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Wednesday, March 1, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Sideline Chatter

Pork spending starts beef, results in trade deficit

The Seattle Times

Where's the meat?

That Romanian soccer team that traded away 33 pounds of pork sausage to acquire defender Marius Cioara — only to have Cioara quit in embarrassment — is demanding its meat back, ananova.comreported. As for Cioara, it's still sayonara.

"The sausage taunts all got too much," he said. "They were joking I would have got more from the Germans and making sausage jokes. It was a huge insult."

Worst seat in the house

They don't call it the Target Center for nothing.

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Timberwolves fan who was struck in the face by Kevin Garnett's thrown ball on Sunday was sitting in the same second-row seat as the fan who got drilled with a ball thrown by the Sonics' Rashard Lewis earlier this season.

Stiff vs. stiff

All-Star memories? Yes, the Nets' Vince Carter has one — like sitting on the East bench, not expecting to be put into the game in the final quarter.

"Man, I was stiff," he told the Newark Star-Ledger. "I'm watching, having a good time, and [coach Flip Saunders] says, 'You go back in, you got Ray [Allen],' and I go, 'Oh, man.'

"So I go out there and I ask Ray, 'How you feelin?' "

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"And he says, 'Stiff, man.'

"And I said, 'Yeah, I got Ray.' "

Nadia but nice

Nadia Comaneci — the gymnast synonymous with "10" at the 1976 Olympics — and husband Bart Conner were checking into a hotel when Conner noticed the "Nadia" on the desk clerk's nametag.

That led to this exchange, Conner told the Los Angeles Times:

Conner: "That's a nice name."

Clerk: "I was named after the famous gymnast."

Conner (pointing to his wife): "This is Nadia."

Clerk: "Oh, were you named after the gymnast, too?"

Nine lives

In a page right out of Rick "Northwest Championship" Neuheisel, the Washington basketball team — 22-5 but 0-2 against lowly rival WSU — is just one victory away from a clinching a tie for the Pac-9 title.

Talking the talk

• Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, on the Knicks' recent series of questionable player moves: "Hey, I've got an old Naugahyde couch with coffee stains on it and a used washing machine that leaks during the rinse cycle. Think I'll call Isiah Thomas and see if he'll give me something for it."

• Headline at SayItAintSo.com: "Percentage of athletes who give 110 percent drops to 119 percent."

• Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, on curling's most redeeming value: "You never hear it in the same sentence with 'collective bargaining agreement.' "

Pass the Vicks

QB Marcus Vick told prospective teams he's gotten past the problems that got him booted out of Virginia Tech, breaking the NFL combine record in the vertical leap of faith.

Dwight Perry: 206-464-8250 or dperry@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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