisbane Broncos won its fifth premiership in the Australian National Rugby League, vanquishing the Sydney Roosters 14–6 in the grand final on August 27 before 92,277 fans.

Paul Morgan

▪ 2000


Association Football ( Soccer).

      Transfer fees continued to escalate in 1999, with the world record doubled in three years following the move of Christian Vieri, the Italian striker, from Lazio to Internazionale of Italy in June for £31 million (£1 = about U.S. $1.66). Alan Shearer, whose £15 million transfer from Blackburn Rovers to Newcastle United in July 1996 had established a previous milestone, dropped to 11th place in the overall rankings. Lazio, which had paid just £17 million to the Spanish club Atlético Madrid for him in June 1997, had made a substantial profit on the Vieri transaction. In 10 years Vieri had played for 10 different teams.

      The second highest fee was paid by Real Madrid to Arsenal for the services of French striker Nicolas Anelka. He cost £23 million after prolonged discussions with Lazio had broken down during the summer months. Other leading transfers (all involving Italian clubs) included Marcio Amoroso, top goal scorer in Italy, from Udinese to Parma (£18 million), Argentine midfield player Juan Sebastián Verón from Parma to Lazio (£17.5 million), Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko from Kiev Dynamo to AC Milan (£15.7 million), and forward Vincenzo Montella from Sampdoria to Roma (£15.3 million). Not surprisingly, soccer was rated the 13th largest industry in Italy, with an estimated annual turnover of £3 billion.

      Qualification for the ninth European Football Championship engaged the attention of the Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA) countries. One of the earliest to reach the finals—due to be held in 2000, with The Netherlands and Belgium as joint hosts—was the Czech Republic, with 10 successive victories in its group. The Czechs had been runners-up in the previous tournament in 1996 and had won the title 20 years earlier before Czechoslovakia was divided.

      Competition for the lucrative rights to be host of the 2006 World Cup finals interested politicians. In England the government brought pressure to bear on Manchester United, the FA Cup winner, to withdraw from defending its title in the 1999–2000 season in order to play in the Fédération International de Football Association's (FIFA's) newly inaugurated Club World Championship in Brazil, just to appease the world governing body in the hope of gaining the necessary approval to stage the World Cup. South Africa, Germany, Brazil, and Morocco were the other hopeful aspirants. There was consternation in Europe when FIFA's president, Joseph S. Blatter, announced the long-term intention to organize the World Cup every two years rather than four.

      At club level the 44th European Cup of Champion Clubs final produced the most dramatic climax in its history when Manchester United recovered to beat Bayern Munich 2–1 at the Nou Camp in Barcelona, Spain, on May 26. Though outplayed at times, United had the confidence borne of a run of 32 unbeaten matches in all domestic and European games. The Germans had led from the sixth minute through the play of Mario Basler and had twice struck the woodwork with the United defense torn apart. Basler's goal came from a curling free kick following a foul tackle by Ronny Johnsen on Carsten Jancker just outside the penalty area. Substitute Mehmet Scholl chipped the ball against an upright in the 79th minute, and five minutes later Jancker tried an overhead kick that hit the crossbar. A confident Bayern withdrew the experienced but tiring captain Lothar Matthäus and even Basler in the final moments, only to see United to score twice in the three minutes of injury time, through substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær. First, David Beckham's corner kick for United was only partially cleared. Ryan Giggs quickly returned the ball into the path of Sheringham, whose contact carried it on an unerring trajectory just inside the near post. Inside two minutes and from another Beckham corner, Sheringham headed on for Solskjær to stab the ball into the roof of the net. United, which had already won the FA Premier League and the FA Cup, thus achieved a unique treble with the European prize it had previously secured in 1968, before going on to defeat Palmeiro of Brazil 1–0 in the Intercontinental Cup.

      For the 39th and last Cup–Winners' Cup final, held at Villa Park in Birmingham, Eng., on May 19, Real Mallorca of Spain met Lazio. Vieri opened the scoring for the Italians in the seventh minute with a well-judged header, only to have Dani level the score four minutes later. Lazio had to wait until the 81st minute before it contrived the winning goal at 2–1, with Pavel Nedved, the Czech Republic international, scoring with a half-volley. Italy thus added to its comprehensive list of European honours, having seven days earlier taken the 28th UEFA Cup when Parma beat Marseille of France 3–0 in Moscow for its third European honour of the decade. The game proved a nightmare occasion for the French team captain, Laurent Blanc, who was at fault with all three goals. Already weakened by the absence of players through suspension, Marseille went a goal down in the 26th minute. Blanc's attempt at a back header merely found Hernan Crespo, who scored with a lob. Ten minutes later Blanc tried an interception, only to see the ball break to Diego Fuser, whose deep cross was headed in by Paolo Venoli. In the 55th minute the match was over as a contest when Blanc hesitated and allowed Enrico Chiesa to drive the ball home. With the demise of the Cup–Winners' Cup, the two remaining competitions were expanded to embrace 189 teams: 71 in the Champions League for the European Cup and 118 in the UEFA Cup.

      The conflict in Kosovo forced a shortening of the Yugoslav championship with 10 matches outstanding. Partizan Belgrade ended unbeaten on 66 points, just two points ahead of Obilic, the undefeated reigning champion. In Lithuania there was a close conclusion as Zalgiris took the title without losing a match, yet finished only one point ahead of Kareda. There was the same margin of success in Italy, where AC Milan took the Serie A title ahead of Lazio. In Scotland the new breakaway Premier League was won by the Rangers, taking its overall championship wins to 48. In Andorra, one of Europe's smallest outposts, the championship was won by Principat, which did not lose a game and scored 110 goals in the 22-match program.

      The continuing interest in women's football was never better illustrated than in the third FIFA Women's World Cup, held in the U.S. in June–July. Attendances surpassed the most optimistic expectations, and the opening game at Giants Stadium in New York was watched by a record 79,000 spectators. That figure was eventually overtaken in the final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on July 10 when an enthusiastic crowd of 90,185 saw the U.S. team, guided by the sport's top scorer, Mia Hamm (see Biographies (Hamm, Mia )), beat China 5–4 on penalty kicks after the match had ended goalless in overtime. The winning goal came from Brandi Chastain, who beat Chinese goalkeeper Gao Hong with the decisive kick after the U.S. goalkeeper, Brianna Scurry, had stopped a kick by Liu Ying.

Jack Rollin

The Americas.
      Once again Brazil was the best team in Latin America, winning everything when at full strength. The national team retained the 39th South American championship (Copa América), played in Paraguay, beating understrength surprise finalist Uruguay 3–0. A month later Brazil, playing well below strength, lost 4–3 to host Mexico in the final of the Confederation Cup, the competition between continental champions. The better trials of strength were the home-and-away friendly meetings between Brazil and Argentina, which each country won on home ground.

      At club level Palmeiras won the Libertadores de América Cup to make it three victories in a row for Brazilian teams, and only the tournament's rules avoided a probable all-Brazilian final. The Mercosur Cup did provide an all-Brazilian final; in it Flamengo won the title against the previous year's champion, Palmeiras, which earlier had lost by one goal to European champion Manchester United in the Intercontinental Cup in Tokyo.

      The CONMEBOL Cup, the competition for teams below top rank that was being played for the last time, went to Argentina's Talleres (Córdoba) on a 5–4 aggregate, but perhaps only because the Brazilian finalist, Alagoano, was a third-division team, as higher-placed teams had refused to enter. The Merconorte Cup produced an all-Colombian final again in its second year, with América (Cali) beating Independiente Medellín for the trophy.

      On the domestic scene nearly all Latin American countries (except Argentina and Mexico) split the season in two with opening and closing championships, the two winners then clashing for the national title. Boca Juniors left no doubts by winning Argentina's 1998–99 season-closing championship to add to its opening title, but River Plate won the 1999–2000 opening title. In Mexico Toluca repeated its summer championship win, while Pachuca obtained its first winter championship. The Chilean title, decided in one tournament, was won by Universidad de Chile, and in Brazil Corinthians retained the title, with Juventude winning the Brazil Cup (knockout) but then being relegated from the national first division.

      In deciders between opening and closing winners, Olimpia retained the title in Paraguay, and Blooming did the same in Bolivia. Universitario also retained the Peruvian title, and Peñarol regained the Uruguayan title from Nacional after having won it the five years previous to Nacional's victory in 1999. Atlético Nacional won in Colombia—for the first time in a penalty shootout (against America)—and Liga Deportivo Universitaria de Quito retained the crown in Ecuador. In Venezuela Ital-Chacao won the 1998–99 title, with losing finalist Union Tachira winning the 1999–2000 season's opening title.

      In the U.S. D.C. United (23–9) came back to gain its third Major League Soccer (MLS) championship in four years, defeating the Los Angeles Galaxy (20–12) by a score of 2–0 in the MLS Cup final, held at Foxboro, Mass., on November 21.

Eric Weil

U.S. Football.

      Florida State University won the national championship of college football for Division I-A of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) by defeating Virginia Tech 46–29 behind Peter Warrick's 20 points in the Sugar Bowl at New Orleans on Jan. 4, 2000. The victory was the second in four championship games since 1993 for Atlantic Coast Conference winner Florida State (12–0). Big East winner Virginia Tech (11–1) and 10th-ranked Marshall were the only other undefeated teams in the regular season, but Marshall's Mid-American Conference affiliation kept it from serious consideration in the Bowl Championship Series formula that determines the championship game opponents. Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer was voted Coach of the Year in most polls.

      The writers' poll ranked Virginia Tech second, followed by Big 12 champion Nebraska (12–1), Big Ten champion Wisconsin (10–2), Michigan (10–2), Kansas State (11–1), Michigan State (10–3), Southeastern Conference champion Alabama (10–3), and Tennessee (9–3). The coaches' poll ranked Nebraska ahead of Virginia Tech. Other Division I-A conference winners were Stanford (8–4) in the Pacific 10, Southern Mississippi (9–3) in Conference USA, and Boise State (10–3) in the Big West. The new Mountain West Conference (MWC) broke away from the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), and each had a three-way tie for first place, with 9–3 Utah of the MWC defeating 8–5 Fresno State of the WAC 17–16 in the Las Vegas Bowl.

      Ron Dayne of Wisconsin broke Ricky Williams's year-old career record with 6,397 yd rushing and was honoured as the best player with the Heisman Trophy and the Maxwell and Walter Camp awards. The 115-kg (254-lb) running back won the Doak Walker Award for running backs and finished second in regular-season rushing by 16 yd to Texas Christian's Ladainian Tomlinson, who had 1,850 yd and led with 6.9 yd per carry. Freshman quarterback Michael Vick led the top division's passers with a 180.4 efficiency rating for Virginia Tech, which led the country both by scoring 41.4 points per game and by allowing only 10.5. Sebastian Janikowski of Florida State won his second Lou Groza Award for place kickers with division highs of 23 field goals and 116 points.

      Georgia Tech had the leading offense with 509.4 yd per game behind Joe Hamilton, the Heisman runner-up and winner of the Davey O'Brien Award for quarterbacks. Louisiana Tech's 403.1 yd passing led the division behind quarterback Tim Rattay, the national leader with 3,922 yd passing and 3,810 yd total offense (including yards lost on sacks). Nevada receiver Trevor Insley led Division I-A with 134 catches, 2,060 yd receiving, and 197.8 yd per game. Dennis Northcutt's 2,249 all-purpose yards for Arizona were the highest total, but in one more game; his 19 yd per punt return also was best. Marshall's Chad Pennington led with 37 touchdown passes, and Alabama's Shaun Alexander was tops in scoring with 144 points on 24 touchdowns.

      LaVar Arrington of Penn State won the Chuck Bednarik Award as top defensive player and the Dick Butkus Award for linebackers. Corey Moore of Virginia Tech won the Bronko Nagurski Award, also for the top defensive player, and the Vince Lombardi Trophy for linemen. Alabama tackle Chris Samuels won the Outland Trophy for interior linemen; Stanford's Troy Walters captured the Fred Biletnikoff Award for wide receivers; and Minnesota's Tyrone Carter took the Jim Thorpe Award for defensive backs. Other team leaders were Kansas State with a plus-17 turnover margin and the lowest pass-defense rating by 22 efficiency points, Mississippi State with defensive yields of 66.9 yd rushing and 222.5 yd total per game, and Navy with 292.2 yd rushing per game on offense.

      Adrian Peterson won the Walter Payton Award as the best Division I-AA player for 13–2 Georgia Southern, which beat 12–3 Youngstown State for that division's championship in a game between two four-time winners. Northwest Missouri State (14–1) defeated 13–1 Carson-Newman in four overtimes for the Division II championship, 13–1 Pacific Lutheran won the Division III title by beating 12–2 Rowan, and 13–0 Northwestern Oklahoma State won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) championship game over 13–1 Georgetown (Ky.). Others named Player of the Year were Northern Colorado quarterback Corte McGuffey in Division II, Redlands quarterback Danny Ragsdale in Division III, and Georgetown quarterback Eddie Eviston in the NAIA.

      Brown and Yale (each 9–1) tied for the Ivy League championship; other Division I-AA conference leaders included Massachusetts (9–4) in the Atlantic 10, Montana (9–3) in the Big Sky, Fairfield and Georgetown of D.C. (each 9–2) in the Metro Atlantic, North Carolina A&T (11–2) in the Mid-Eastern Athletic, Tennessee State (11–1) in the Ohio Valley, Colgate and Lehigh (each 10–2) in the Patriot League, Southern (10–1) in the Southwestern Athletic, and Georgia Southern in the Southern Conference.

      The National Football League (NFL) season came to a thrilling conclusion on Jan. 30, 2000, in Atlanta, Ga., when the St. Louis Rams, winners of the National Football Conference (NFC), defeated the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Tennessee Titans 23–16 in Super Bowl XXXIV. St. Louis, under legendary coach Dick Vermeil, age 63, held a 16–0 lead in the fourth quarter, but Tennessee charged back to tie the game at 16–16. With less than two minutes to go, Rams quarterback Kurt Warner, who passed for a Super Bowl–record 141 yd and was named Most Valuable Player (MVP), connected with wide receiver Isaac Bruce for a 73-yd touchdown. In a dramatic climax, the Rams' defense stopped the Titans on the one-yard line in the final seconds to clinch the win.

      Four teams won at least 13 games, and two .500 teams made the play-offs, both for the first time, as several of the previously best and worst teams in the NFL changed places. Indianapolis, whose 10-game improvement from 1998 set a record, won its first division title since 1987; the Rams improved by nine games to win their first division championship since 1985 (when they played in Los Angeles); and the Titans bettered their year-earlier record by five games for the team's first play-off appearance since 1993 (as the Houston Oilers). Other division championships were Tampa Bay's first since 1981, Seattle's first since 1988, and Washington's first since 1991. Three of the four teams in the 1998–99 conference championship games missed the play-offs, and the fourth, Minnesota, won five fewer games. Defending champion Denver's record fell by eight games, 1998–99 NFC champion Atlanta's by nine, and San Francisco's by eight in only its second absence from the play-offs since 1982. All three teams lost their top runner or passer, and Denver lost both with quarterback John Elway's retirement after 16 seasons.

      Warner led the Rams' resurgence with 41 touchdown passes and a 109.2 passer rating during the regular season, which were third and fifth highest, respectively, in NFL history. He also led the league with 8.7 yd per pass attempt and a .651 completion percentage, and he was named the league's MVP. Previously a star in the indoor Arena Football League and the developmental NFL Europe league, Warner had thrown only 11 NFL passes before an injury made him the Rams' starter. Teammate Marshall Faulk became only the second player in NFL history to gain more than 1,000 yd as both a runner and a pass receiver in setting a league record with 2,429 yd from scrimmage and leading the league with 5.5 yd per carry. The Rams' offense led the NFL with 32.9 points, 400.8 yd, and 272.1 yd passing per game, and their defensive yield of 74.3 yd rushing per game was a league low, while defensive end Kevin Carter's 17 sacks were the NFL's most.

      For Indianapolis, Edgerrin James set a record for rookies with his league-leading 1,553 yd rushing, and Marvin Harrison led with 1,663 yd receiving. Harrison finished one catch behind Jimmy Smith's 116 for Jacksonville and 27 yd ahead of Smith. James tied Washington's Stephen Davis with 17 touchdowns, but Davis scored a two-point conversion that gave him the scoring lead for nonkickers with 104 points. Kicker Mike Vanderjagt led the NFL with 145 points for Indianapolis.

      Jacksonville, the only repeating division champion, led the league with 130.7 yd rushing per game on offense and a per-game yield of 13.6 points on defense. Buffalo, guided by quarterback Doug Flutie (see Biographies (Flutie, Doug )), led NFL defenses by allowing 252.8 yd and 167.2 yd passing per game. Other individual leaders were Steve Beuerlein of Carolina with 4,436 yd passing, Mark Brunell of Jacksonville with a .020 percentage on just nine interceptions, Olindo Mare of Miami with 39 field goals, Wade Richey of San Francisco with a .913 field-goal percentage (21 of 23), Tom Rouen of Denver with 46.5 yd per punt, Tony Horne of St. Louis with 31 yd per kickoff return, and Charlie Rogers of Seattle with 14.5 yd per punt return.

      All-time rushing leader Walter Payton died at age 45 in November. (See Obituaries (Payton, Walter Jerry ).) Jim Brown, whose record Payton had broken in 1984, was named Football Player of the Century by the Associated Press and Sports Illustrated magazine. Barry Sanders retired abruptly from Detroit before the season, 1,457 yd short of Payton's 16,726-yd total. The Sporting News named former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle the 20th century's most powerful person in sports, and his league kept growing. The Cleveland Browns returned as an expansion team, and the NFL's 32nd franchise was awarded to Houston for the 2002 season.

      The Frankfurt Galaxy (6–4) won the championship of NFL Europe, the six-team spring minor league, by defeating the Barcelona Dragons 38–24 in the World Bowl at Düsseldorf, Ger., on June 27. The Albany Firebirds won the AFL championship on August 21 with a 59–48 victory over the defending champion Orlando Predators.

Kevin M. Lamb

Canadian Football.
      The Hamilton Tiger-Cats won the Canadian Football League (CFL) championship by defeating the Calgary Stampeders 32–21 in the Grey Cup on Nov. 28, 1999, at Vancouver, B.C. Hamilton quarterback Danny McManus, the season's Most Outstanding Player, won the same award for the championship game by completing 22 of 34 passes for 347 yd and two touchdowns to Darren Flutie, brother of former CFL star and current National Football League quarterback Doug Flutie. (See Biographies (Flutie, Doug ).) McManus led CFL passers with 5,318 yd and 28 touchdowns.

      Hamilton (11–7) was Eastern Division runner-up to Montreal (12–6) but led the league with 33.5 points scored and 20.4 points allowed per game, as well as 410 yd in total offense and 304 yd passing. The Tiger-Cats set a CFL record by allowing only 7 sacks, and their league leaders included Ronald Williams with 15 touchdowns, kicker Paul Osbaldiston with 203 points, Joe Montford with 26 sacks, Gerald Vaughn with 9 interceptions, and a defense that featured linebacker Calvin Tiggle, the league's Most Outstanding Defensive Player.

      The British Columbia Lions (13–5) won the Western Division with Jimmy Cunningham's 2,367 all-purpose yards leading the league and linebacker Paul Lacoste named Most Outstanding Rookie. Calgary (12–6) had receiving leader Allen Pitts with 97 catches and 1,449 yd and field-goal percentage leader Mark McLoughlin with a 48-for-59 (81.4%) record. Montreal's league leaders included Mike Pringle with 1,656 yd rushing and quarterback Anthony Calvillo with 10.4 yd per pass attempt, a completion percentage of 66.7, and a 108.3 efficiency rating, while tackle Uzooma Okeke was named Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman. Toronto linebacker Mike O'Shea was the Most Outstanding Canadian on a defense that allowed 271 yd total and 204 yd passing per game, the fewest in the league.

Kevin M. Lamb

Australian Football.
      The North Melbourne Kangaroos won their fourth Australian Football League (AFL) premiership in 1999, beating Carlton by 35 points in the Grand Final, which was watched by a crowd of 94,228 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 25. The final score was Kangaroos 19.10 (124) to Carlton 12.17 (89). Kangaroos player Shannon Grant was voted best man on the ground and won the Norm Smith Medal. The finals again consisted of the top eight clubs, and Port Adelaide, which had joined the AFL in 1997, participated in the finals for the first time. Essendon, which had the best record (18–4) after the 22-game home and away series, was the favourite to win the premiership but was eliminated in a preliminary final by Carlton.

