Now that's a sports story!

My curiosity has been fed, but not satisfied, by an interesting item in today's NYTimes "Sports Monday" section.

Americans are reacting with queasiness to the ancient soccer tradition of exchanging shirts after a game — not just trading the shirts, mind you, but promptly pulling them on, sweat and all.

[Speak for yourselves, guys; some of us have other reactions.]
Wearing somebody else's clammy gear seems downright unhygienic. There is also a barbaric touch to seeing a player wearing opposing colors, almost the way Dark Ages warriors walked off the battlefield displaying enemy trophies.

Perhaps trying to assuage some fans' objections, an American player contributed, "Besides, you're already sweaty."

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Published on June 17, 2002 12:55 PM.

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