Poor San Diego Chargers. First Eli Manning maligned them, saying he wanted nothing to do with the team and its first-draft pick. Then, assuming Philip Rivers would be a low-maintenance alternative to Mr. Manning, the Chargers settled on the North Carolina State quarterback. But by the second week of training camp, Mr. Rivers still was holding out for more money, and the Chargers pulled their offer from the table. General manager A.J. Smith went public: "This is very disappointing and unfortunate. Negotiations broke down. . . . Now the offer is off the table. It will only go down from here."
So what makes Mr. Smith believe that Mr. Rivers and his agent will agree to a lower offer when they've already rejected an offer reportedly very close to $40 million? What could bring them to the bargaining table after Mr. Smith launched a public attack?
Of course, this could all be solved if the NFL adopted the NBA's rules for rookie salaries. In professional basketball, rookies drafted in the first round have to sign a league-mandated three-year contract. Such a system would simplify the NFL draft. Owners would love it. But would the players union ever agree to something so rigid?
What would drive a young Greek Olympic athlete to jump out a window? In the tradition of a Shakespearean tragedy, apparently love made her do it. A lover's leap ended the Olympic dreams of judo star Eleni Ioannou, who jumped off a balcony after a tiff with her boyfriend. Just days later, her boyfriend mimicked her near-fatal flight off a third-floor balcony. Like Ms. Ioannou, her boyfriend landed in critical condition in an Athens hospital. Ms. Ioannou and her boyfriend, Giorgos Chrisostomides, got into a verbal argument the evening of Aug. 7. "It started about who would play solitaire on the computer," says Mr. Chrisostomides's cousin. Ms. Ioannou slapped her boyfriend and hurled herself toward the balcony and onto the concrete driveway below.
The next day, Mr. Chrisostomides attempted to jump off the same balcony, yelling, "I'm going to find Eleni." Family members restrained him before he could jump and later took the troubled 24-year-old to a therapist. But on Aug. 9, Mr. Chrisostomides bolted away from the dinner table and leapt over the balcony railing. Both Mr. Chrisostomides and Ms. Ioannou suffered severe head and back injuries. Nikos Drakopoulos, a neighbor across the hall, observed the incidents: "He was very much in love. He could not see himself living if she was gone."
- Now that the Lakers have fully crumbled, trading off Gary Payton, is it time for another California team to find its place under the big top? The circus may have a new home: Sacramento. The Kings problems surfaced when center Vlade Divac spurned Sacramento and returned to Los Angeles. That set off top-scorer Peja Stojakovic, who subsequently demanded a trade. And Chris Webber spouted in an interview with The Sacramento Bee his dissatisfaction with the Kings, at one point saying, "I need to be more selfish."
- Lawyers for Kobe Bryant's accuser vowed to pursue the criminal rape trial against the basketball star, but also said they would file a civil suit. A Colorado woman accused Mr. Bryant of raping her last summer. She has asked for a jury trial and $75,000 to compensate for pain and suffering.
- Fred McGriff's search for his 500th home run continues. After being cut by Tampa Bay after batting .181 in 27 games, Mr. McGriff failed to latch on with the New York Yankees, who needed a bat after first baseman Jason Giambi fell ill. If Mr. McGriff can't find a home and seven more homers, does that mean the Jose Gonzalez watch has begun?