      Sydney Swans star goalkicker Tony Lockett broke the long-standing AFL goals record of 1,299 in June and retired at the end of the season with an aggregate of 1,357 goals kicked in 278 games. (See Biographies (Lockett, Tony ).) Other notable players to retire included Garry Lyon (Melbourne), Todd Viney (Melbourne), John Longmire (Kangaroos), Chris Mainwaring (West Coast Eagles), and Brett Heady (West Coast Eagles). The top individual award of the season went to Hawthorn captain Shane Crawford, who won the Brownlow Medal for the best and fairest player in competition, as adjudged by the field umpires.

Greg Hobbs

Rugby Football.
      In 1999 Rugby Union was all about one tournament: the World Cup, won in November by Australia, which became the first country to win the competition twice. Every game and every other tournament in 1999 had sides building up for the largest World Cup the sport had ever organized, with 20 of the world's best rugby nations competing in Britain and France. The major Southern Hemisphere sides—Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand—dominated the 1999 World Cup, as they had done in the past.

      It was left to the French to produce the most sublime rugby against New Zealand in the semifinal. Trailing hopelessly at halftime, the French roared back with some of the most exciting play the game had ever seen, and even though France lost to Australia in the final, most people would remember the tournament for the French semifinal performance. Australia's Tim Horan was the overwhelming choice as the Player of the Tournament, while the most breathtaking tries came from superstar Jonah Lomu, who, despite much speculation, committed himself to the sport at the end of the year by signing a new contract with New Zealand. As soon as the tournament was over, coaches and players from almost every nation sat down in Sydney, Australia, to plan rules changes for the 2000 season.

      In Europe the year began with joy for Ulster, which won the European Cup, but with sadness in Italy, where the death of one of the stars of the 1991 and 1995 World Cups, Ivan Francescato, was mourned. The club structure in Europe was still in the middle of the transformation from amateur to professional, and two of England's biggest clubs, Richmond and London Scottish, were forced to leave the professional leagues. On the international stage, Scotland won the Five Nations championship thanks to an incredible climax to the last-ever Five Nations tournament (the addition of Italy in 2000 would change it to the Six Nations). The Scots thrashed France 36–22 in their final game in Paris, and 24 hours later Wales beat England 32–31—with a last-minute try from Scott Gibbs—to hand the trophy to the Scots. Leicester's impressive forwards took the team to the English Premiership title. In Wales the honour went to Llanelli, in Scotland it went to Heriot, and in Ireland Cork Constitution was champion. Wasps beat Newcastle 29–19 in the Tetley's Bitter Cup final.

      In the Southern Hemisphere it was victory for New Zealand in the Super 12, with a win by the Canterbury Crusaders. In the Epson Cup, Japan's fly-half Keiji Hirose set a new world record as he landed nine penalties in the win over Tonga.

      In the summer the reigning world champion South Africa finished at the bottom of the Tri-Nations and then fired captain Gary Teichmann. The team managed to shake off much of that poor form—with a new captain, Joost van der Westhuizen—and finished third in the World Cup, knocking England out of the tournament in the Paris quarterfinal.

Paul Morgan

▪ 1999


Association Football (Soccer)

      During the summer of 1998 all eyes were on France, where 32 national teams faced off in the 16th World Cup finals. In the final match, held on July 12 at the new Stade de France in Saint-Denis, near Paris, the host team, led by star midfielder Zinedine Zidane (see BIOGRAPHIES (Zidane, Zinedine )), routed defending champion Brazil 3-0. (See Sidebar (World Cup ).)

      During the year all 51 members of the Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA) entered the ninth European Football Championship. For the first time two countries, Belgium and The Netherlands, would share the staging of the final tournament in 2000. Newcomers to the competition were Andorra and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

      On June 8 voting took place for a new president of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world governing body, to replace the retiring incumbent João Havelange of Brazil, who had been president since 1974. Joseph S. Blatter of Switzerland, previously the general secretary to FIFA, defeated the UEFA president, Lennart Johansson of Sweden.

      Johansson was left with a crisis brought about by a group of investors anxious to approach the wealthiest clubs in Western Europe to form an independent European Super League. While the three major European cup competitions had undergone considerable structural change in recent years and would continue to be affected, the clamour for further financial rewards prompted the idea of a breakaway organization. The concept of a Super League dated back 60 years when, as air travel began to expand in the years before World War II, leading clubs in England and on the continent were expressing the desire to form a European League of Nations.

      In September BSkyB, the satellite television company owned by multimillionaire media magnate Rupert Murdoch (see BIOGRAPHIES (Murdoch, Rupert )), made a bid of £623.4 million for the Manchester United club. The proposed sale, one of the biggest financial deals in sports, brought a feverish rush among other parties interested in buying into other English Premier League clubs.

      Widespread interest in the current European tournaments was again revealed with the live television transmission to some 200 countries worldwide of the 43rd European Cup of Champion Clubs final in the new Amsterdam Arena on May 20. Real Madrid from Spain was hoping to win its seventh title at the expense of Italy's Juventus, which was trying for a third trophy. The venue represented the first UEFA final to be held in a stadium with a removable roof. The Italians had the better of the opening 20 minutes and continued to be wasteful with the greater scoring opportunities, Filippo Inzaghi being the chief culprit. As the match wore on, Real Madrid gained confidence and in the 67th minute achieved the breakthrough. A centre from Clarence Seedorf was cleared by the Juventus defense, but only to Roberto Carlos, who had his short kick blocked by the Italian goalkeeper, Angelo Peruzzi, only for the ball to run loose to Predrag Mijatovic. The Yugoslav rounded Peruzzi and clipped his shot in from a narrow angle. It was enough to win the game for the Spaniards. Real's German coach, Jupp Heynckes, was dismissed eight days after the final, more as a punishment for failing to lift the team higher than fourth in the Spanish League than as any reflection on his European triumph.

      The 38th Cup-Winners' Cup final was held in the Rasunda Stadium in Stockholm on May 13. Chelsea (England) won its first European title since 1971, when it had beaten Real Madrid in the same competition. Stuttgart (Germany) conceded the match to Chelsea's only score, a goal in the 71st minute from substitute Gianfranco Zola, who had been on the field just 22 seconds. Chelsea had been the better team throughout the match but failed to capitalize on its overall superiority. Stuttgart had more opportunities to score in a first half marked by erratic play from both teams. The nearest Stuttgart came to scoring was in the 18th minute, when Bulgarian striker Krassimir Balakov had a short kick saved by Chelsea's Dutch goalkeeper, Ed de Goey.

      For the 27th UEFA Cup final, the match was staged at the Parc des Princes in Paris and not as home and away games as in previous years. In an all-Italian final Internazionale from Milan beat Lazio of Rome 3-0. South American players scored all the goals, with Ivan Zamorano of Chile outpacing the Lazio rearguard to score as early as the fifth minute for the first goal. Javier Zanetti of Argentina added a second goal after 60 minutes from 22.9 m (25 yd), and Ronaldo of Brazil strode in for number three 10 minutes later.

      Such was the cosmopolitan nature of the European game in 1998 that the 82 players who appeared in the three regional finals represented 20 different nations: Europe (15), South America (4), and Africa (1). Italy, with three finalists, had 28 of those players as members of five of the six final teams, Germany had 8, while Spain and France had 6 each. Lazio had 10 Italian players, but Chelsea had only 4 Englishmen. Only 41 of the finalists played for a club from their own country. Zola's strike for Chelsea was the only goal by an Italian in any of the three European finals.

      On the domestic front, there was mixed fortune in Italy. Juventus won its 25th League championship, five points ahead of Internazionale, while Lazio won the Italian Cup for the second time, beating AC Milan 3-2 on aggregate in the final. Barcelona had a convincing nine-point lead in Spain to record its 15th championship, while Ajax finished a massive 17 points in front of runners-up PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch League and underlined its superiority by beating PSV 5-0 in the cup final. Ajax also scored 112 goals in its 34-match program. The honour as The Netherlands' leading marksman went to Nikos Machlas of Greece playing for another Dutch club, Vitesse. Machlas scored 34 goals during the 32 matches in which he appeared. Europe's foremost goal scorer was Rhinor Rauffman of the Cypriot club Omonia Nicosia, with 42 of that club's 90 League goals.

      One of the best team performances occurred in Germany, where recently promoted Kaiserslautern won the Bundesliga against the favoured Bayern Munich. The closest championship was in France, where Lens won on superior goal difference from Metz. In Scotland Celtic managed at last to stem the tide of success achieved by its Glasgow rivals, the Rangers, winning the title and preventing the Rangers from obtaining their 10th successive championship. Dynamo Tbilisi achieved its ninth successive Georgian League title, while in Latvia, Skonto Riga was unbeaten in 24 championship-winning games. In Poland a serious rift between the sports ministry and the football federation threatened to end in the suspension of all Polish teams from international competition.


The Americas.
      Brazil in 1998 was again the best team in the Americas, finishing second in the World Cup (see Sidebar (World Cup )). The nation's clubs also made a clean sweep of the international trophies open to them. Vasco da Gama, which was celebrating its 100th anniversary, won the South American club championship (Libertadores de América Cup), Palmeiras gained the new Mercosur Cup, Santos took the CONMEBOL trophy, and Atlético Nacional of Colombia won the new Merconorte Cup.

      Corinthians won the Brazilian championship, and Palmeiras took the Brazil Cup. In Chile Colo Colo took the title for the third year in a row, and in Colombia the professional league's 50th championship was won by Deportivo Cali in the final round after Once Caldas had taken the long (50-game) regular championship. In Argentina Vélez Sarsfield won the 1997-98 season-closing championship, and Boca Juniors gained the 1998-99 season-opening championship. In Mexico Toluca won its first title in 23 years in the 1997-98 season summer championship final against Necaxa, which went on to win the 1998-99 winter championship.

      In finals between two tournament winners Nacional took the Uruguayan title after five years of domination by Montevideo rival Peñarol, and Olimpia retained the championship in Paraguay. Universitario became Peru's champion, Blooming won in Bolivia, and Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito triumphed in Ecuador. In Venezuela Atlético Zulia gained the 1997-98 championship, and Union Atlético Tachira won the 1998-99 season-opening tournament.

      Notably, both the CONCACAF Club Champions Cup and the Inter-American Cup left the region for the first time, both taken by defending U.S. champion D.C. United. In the Inter-American Cup the U.S. team defeated Vasco da Gama 2-1 on aggregate in the two-match final. A tired Vasco da Gama—having played more than 70 games during the year—also lost 2-1 to European Cup holders Real Madrid for the Intercontinental Cup in Tokyo.

      Back in the U.S., D.C. United failed to capture its third straight Major League Soccer (MLS) championship, as the Chicago Fire, an expansion franchise in its first season, vanquished a stunned United 2-0 in the MLS Cup final on October 25 before a crowd of 51,350 in Pasadena, Calif. Less than a week later Chicago defeated the Columbus Crew 2-1 in overtime to win the U.S. Open Cup.


U.S. Football.

      The University of Tennessee won its first U.S. college football national championship since 1951 by defeating Florida State University 23-16 in the Fiesta Bowl at Tempe, Ariz., on Jan. 4, 1999. The game was the first ever to be designated before the season as the national championship game for the teams in Division I-A of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), but it was not the culmination of a championship tournament, as used in the NCAA's three other divisions. Instead, the two finalists were determined by the last regular-season rankings in the Bowl Championship Series Poll, which applied a mathematical formula to each top team's won-lost record, its opponents' aggregate won-lost record, and its ranking in established news media polls. Florida State (11-2) finished third in the final writers' and coaches' polls, ranking behind Southeastern Conference champion Tennessee (13-0) and Big Ten cochampion Ohio State (11-1).

      The regular season ended with Tennessee and Conference USA champion Tulane (12-0) both undefeated, but Tulane did not qualify for the Fiesta Bowl because its opponents were considered relatively weak. Two other teams entered the last weekend undefeated, but Pacific-10 champion UCLA and Kansas State lost their December 5 games, enabling Florida State to qualify for the championship game. Florida State, which tied Georgia Tech for the Atlantic Coast Conference title, was the highest ranked of six teams that finished the regular season with one defeat.

      Behind Florida State, the writers' poll ranked Arizona (12-1), Florida (10-2), Wisconsin (11-1), Tulane, UCLA, Georgia Tech, and Kansas State, which lost the Big 12 championship game to Texas A&M (11-3). The coaches' poll reversed the order of Wisconsin and Florida and ranked Kansas State ninth, followed by Western Athletic Conference (WAC) champion Air Force (12-1). Other Division I-A conference winners were Syracuse (8-4) in the Big East, Idaho (9-3) in the Big West, and Marshall (12-1) in the Mid-American, from which Miami (Ohio) was not invited to one of the 23 bowl games despite a 10-1 record.

      Ricky Williams of Texas won the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award, both given to the most outstanding player, and the Doak Walker Award for the top running back, as he led Division I-A with 2,124 yd rushing and 27 touchdown runs. Dat Nguyen of Texas A&M was also a multiple winner with the top defensive player's Chuck Bednarik Award and the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the best lineman. The most prominent Coach of the Year awards went to Bill Snyder of Kansas State and Phillip Fulmer of Tennessee.

      Florida State's defense allowed only 214.8 yd per game and a passing efficiency rating of 79.9, both best in Division I-A, and ranked second in rushing yards and points allowed. Ohio State's per-game yield of 67.4 yd rushing was the best, and it finished behind Florida State in the three other main defensive categories. Wisconsin allowed the fewest points, 10.2 per game. The offensive per-game leaders were Kansas State with 48.0 points, Louisville with 559.6 total yards, Army with 293.8 yd rushing, and Louisiana Tech with 432.1 yd passing behind a quarterback and receiver who swept most of the individual categories: Tim Rattay led all passers with 4,943 yd passing, 46 touchdown passes, and 4,840 yd total offense, while Troy Edwards was the leader with 140 catches, 1,996 yd on receptions, 31 touchdowns, 188 points, and 2,784 all-purpose yards. Other award winners were Sebastian Janikowski of Florida State, the Lou Groza winner as best kicker and field-goal leader with 27; Michael Bishop of Kansas State, the Davey O'Brien winner as best quarterback; Kris Farris of UCLA, the Outland Trophy winner as best interior lineman; Chris Claiborne of Southern California, the Dick Butkus winner as best linebacker; and Antoine Winfield of Ohio State, the Jim Thorpe winner as best defensive back.

      The Denver Broncos capped a spectacular season with their second consecutive National Football League (NFL) championship, defeating the surprising Atlanta Falcons by a score of 34-19 in Super Bowl XXXIII on Jan. 31, 1999, in Miami, Fla. The Broncos' 38-year-old quarterback, John Elway (see BIOGRAPHIES (Elway, John )), who was named the game's Most Valuable Player (MVP), passed for 336 yd, including an 80-yd touchdown pass to wide receiver Rod Smith, and ran for another touchdown. Although Denver's star running back, Terrell Davis, failed to score, he rushed for 102 yd in 25 carries. To reach the Super Bowl Denver defeated Miami 38-3 and staged a second-half comeback to beat the New York Jets 23-10. Atlanta defeated San Francisco 20-18 and then upset Minnesota 30-27 in overtime.

      All six divisions crowned new champions in 1998. Two of them, Atlanta and the Jets, joined the wild-card Arizona Cardinals in play-off seasons that ended years of frustration. Atlanta, the most improved team with a seven-game jump from 1997, won its first division title since 1980; the Jets won their first since 1969, and the Cardinals followed their first winning season in 14 years with their first play-off appearance since they played in St. Louis in 1982 and their first postseason victory since they played in Chicago in 1947. Pittsburgh missed the play-offs after qualifying for six consecutive years, leaving San Francisco alone with the longest streak at seven.

      It was a big year for older quarterbacks, and especially big for three veterans whose best seasons had seemed to be behind them. The NFL's top five passer ratings belonged, respectively, to Minnesota's 35-year-old Randall Cunningham, the Jets' Vinny Testaverde, 35; San Francisco's Steve Young, 37; Atlanta's Chris Chandler, 33; and Elway; followed by four more passers over 30 in the top 10. Cunningham had been out of football in 1996, Testaverde had been released by Baltimore after losing his starting job in 1997, and Buffalo's 10th-ranked Doug Flutie, 36, had spent the previous eight seasons in the Canadian Football League, where he won its Most Outstanding Player Award six times but did not erase the memory of four previous unimpressive NFL seasons. In other passing categories the league leaders were Young, who passed for 36 touchdowns, Cunningham with touchdowns on 8.0% of his attempts, Chandler with 9.65 yd per attempt, and Green Bay's Brett Favre with 4,212 yd and a 63.0 completion percentage that beat Carolina's Steve Beuerlein on the fifth decimal point. Favre also set a record with at least 30 touchdown passes for the fifth consecutive season.

      The veteran passers contributed to an offensive resurgence that was widely attributed to improved deciphering of complicated defenses. Minnesota and Denver became two of only six teams in history to score more than 500 points in a season. Minnesota, the third team ever to win 15 games, broke a 15-year-old league record with 556 points and led the league with 270.5 yd passing per game. San Francisco gained the second highest yardage total in history with 425.0 yd per game and also led the league with 159.0 yd rushing per game. Denver led the American Football Conference (AFC) in total and rushing yardage and in points, with 501. Limiting opponents' yardage was less predictive of success, as league defensive leaders San Diego (263.0 total yards per game and 71.3 yd rushing) and Philadelphia (170.0 yd passing) had losing records.

      Minnesota kicker Gary Anderson set NFL records with 164 kicking points and a 35-for-35 success on field goal attempts, which included a league-high 14 field goals from at least 40 yd and more than doubled the only previous perfect season of 17-for-17. Jason Elam's 63-yd field goal for Denver tied a 28-year-old record, Randy Moss of Minnesota led the league with a rookie record of 17 touchdowns on pass receptions, and Denver's Davis became the fourth 2,000-yd rusher with 2,008. Davis also led the league with 23 total touchdowns, 21 on runs, and 5.1 yd per carry with at least 100 attempts. Other offensive league leaders were O.J. McDuffie with 90 catches for Miami, Antonio Freeman with 1,424 yd receiving for Green Bay, and Marshall Faulk with 2,227 total yards from scrimmage for Indianapolis. Eric Moulds of Buffalo led the AFC with 1,368 yd receiving with an average of 20.4 yd per catch, Frank Sanders of Arizona was the leader in the National Football Conference (NFC) with 89 catches, and Jamal Anderson of Atlanta led the NFC with 1,846 yd rushing on 410 carries, a league record. The kick return leaders were Deion Sanders of Dallas, averaging 15.6 yd on punts, and Terry Fair of Detroit, 28.0 yd on kickoffs. Tennessee's Craig Hentrich led all punters with averages of 39.3 net yards and 47.2 gross yards.

      A new $17.6 billion television contract for eight years helped the league sell the expansion Cleveland Browns franchise for a record $530 million. The Browns would begin playing in 1999, three years after the original Browns moved to Baltimore as the Ravens. The Tennessee Oilers, two years removed from Houston, changed their nickname to the Titans for the 1999 season. In the Arena Football League's first network telecast on August 23, the Orlando Predators won the league's 12th championship game 62-31 over the Tampa Bay Storm.


Canadian Football.
      The Calgary Stampeders won the Canadian Football League (CFL) championship by defeating the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 26-24 in the Grey Cup on November 22, when Mark McLoughlin kicked a 35-yd field goal on the game's last play. Calgary quarterback Jeff Garcia was the game's Most Outstanding Player. Hamilton rebounded from a 2-16 record in 1997 to a record of 12 wins, 5 losses, and 1 tie and a share of the Eastern Division title with Montreal, which it eliminated from the play-offs on a game-ending field goal. Western Division winner Calgary (12-6) led the league in total offense and rushing defense, while Montreal led in rushing offense, and Toronto led in passing offense and total and pass defense.

