This sport's just the way it looks - a slippery mess

Friday, July 11, 2003

Wrestling in Turkey, it turns out, isn't any different than cooking a turkey: It's all in the basting.

"Just like the United States has American football and Spain bullfighting, we have oil wrestling," Kadir Birlik, an official from the Turkish Wrestling Federation, told The Associated Press. "This is Turkey's sport. Turks started it first, and Turks are still doing it."

Every summer, hundreds of men wearing long leather shorts and lots of olive oil -- 2 tons were reportedly used at this year's tournament -- slip and slide as they try, often in vain, to pin their opponent in a 40-minute, or longer, match.

"It's a tough sport. It's 40 degrees Celsius outside," said Hasan Tuna, who failed to defend his 2002 title this year. "Everything is slick, and after a while it's hard to move."

The sport, which dates six centuries to the days of the Ottoman warriors, has stayed true to it roots. At least,Turkish TV viewers haven't yet reported any "Tastes great!" "Less filling!" commercial sightings.

Get the smelling salts

Allegations of sexual assault, resisting arrest, marijuana possession.

Just when the NBA thought the police blotter couldn't get any more shocking, now comes rumblings that David Robinson tore the tag off his new mattress.

Riding his bumper

If wife-carrying wannabes have any hopes of ending Estonia's six-year title reign, maybe it's time they start studying that country's unique technique: The woman -- upside down -- wraps her legs around her husband's neck and her arms around his waist, thus freeing his arms for running.

Noted Margo Uusorg, the wifely half of the reigning three-time world champs: "It's not so bad. But you don't see much."

Spud putts

Boise Open organizers will stage a pre-tournament skins game -- with Michelle Wie, John Daly, Hank Kuehne and Nancy Lopez -- on Sept. 15.

Since it will be played in Idaho, shouldn't it be called the Potato Skins?

Talk (and write) on

  • Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, testifying in his lawsuit against the NFL, when asked about the job responsibilities of longtime executive assistant Al Locasale: "I don't know if I should say this, but he's in charge of the Raiderettes."

    Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, on Virginia Tech lobbying to keep Miami in the Big East and then jumping to the ACC: "This just in: Virginia Tech has announced it has changed the name of its football stadium from Worsham Field to the Waffle House."

    Martina Navratilova, to The Associated Press, on the public's reaction to her still playing competitive tennis at age 46: "Because I hit a fuzzy yellow tennis ball, that inspires people to do more with life. It just doesn't get any better than that."

    Bill Scheft of Sports Illustrated, on Rangers owner Tom Hicks ordering GM John Hart to start dumping big salaries: "Here's the scary part: Martha Stewart knew this was going to happen in April."

    Three is the key

    News item: Detroit Shock forward Astou Ndiaye-Diatta gave birth to triplets in April, one year after the Cleveland Rockers' Helen Darling did the same.

    Alert statisticians immediately credited the WNBA with pro basketball's first triplet-double.

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