      Mike Pringle of Montreal won the CFL's Most Outstanding Player award, set records with 2,065 yd rushing and 13 consecutive 100-yd games, and tied his own record with 2,414 yd from scrimmage. Hamilton slotback Mike Morreale was the Most Outstanding Canadian, Hamilton linebacker Joe Montford was the Most Outstanding Defensive Player and led the league with 21 sacks and six forced fumbles, British Columbia cornerback Steve Muhammad was the Most Outstanding Rookie and interception leader with 10, and Calgary tackle Fred Childress was the Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman. Toronto slotback Derrell Mitchell's 160 catches set a league record, and Lui Passaglia of British Columbia kicked a league-high 52 field goals in his record 23rd season.


Australian Football.
      The Adelaide Crows made it back-to-back premierships in 1998 and became the first club since Hawthorn in 1988-89 to win successive flags in the Australian Football League (AFL). They also became the first club to win the title from fifth place following the 22-round home and away series. Adelaide, the underdogs, stormed home in the second half against North Melbourne to win the grand final by 35 points in front of a crowd of 94,431 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The final score was Adelaide 15.15 (105) to North 8.22 (70). In the second half Adelaide kicked 11.12 to 2.7. Andrew McLeod of Adelaide was voted best on the ground, thus becoming the first player to win consecutive Norm Smith Medals.

      While Adelaide took the premiership accolades, the Melbourne FC produced the fairy-tale story of the season, coming from bottom place on the ladder (16th) in 1997 to fourth and a place in the preliminary finals in 1998. The AFL had a record attendance for the home and away series: 6,117,177, which beat the previous record of 5,842,591 established in 1997.

      Robert Harvey, of St. Kilda, won the Brownlow Medal (for the best and fairest player) for the second straight year—the first player to do so since Keith Greig of North Melbourne in 1973-74. Other major honours went to North Melbourne for winning the preseason Ansett Australia Cup competition, Wayne Carey for winning the Michael Tuck Medal in the Ansett Cup series, and Tony Lockett for winning the Coleman Medal as the AFL top goalkicker (109) in the home and away series.


Rugby Football.
      In 1998 Rugby Union was all about change and about one side in particular—South Africa—moving back into the world's number one spot. The resurgence of the Springboks resulted from the efforts of one man, coach Nick Mallett, who brought democracy back to the side and let the players express their undoubted talents. Before the 1998 Tri-Nations championship, held in July and August, Mallett's Springboks were rated second or third in the world, but four wins in four matches against Australia and New Zealand made the Springboks favourites for the 1999 World Cup. In the two previous Tri-Nations competitions the South Africans had never even won a match outside of their own country, but in 1998 they reigned supreme, scoring 80 points.

      Australia finished a creditable second after wins against New Zealand. The summer saw the rebirth of the Australians, as they found a running outside half in Stephen Larkham. Before Larkham's arrival Australia had failed to replace Michael Lynagh, its star of the 1991 and 1995 World Cups. For New Zealand the picture was far more bleak, as it lost five consecutive matches for the first time in 50 years. Good news for the Kiwis came at the women's World Cup, however, where they swept to a convincing victory, beating the U.S. in the final 44-12.

      The new type of expansive Rugby Union played in the Southern Hemisphere was starting to have an effect in the Northern Hemisphere, with more tries (55) scored than for more than 80 years. For the British teams, however, still racked with the move to professionalism, summer tours to the Southern Hemisphere were a disaster. Wales, Scotland, and England were decimated by withdrawals due to injury and unavailability, and the results were an embarrassment. England lost 76-0 to Australia, and Wales conceded 96 points to South Africa. In the Five Nations France completed a hat trick of championship wins, and the tournament was all but decided in the first match when the French beat England 24-17. Meanwhile, in the Latin Cup Argentina showed that it expected to be a force to contend with in the World Cup by coming close (32-27) to toppling the French.

      Bath won the club championship in Europe, while the Super 12 title was taken by New Zealand's Canterbury Crusaders, breaking the Southern Hemisphere stranglehold previously held by the Auckland Blues. Violence unfortunately marred the season in both hemispheres. Bath's Kevin Yates was suspended for allegedly biting London Scottish's Simon Fenn, and in South Africa Wickus Van Heerden was banned for a similar offense.

      In Rugby League the newly formed Rugby League International Federation announced plans to stage Tri-Nations tournaments between England, New Zealand, and Australia in 1999 and 2001 as well as World Cups in 2000 and 2002. The Wigan Warriors won the European Super League competition but lost in the Challenge Cup final to the Sheffield Eagles 17-8. In the Southern Hemisphere the 20-team National Rugby League, formed by the reunification of the Super League and the Australian Rugby League agreed upon at the end of 1997, staged its first premiership. In the grand final the Brisbane Broncos, the 1997 Super League champions, came from behind in the second half to defeat the Canterbury Bulldogs 38-12.


▪ 1998


Association Football (Soccer)

      While qualification for the finals of the 1998 World Cup in France occupied the attention of the majority of the 197 member nations of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the escalation of transfer fees continued despite the so-called Bosman ruling in 1995, which allowed players not under contract to change teams freely. The move of Brazilian striker Ronaldo Luiz Nazario de Lima, known as Ronaldo ) (Ronaldo ), from Barcelona (Spain) to Internazionale of Italy created protracted and complicated issues. Although it seemed that the original deal would cost a world-record £17 million, investigations by FIFA revealed that the player, or those acting for him, had bought out his employment contract with the Spanish club. Under FIFA rules, however, this did not constitute a formal transfer fee, and Ronaldo was allowed to join Internazionale while the two clubs involved discussed the financial arrangements, which increased the final cost to £18.2 million.

      In a bid to replace Ronaldo, Barcelona spent £29 million on two other Brazilians, Vito Barbosa Ferreira Rivaldo, a midfielder from Deportivo La Coruna (£16 million), and Sonny Anderson da Silva, a striker from the French club Monaco (£13 million). Real Betis of Seville, Spain, agreed to pay £21.4 million for the services of Denilson de Oliveira, a 20-year-old midfielder from São Paulo, Braz., even though he would not be able to play for the Spanish club until after the 1998 World Cup finals.

      In the three major European cup competitions, German clubs won the European Cup of Champion Clubs and the Union des Associations Européenes de Football (UEFA) Cup, while Barcelona took the Cup-Winners' Cup. At Munich on May 28, in the Champions League Cup final, the culmination of the European Cup, Borussia Dortmund, in its first appearance in the final, gained a surprising 3-1 victory over much-favoured Juventus of Italy. Ironically, four members of the German team had played previously for Juventus. The Italians dominated the opening exchanges as had been predicted, initially revealing superior skill. Dortmund withstood the onslaught, however, and took the lead in the 29th minute when Juventus goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi was unable to clear Andy Moller's left-wing corner properly. Paul Lambert returned the ball to the far post, where Karlheinz Riedle, arguably standing offside, chested it down and drove hard into the net. Five minutes later it was 2-0, and the game appeared to be drifting away from the Italians. Following another corner from Moller, Riedle headed in from the near post, having told colleagues the day before the match that he had had a dream of scoring twice. Back came Juventus, but it was denied a goal when Christian Vieri's score was disallowed because he handled the ball. Tactical substitutions brought the Italians back into contention in the second half. Alen Boksic turned the Dortmund defense on the left, and substitute Alessandro Del Peiro scored from close range in the 64th minute. Coach Marcello Lippi might have put Juventus back in with a chance of saving the match, but his opposite number, Ottmar Hitzfeld, topped it with a double replacement that produced instant results. Lars Ricken had been on the field just 16 seconds when he lobbed Peruzzi from 27.4 m (30 yd) to restore Dortmund's two-goal advantage in the 71st minute.

      In the Cup-Winners' Cup final at Rotterdam, Neth., on May 14, Barcelona, making a record 14th appearance in a European final, won the competition for the fourth time by beating the defending champion, Paris St.-Germain, 1-0. While the French hoped they could unsettle their opponents' undoubted rhythm, it proved a vain gesture. When Barcelona's Fernando Couto had a 26th-minute goal disallowed for an infringement, it seemed just a matter of time before his team would take the lead legitimately. Nine minutes later Barcelona did score. Ivan de la Pena combined with Luis Enrique to send Ronaldo into the penalty area, where the striker was unfairly tackled by Bruno Ngotty. Ronaldo then scored on the resulting penalty kick.

      Schalke 04 completed the German double triumph against Italian opposition by beating Internazionale in the UEFA Cup to gain its first trophy in Europe. In the first leg at Gelsenkirchen, Ger., on May 7, a 69th-minute strike by Belgian forward Marc Wilmots from fully 18.3 m (20 yd) gave the Germans a slender lead for the return leg at Milan on May 21. In that contest Internazionale was unable to score until six minutes from the end of regulation time, when Chilean striker Ivan Zamorano connected. With no further addition to the score during the overtime period, a penalty shoot-out decided the outcome. Zamorano was one of two failures for Internazionale from the penalty spot as Schalke won 4-1. Germany completed a remarkable season by winning the European championship for women, beating Italy 2-0 at Oslo on July 12.

      For the 1997-98 season a record 188 clubs, representing 48 of UEFA's 51 member associations (only Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and San Marino did not compete), embarked on an expected 439 matches in the three major tournaments. Among the changes made during the year were that the runners-up in the top eight ranking European domestic championships would also compete in the Champion Clubs' Cup and the decision that the final of the UEFA Cup would fall in line with the other two tournaments and stage its final in one match at a neutral venue.

      In Bulgaria, CSKA Sofia won both the League and Cup competitions, a feat equaled by Principat (Andorra), Croatia Zagreb (Croatia), GI Gotu (Faroe Islands), MTK Budapest (Hungary), IA Akranes (Iceland), Jeunesse Esch (Luxembourg), Sileks (Macedonia), Valletta (Malta), Steaua (Romania), Branik Maribor (Slovenia), Sion (Switzerland), and Barry Town (Wales). In Georgia, Dynamo Tbilisi achieved its sixth consecutive double triumph. Jeunesse Esch remained unbeaten in its 22 league games, while in Andorra, Spordany Juvenil lost all 22.

      In Scotland the Rangers achieved their 47th league championship and their 9th in succession, equaling Celtic's run from 1966 to 1974. The top goal scorer in Europe was Tony Bird of Barry Town with 42 league goals. In contrast to the trading of superstars, Bird was transferred to Swansea City (Wales) for a modest £40,000.

      Among several alterations to the Laws of the Game, it was agreed that a goal could be scored directly from the kickoff without another player's having touched the ball and that goalkeepers could not handle a throw-in from one of their own players or hold on to the ball for more than six seconds but could legitimately move their feet when facing a penalty kick.

      Qualification matches for the 32 places available in the 1998 World Cup finals included a record score for the competition when Iran beat the Maldives 17-0 on June 2 at Damascus, Syria. Karim Bagheri, with seven goals, also tied the individual record. After the end of hostilities in former Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzogovina was allowed to stage matches in Sarajevo, but Albania was forced to play home games in Spain and Switzerland because of civil unrest.


The Americas.
      The countdown to the World Cup overshadowed Latin-American soccer for the second straight year in 1997. The longest-ever South American qualifying tournament of 16 games per team ended with Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay, and Chile—which would make its first final appearance in 16 years—as qualifiers. In the Central/North American zone, the lengthy qualifying process ended with Mexico, the U.S., and Jamaica—the first-ever finalist from the English-speaking Caribbean—headed for France in 1998.

      At the South American Championship (Copa America), played in Bolivia with Central America's Mexico and Costa Rica as guests, many major stars were missing because they were playing in Europe and the clubs were obliged to release them for international duty only a maximum seven times a year. Only Bolivia, Paraguay, and defending World Cup champion Brazil fielded full-strength sides. Brazil, led by World Player of the Year Ronaldo ) (Ronaldo ), was the winner, as expected, beating Bolivia 3-1 in the final—a final helped by Brazil's playing all its preliminary games in low-lying Santa Cruz and Bolivia's playing all its games in the high altitude of La Paz. Brazil continued to look like the best team in the region in a series of friendly internationals played at home and abroad in 1997.

      Brazil's Cruzeiro (Belo Horizonte) beat Sporting Cristal of Peru 1-0 on aggregate home and away in the Libertadores de América Cup final for South America's top club teams, but Cruzeiro was beaten by the European champion, Juventus, in the Intercontinental Cup. The Super Cup for past Libertadores Cup winners was won by Argentina's River Plate, the strongest club side in South America. It won its country's 1996-97 season-closing championship and then made it three domestic titles in a row with the 1997-98 opening championship. Brazil's Atletico Mineiro won the minor CONMEBOL Cup after serious fighting between players and spectators at the end of the first leg against Lanus (Argentina).

      In the U.S., D.C. United captured its second consecutive major league soccer championship on October 26. United, which finished the regular season with a league-topping 20-11 record, defeated the Colorado Rapids (14-18) 2-1 at Washington's Robert F. Kennedy Stadium before a sellout crowd of 57,431.


U.S. Football.

      The Universities of Michigan and Nebraska shared the national championship of college football in 1997-98 when voters in the two major polls selected different number one teams for the third time in eight years. As the only two undefeated teams in Division I-A of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Big Ten Conference champion Michigan (12-0) won the writers' poll, and Big 12 champion Nebraska (13-0) narrowly won the coaches' poll.

      Michigan finished its season on Jan. 1, 1998, by winning the Rose Bowl 21-16 over Pacific-10 champion Washington State, which made its first trip to the Pasadena, Calif., game in 67 years. Nebraska earned its third championship in four years by defeating Southeastern Conference champion Tennessee (11-2) by a score of 42-17 in the Orange Bowl at Miami, Fla., the next day. The polls agreed on Atlantic Coast Conference champion Florida State (11-1) at number three after the Seminoles led Division I-A in rushing defense with a yield of 51.9 yd per game and bested the Big Ten's Ohio State (10-3) 31-14 in the Sugar Bowl at New Orleans, La. It was the Seminoles' 11th consecutive season in the top four college teams.

      The 1997 season was the third in four years that the Rose Bowl's commitment from the Big Ten and Pac-10 champions prevented a national championship game between the only two major college teams undefeated in the regular season. Beginning with the 1998 season, the Rose Bowl would cooperate with the Orange, Sugar, and Fiesta bowls to ensure a championship game between the two highest-ranked teams in the regular season.

      While Michigan won its first national championship since 1948, Wolverine junior cornerback Charles Woodson became the first primarily defensive player ever to win the Heisman Trophy, which was awarded every year to honour the best college football player in the nation. Woodson, who also won the similar but less-prestigious Walter Camp Award, ranked second nationally with seven interceptions, scored two touchdowns with 11 catches as a part-time wide receiver, and scored once as a punt returner. He also won the Chuck Bednarik and Jim Thorpe awards for best defensive player and best defensive back, respectively, as Michigan's defense led the country by allowing only an average 8.9 points, 206.9 total yards, and 115.9 passing yards per regular-season game.

      Nebraska coach Tom Osborne retired after 25 seasons and a 255-49-3 record, including 60-3-0 in his last five years. The Cornhuskers' offense led the country with per-game averages of 47.1 points, 392.6 rushing yards, and 513.7 total yards. Nebraska was the first team since 1980 with players who won both of the top awards for linemen; the Vince Lombardi/Rotary Award went to defensive end Grant Wistrom, and the Outland Trophy for interior linemen was awarded to guard Aaron Taylor.

      Tennessee star quarterback Peyton Manning, the Heisman runner-up who had been considered the favourite to win the award, won the Maxwell Award as player of the year, as well as the Scholar-Athlete Award and the Davy O'Brien National Quarterback Award. Rose Bowl coaches Mike Price of Washington State and Lloyd Carr of Michigan won different Coach of the Year awards, and Grambling State coach Eddie Robinson retired after 57 seasons with a record of 408-165-15, the most victories in college football history.

      Other conference winners in Division I-A were Syracuse (9-4) in the Big East, Southern Mississippi (9-3) in Conference USA, Colorado State (11-2) in the Western Athletic, Utah State (6-6) and Nevada (5-6) in the Big West, and Marshall (10-3) in the Mid-American. In Division I-AA, Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Southern University (11-1) won the Heritage Bowl for predominantly black colleges on Dec. 27, 1997, in Atlanta, Ga., 34-28 over South Carolina State (9-3). Other Division I-AA conference champions were Harvard (9-1) in the Ivy League, Villanova (12-1) in the Atlantic 10, Eastern Washington (12-2) in the Big Sky, Western Illinois (11-2) in the Gateway, and Hampton (10-2) in the Mid-Eastern Athletic.

      In Division III, 14-0 Mount Union (Ohio) defeated 12-1 Lycoming (Pa.) 61-12. Mount Union earned its second consecutive championship with the country's longest winning streak, 28 games, behind quarterback Bill Borchert, who won the Gagliardi Trophy as the top player in Division III and set all-division career records with 141 regular-season touchdown passes and a 194.08 efficiency rating. The outstanding players in the other divisions were Villanova wide receiver Brian Finneran, who won the Walter Payton Player of the Year Award in Division I-AA, and Bloomsburg University running back Irv Sigler, who was awarded the Harlon Hill Trophy in Division II.

      After four previous Super Bowl losses (three with veteran quarterback John Elway at the helm), the underdog Denver Broncos finally captured the National Football League (NFL) championship, defying the odds and outplaying the defending champion Green Bay Packers, led by quarterback Brett Favre ) (Favre, Brett Lorenzo ), by a score of 31-24 in Super Bowl XXXII on Jan. 25, 1998, in San Diego, Calif. Denver was the first American Football Conference (AFC) champion to win the Super Bowl since the Raiders (then in Los Angeles) in 1984 and only the second wild-card team ever to win it (the Raiders won as a wild card in 1981).

      Elway, at age 37 the oldest quarterback ever to win the Super Bowl, passed for only 123 yd, compared with Favre's 256 passing yards, but Denver took advantage of three Green Bay turnovers and a tired Packer defense to put the game away. Broncos running back Terrell Davis, who was named the game's Most Valuable Player (MVP), carried the ball 30 times for 157 yd and three touchdowns (a Super Bowl record), despite being forced to sit out much of the second quarter after a blow to the head left him suffering from a migraine headache.

      The Broncos, the first wild-card team even to reach the Super Bowl since the Buffalo Bills in 1992, trounced the Jacksonville Jaguars 42-17 in the wild-card round and slipped past the Kansas City Chiefs 14-10 in the division play-offs. In the AFC championship, Elway passed for two touchdowns with less than two minutes remaining in the first half, and with the help of four forced turnovers in the second half, Denver held on for a 24-21 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Packers, with their third consecutive National Football Conference (NFC) Central Division title, earned a bye in the wild-card play-offs. They beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21-7 in the division play-offs and won the NFC championship 23-10 over the San Francisco 49ers as Favre passed for 222 yd and one touchdown.

      The Packers were one of three teams to repeat as division winners. The Steelers won their fourth consecutive title in the AFC Central, and the New England Patriots took their second in a row in the AFC East. The New York Giants won the NFC East for the first time since 1990, and the Buccaneers ended a 15-year absence from the play-offs by earning one of the wild-card berths for the top three division runners-up in each conference. None of the other 10 play-off teams had missed postseason play for more than one year.

      The New York Jets' eight-game improvement to 9-7 tied the biggest in NFL history, whereas the Indianapolis Colts had the worst decline, six games to 3-13. The Giants improved by 4 games and played in one of the league's two tie games, its first since 1989. The Dallas Cowboys' six-year streak of play-off appearances ended, and the Steelers and 49ers were left with league-high streaks of six apiece. The Bills missed the play-offs for only the second time in 10 seasons.

      The 1997-98 season was characterized by resurgent rushing attacks, with the most yards on the ground since 1988. Players rushed seven times for at least 200 yd in a game, the most in NFL history, and 121 times for at least 100 yd, the most since the NFL's 1970 merger with the American Football League. Corey Dillon of the Cincinnati Bengals ran for 246 yd in a December 4 game against the Tennessee Oilers, breaking the rookies' record that Jim Brown had set 40 years earlier. Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders, who shared the regular-season MVP award with Favre, became the third player to run for at least 2,000 yd in a season when he led the league with 2,053. Sanders also reached a career total of 13,319 yd and became the second leading rusher in NFL history, behind Walter Payton.

      The NFL's leading offensive teams were the Broncos, with 29.5 points and 367 total yards per game; Pittsburgh, with 154.9 rushing yards; and the Seattle Seahawks, with 247.4 passing yards behind 41-year-old quarterback Warren Moon. Detroit led the NFC in rushing and total yards, and Green Bay led the conference in passing yards. Pittsburgh also had the best defense against the run, allowing only 82.4 yd per game. Defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield won the Defensive Player of the Year award for San Francisco, which led the NFC in rushing defense, and Denver and Indianapolis led the AFC in total defense and pass defense, respectively. John Randle was the first defensive tackle ever to lead the NFL in sacks, with 15.5 for the Minnesota Vikings, and Ryan McNeil led the league with 9 interceptions for the St. Louis Rams.

      The Lions' Herman Moore caught more than 100 passes for a record third consecutive season and tied Oakland Raider Tim Brown for the NFL lead, with 104 receptions. Other receiving leaders were Rob Moore, with 1,584 yd for the Arizona Cardinals; Cris Carter, with 13 touchdowns for the Vikings; and Pittsburgh's Yancey Thigpen, with 17.7 yd per catch. Tennessee's Ronnie Harmon became the first back to gain more than 6,000 yd receiving in his career.

      Steve Young of San Francisco led NFL passers for the sixth time in seven seasons with a 104.7 passer rating and also led with 8.5 yd per pass attempt. Oakland's Jeff George passed for a league-best 3,917 yd, and Indianapolis's Jim Harbaugh's four interceptions for the Colts gave him a 1.3 interception percentage, the NFL's lowest. Denver's Super Bowl hero, Davis, also led the AFC for the season with 1,750 yd rushing, and his 15 touchdown runs tied for the NFL lead with the Miami Dolphins' Karim Abdul-Jabbar, who led the league with 16 total touchdowns. Kicker Mike Hollis of Jacksonville led NFL scorers with 134 points.


Canadian Football.
      The Toronto Argonauts became the first Canadian Football League (CFL) team since 1982 to win two consecutive championships when they defeated the Saskatchewan Roughriders 47-23 in the Grey Cup at Edmonton, Alta., on Nov. 16, 1997. Toronto quarterback Doug Flutie, the game's Most Valuable Player (MVP), was superb, completing 30 of 38 passes attempted for 352 yd and scoring three touchdowns passing and one running. He also won the regular season's MVP award for the sixth time in seven years. Flutie led CFL passers with 47 touchdowns, 5,505 total yards, and a 97.8 efficiency rating.

      Toronto, which won the Eastern Division with a 15-3 record, featured league leaders Robert Drummond, with 18 touchdowns; Mike Clemons, with 122 catches; and Mike Vanderjagt, with 190 points scored. Saskatchewan was only 8-10 in the regular season, tied for third behind the Western Division winners, the Edmonton Eskimos (12-6).

      Edmonton linebacker Willie Pless was the league's top defensive player for the fourth consecutive season. Other Toronto award winners were centre Mike Kiselak, the top offensive lineman, and slotback Derrell Mitchell, the top rookie and a league leader with 17 touchdown catches. British Columbia Lions running back Sean Millington was voted the top Canadian player, and Calgary Stampeders kicker Mark McLoughlin won the Tom Pate Award for sportsmanship. Milt Stegall of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers led the league with 1,616 yd receiving; the Montreal Alouettes' Mike Pringle had a league-topping 1,775 yd rushing; and Montreal's Elfrid Payton had 14 sacks.


Australian Football.
      Adelaide FC won its first premiership in the Australian Football League (AFL) in 1997—in its seventh season in the competition. A crowd of 99,645 packed into the Melbourne Cricket Ground and saw Adelaide come from behind to defeat St. Kilda. Adelaide, in its first grand final, won the match 19.11 (125) to 13.16 (94) to become only the second club from outside Victoria to have won the title (West Coast won in 1992 and 1994). St. Kilda, the crowd favourite, was in its first grand final since 1971 and was seeking its first premiership since 1966. The victory was a triumph for Malcolm Blight, in his first season as Adelaide's coach, who had tasted bitter grand final defeat three times as coach of Geelong (1989, 1992, and 1994).

      It was a record-breaking 101st season for the AFL, with attendances, club membership, and television ratings all reaching new marks. A total of 5,842,591 watched the 176 first-round games and a further 560,406 the eight finals, for a grand total of 6,402,997. This bettered the 5,694,960 of the 1996 season. Port Adelaide played its first season in the AFL and fared brilliantly, narrowly missing the finals. It replaced Fitzroy, which merged with Brisbane. Footscray had a name change and became known as the Western Bulldogs.

      The major award winners for the year were: Brownlow Medal (awarded to the best and fairest player in the competition), Robert Harvey of St. Kilda; Norm Smith Medal (for best player in the grand final), Andrew McLeod of Adelaide; Coleman Medal (given to the leading goalkicker in home and away rounds), Tony Modra of Adelaide, with 81. Several of the game's greats retired after the 1997 season, including Stephen Kernahan and Greg Williams (both of Carlton), Gary Ablett (Geelong), and Chris Langford and John Platten (both Hawthorn).


Rugby Football.
      In 1997 Rugby Union was all about one side—the New Zealand All Blacks—as they became possibly the best-ever Union team. Two years after losing the Rugby Union World Cup in 1995, the All Blacks had become the undisputed "unofficial" champions, a title they gained without Jonah Lomu, perhaps the world's best player. Lomu was out for most of the 1997 season with a rare kidney disease, but even without him the All Blacks defeated the world's second and third best sides, South Africa and Australia, home and away, to win their second successive Tri-Nations championship. Defeat for South Africa and Australia in the Tri-Nations caused both nations to part company with their national coaches, Greg Smith and Carel du Plessis, respectively.

      Not content with domination in Test matches, New Zealand also had the world's best club team in 1997. The Auckland Blues won the Super 12 championship for the second successive year.

      Great Britain thought it had produced world beaters when the Lions, which had lost 2-1 to the All Blacks in 1993, beat South Africa in South Africa 2-1 in a historic series. The series was won in dramatic fashion in Durban with a drop goal (three points) from English centre Jeremy Guscott in the dying minutes. The Lions—a team made up of the best from England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland—had never played in the World Cup, but with the gulf between the Southern and Northern Hemisphere sides growing every season, many commentators felt that it was the only Northern team that could compete with New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia. England lost to Australia in the summer, the match before England coach Jack Rowell resigned and was replaced by former international competitor Clive Woodward.

      In the Five Nations championship, France took the title and the Grand Slam with a perfect record in its four matches, scoring 14 tries. Later it was announced that Italy would be welcomed into rugby's oldest tournament in 2000.

      Money was a factor with English clubs in 1997. Even though the clubs were losing money, Va'aiga Tuigamala of Western Samoa became the first £1 million player when he moved from Wigan (a Rugby League team) to the Newcastle Falcons. England's Will Carling retired from international competition after the Five Nations to concentrate on his club, the Harlequins, and a career in the media. In December, however, Carling broke his hand, which put him on the sidelines and led to some speculation that his playing days might soon be over.

      Australian teams dominated Rugby League during the year. The Brisbane Broncos captured both the Super League Telstra Cup with a 26-8 win over the Cronulla Sharks in September and the World Club Challenge, defeating the Hunter Mariners 36-12 in October. Meanwhile, the Australian national side beat Great Britain in two out of three Test matches and split with New Zealand, winning the Anzac Day Test 34-22 and then losing the second Test 30-12. France drew with Ireland 30-30 but edged past Scotland 22-20.


▪ 1997


Association Football (Soccer)

      In June 1996 the final game of the European championships in England almost produced a repeat of 1976, when West Germany lost to Czechoslovakia in a penalty shoot-out. This time the tables were turned, however, as Germany beat the Czech Republic with a controversial goal in sudden-death overtime. The Germans had slightly more scoring opportunities in the first half but then lost Dieter Eilts to injury just before the interval. He was replaced by Marco Bode, with Christian Ziege switching from the left side to a more pivotal midfield position. The first goal was scored as a result of a disputed penalty in the 59th minute, when German sweeper Matthias Sammer brought down Karel Poborsky. On the ensuing Czech penalty kick, Patrik Berger scored with a shot under the diving body of goalkeeper Andreas Kopke. Ten minutes later German coach Berti Vogts made a second substitution that proved to be an inspired move, bringing in striker Oliver Bierhoff for the tiring midfield player Mehmet Scholl. From a 30-m (100-ft) free kick taken by Ziege, Bierhoff headed the ball in to tie the score. As overtime approached, Czech coach Dusan Uhrin substituted Vladimir Smicer for Poborsky. The replacement almost scored with a fiercely driven shot, but it was tipped around the far post by Kopke. The extra period was just five minutes old when referee Pierluigi Pairetto ignored linesman Donato Nicoletti's flag indicating offside against Stefan Kuntz. The ball was struck by Bierhoff, was deflected by Michel Hornak's foot, spun away out of the hands of goalkeeper Petr Kouba, and landed inside the goalkeeper's left-hand post.

      The competition as a whole lacked stand-out individual performances, and many teams that were expected to dominate disappointed their followers, especially disjointed Italy. Portugal and defending champion Denmark had fleeting success; France deteriorated; and the Dutch had problems off the field. Croatia had moments of enterprise and Spain improved noticeably, but it was the dogged, disciplined Germans who reached the final along with the determined and skillful Czechs. The latter did far better than had been expected, though the one red and 18 yellow cards against them amounted to the worst penalty count in the series. England, the most spirited in years, won the Fair Play Award. Goal scoring was at the modest level of 2.07 per game. A total of 1,268,201 watched the 31 matches.

      In the European Cup of Champion Clubs final at Rome on May 22, Juventus of Italy beat Ajax Amsterdam 4-2 on penalties after the game had ended 1-1 in overtime. Though a shoot-out was required for determining the winner, the Italian team deserved victory for the superior tactics it employed, pressuring Ajax at the back of the defense, where the Dutch traditionally began their attack. The Italians took the lead in the 12th minute after a mixup in the Dutch defense. Frank de Boer and goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar left the clearance to each other, which allowed Fabrizio Ravanelli to intercept and slide the ball in from an acute angle. Ajax tied the score with a free kick after 41 minutes; De Boer drove the ball through the defensive wall of players, goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi was able only to push it out, and Jari Litmanen reacted quickly to tie the game. The penalty shoot-out began badly for Ajax, as Edgar Davids had his shot saved; Sonny Silooy had his shot blocked as well.

      In the Cup-Winners' Cup final at Brussels on May 8, Paris St. Germain won its first European honour. It defeated Rapid Vienna, which had recently won its 30th League title. St. Germain was wasteful with attempts on goal, being restricted to just one score, when Bruno N'Gotty's shot in the 29th minute was deflected low past goalkeeper Michal Konsel's right hand. The more skillful French team continued to outplay its more defensive-minded and less ambitious opponent, and the 1-0 result did not accurately reflect the one-sided nature of the game.

      Bayern Munich joined Barcelona, Ajax, and Juventus as the only clubs to have won all three major European competitions when it defeated Bordeaux 5-1 on aggregate scores in the UEFA Cup. In the first leg at Munich, Ger., on May 1, captain Lothar Matthaus took a 34th-minute corner kick, and Thomas Helmer rose to head the goal. Scholl drove in the second goal after 60 minutes to give Bayern a 2-0 lead. In the return at Bordeaux, Fr., on May 15, the French, who had played a marathon 20 matches in reaching the final, attempted to take the game to the Germans but were vulnerable to the counterattack. Scholl scored after 53 minutes, and Emil Kostadinov made it 2-0 12 minutes later. A free kick by Daniel Dutuel reduced the difference to 2-1 in the 75th minute, but Jurgen Klinsmann diverted a Thomas Strunz shot with his knee to restore Bayern's two-goal advantage three minutes later.

      A record 170 of the International Federation of Association Football's total of 198 nations entered the 1998 World Cup, the finals of which were to be held in France. The first of an expected 639 matches was played in the spring. For the first time, there would be 32 finalists. Unfortunately, a tragedy occurred in Zambia on June 16 during a qualifying match at Lusaka; 9 people were trampled to death and 50 others injured near the end of Zambia's match with The Sudan.

      Nigeria became the first African country to win gold in soccer at the Olympics, defeating Argentina 3-2 in the final. Brazil took the bronze by defeating Portugal 5-0. In the women's final the U.S. achieved gold with a 2-1 victory over China before a crowd of 76,489, a world record for a women's match. Norway defeated Brazil 2-0 for the bronze. Aggregate attendance for the two competitions was 1,364,250.

      Despite the judgment that allowed players out of contract to move freely from one country to another in Europe, the transfer record was twice broken in the summer. First, Barcelona paid the Dutch club PSV Eindhoven £13,250,000 for Brazilian striker Luiz Ronaldo, and then, in the English premier league, Newcastle United bought striker Alan Shearer from Blackburn Rovers for £15 million. Yet Gianluca Vialli, who was once transferred for £ 12 million, went on a free transfer from Juventus to Chelsea (England).

      In September, for the first time in the 125-year history of the FA Cup in England, the world's oldest competition, a father and son played on opposing teams. Nicky Scaife, aged 21, of Bishop Auckland met his father Bobby, 41, of Pickering. Bishop Auckland won this first qualifying round 3-1. Another relatively unusual event had taken place in April when Iceland's Arnor Gudjohnson, 35, was substituted against Estonia in the 62nd minute by his son Eidur-Smari, 17. Also during the year George Weah, who played for Liberia and AC Milan, became the first person ever to be elected African, European, and World Footballer of the Year. (See BIOGRAPHIES (Weah, George Oppong ).) Arguably the world's most successful coaches at club and international level died within a few days of each other in February—Bob Paisley (Paisley, Robert ) of Liverpool and Helmut Schön (Schon, Helmut ) of West Germany, respectively; also dying during the year was West German international Reinhard Libuda (Libuda, Reinhard ). (See OBITUARIES.)


Association Football ( Soccer).
      Argentina was favoured to win the soccer championship at the Centennial Olympic Games in 1996 but lost in the final contest to Nigeria (3-2) in the last minute. Otherwise, the most important international events for South American teams during the year were the World Cup qualifying matches. In these, for the first time, nine Latin-American countries were scheduled to play one another at home and away, with the top four qualifying for the 1998 finals in France. At the end of 1996, with this qualifying tournament almost at the halfway stage, Colombia remained the only unbeaten team and led in the standings by six points. Traditional South American powerhouses Argentina and Uruguay were finding the going difficult in their efforts to qualify.

      Brazil, as defending World Cup champion, was not required to qualify for the finals. It could have continued its international winning streak—which stood at 35 at the end of 1995—but instead sent its Olympic under-23 team to the CONCACAF Gold Cup (played in the U.S.) and lost 2-0 to Mexico in the final to end the streak at 39.

      In Argentina Vélez Sarsfield won the 1995-96 season-closing championship to add to its opening title. After that, River Plate became Latin America's club of the year by winning the Libertadores de América Cup (South America's club championship) with a 2-1 aggregate victory over Colombia's América. The Argentines lost, however, 1-0 to Italy's Juventus in the finals of the Intercontinental Cup (world club title) in Tokyo. Argentina swept all three continental club cups as Vélez Sarsfield won the Super Cup (for Libertadores Cup winners) and Lanús the CONMEBOL Cup for other leading teams.

      In Brazil Grêmio (Pôrto Alegre) won the national title and Cruzeiro (Belo Horizonte) the KO Cup. Deportivo Cali ran away with the 1995-96 title in Colombia, and its Cali neighbour, América, was doing the same at the end of 1996. Colo Colo made it a league and cup double in Chile. Paraguay's two top clubs, Olímpia and Cerro Porteno, won the 1995 and 1996 titles for the 34th and 24th time, respectively. In Uruguay Penarol retained the title in 1996 after a play-off with the country's other big club, Nacional, with which it shared the opening and closing championships.

      In Peru Sporting Cristal won the championship for the third consecutive year in 1996, while Minerven won it for the first time in Venezuela's 1995-96 season. In Ecuador it was Barcelona in 1995 and Nacional in 1996, while San José and Bolívar won the respective Bolivian titles. In Mexico Necaxa retained the first division title in the 1995-96 season, and, under a changed format, newcomers Santos Laguna took the winter title corresponding to the first part of the 1996-97 season.

      In its first season major league soccer crowned Washington, D.C., United as its champion. United staged a final-period comeback to defeat the Los Angeles Galaxy 3-2 in sudden-death overtime on October 20 in Foxboro, Mass. Ten days later United also won the U.S. Open Cup by defeating the Rochester Rhinos 3-0 in Washington, D.C. (ERIC WEIL)

U.S. Football
      The University of Florida won its first national championship of college football by defeating Florida State University 52-20 in the Sugar Bowl at New Orleans, La., on Jan. 2, 1997. Southeastern Conference (SEC) champion Florida, with a won-lost record of 12-1 after losing a game on November 30 to Florida State, was elected champion in both major polls.

      Atlantic Coast Conference champion Florida State and Pacific Ten Conference champion Arizona State finished the regular season with the only undefeated records in Division I-A of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), but their bowl defeats dropped them to 11-1. They could not meet in a bowl game because the Pac Ten champion was committed to play in the Rose Bowl, where fourth-ranked Arizona State lost 20-17 to second-ranked Ohio State, the 11-1 Big Ten champion. The other Division I-A team with only one defeat was fifth-ranked Brigham Young (14-1), the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) champion. Florida State ranked third in the coaches' and writers' polls, which agreed on the top 10.

      Ranked 6th through 10th were Nebraska and Penn State, at 11-2, and three 10-2 teams: Colorado, Tennessee, and North Carolina. The other major bowl game outcomes were Penn State's 38-15 victory over Big Eight champion Texas (8-5) in the Fiesta, Nebraska's 41-21 victory over Big East champion Virginia Tech (10-2) in the Orange, and Brigham Young's 19-15 win over Kansas State in the Cotton.

      The trend toward large conferences in Division I continued after the Southwest Conference disbanded. The Big Eight became the Big Twelve, the WAC grew to 16 teams, and both conferences followed the lead of the SEC by pitting the winners of separate divisions in a conference championship game, which enabled Texas to upset Nebraska 37-27 for the Big Twelve championship. Nebraska's bid for a third consecutive undefeated season and national championship ended in a September loss to Arizona State, whose Bruce Snyder won the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award as Coach of the Year. Florida defeated Tennessee, and Brigham Young defeated Wyoming in the SEC and WAC championship games.

      Arizona State remained undefeated by winning a mid-season game in overtime, which Division I-A used for the first time to break ties in 25 games. In an overtime period, each team took possession at the opponent's 25-yd line. Teams played as many periods as were necessary to break the tie.

      Other conference winners in Division I-A were Houston (7-5) and Southern Mississippi (8-3) in Conference USA, Nevada (9-3) in the Big West, and Ball State (8-4) in the Mid-American. Northwestern (9-3) tied Ohio State in the Big Ten; Miami (Fla.) and Syracuse (both 9-3) tied Virginia Tech in the Big East.

      The surprising teams of the year were Army and Navy, which both went into their annual game with winning records for the first time since 1963. Army overcame an 18-point deficit to win 28-24 and take a series lead of 47-43-7. Army (10-2) led Division I with 346.5 yd rushing per game, and coach Bob Sutton won the Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year Award.

      Florida senior quarterback Danny Wuerffel won the Heisman Trophy and the Maxwell Award, both honouring the best player in Division I-A, and also the Davey O'Brien and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm awards for the top quarterback. He had the second best passer rating and was the leader, with 39 touchdown passes and 10.1 yd per pass attempt, in the regular season. Steve Sarkisian of Brigham Young was the passing leader, with 173.6 rating points, and had the best completion percentage, .688.

      Florida led Division I-A with 46.6 points per game and ranked second to Nevada's 527.3 total yards per game. Nevada was runner-up to both Florida in scoring and Wyoming's 359.2 yd per game in passing. Wyoming's Marcus Harris won the Fred Biletnikoff Award for wide receivers with a leading 1,650 yd on 109 catches, which ranked second to Damond Wilkins's 114 for Nevada. Wyoming quarterback Josh Wallwork was the passing yardage leader with 4,090.

      Ohio State junior offensive tackle Orlando Pace's fourth-place finish in the Heisman voting was the best in 16 years for someone who did not play an offensive ball-handling position. He won the Outland Trophy and became the first two-time winner of the Vince Lombardi Award, both recognizing the outstanding lineman.

      Troy Davis of Iowa State became the first NCAA player to run for more than 2,000 yd in two consecutive seasons when he gained 2,185, and he also led Division I-A with 2,364 all-purpose yards, including receptions and returns. But the Doak Walker Award for running backs went to rushing runner-up Byron Hanspard, who gained 2,084 yd for Texas Tech. Washington halfback Corey Dillon was the touchdown leader with 23.

      Northwestern linebacker Pat Fitzgerald won his second consecutive Chuck Bednarik Award as the top defensive player and finished second to Matt Russell of Colorado for the linebackers' Dick Butkus Award. Lawrence Wright of Florida won the defensive backs' Jim Thorpe Award, and Dre' Bly of North Carolina was the interception leader with 11.

      The Green Bay Packers won the 1996 championship of the National Football League by defeating the New England Patriots 35-21 in Super Bowl XXXI at New Orleans, La., on Jan. 26, 1997. Kick receiver Desmond Howard of the Packers set a Super Bowl record with a 99-yd kickoff return for a touchdown and was voted the game's Most Valuable Player, the first time that a special teams member had won the award. An 81-yd touchdown on a pass from Packer quarterback Brett Favre to wide receiver Antonio Freeman also set a Super Bowl record.

      The Dallas Cowboys defended their 1995 National Football League (NFL) championship by winning a league-high fifth consecutive division title, but their 1996 regular-season record was their worst in six years, and they failed to qualify for a first-round bye in the play-offs for the first time in five years. The Cowboys, led by quarterback Troy Aikman (see BIOGRAPHIES (Aikman, Troy )), had won the 1995 championship on Jan. 28, 1996, by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-17 in Super Bowl XXX at Tempe, Ariz., becoming the first team ever to win three Super Bowls in four years.

      The Packers and the Carolina Panthers earned 1996 play-off byes in the National Football Conference (NFC) by winning their divisions with the two best records. Carolina made the play-offs in only its second season of existence, as did the Jacksonville Jaguars by earning a wild-card berth with one of the three best runner-up records in the American Football Conference (AFC).

      Green Bay became the first team since the undefeated Miami Dolphins of 1972 to lead the NFL in most points scored and fewest points allowed. The Packers averaged 28.5 a game and gave up 13.1. Their 19 touchdowns allowed were the fewest in the NFL's 17 seasons of 16-game schedules, and their defense also led the NFL by allowing 259.8 total yards, 171.3 passing yards, and 15.5 first downs per game. The Packers' offense led the league in touchdowns with 56 total, 39 on passes and 8 on returns. Quarterback Favre threw for all 39 touchdowns, led the NFC with 3,899 yd passing, and won his second consecutive Most Valuable Player award.

      Carolina's strength was a defense that ranked second in points allowed and first with a 32.4% third-down efficiency and 60 sacks. Coach Dom Capers confused opponents with a defense that used zone coverage instead of man-to-man on blitzes. Kevin Greene's 14.5 sacks led the league, and Lamar Lathon's 13.5 tied for second with AFC leader Bruce Smith of Buffalo, who was Defensive Player of the Year. Kicker John Kasay led the NFL with 145 points and a league-record 37 field goals.

      Denver led the NFL's offenses with averages of 361.9 total yards per game and 147.6 rushing yards per game. The Broncos' John Elway had the AFC's best passer rating and Terrell Davis the most rushing yards, just 15 behind NFL leader Barry Sanders's 1,553 for Detroit. Davis, the Offensive Player of the Year, also led the league with 108 first downs. Sanders led the NFL with 2,028 total yards from scrimmage and, with Thurman Thomas of Buffalo, became the first players with 1,000 yd rushing in eight consecutive seasons.

      San Francisco quarterback Steve Young won his fifth NFL passing championship in six years, with a 97.2 rating, and also led the league with a .677 completion percentage and a mere 1.9 interception percentage, throwing only six. Teammate Jerry Rice led the league with 108 catches and established NFL milestones with 100 catches in three consecutive seasons and 1,000 catches for his career. Jacksonville had the NFL's most passing yards behind Mark Brunell, the league leader with 4,367 yd passing and AFC leader with a .634 completion percentage.

      Terry Allen led the NFL with 21 touchdown runs, while his Washington team had a league-high 27. The leaders in touchdown catches were Tony Martin of San Diego and Michael Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens. Marcus Allen of Kansas City set NFL career records with 112 rushing touchdowns and 576 games by a running back. Brian Mitchell of Washington led the league for the third straight time with 1,995 combined yards rushing and returning. Chris Boniol tied a record with seven field goals in a game for Dallas. (KEVIN M. LAMB)

Canadian Football
      The Toronto Argonauts defeated the Edmonton Eskimos 43-37 to win the Grey Cup championship of the Canadian Football League (CFL) at Hamilton, Ont., on November 24. The game's Most Valuable Player was Toronto quarterback Doug Flutie, who also won his fifth CFL Most Outstanding Player award and led league passers with 5,720 yd, 29 touchdowns, and a .641 completion percentage. Toronto won the league's Eastern Division with a 15-3 record and an offense that led the CFL with 426 total yards and 320 passing yards per game. Robert Drummond's 17 touchdowns led the league, and centre Mike Kiselak was voted the league's Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman.

      Edmonton (11-7) led the league's defenses by allowing 19.7 points, 280 total yards, and 226 passing yards per game and defeated the Western Division champion Calgary Stampeders (13-5) to reach the championship game. Edmonton's defense featured linebacker Willie Pless, the league's Most Outstanding Defensive Player, and end Leroy Blugh, the Most Outstanding Canadian.

      After three years with teams in the United States, the CFL consolidated to nine Canadian teams after the NFL's move to Baltimore forced the defending CFL champion Baltimore Stallions to move to Montreal. Four other U.S. teams disbanded.

      (KEVIN M. LAMB)

Australian Football.
      The Australian Football League (AFL) celebrated its 100th season in 1996, and North Melbourne FC emerged as the league's premier club, defeating Sydney before a crowd of 93,102 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. It was North Melbourne's third title—and first since 1977—since entering the competition in 1925 and Sydney's first grand final appearance since it was known as South Melbourne in 1945.

      The first-round series of the season consisted of each of the 16 clubs playing 22 matches, and by September eight clubs had qualified for the finals. The 176 first-round games produced a total attendance of 5,216,148 (an average of 30,000 a game), and the eight finals drew 478,812 for a grand total of 5,694,960.

      After the completion of the finals, the top five clubs, in order, were North Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Essendon, and West Coast. During the year Fitzroy and Brisbane merged; in 1997 the club would be known as the Brisbane Lions. A new club, from Port Adelaide, was to also enter the AFL in 1997.

      Major award winners in 1996 were: Brownlow Medal (best and fairest player in the competition), tie between James Hird of Essendon and Michael Voss of Brisbane; Norm Smith Medal (best player in the grand final), Glen Archer of North Melbourne; Coleman Medal (leading goalkicker in the home and away rounds), Tony Lockett of Sydney. (GREG HOBBS)

Rugby Football.
      No other single thing dominated Rugby Union in 1996 as much as money. A game fiercely amateur for two centuries tried—and failed in many instances—to embrace professionalism. The new professional era allowed Rugby Union to welcome back a host of players who had moved to professional Rugby League.

      Political infighting scarred the year as England was first expelled from and then welcomed back into Rugby Union's oldest championship, the Five Nations. With a new stadium to pay for and mounting salaries to fund, England was forced into negotiating its own five-year $120 million, television deal for the tournament. This naturally brought it more money than Scotland, Ireland, Wales, or France, and when it refused a five-way split, it was thrown out. Prolonged negotiations allowed it back in, but from 1998 all of England's matches at Twickenham, regarded as the home of world rugby, would be shown on satellite TV. On the field England won its second consecutive Five Nations trophy after losing to France but then beating Ireland in the decisive last match after France lost to Wales.

      The domestic season in Britain also started under a cloud, with the clubs withdrawing their players from England training sessions as part of their power struggle with the governing body. Another phenomenon reached the English game with big-money owners investing tens of millions of pounds in new stadiums, transfer fees, and salaries. Their money ensured that François Pienaar, South Africa's World Cup-winning captain, signed to play for the Saracens in England after being dropped from the South African national team. He was joined in the British Isles by Joel Stransky, who had secured South Africa's victory in the 1995 World Cup final.

      While the Northern Hemisphere countries struggled to cope with professionalism, those in the Southern Hemisphere stole a march, playing some of their best rugby ever. The new Super-12, which comprised 12 top teams from Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, produced some dazzling rugby, with an average of over six tries in a match. It was won by Auckland (N.Z.), which beat Natal (S.Af.) 45-21 in the final on May 25.

      At the first Tri-Nations tournament between the same three nations, the New Zealand All Blacks produced superb form and clinched the cup with a 32-25 victory over Australia in the final in Brisbane. The sweetest victory came when the All Blacks gained revenge for their 1995 World Cup final defeat by beating South Africa 15-11.

      Rugby League in England became a summer game in 1996 with the emergence of the new Super League, which allowed some of the better league players to compete in both union and league and therefore play for almost 12 months of the year.


▪ 1996


Association Football (Soccer)

      The qualifying matches for the 1996 European championships, the finals of which were to be held in England with 16 teams featured for the first time, occupied the attention of a record number of 48 countries that entered the competition. Spain became the first to qualify and, with Russia, was the most impressive of the finalists. France achieved a record score by beating Azerbaijan 10-0 with eight different players scoring goals. Yugoslavia was the only European country that did not participate in the championship, though Croatia qualified, along with England (as hosts), Romania, Bulgaria, Denmark, Turkey, Italy, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Germany, Scotland, and Switzerland in its centenary year. The Netherlands won the 16th and final spot after defeating the Republic of Ireland in a play-off. Bulgaria was led by European soccer's Player of the Year Hristo Stoichkov (see BIOGRAPHIES (Stoichkov, Hristo )).

      The Union des Associations Européenes de Football (UEFA) switched its Swiss headquarters to Nyon, on the shores of Lake Geneva, and made moves to challenge the previously unquestioned authority of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world governing body. UEFA was now responsible for 10 different competitions at the club and international levels. A record 170 clubs entered its three major tournaments.

      In England attendance at matches increased for the ninth successive season, but a number of scandals flawed the image of the game: three players were charged with fixing the results of matches; George Graham, the Arsenal manager of nine years, was dismissed and banned for a year after accepting a gift of money from a player trade; serious outbreaks of hooliganism took place; and some players were found to be taking drugs. England's match against Ireland at Dublin on February 15 was abandoned after 27 minutes because of rioting by some England supporters. Eric Cantona, who played for France and Manchester United, was found guilty of assaulting a spectator. He received a two-week jail sentence that on appeal was reduced to community service.

      After a spectator was stabbed to death in Genoa, Italy, the match between the home team and AC Milan was abandoned at halftime. On the following Sunday Italian officials canceled all national sports events as a mark of respect as well as protest against the escalation of violence.

      Average league attendances in Italy declined slightly to 29,215 per match but rose significantly to 29,271 for a record in Germany. The premier league in England reported final average figures of 24,271. In England the Blackburn Rovers achieved their first championship since 1914, assisted by the £ 60 million spent on players and ground improvements given by millionaire supporter Jack Walker. In Scotland the Rangers won their 45th championship, the seventh in succession.

      In Spain, La Coruña's cup final against Valencia was interrupted by rain in the 79th minute with the score at 1-1. The remaining 11 minutes were played three days later, La Coruña scoring the winning goal in the first minute. Dynamo Kiev, the champion of Ukraine, was eliminated from the European Champions' Cup competition for bribing a referee.

      Jean-Marc Bosman, a former player with FC Liège in Belgium, appeared before the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg claiming that the transfer (trade) and quota system on foreign players imposed by UEFA infringed community law. He was able to prove that transfer fees at the end of a player's contract were illegal; thus, the financial implications for the professional game were likely to be widespread.

      Despite this expected outcome, the English premier league clubs spent a record of more than £100 million in transfer fees. Many of the transfers involved players from other nations, and their total increased to 66 at the start of the 1995-96 season. The English record was broken when Stan Collymore, a striker, moved from Nottingham Forest to Liverpool for £8.5 million.

      AC Milan invested £12.9 million in Juventus forward Roberto Baggio and signed another striker, George Weah from Paris St. Germain, for £ 10 million. A record fee for a teenager brought 19-year-old midfield player Clarence Seedorf to the Italian club Sampdoria from Ajax Amsterdam in a £4.5 million transaction.

      Ajax Amsterdam, undefeated in 34 domestic league games, completed its third victory of the season over the defending champion, AC Milan, in the European Champions' Cup final in Vienna on May 24. Ajax's previous two wins, both by a 2-0 margin, were achieved in the Champions League section of the competition. The third success came in a quiet, undistinguished match in which AC Milan was unable to re-create the enterprise and verve displayed a year earlier. Yet Milan might have scored first close to halftime. A volley from Marco Simone almost surprised Ajax goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar. The chief threat from Milan came from the penetration of Demetrio Albertini into the heart of the Ajax defense. But the Dutch team coach, Louis Van Gaal, made an inspired substitution in the 65th minute, bringing on Patrick Kluivert for Jari Litmanen, a Finnish international. Twenty minutes later, with time running toward a possible extra period of play, Edgar Davids drifted in from the left flank of the Ajax attack and found Frank Rijkaard, who angled the ball into the centre and raced for a return pass, distracting the Milan defense enough for Kluivert to stab a shot past goalkeeper Sebastiano Rossi. The victory brought Ajax its first European Cup win since the early 1970s.

      There had been fewer more dramatic goals than the one that enabled Real Zaragoza of Spain to defeat the European Cup-Winners' Cup defending champion, Arsenal of England, 2-1 in the final at Paris on May 10. The seconds of extra time had almost ticked away when Nayim (Mohamed Ali Amar) tried a high lob from 40 yd out near the right touchline. The attempt caught the poorly positioned Arsenal goalkeeper, David Seaman, yards out of his goal, and despite a desperate leap, he was unable to prevent the ball from entering the net under the bar. Although Arsenal had more territorial advantage, Zaragoza was dangerous on the counterattack. It scored first in the 68th minute when Juan Esnaider spectacularly controlled the ball, turned, and shot left-footed in one concise movement. It took eight minutes for Arsenal to respond. Ray Parlour on the right found Paul Merson, who squared the ball for John Hartson to slide in for the tying goal from six yards out.

      For the seventh successive season, at least one Italian team played in the final of the UEFA Cup. This time Parma defeated fellow Italian club Juventus 2-1 on aggregate scores, depriving its victim of a possible third honour; Juventus had already won the Italian League and Italian Cup. At Parma on May 3, a goal by Dino Baggio after five minutes settled the first game. From a Gianfranco Zola pass, he lobbed the ball in from the edge of the penalty area. Two weeks later, in the second leg, played in Milan, Gianluca Vialli tied the aggregate score with a volleyed goal after 33 minutes, but 20 minutes later Baggio, a former Juventus player, again rescued Parma. This time he headed in a cross from substitute Roberto Mussi. (JACK ROLLIN)

The Americas
      Uruguay used its home-field advantage to win the Copa America, a biennial contest of national teams traditionally from South America but since 1993 also including two North American squads, Mexico and the U.S. In the final game Uruguay tied Brazil 1-1 in regulation time and then edged its archrival 5-3 in a penalty shootout. Brazil had reached the semifinals after defeating Argentina in a controversial quarterfinal game in which Túlio, a Brazilian forward, scored a crucial goal after illegally handling the ball.

      The U.S. was the surprising team of the tournament. After beating Chile 2-1 and Argentina 3-0 in the first round, it edged Mexico in a penalty shootout in the quarter-finals before finally being defeated 1-0 by Brazil in the semifinals. Colombia beat the U.S. in the game for third place. Mexico's Luis García and Argentina's Gabriel Batistuta were the leading scorers of the tournament, with four goals each.

      Grêmio of Pôrto Alegre, Brazil, took the Libertadores de América Cup, South America's club championship. Among the teams it defeated were Olimpia of Paraguay, Palmeiras of Brazil, and, in the semifinal, Emelec of Ecuador. In the two-game final series, Grêmio gained a decisive advantage by beating Colombia's Atletico Nacional 3-1 in Pôrto Alegre. A 1-1 tie in Medellín, Colombia, was sufficient to give the Brazilians the coveted title. Grêmio later lost the Toyota Cup, the unofficial world club championship, however, after battling Ajax Amsterdam of The Netherlands to a 0-0 tie and then falling 4-3 in a penalty shootout.

      In national play San Lorenzo was the winner of the spring Closing Tournament in Argentina, and Vélez Sarsfield took the autumn Opening Tournament. Rio de Janeiro's Botafogo became Brazil's national champion after beating Santos in a 3-2 penalty shootout after a 1-1 tie. Peñarol took Uruguay's opening national club championship, while Necaxa beat its Mexico City rival Cruz Azul in the final game to win Mexico's league championship.

      Olimpia, winner of the second-round tournament, edged Cerro Porteño, winner of the first round, in Paraguay's national championship. Universidad de Chile won Chile's league championship by edging Universidad Católica by a single point. Nacional of Medellín won Colombia's national championship. Emelec of Guayaquil became Ecuador's champion, and Oruro took Bolivia's national title.


U.S. Football.
      Nebraska won its second consecutive national championship of college football by defeating Florida 62-24 in the Fiesta Bowl at Tempe, Ariz., on Jan. 2, 1996. The victory gave the Big Eight champion a 12-0-0 record, 25 consecutive victories, and a 36-1 record for three seasons. The Fiesta Bowl, matching the only Division I-A teams with perfect regular-season records, was the Bowl Alliance's first national championship game. The alliance ensures that the top two teams play each other in a bowl game if they are not from the Big Ten or Pacific Ten conferences, which are committed to the Rose Bowl.

      Florida, 12-1 and the Southeastern Conference champion, ranked second in the Associated Press writers' poll and third in the USA Today/CNN coaches' poll. The other team ranked second and third was Tennessee, 11-1, the Citrus Bowl winner 20-14 over Ohio State.

      Florida State, Colorado, Ohio State, Kansas State, Northwestern, Kansas, and Virginia Tech, all with 10-2 records except Ohio State at 11-2, were ranked 4th through 10th by both polls, though not in the same order. Northwestern gained its first Big Ten championship in 59 years, first Rose Bowl appearance in 47 years, and first winning season in 24 years, earning Coach of the Year honours for Gary Barnett. (See BIOGRAPHIES (Barnett, Gary ).)

      Florida State, the Atlantic Coast Conference cochampion with Virginia, defeated Notre Dame 31-26 in the Orange Bowl. Pac Ten champ Southern California (9-2-1) won the Rose Bowl 41-32 against Northwestern. Virginia Tech, the Big East cochampion with Miami (Florida), defeated Southwest Conference champion Texas 28-10 in the Sugar Bowl.

      Ohio State's Eddie George won the Heisman Trophy and the Maxwell Award, both honouring the best player in Division I-A, and the Doak Walker Award for the best running back. He led the division with 144 points on 24 touchdowns. Also for Ohio State, Terry Glenn won the Fred Biletnikoff Award for the best wide receiver, and offensive tackle Orlando Pace won the Vince Lombardi Award for the best lineman. Glenn's 17 touchdown catches tied Chris Doering of Florida for the division lead.

      Nebraska had Division I-A's dominant offense, leading it with 77 touchdowns and averages of 52.4 points per game, 399.8 yd rushing per game, and 7 yd per rushing attempt. Defensively, Nebraska ranked a close second in rushing defense to Virginia Tech, which allowed 77.4 yd per game.

      Nevada ranked first in passing at 416.3 yd per game. Quarterback Mike Maxwell led the division with a .677 completion percentage and 402.6 yd per game of total offense, and teammate Alex Van Dyke set records with 129 catches and 1,854 yd in 11 regular-season games. With 569.4 total yards per game, Nevada ranked ahead of Nebraska, Florida State, Florida, Ohio State, and Colorado in that order.

      Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel set a record with 178.4 passing efficiency points and also led the Division I-A passers with 10.05 yd per attempt and 35 touchdowns. He won the Davey O'Brien Award for the best quarterback and was named National Football Foundation Player of the Year.

      The leading defensive teams were Northwestern, Kansas State, and Miami (Ohio). Northwestern allowed the fewest points per game, 12.7, just ahead of Kansas State, which allowed the fewest yards, 250.8 per game. No one in the division allowed fewer rushing touchdowns than Miami and Kansas State (4), fewer passing touchdowns than Northwestern (5), or fewer offensive touchdowns than Miami and Northwestern (15). Northwestern linebacker Pat Fitzgerald won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the best defensive player.

      UCLA offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden won the Outland Trophy as the best lineman; Colorado State's Greg Myers took the Scholar-Athlete Award and the Jim Thorpe Award as the best defensive back; Illinois' Kevin Hardy gained the Dick Butkus Award as the best linebacker; and Texas Christian's Michael Reeder won the Lou Groza Award as the best placekicker. Reeder led Division I-A with 23 field goals, and his .920 percentage on 25 attempts was just behind Chris Ferencik's .923 for Pittsburgh on 13 attempts. Troy Davis of Iowa State led Division I-A with 2,466 all-purpose yards and 2,010 yd rushing but was the first of the five 2,000-yd rushers in Division I-A history not to win the Heisman Trophy.

      After winning a record fifth Super Bowl for the 1994 season, the San Francisco 49ers in 1995 missed their conference's championship game for only the second time in eight years. San Francisco defeated the San Diego Chargers 49-26 in Super Bowl XXIX on Jan. 29, 1995, at Miami, Fla., but lost their first play-off game, to Green Bay, in trying to defend their National Football League (NFL) championship.

      The 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys were the only teams to win their fourth consecutive division titles in 1995, San Francisco at 11-5 in the National Football Conference West and Dallas at 12-4 in the NFC East. The only other division champion to repeat was Pittsburgh in the American Football Conference (AFC) Central, but 8 of the 12 teams in the play-offs had been there a year earlier.

      Buffalo returned to the top of the AFC East after a one-year absence, as did Kansas City in the AFC West with an NFL-leading 13-3 record. Green Bay won the NFC Central for the first time since 1972. Of the six wild-card teams, Miami, San Diego, and Detroit returned from the 1994 season play-offs; Philadelphia had been absent for two years, Atlanta for three years, and Indianapolis for seven years. Indianapolis won its first play-off game since 1971 by defeating San Diego 35-20 on December 31.

      The Carolina Panthers, one of two new NFL teams, went 7-9, nearly doubling the previous record of four wins by an expansion team. The St. Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders changed cities during the off-season, leaving Los Angeles without an NFL team, and the Cleveland Browns and Houston Oilers announced plans to move to Baltimore and Nashville, respectively. The Browns' announcement, after they had consistently ranked in the NFL's top 10 in attendance and revenue, led to a congressional hearing and legal action to block the move. The Browns then slumped to 5-11, a six-game decline from 1994.

      NFL average scoring of 43 points per game was the highest in 10 years. The NFL also had records of 21 overtime games and 21.3% of its games decided after the two-minute warning. With nine receivers catching at least 100 passes, the league exceeded its previous all-time total of 100-catch receivers by two.

      Detroit became the first team with two 100-catch receivers, and Herman Moore's 123 set a league record. One catch behind him were previous record holder Cris Carter of Minnesota and Jerry Rice of San Francisco, whose 1,848 yd on receptions also set a record. Rice also set career records of 942 catches and 15,123 yd, and Arizona's Larry Centers set the season record for running backs with 101 catches. The other 100-catch receivers were St. Louis' Isaac Bruce, Dallas' Michael Irvin, Detroit's Brett Perriman, Atlanta's Eric Metcalf, and Green Bay's Robert Brooks.

      The 49ers led the league with 288 passing yards per game, and AFC leader Miami ranked fourth in quarterback Dan Marino's record-setting season. Marino established career passing records with 6,531 attempts, 3,913 completions, 48,841 yd, and 352 touchdowns.

      The leading AFC passer, Jim Harbaugh of Indianapolis, had 100.7 rating points, 1.2 more than the league's Most Valuable Player, Brett Favre of Green Bay, the NFC leader. Harbaugh led NFL passers with 8.2 yd per attempt and five interceptions (1.6%), while Favre led with 38 touchdowns and 4,413 yd.

      Kansas City had the league's best rushing offense with 138.9 yd per game, Detroit the best total offense with 382.1 yd per game, and San Francisco the most points with 28.6 per game. Emmitt Smith led the league with 1,773 yd rushing and 2,148 total yards from scrimmage for Dallas, the best NFC rushing team. He also set a league record with 25 touchdowns, all on runs, for an NFL-high 150 points. Detroit's Barry Sanders led the league with 4.8 yd per carry, and New England rookie Curtis Martin led AFC rushers with 1,487 yd. Denver had the AFC's best total offense, and Pittsburgh scored its most points.

      San Francisco allowed the fewest yards (274.9) and rushing yards (66.3) per game and Kansas City the fewest points (15.1 per game). Buffalo's 49 sacks and San Francisco's 26 interceptions were the best team totals.

      Placekicking leaders were Norm Johnson of Pittsburgh with 34 field goals and 141 points and Dallas' Chris Boniol with a .964 field-goal percentage on 27 for 28, the NFL's second best ever. Morten Andersen set two records with three field goals of more than 50 yd in one game and eight in the season, and Fuad Reveiz set another with 30 successful field-goal attempts in a row. Punting leader Rick Tuten averaged 45 yd for Seattle.

Canadian Football.
      By defeating the Calgary Stampeders 37-20 at Regina, Sask., on Nov. 19, 1995, the Baltimore Stallions became the first U.S. team to win the Grey Cup, the championship of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Quarterback Tracy Ham was the game's Most Valuable Player for Baltimore, which had won the South (U.S.) Division (SD) with a 15-3-0 won-lost-tied record. Calgary won the North Division (ND) with the same record.

      Baltimore's Mike Pringle, named the league's Most Outstanding Player, led the CFL with 1,791 yd rushing and 2,067 yd from scrimmage, and the same team's Mike Withycombe was voted the Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman. Calgary had the league's best offense, with 35.1 points, 434.6 yd per game, and 356.4 passing yards per game. Saskatchewan's Don Narcisse had the most catches, with 123. Calgary had the CFL's best rushing defense and Baltimore the best rushing offense.

      The passing leaders were San Antonio's David Archer with a 108.4 efficiency rating and 9.8 yd per attempt, Calgary's Doug Flutie with a .672 completion percentage, and Birmingham's Matt Dunigan with 4,911 yd and 34 touchdowns. Kicking leaders were Roman Anderson of San Antonio with 235 points, Bjorn Nittmo of Shreveport with an .868 field goal percentage, and Josh Miller of Baltimore with 47.7 yd per punt. Cory Philpot led the league with 22 touchdowns for British Columbia.

      Defensively, Memphis allowed league lows of 282 yd and 220.2 passing yards per game, and Tim Cofield's league-high 24 sacks helped Memphis lead with 60. Edmonton allowed the fewest points per game, 19.9, and had commanding leads with 87 takeaways and a plus-38 turnover differential. Edmonton linebacker Willie Pless was Most Outstanding Defensive Player and CFL tackles leader with 100, while teammate and wide receiver Shalon Baker was Most Outstanding Rookie. Hamilton's Eric Carter led with 10 interceptions.

      (KEVIN M. LAMB)

Australian Football.
      The Carlton Football Club emerged as the premier team in the Australian Football League (AFL) in 1995. This gave the club its 16th premiership—a record number. During the home and away season, Carlton established a league record of 20 wins and just 2 losses. Carlton then won a hollow grand final against Geelong, scoring 21.15 (141) to 11.14 (80). Geelong had to deal with the disappointment of losing its fourth grand final since 1989.

      The AFL also had a record-breaking year, with more than five million spectators attending the home and away series for the first time. Television and radio ratings also reached record levels, and a record number of clubs competed—16. The new club was Fremantle in Western Australia.

      The major award winners in 1995 were: Brownlow Medal (for the best and fairest player in the competition), Sydney captain Paul Kelly; Norm Smith Medal (best player in the grand final), Carlton's Greg Williams; Coleman Medal (leading goalkicker in the home and away rounds), Gary Ablett (Geelong), 118 goals. (GREG HOBBS)

Rugby Football.
      The year 1995 would go down as one of the most momentous in the history of Rugby Union. The sport, which had been fiercely amateur since its inception in the 19th century, finally succumbed to the pressures of the 20th century and declared itself open to professionals. The previous few years had been blighted with allegations of payments to players, which breached the amateur laws. The game at the highest level in some countries was seen as sham amateur, with a situation akin to such sports as tennis and track and field before they became professional.

      An August meeting in Paris of the game's governing body, the International Rugby Football Board, was expected to allow some form of limited professionalism. When the delegates met, however, they found that payments were so rife within the game that they had no option but to declare Rugby Union an open sport. The decision came almost 100 years to the day after a group of clubs based in northern England rebelled over the amateurism issue and broke away to form a professional game that became known as Rugby League.

      It was left to the individual unions that administered the sport in countries throughout the world to decide how they would proceed. Some, such as Argentina, declared that the sport in their country would remain amateur, but for most the decision heralded a new professional age.

      The advent of professionalism was hastened by the growing success of the sport, and 1995 saw the third and most successful Rugby Union World Cup tournament. Held in South Africa, which was taking part in the competition for the first time, the tournament had a fairy-tale ending when the host country took first place.

      The tournament had significant social and political implications, as it was the first such sporting event held in South Africa since that nation abolished apartheid.

      The final itself proved a nail-biting affair, with old rivals New Zealand and South Africa locked at 9-9 after 80 highly charged minutes. New Zealand's Andrew Mehrtens and South Africa's Joel Stransky swapped penalty kicks in overtime before Stransky landed the winning dropkick goal to make the final score 15-12. Although disappointed, New Zealand had the consolation of having played some of the most exhilarating rugby of the competition and had the Player of the Tournament in Jonah Lomu (see BIOGRAPHIES (Lomu, Jonah )), a man mountain who stood 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in), weighed 118 kg (260 lb), and ran the 100 m in 10.8 seconds.

      At least in the new era, Lomu would not have to worry about getting a job. Despite million-dollar offers to join one of the big Rugby League clubs, the 20-year-old decided to pledge his immediate future to the newly open Rugby Union.

      The Rugby League Centenary World Cup was held in England and Wales in the autumn, with the 11th World Cup final at Wembley stadium before a crowd of 66,540 on October 28. Australia, which had not lost the League tournament since 1972, once again defeated England in the final, this time by the score of 16-8.


▪ 1995


Association Football (Soccer)

      The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world governing body of association football, celebrated its 90th anniversary with a record 191 members. At the 49th FIFA Congress in Chicago, 14 new members were added.

      The Union des Associations Européenes de Football (UEFA) was forced to alter the format of its three major cup competitions. Among a record 159 entries, only Yugoslavia, which remained suspended from international activities, and San Marino did not enter teams for the 1994-95 season. The main innovation took place in the Champions' Cup, where the number of clubs eligible to participate was reduced. Past performances during the previous five years dictated whether the champions of a country either qualified for the UEFA Champions' Cup, competed in the qualifying round for the Cup, or were placed in the UEFA Cup.

      For the 1993-94 UEFA competitions, drug tests were carried out on 150 players at 39 matches. None of the players violated the organization's doping regulations. The German association also revealed that its 500 doping tests among its top two divisions had also proved negative.

      As a result of the bribery scandals in France, Marseille, the 1993 Champions' Cup winner, was not allowed to defend its title. It was also forcibly relegated to Division Two at the end of the 1993-94 season. Tbilisi Dynamo was fined and expelled from the Champions' Cup for attempted bribery of a referee, while the Latvian club RAF Jelgava was also expelled from the Cup-Winners' Cup for failing to make adequate travel arrangements in time for a match in the Faeroe Islands.

      Corruption in Bulgaria also led to Yantra's being suspended after eight matches and its record's being expunged. Levski Sofia won a reduced competition of 28 matches by 17 points from CSKA Sofia. Despite having three points deducted for previous indiscretions, Legia Warsaw won the Polish League and also the Polish Cup, remaining unbeaten for six months. One of the most exciting finishes occurred in Spain, where Barcelona overtook longtime leader Deportivo La Coruna on the last day of the season.

      The Rangers, which won their 44th championship in Scotland, signed Brian Laudrup from Fiorentina in Italy and Basile Boli from Marseille. For the 1994-95 season, the Scottish League added two new clubs and reshaped itself into four leagues of 10 teams each. Portugal won the European Under-18 championship; Italy retained its Under-21 title; and Nigeria, which qualified for the World Cup finals for the first time, won the African Nations Cup.

      Two outstanding figures in British soccer died: Sir Matt Busby (Busby, Sir Matthew ), probably the most renowned manager in the post-World War II era, and Billy Wright (Wright, William Ambrose ), the first Englishman to represent his country in internationals as many as 100 times. (See OBITUARIES.)

      England's Arsenal deprived Italy of a hoped-for trio of European trophies, beating defending champion Parma 1- 0 in the European Cup-Winners' Cup at Copenhagen on May 4. It was Arsenal's first European triumph since 1970. A low-key final saw the well-organized Arsenal defense put a stranglehold on the Parma attack. Yet victory was won through the intervention of a goalpost at each end. After 14 minutes Gianfranco Zola's measured cross-field pass found Tomas Brolin striding purposefully onto the ball. His shot beat David Seaman in the Arsenal goal, only to bounce to safety off the inside of the upright. Unfortunately for Parma, five minutes later Lorenzo Minotti's acrobatic clearance was snapped up by Alan Smith, who chested the ball down before scoring off the inside of goalkeeper Luca Bucci's left-hand post.

      AC Milan of Italy produced one of the most memorable performances in the European Champions' Cup competition in recent years to defeat Barcelona of Spain decisively 4-0 in Athens on May 18. It was Milan's fifth success in the cup, yet the supremely confident Spaniards had gone into the match as firm favourites. Milan was thought to be weakened at the heart of its defense because of suspensions to centre-backs Franco Baresi and Alessandro Costacurta. Nevertheless, coach Fabio Capello decided to abandon the cautious approach and take the game to Barcelona, which was expected to threaten any sign of frailty in the Milan rear guard. The Italians grasped the initiative from the kickoff. Milan was quicker, more determined in every department, and showed impressive technical skill, and it seemed merely a matter of time before the team turned its superiority into goals. In the 22nd minute Dejan Savicevic emerged on the right, rounded Miguel Nadal, and chipped the ball to the far post, where Daniele Massaro scored with apparent ease. Massaro volleyed his second goal two minutes into injury time in the first half, after Roberto Donadoni had cut the ball back from the by-line. Any lingering hopes that Barcelona had of a recovery were dashed in the 47th minute, however, when Savicevic again had the better of a tangle with Nadal and lobbed the ball over Andoni Zubizarreta in the Spanish goal. Savicevic, the former Yugoslav international, almost scored again when he hit the post in the 58th minute, but after Barcelona failed to clear the danger, Demetrio Albertini passed to Marcel Desailly, who scored to make it 4-0.

      Internazionale won the UEFA Cup for the second time in three years, edging Casino Salzburg, the first Austrian team to reach the final, 2-0 on aggregate scores. Italy thus gained its fifth win in six finals and the city of Milan its second European triumph in the season. In the first leg in Vienna on April 26, Nicola Berti's 35th-minute goal following a Ruben Sosa free kick put the Italians ahead. It was the first goal Salzburg had conceded in six international contests at home. Alessandro Bianchi was sent off for his second caution of the game in the 48th minute, but the 10-man Italian team held on comfortably to win. However, in the second leg on May 11 in Milan, the Austrians played a more spirited game, and only alert goalkeeping by Walter Zenga prevented them from scoring a goal. Internazionale survived and scored itself in the 63rd minute as Wim Jonk angled the ball over Otto Konrad into the Salzburg goal.

      Optimism about the future of soccer in North America as a result of the U.S.'s serving as host to the World Cup may have been misplaced. A post-World Cup survey revealed that although 44% of U.S. adults watched at least one World Cup game on TV, 69% showed little interest in the launching of a new league. The Major League Soccer league planned to operate from April 1995, but as of the end of 1994 it had no actual teams or players.


The Americas.
      Although Latin-American teams in general performed poorly in the World Cup, Brazil took the cup home for the first time since 1970. Later a team from Argentina became the unofficial club champion of the world, thus completing a Latin-American sweep of the top honours in soccer.

      Colombia, which many experts had made a favourite to win the World Cup, was eliminated early and became the tournament's biggest disappointment. Argentina was eliminated in the first round amid a scandal when its star player, Diego Maradona, was found to have used illegal substances. Maradona later was banned from further competition. Mexico tied with Bulgaria in the second round and was eliminated on penalty kicks.

      The Brazilian national team was not up to the glory of its former championship years, when it had been overwhelmingly superior to the competition, but it always managed to make the necessary effort to beat its rivals in the tournament. The Brazilians tied the final game with Italy but took the cup on penalty kicks.

      Vélez Sársfield, an Argentine team, put an end to the domination of the Libertadores de América Cup (South America's club championship) by Brazil's São Paulo. The Argentines edged the Brazilians 1-0 in Buenos Aires on August 25, but they lost by the same score in São Paulo on September 1. In a final match, consisting of penalty kicks, Vélez Sársfield won the series and the tournament.

      Vélez Sársfield went on to win the Inter-Continental Cup, the unofficial world championship for clubs, when it defeated Italy's Milan in Tokyo in late December. This cup had been won by São Paulo two years in a row. São Paulo declined to play in the Inter-American Cup, in which the winner of the Libertadores de América Cup plays the champion of Concacaf (the North American, Central American, and Caribbean football organization). After dropping the first game in San José, Costa Rica, Chile's Catholic University took the Inter-American Cup by beating Costa Rica's Saprissa in overtime in Santiago.

      Palmeiras won the Brazilian national championship in December after defeating Corinthians in the final play-off. Independiente won Argentina's closing tournament of the 1993-94 season, and River Plate triumphed in the opening tournament of the 1994-95 season. Guadalajara's Autonomous University won the Mexican League, and Peñarol became the 1994 Uruguayan champion.


Rugby Football.
      As countries prepared for the 1995 Rugby Union World Cup, there was a great deal of touring activity in 1993-94. Early in the British season, for instance, New Zealand visited England, Scotland, and Wales between the end of October and the beginning of December 1993, winning 12 of its 13 matches. In the two international matches of the tour, New Zealand beat Scotland 51-15 at Murrayfield—the first time the Scots had ever conceded 50 points—but then lost 15-9 to England at Twickenham. At the same time of the year, Australia beat Canada 43-16 on the way to an eight-match tour of France. There the Australians were defeated by their hosts 16-13 at Bordeaux in the first of two internationals but won the second 24-3 in Paris.

      The Five Nations Championship, held during the early months of 1994, ended in a bizarre fashion. In the final match—the 100th between the two countries—England defeated Wales 15-8 at Twickenham. This left those two countries at the top of the league table with three wins and one defeat each. It had been decreed that in the event of such a tie the difference between points scored and points conceded would decide first place. Wales had scored 78 points and conceded 51. England's figures were 60 and 49. Thus, although England had just defeated Wales, it was the Welsh captain who received the Five Nations Trophy. France finished in third place with two wins and two defeats; Ireland was fourth with a win, a draw, and two defeats; and Scotland finished last with one draw and three losses.

      After the end of the European season, England played eight games in South Africa in May and June 1994. England surprised many people by winning the first of its two internationals 32-15 in Pretoria but was defeated 27-9 at Cape Town in the second. During the same time, Ireland played eight matches in Australia, winning only two and losing 33-13 at Brisbane in the first international and 32-18 at Sydney in the second. Wales made a less conventional tour, including internationals in Toronto against Canada (won 33-15), in Suva against Fiji (won 23-8), in Nuku'alofa against Tonga (won 18-9), and in Apia against Western Samoa (lost 34-9). Scotland toured Argentina, losing both internationals (16-15 and 19-17).

      One of the most remarkable achievements was France's winning of both of its internationals in New Zealand, the first 22-8 at Christchurch and the second 23-20 at Auckland. On the way to New Zealand, the French were beaten 18-16 by Canada in Ottawa. New Zealand regained some self-respect by beating the touring South Africans 22-14 in Dunedin and 13-9 in Wellington and drawing the third and final international 18-18 in Auckland. It was beaten 20-16 in Sydney in the Bledisloe Cup match against Australia, however.

      The main international event of the 1993-94 period for Rugby League was a tour of Great Britain by New Zealand in October and November 1993. The visitors played three test matches and lost all of them. Great Britain won the first 17-0 at Wembley, the second 29-12 at Wigan, and the third 29-10 at Headingley. (DAVID FROST)

U.S. Football.

      Nebraska won the national championship of U.S. college football by defeating the University of Miami 24-17 in the Orange Bowl at Miami, Fla., on Jan. 1, 1995. The victory snapped a losing streak of seven bowl games for Big Eight champion Nebraska, which finished with a 13-0 won-lost record, and gained the first national crown for 22-year coach Tom Osborne.

      Big Ten champion Penn State ranked second with a 12-0 record, the fourth of Joe Paterno's five undefeated teams to lose the vote for number one. Penn State gave Paterno his record 16th bowl game victory in 29 seasons 38-20 in the Rose Bowl over 9-4 Oregon, the Pacific Ten champion and home of Coach of the Year Rich Brooks.

      Big Eight runner-up Colorado (11-1) beat unranked Notre Dame (6-5-1) 41-24 in the Fiesta Bowl to earn the number three ranking, followed in the coaches' poll by 12-1 Alabama, which was undefeated before losing the Southeastern Conference championship game to Florida (10-2-1). The writers' poll had Alabama behind Florida State, the Atlantic Coast Conference champion, which defeated seventh-ranked Florida 23-17 in the Sugar Bowl. Sixth-ranked Miami (10-2) won the Big East Conference. Rounding out the top 10 in the coaches' poll were 8th-ranked Utah (10-2) and 10th-ranked Brigham Young (10-3) of the Western Athletic Conference and 9th-ranked Ohio State (9-4) of the Big Ten and in the writers' poll, which included schools on probation, 8th-ranked Texas A&M, (10-0-1), 9th-ranked Auburn (9-1-1), and 10th-ranked Utah.

      Southwest Conference champion Texas Tech (6-6) lost 55-14 to Southern California (8-3-1) in the Cotton Bowl. In the Citrus Bowl Alabama defeated Ohio State 24-17.

      Colorado's Rashaan Salaam won the Heisman Trophy for the best player in Division I-A and the Doak Walker Award for the best running back. He led the country with 2,055 yd rushing, 2,349 all-purpose yards, and 24 touchdowns, all on the ground. Colorado's offense led the country with 6.2 yd per rushing attempt and ranked third in total and rushing offense and seventh in scoring. Quarterback Kordell Stewart threw only three interceptions to lead Division I-A with a percentage of .0127.

      Penn State's Kerry Collins won the Maxwell Award, also honouring the best player of the year, and the Davey O'Brien Award for the best quarterback. Collins was the passing efficiency leader with 172.9 rating points, led the country with 10.1 yd per attempt, and connected 52 times with Bobby Engram, who won the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the best wide receiver. Penn State's offense led the country with 47.8 points and 520.2 total yards per game; Ki-Jana Carter's 7.8 yd per carry was best in the country, and Penn State led Kansas State with a national low of 11 turnovers lost.

      Nebraska led the country with 340 yd rushing per game behind a line that featured Zach Wiegert, Outland Trophy winner as the best interior lineman. The Cornhuskers had unusual balance, ranking fifth in total offense, sixth in scoring offense, fourth in rushing defense, fourth in total defense, and second in points allowed, besides producing the Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Rob Zatechka.

      Two other teams that excelled on both offense and defense were Florida State—fifth in scoring, fourth in total offense, and fourth in pass defense—and Florida—second in scoring, fourth in passing yards, and fifth in rushing defense.

      Georgia had the best passing offense, with 338.3 yd per game, and Scott Milanovich's .688 completion percentage for Maryland led all passers. Brigham Young's John Walsh led with 3,712 yd passing; Nevada's Mike Maxwell ranked first with 3,498 yd total offense; and the two were coleaders with 29 touchdown passes apiece. The receiving leaders were Nevada's Alex Van Dyke with 98 catches, Florida's Jack Jackson with 15 touchdowns, Wyoming's Marcus Harris with 1,431 yd gained, and Michigan's Amani Toomer with 21.08 yd per catch on at least 40 catches.

      Miami dominated Division I-A defenses, with defensive tackle Warren Sapp winning the Defensive Player of the Year award and the Vince Lombardi trophy, another top-lineman prize. The Hurricanes allowed national lows of 10.8 points, 220.9 yd, and 124.1 yd passing per game, and they had the best pass defense efficiency rating.

      Virginia allowed the fewest rushing yards, 63.6 per game, and Southern Mississippi's defense led with 40 turnovers. Clemson had the best turnover differential, plus-17. West Virginia's Aaron Beasley was the interception leader with 10, Illinois' Dana Howard won the Dick Butkus Award as the best linebacker, and Chris Hudson of Colorado won the Jim Thorpe Award as the best defensive back.

      Arizona's Steve McLaughlin won the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award with 23 field goals, one fewer than leader Remy Hamilton of Michigan. Southwestern Louisiana's Mike Shafer had the best field-goal percentage, 14 for 14. Other kicking-game leaders were West Virginia's Todd Sauerbrun with 48.4 yd per punt, Mississippi State's Eric Moulds with 32.8 yd per kickoff return, and Eastern Michigan's Steve Clay with 19.9 yd per punt return.

      In Division I-AA Alcorn State quarterback Steve McNair was Player of the Year after breaking the all-division career record for total offense by more than 2,000 yd. He finished his collegiate career with 16,823 yd, and for the season he led his division with 5,799 yd total offense, 4,863 yd passing, 44 touchdown passes, 9.2 yd per pass attempt, 16 yd per completion, 530 pass attempts, and 304 completions. Youngstown State won its third Division I-AA championship in four years and finished 14-0-1 with a 28-14 victory over Big Sky champion Boise State (13-2). The only other undefeated I-AA team in the regular season was Ivy League champion Pennsylvania (9-0).

      The national tournament champions in other divisions were North Alabama (13-1) 16-10 over Texas A&M-Kingsville (12-2) in Division II and Albion (13-0) 38-15 over Washington and Jefferson (11-2) in Division III. Other NCAA Players of the Year were Valdosta State quarterback Chris Hatcher in Division II and Coe running back Carey Bender in Division III.

      In U.S. professional football the Buffalo Bills, having played in the last four Super Bowls, failed to repeat that feat for the National Football League (NFL) play-offs in 1994. They had lost their fourth consecutive Super Bowl on Jan. 30, 1994, in Atlanta, Ga., when the Dallas Cowboys won 30-13 and became the sixth team to win consecutive NFL championships.

      During the 1994-95 season Dallas, with a won-lost record of 12-4, won its third consecutive championship of the Eastern Division in the National Football Conference (NFC). San Francisco, with a league-best record of 13-3, was the only other division champion to repeat, also for the third time, in the NFC Western Division. The other division champions all had won 1992 crowns: Minnesota in the NFC Central, Miami in the American Football Conference (AFC) Eastern, San Diego in the AFC Western, and Pittsburgh in the AFC Central with an AFC-leading record of 12-4.

      The NFC Central became the first division ever to send four teams to the play-offs when wild cards Green Bay, Detroit, and Chicago qualified with the best runner-up records. Chicago was the only new NFC play-off team from 1993, after a two-year absence, while Miami, San Diego, New England, and Cleveland were new faces in the AFC. New England made the league's greatest improvement, five games, for its first play-off appearance in eight years, and Cleveland returned for the first time in five years.

      Houston's record declined by 10 games and Buffalo's by five as they broke their play-off streaks of seven and six years, respectively. The other 1993 play-off teams that did not qualify were Denver, the Los Angeles Raiders, and the New York Giants.

      The NFL took steps during the off-season to encourage more scoring and wound up with an average of 427 yd passing per game and 16 touchdowns on kickoff returns, both the most ever, as well as a record average attendance of 62,656. The scoring, 40.5 points per game, increased by 8.3% from 1993, while touchdowns increased by 12.6% and sacks decreased by 11.3%. The significant rule changes tightened pass-interference restrictions, pushed kickoffs back by five yards and required the kickers to use a shorter tee, and allowed teams to score two points after a touchdown by gaining two yards.

      New England was the most prolific passing team, with 227.8 yd per game and with five receivers catching at least 50 balls, the first time that had happened in the NFL. Drew Bledsoe's 4,555 yd passing for New England led NFL quarterbacks, as did Joe Montana's .0183 interception percentage for Kansas City. Miami ranked second in passing yardage and first in total yards with 379.9.

      San Francisco was the most efficient passing team, with quarterback Steve Young setting NFL records for both his 112.8 passer rating points and his fourth consecutive rating championship. Young also led the league with 8.61 yd per pass attempt, 35 touchdown passes, and percentages of .076 for touchdowns and .703 for completions. San Francisco led the NFL with 31.6 points per game and led the NFC with 378.8 total yards per game.

      After only six seasons in the previous 30 years had seen a player have 100 or more receptions, three NFL receivers accomplished the feat in 1994. Cris Carter set an NFL record with 122 catches for Minnesota, which became the first team ever to produce 200 catches with two receivers, as Jake Reed chipped in for another 85. The other leaders were San Francisco's Jerry Rice with 112 and Atlanta's Terance Mathis with 111. Rice also led NFL receivers with 1,499 yd and set a league record with 139 touchdowns in his career. Other top receivers were Green Bay's Sterling Sharpe with 18 touchdowns and the Los Angeles Rams' Flipper Anderson with 20.5 yd per catch. The New York Jets' Art Monk set an NFL record with catches in 180 consecutive games, and Ben Coates' 96 catches for New England were the most ever by a tight end.

      Pittsburgh had the league's best rushing offense with 136.3 yd per game, but the individual leader was Detroit's Barry Sanders (see BIOGRAPHIES (Sanders, Barry )), with league highs of 1,883 yd rushing, 5.7 yd per carry, and 2,166 total yards from scrimmage. Emmitt Smith of Dallas led the league with 22 touchdowns, 21 of them on runs.

      Dallas had the league's best defense in terms of total yards allowed, 269.6 per game. The Cowboy's average passing yield of 172 also was an NFL low. Cleveland allowed the fewest points, 12.8 per game, and Minnesota's league-leading rushing defense allowed 68.1 yd per game. Pittsburgh's 55 sacks led the league and included 14 from individual leader Kevin Greene. The Steelers also had the AFC's best rushing defense.

      New England forced the most turnovers, 40. Kansas City's 26 fumble recoveries led the league, and Miami, San Francisco, and Arizona tied for the league lead with 23 interceptions. The individual leaders in interceptions, with nine, were Arizona's Aeneas Williams and Cleveland's Eric Turner.

      Pittsburgh led the NFL with 14 more take-aways than turnovers, relying on an offense that lost the fewest turnovers, 17, and tying Seattle with a league low of nine interceptions. Tampa Bay and the New York Giants each lost seven fumbles, best in the league.

      Fuad Reveiz of Minnesota kicked 28 consecutive field goals, the most ever for a single season and one short of John Carney's record covering two seasons. Carney of San Diego led the league with 135 points, and Cleveland's Matt Stover had the highest field-goal percentage at .929 (26 for 28). The Rams' Sean Landeta led punters with 44.8 yd per kick.

      Washington's Brian Mitchell led NFL punt returners with 14.1 yd per return and set a single-season record with 1,930 yd on kickoff and punt returns combined. Mel Gray of Detroit was the leading kickoff returner, with a 28.4 yd average, and he tied a league record with his ninth touchdown on kickoff and punt returns. Herschel Walker of Philadelphia was the first NFL player ever to have 90-yd plays on a run, pass reception, and kickoff return in the same season.

Canadian Football.
      The British Columbia Lions won the Grey Cup championship of the Canadian Football League (CFL) when Lui Passaglia's 38-yd field goal on the game's last play defeated Baltimore 26-23 at Vancouver, B.C., on November 27. British Columbia won 11, lost 6, and tied 1 in the regular season and then reached the Grey Cup game on a last-play victory over the Western Division champion Calgary Stampeders (15-3) in the play-offs. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers (13-5) won the Eastern Division but lost to 12-6 Baltimore in the play-offs.

      Calgary led the league offensively, with 38.8 points and 443.6 yd per game, and defensively, with average yields of 19.7 points and 315 yd. Its individual league leaders included slotback Allen Pitts, who set league records with 126 catches, 2,036 yd receiving, and 21 touchdowns, and quarterback Doug Flutie, who set a record with 48 touchdown passes and led the league with 318.1 yd passing per game and a passer rating of 118.2. Flutie won a record fourth consecutive Most Outstanding Player award. Other Calgary league leaders were Tony Stewart with 14 rushing touchdowns and Will Johnson with 17 sacks.

      Baltimore's Mike Pringle led the league with 1,972 yd rushing and 2,414 yd from scrimmage. Baltimore tackle Shar Pourdanesh was the Most Outstanding Lineman, and linebacker Matt Goodwin was the Most Outstanding Rookie. Slotback Gerald Wilcox of Winnipeg was the Most Outstanding Canadian Player, and linebacker Willie Pless of Edmonton was the Most Outstanding Defensive Player. (KEVIN M. LAMB)

Australian Football.
      West Coast emerged the premier club in the Australian Football League in 1994 with a 20.23 (143)-8.15 (63) grand final match victory over Geelong at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. A total of 514,375 attended the nine finals matches, contested by eight clubs. The major awards for the season were: Brownlow Medal (for the best and fairest player in the home and away games), Greg Williams (Carlton); Coleman Medal (for most goals in home and away games), Gary Ablett (Geelong) 113; Norm Smith Medal (best player in the grand final), Dean Kemp (West Coast). (GREG HOBBS)

▪ 1994


Association Football (Soccer).
      The qualifying competition for the 1994 World Cup finals in the U.S. was the highlight of association football in 1993. Among the early qualifiers for the 1994 finals were Greece, making its initial appearance in the finals, and Russia, for the first time as an independent nation. The others scheduled to play in their first World Cup finals were Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.

      The growth of member countries in UEFA, the European soccer organization, continued with further additions from the eastern regions, bringing the total membership to 45 with two associate members. These two came from Czechoslovakia, the latest country to be divided on ethnic lines, as the Czech Republic and Slovakia. However, its national team continued for World Cup purposes as the RCS (Representation of Czechs and Slovaks).

      At the club level the increase of 13 in the number of competing clubs provided an enlarged entry for both the Champions' Cup and Cup-Winners' Cup. The 1993-94 Champions' Cup was contested by 42 clubs, while 43 entrants competed for the Cup-Winners' Cup, and the usual 64 teams vied for the UEFA Cup. Among the new entries were clubs from Albania, Belarus, Croatia, and Moldova. Wales was represented for the first time in the Champions' Cup. The formula for the Champions' Cup again featured a league system for the last eight teams.

European Cup-Winners' Cup.
      Parma of Italy achieved its first European prize with a well-merited 3-1 win over the Belgian club Antwerp, another first-time finalist, at Wembley on May 12. There was a noticeable clash of styles, with Parma's attractive pattern-weaving proving more rewarding than Antwerp's more direct methods. The Italians took the lead after nine minutes. Antwerp goalkeeper Stevan Stojanovic misjudged Luigi Apolloni's corner kick, and the ball fell to Lorenzo Minotti, who volleyed into the roof of the rigging. The lead lasted two minutes before Daniele Zoratto's clearance hit Alex Czerniatynski. He showed smart reflexes in channeling the ball through to Francis Severeyns, who shrugged off a challenge to hit a cross shot under goalkeeper Marco Ballotta. But at the half-hour mark, Parma restored its lead. Georges Grun found Marco Osio on the edge of the penalty area. He crossed for Alessandro Melli to head in at 2-1. After that, it was not until the 83rd minute that Parma added to its score. Grun delivered a high ball that beat the offside trap, and Stefano Cuoghi was able to commit Stojanovic before slipping the ball past him.

      Juventus of Italy won its second UEFA Cup trophy in four years, easily overcoming Germany's Borussia Dortmund 6-1 on aggregate scores. In Dortmund on May 5, the early exchanges gave little indication of the ultimate result. To the delight of most of the crowd, Michael Rummenigge put the Germans ahead after only two minutes. Thereafter, the Italians dominated. Dino Baggio tied the score in the 27th minute, and the unrelated Roberto Baggio, who was later named European Player of the Year, made it 2-1 four minutes later, then scored again after 74 minutes to win the match 3-1. In Turin two weeks later, Dino Baggio emulated his namesake with two goals, scoring in the fifth minute and five minutes before halftime. Andreas Moller added a third goal for Juventus in the 65th minute. Victory provided Juventus with its third UEFA Cup success, a record for the competition.

European Champions' Cup.
      Marseille became the first French club to win one of the three major European trophies, beating AC Milan of Italy 1-0 on May 26 in Munich, Germany. The Italians could not complain about the result, having had chances to score before Marseille struck with two minutes remaining in the first half. Daniele Massaro, preferred to Jean-Pierre Papin of France in the Milan attack, wasted three openings before the crucial goal was scored. That took place when Abedi Pele took a corner on the right, swinging the ball into the goal area, where Basile Boli rose above the Milan defense to glance a header into the far corner of the net. Papin was brought off the substitute bench in the 54th minute, but the match was already falling away from Milan's control. For Marseille coach Raymond Goethals it was a twilight achievement at the age of 72, but the celebration was short-lived. In the wake of serious bribery scandals, UEFA stripped Marseille of the European title and imposed a ban on entry for 1993-94. The team's millionaire president, Bernard Tapie, sought Swiss court action and obtained reinstatement, but threats of further sanctions by UEFA and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) against French national and club teams forced him to drop the lawsuit. The French Federation subsequently suspended three players and a club official and declared the club's national league title for 1992-93 void.

      In Scotland the Rangers again were in dominating form, winning all three domestic trophies, including their 43rd league championship. In Poland, however, Legia Warsaw was deprived of its title when match-fixing allegations were proved against it. AC Milan had a season of contrasting fortune. After extending an unbeaten run in Italian league matches to 58, it suffered loss of confidence and a lengthy injury list. Its margin of championship success was reduced to just four points at the season's end. Milan's Gianluigi Lentini, the world's most expensive signing of the previous year at £13 million, had the misfortune to suffer severe injuries in a car crash, though he was expected to make a full recovery and attempt a comeback. But all 18 members and five officials of the Zambian national team were wiped out in an airplane crash. (See Disasters .) Meanwhile, the U.K. saw the deaths of two former champions: Bobby Moore (see OBITUARIES (Moore, Robert Frederick Chelsea )), the national hero who led England to its only World Cup title, in 1966, and at year's end Danny Blanchflower, who, in a 16-year playing career (1949-64), led Tottenham Hotspur to two FA Cups and a European Cup-Winners' Cup, played for Northern Ireland in the 1958 World Cup, and was twice named Footballer of the Year.

      African countries continued to improve, with Nigeria beating Ghana, the defending champions, 2-1 in the World Under-17 Cup in Japan. This tournament was used to try out the controversial kick-in as a replacement for the throw-in. It led to more direct assaults on goal but wasted time and did nothing to improve the quality of play. Japan launched its first professional league; heavily sponsored by major local companies, it included former international players from around the world. Drawn matches were eliminated, first by sudden-death overtime and then on penalty kicks if no winner emerged. The games drew sizable crowds.

North America.
      Prospects for a successful World Cup in 1994 were enhanced when the US '93 Cup tournament drew a total of some 280,000 for its six matches. The largest crowd, 62,126, watched Germany beat England 2-1 in the first international ever to be played indoors on natural grass, at the Pontiac (Mich.) Silverdome in the Detroit suburbs. Within the U.S. the American Professional Soccer League carried on with seven teams, playing a 24-match schedule before the play-offs.


Latin America.
      Qualifying for the 1994 World Cup tournament was the main concern in Latin America in 1993. Mexico was the first country to qualify, in May, after easily winning the classification tournament of the North American, Central American, and Caribbean Football Federation (Concacaf). Four months later Colombia surprised everyone and finished first in the South American Confederation's group A after beating Argentina twice—once in Barranquilla (Colombia), 2-1, and once more in Buenos Aires with a humiliating score of 5-0. Brazil recovered from a shaky start and took first place in group B. Bolivia provided the biggest surprise by finishing second in group B and knocking out two-time world champion Uruguay to qualify. Argentina finally got its berth for the World Cup by edging Australia in a consolation round.

      In spite of its troubles in the World Cup qualifying tournament, Argentina demonstrated in Ecuador in June that it remained a major soccer powerhouse when it won the America Cup for the 14th time (in 33 attempts). This tournament, played since 1916, opened its doors for the first time to teams outside South America as Mexico and the U.S. were invited to participate. The Argentines edged Mexico, the surprise team of the competition, 2-1 in the final match. Colombia took third place after defeating the Ecuadoran hosts 1-0.

      Brazil's São Paulo, however, continued to dominate club competition in Latin America. In May it successfully defended the Libertadores de América Cup after defeating Chile's Universidad Católica in a two-game series (with scores of 5-1 and 0-2). On December 12, moreover, it beat AC Milan 2-1 in the Inter-Continental Cup. This made São Paulo the unofficial world club champion for the second year in a row.

      In July Mexico took the Gold Cup, contested for by Concacaf's national teams, by defeating the U.S. 4-0 in the championship game. Costa Rica's Saprissa was the surprising winner of Concacaf's club competition.


Rugby Football.

Rugby Union.
      The 1992-93 season started with South Africa—eager to take part in as much international activity as possible after being banned from official international competition for eight years—making a tour of France and England in October and November 1992. The season ended with South Africa touring Australia in August 1993.

      On the French section of the 1992 tour, the Springboks played nine matches, including two international contests against France. They won the first of the internationals 20-15 at Lyon but lost the second 29-16 in Paris. The English leg embraced four games, and the South Africans were well beaten 33-16 by England at Twickenham in the only international match.

      At the same time of the year, the Australians toured Ireland and Wales, playing 13 matches altogether, including an international against each country. They defeated Ireland 42-17 in Dublin and Wales 23-6 at Cardiff. In accordance with the tradition of touring teams, they ended their tour by playing the Barbarians at Twickenham. They won that match 30-20.

      The Five Nations Championship, played as always during the first three months of the new year, was won in 1993 by France even though they were beaten 16-15 by England, the favourites, at Twickenham in their first match. France went on to defeat Scotland 11-3 in Paris, Ireland 21-6 in Dublin, and Wales 26-10 in Paris. After their victory over the French, England lost 10-9 to Wales at Cardiff and 17-3 to Ireland in Dublin, but they beat Scotland 26-12 at Twickenham. Scotland started with a 15-3 win over Ireland at Murrayfield in Edinburgh and also defeated Wales 20-0 there. Ireland's 19-14 victory over Wales at Cardiff meant that they shared second place with England and Scotland in the championship table. Wales finished alone in last place.

      The main event of the year was the 13-match tour of New Zealand by the Lions (England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales combined) in May, June, and July 1993. The Lions, captained by Gavin Hastings, the Scotland fullback, won seven of their matches but were beaten 2-1 in the three-match test series. New Zealand won the first test narrowly 20-18 in Christchurch; the Lions won the second 20-7 in Wellington; and the All Blacks won the decisive third test 30-13 in Auckland. The New Zealanders went on to win the Bledisloe Cup—competed for between them and Australia—by defeating the Australians 25-10 at Dunedin.

      France made a short tour of South Africa in June and July 1993 and won their two-match test series 1-0. They drew 20-20 with South Africa at Durban in the first test and won the second 18-17 in Johannesburg.

Rugby League.
      Great Britain and Australia reached the World Cup final, which was staged at Wembley, London, on Oct. 24, 1992. Australia won the final 10-6. In March 1993 Great Britain beat France 48-6 at Carcassonne. It was the most points the British had ever scored in a match on French soil. The following month at Leeds, they again defeated the French, this time 72-6, a world-record score for a full test match.


U.S. Football.

      Florida State University won the national championship of college football by defeating Nebraska 18–16 in the Orange Bowl at Miami, Fla., on Jan. 1, 1994. Florida State's victory gave the Atlantic Coast Conference champions a won-lost record of 12–1. The Seminoles had a 5–1 record against teams ranked in the top 25 and became the fifth team since World War II to lead the country in both points scored and points allowed, with regular-season averages of 43.2 and 9.4, respectively.

      The only undefeated team in Division I-A was Auburn (11–0), which was ineligible for a bowl game or the championship because it was on probation for having violated recruiting rules. The selection of the champion by writers' and coaches' ballots intensified the outcry for a play-off system because Notre Dame (11–1) was ranked second in spite of its 31–24 victory over Florida State on November 13. The Seminoles passed the Fighting Irish in the polls when Boston College beat Notre Dame the next week, and they stayed ahead when both teams won their bowl games, Notre Dame by 24–21 over Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl.

      Third-ranked Nebraska (11–1) won the Big Eight. Auburn was ranked 4th in the writers' poll but was not considered in the coaches' poll, and so the teams ranked 4th through 10th in the coaches' poll were ranked 5th through 11th by the writers. Big East winner West Virginia (11–1) was the only undefeated championship contender with Nebraska after the regular season but fell to sixth in the coaches' poll after losing 41–7 to fourth-ranked Florida in the Sugar Bowl. Florida (11–2) won the Southeast Conference by defeating Alabama (8–3) in a play-off game.

      Fifth-ranked Wisconsin (10–1–1) shared the Big Ten championship with number 10 Ohio State (10–1–1) and won the Rose Bowl 21–16 against Pacific Ten champion UCLA (8–4). The Big Ten also produced seventh-ranked Penn State (10–2), which won 31–13 over Tennessee (9–2–1) in the Citrus Bowl; it was coach Joe Paterno's 15th bowl victory, tying him with Paul ("Bear") Bryant for the record. The eighth and ninth teams, respectively, were Southwest Conference winner Texas A&M (10–2) and Arizona (10–2).

      Florida State quarterback Charlie Ward won the Heisman Memorial Trophy, the Maxwell Award, and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award—all honouring the best college football player in the U.S. Ward led the nation with the highest percentage of completions (64.5) and the lowest percentage of interceptions (1.05, with four). He also won both awards for the best quarterback, the Davey O'Brien Award and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

      The outstanding lineman honours went to Outland Trophy winner Rob Waldrop, an Arizona nose tackle, and Vince Lombardi Award winner Aaron Taylor, a Notre Dame offensive tackle. Nebraska's Trev Alberts won the Butkus Award for the best linebacker and Alabama's Antonio Langham the Jim Thorpe Award for the best defensive back. Texas Tech's Byron Morris led the country with 22 touchdown runs and 12.18 points per game in winning the Doak Walker Award for the best running back.

      Marshall Faulk of San Diego State led the nation with 144 points and 2,174 all-purpose yards but played in 12 games and lost the per-game titles to players with 11-game schedules. LeShon Johnson of Northern Illinois was the all-purpose leader with 189.3 yd per game and the rushing leader with a season total of 1,976 yd. Tennessee's Charlie Garner had the best rushing average, 7.3 yd per carry. The team rushing leader, Army, gained 298.5 yd per game.

      Nevada gained the most passing yards and total yards with per-game averages of 397.5 and 569.1, respectively. Nevada quarterback Chris Vargas' totals of 4,265 yd passing, 34 touchdown passes, and 4,332 yd total offense all led the country, and teammate Bryan Reeves tied UCLA's J.J. Stokes with 17 touchdown catches. The leading passer was Trent Dilfer of Fresno State, with his top-ranked average of 9.84 yd per attempt helping him accumulate the most efficiency points, 173.1. Tulsa's Chris Penn was the leading receiver with both 105 catches and 1,578 yd. Ryan Yarborough of Wyoming had the best receiving average, 22.6 yd per catch.

      Mississippi led in total defense with a yield of 234.5 yd per game. Arizona allowed only 30.1 yd per game and 0.9 yd per carry for the best rushing defense, and Texas A&M was the pass-defense leader with an efficiency rating of 74.99. Texas A&M also allowed the fewest touchdowns, 10, and had both individual kick-return leaders, Leeland McElroy with 39.3 yd per kickoff return and Aaron Glenn with 19.4 yd per punt return. Orlanda Thomas' nine interceptions for Southwestern Louisiana led the country. UCLA recovered the most turnovers, 39, and Notre Dame's 10 turnovers lost were the fewest.

      Judd Davis of Florida won the Lou Groza Award for placekicking but finished behind Alabama's Michael Proctor, with 22 field goals, and California's Doug Brien, with an .833 percentage (15 for 18) on at least 1.5 tries per game. Chris MacInnis of Air Force led all punters with a 47.0-yd average.

      Other division I-A conference champions were Southwestern Louisiana (8–3) in the Big West and Ball State (8–3–1) in the Mid-American. In the Western Athletic conference Fresno State (8–4), Wyoming (8–4), and Brigham Young (6–6) tied for first.

      The undefeated teams in Division I-AA were Pennsylvania (10–0) of the Ivy League, Boston University (12–0) of the Yankee Conference, and independent Troy State (11–0–1). Other conference winners in the division for less ambitious programs were Southern (11–1) in the Southwestern Athletic, Howard (11–1) in the Mid-Eastern Athletic, Georgia Southern (10–2) in the Southern, Montana (10–2) in the Big Sky, McNeese State (10–2) in the Southland, and Dayton (9–1) in the Pioneer League.

      The Dallas Cowboys became only the fifth defending Super Bowl champion in 14 years to win a division championship the next year in the National Football League (NFL) when they finished the 1993 regular season with a won-lost record of 12–4. The Cowboys had won the 1992 NFL championship by defeating the Buffalo Bills 52–17 in Super Bowl XXVII at Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 31, 1993.

      Buffalo, the first team to lose three consecutive Super Bowls, threatened to go to a fourth by matching Dallas' 1993 record, the NFL's best. The Houston Oilers also finished 12–4 with a winning streak of 11 games, the NFL's longest in 21 years, to gain first place in the Central Division of the American Conference (AFC). Buffalo and Dallas won the Eastern divisions of the AFC and National Conference (NFC), respectively. Kansas City won the AFC Western Division for the first time in 22 years, and Detroit won the NFC Central for the first time in 10 years. San Francisco in the NFC West was the only team besides Dallas to repeat as a division champion.

      Detroit and the New York Giants improved their records by five games from 1992, the best gains in the league. Other teams making the play-offs in 1993 that had not done so in 1992 were Denver, the Los Angeles Raiders, and Green Bay, the latter for the first time since 1982. Minnesota and Pittsburgh joined the Giants, the Raiders, Denver, and Green Bay as wild-card teams, those with the three best runner-up records in each conference. Washington's record dropped the farthest, five games. The other 1992 play-off teams that did not return were Miami, San Diego, Philadelphia, and New Orleans, which became the third team since 1970 to miss the play-offs after a 5–0 start.

      The season was the NFL's first with a collectively bargained system of unrestricted free agency, and the most prominent player to change teams was defensive end Reggie White, whose 13 sacks for Green Bay tied New Orleans' Renaldo Turnbull for the NFC lead. Kansas City had two likely Hall of Famers who were cast off late in their careers, free-agent halfback Marcus Allen and traded quarterback Joe Montana. The 1994 season was to be the first with team salary caps tied to television revenues, and the caps were higher than anticipated after the Fox network outbid CBS by $25 million a year, leaving CBS without an NFL contract for the first time after 38 years.

      NFL scoring, at 18.7 points per team per game, was the lowest since the 18.3 average in 1978, the last season before new rules made passing easier. San Francisco led the NFL with both 402.2 yd and 29.6 points per game and led the NFC in passing yards. Miami was the NFL leader with 272.1 yd passing per game and the AFC leader in total yardage.

      The top defensive teams in the NFL were the Giants, allowing 12.8 points per game, and Minnesota, with an average yield of 275.3 yd. New Orleans allowed the fewest passing yards, 162.9 per game, and Houston had the best defense against the run, allowing an average of 79.6 yd per game, and the most pass interceptions, 26. Buffalo's defense led the league with 24 fumble recoveries and 47 turnovers.

      At the other extreme, Atlanta's 24.1 points allowed per game were the NFL's worst, and Cincinnati scored the fewest points, 11.7 per game. Chicago gained the fewest total and passing yards; Indianapolis gained the fewest rushing yards and gave up the most total and rushing yards; and San Diego gave up the most passing yards. Houston lost a league-high 45 turnovers.

      San Francisco's Steve Young (see BIOGRAPHIES (Young, Steve )) became the first NFL quarterback ever to lead the league in passing for three straight seasons with 101.5 rating points, which also made him the first to clear 100 three consecutive times. Young's 29 touchdown passes and average gain of 8.71 yd per pass were league highs. Teammate Jerry Rice led the NFL with 1,503 yd receiving, a record eighth consecutive season with at least 1,000. Rice led the league with 16 touchdowns and tied Atlanta's Andre Rison with 15 on pass receptions.

      Troy Aikman's completion percentage of .691 led the NFL, and his Dallas team threw a league-low six interceptions. Pittsburgh's Neil O'Donnell had the NFL's lowest interception rate, with seven for 1.4%. Denver's John Elway led the AFC with a passer rating of 92.8 and the NFL with 4,030 yd passing. Vinny Testaverde's 21-for-23 passing for Cleveland against the Los Angeles Rams set a single-game record for completion percentage at 91.3%.

      Green Bay wide receiver Sterling Sharpe broke his own record with 112 catches, becoming the first to catch more than 100 in consecutive years. The Raiders' James Jett averaged 23.4 yd per catch, the most for anyone with at least 30 catches.

      Dallas' Emmitt Smith was the fourth player ever to lead the league three consecutive years in rushing, with 1,486 yd. His 1,900 yd from scrimmage and 5.3 yd per carry also led the league. Marcus Allen led the NFL with 12 rushing touchdowns and the AFC with 15 total touchdowns. Buffalo's Thurman Thomas led the AFC with 1,315 yd rushing and 1,702 yd from scrimmage. Neil Smith of Kansas City had the most sacks with 15.

      Two kickers broke the record for consecutive field goals, first New Orleans' Morten Anderson with 25 and then San Diego's John Carney with 29. Raiders kicker Jeff Jaeger led the league with 132 points, two more than NFC leader Jason Hanson of Detroit. Pittsburgh's Gary Anderson had the best field-goal percentage, .933 on 28 for 30. Greg Montgomery of Houston led punters with a 45.6-yd average. Tyrone Hughes of New Orleans had the best punt return average, 13.6 yd.

      The NFL granted franchises for its expansion to 30 teams in 1995. The newcomers would be the Jacksonville (Fla.) Jaguars and the Carolina Panthers of Charlotte, N.C.

Canadian Football.
      The Edmonton Eskimos in 1993 won their 11th Canadian Football League (CFL) championship, and their first since 1987, when they defeated the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 33-23 in the Grey Cup game at Calgary, Alta., on November 28. The game's Most Valuable Player was Edmonton quarterback Damon Allen, whose brother, Marcus, was an NFL star.

      Calgary quarterback Doug Flutie was the first player to win a Most Outstanding Player award for a third consecutive season. Defending champion Calgary had the league's best regular-season record, 15-3, to win the Western Division but lost in the play-offs to Edmonton (12-6), the second-place Western team. In winning the Eastern Division, Winnipeg (14-4) was led by Most Outstanding Canadian David Sapunjis, the CFL receiving leader with a league-record 103 catches.

      Flutie set a CFL record with 44 touchdown passes and led the league with a passer rating of 96.6, 416 completions, and 6,092 yd passing. The leading runners were Mike Richardson with 925 yd rushing for Winnipeg and Mike Oliphant with 1,572 yd from scrimmage for Sacramento, a new expansion franchise and the CFL's first team in the United States.


* * *

 any of a number of related games, all of which are characterized by two persons or teams attempting to kick, carry, throw, or otherwise propel a ball toward an opponent's goal. In some of these games, only kicking is allowed; in others, kicking has become less important than other means of propulsion.

      For an explanation of contemporary football sports, see football (soccer); football, gridiron; rugby; Australian rules football; and Gaelic football.

      The impulse to kick a round object has been present as long as humans have been humans. The first game of football was played when two or more people, acting on this impulse, competed in an attempt to kick a round object in one direction rather than in another. Evidence of organized football games in Greece and China goes back more than 2,000 years, but historians have no idea how these games were played. Claims that football of some sort was played throughout the Roman Empire are plausible, but the game of harpastum, often cited in support of these claims, seems to have involved throwing a ball rather than kicking it. Although kicking games were played by the indigenous peoples of North America, they were much less popular than the stickball games that are the origin of the modern game of lacrosse.

      The folk football games of the 14th and 15th centuries, which were usually played at Shrovetide or Easter, may have had their origins in pagan fertility rites celebrating the return of spring. They were tumultuous affairs. When village competed against village, kicking, throwing, and carrying a wooden or leather ball (or inflated animal bladder) across fields and over streams, through narrow gateways and narrower streets, everyone was involved—men and women, adults and children, rich and poor, laity and clergy. The chaotic contest ended when some particularly robust or skillful villager managed to send the ball through the portal of the opposing village's parish church. When folk football was confined within a single village, the sides were typically formed of the married versus the unmarried, a division which suggests the game's origins in fertility ritual.

      The game was violent. The French (France) version, known as soule, was described by Michel Bouet in Signification du sport (1968) as “a veritable combat for possession of the ball,” in which the participants struggled “like dogs fighting over a bone.” The British version, which has been researched more thoroughly than any other, was, according to Barbarians, Gentlemen and Players (1979) by Eric Dunning and Kenneth Sheard, “a pleasurable form…of excitement akin to that aroused in battle.”

      Not surprisingly, most of the information about medieval folk football is derived from legal documents. Edward II banned the game in 1314, and his royal successors repeated the prohibition in 1349, 1389, 1401, and 1423, all in a vain attempt to deprive their disobedient subjects of their disorderly pleasure. Despite the bans, records of criminal trials continue to refer to lives lost and property destroyed in the course of an annual football game. The most detailed account, however, is Richard Carew (Carew, Richard)'s description of “hurling to goales,” from his Survey of Cornwall (1602).

      That British folk football did not become appreciably more civilized with the arrival of the Renaissance is suggested by Sir Thomas Elyot (Elyot, Sir Thomas)'s condemnation in The Governour (1537). He lamented the games “beastely fury, and extreme violence.” Even James I, who defended the legitimacy of traditional English pastimes when they were condemned by the Puritans, sought to discourage his subjects from indulging in folk football. He wrote in Basilikon Doron; or, His Majesties Instructions to His Dearest Sonne, Henry the Prince (1603) that the “rough and violent” game was “meeter for mameing than making able the [players] thereof.”

      In Renaissance Italy the rough-and-tumble sport of folk football became calcio, a game popular among fashionable young aristocrats, who transformed it into a highly formalized and considerably less violent pastime played on bounded rectangular spaces laid out in urban squares such as Florence's Piazza di Santa Croce. In his Discorso sopra il gioco del calcio fiorentino (1580; “Discourse on the Florentine Game of Calcio”), Giovanni Bardi (Bardi, Giovanni, conte di Vernio) wrote that the players should be “gentlemen, from eighteen years of age to forty-five, beautiful and vigorous, of gallant bearing and of good report.” They were expected to wear “goodly raiment.” In a contemporary print, uniformed pikemen guard the field and preserve decorum. (In 1909, in a moment of nationalistic fervour, the Federazione Italiana del Football changed its name to the Federazione Italiana Gioco del Calcio.)

      As an aspect of more or less unbroken local tradition, in towns such as Boulogne-la-Grasse and Ashbourne (Derbyshire), versions of folk football survived in France and Britain until the early 20th century. Although all modern football sports evolved from medieval folk football, they derive more directly from games played in schoolyards rather than village greens or open fields. In 1747, in his "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College," Thomas Gray (Gray, Thomas) referred to the “flying ball” and the “fearful joy” that it provided the “idle progeny” of England's elite. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries at Eton, Harrow, Shrewsbury, Winchester, and other public schools, football was played in forms nearly as violent as the medieval version of the game. When the privileged graduates of these schools went on to Oxford and Cambridge, they were reluctant to abandon their “fearful joy.” Since none of them were ready to play by the rules of someone else's school, the only rational solution was to create new games that incorporated the rules of several schools.

 The institutional basis for the most widely played of these new games was England's Football Association (1863). References to “Association football (football (soccer))” were soon abbreviated to “soccer.” Graduates of Rugby School, accustomed to rules that permitted carrying and throwing as well as kicking the ball, played their game, rugby, under the aegis of the Rugby Football Union (1871). When Thomas Wentworth Wills (1835–80) combined Rugby's rules with those from Harrow and Winchester, Australian rules football was born. In the United States, rugby was quickly transformed into gridiron football (football, gridiron). (The name came from the white stripes that crossed the field at 10-yard [9.1-metre] intervals.) Although Gaelic football is similar to these other “codes,” that game was institutionalized under the auspices of the Gaelic Athletic Association (1884) as a distinctively Irish alternative to the imported English games of soccer and rugby.

Allen Guttmann

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

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