© St. Petersburg Times, published August 18, 2002
Rivals to meet in Arena final
Barry Wagner is a two-time most valuable player who scored 26 touchdowns this season, yet few outside of San Jose know his name.
Today, he is looking forward to the national TV exposure that will be given to the ArenaBowl (3 p.m. Ch. 28), when his SaberCats go for their first title against Arizona.
"We always joke that people who don't have cable can finally watch us play in this game," Wagner said. "People who are locked up in prison can watch this game."
San Jose (15-1) and Arizona (13-3) are archrivals. They also are the league's best two teams.
There also is a grudge. San Jose was two games shy of the league's first perfect regular season when it lost to Arizona 59-52 on July12. In the game, the Rattlers broke the collarbone of quarterback Mark Grieb, the league's offensive player of the year.
"We haven't even really talked about the championship," said John Dutton, who has taken over. "We've just talked about beating Arizona. Sure, it's the championship game. But to us, it's even more of a rivalry game."
BOXING: David Tua stopped two-time former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer 30 seconds into the first round in Atlantic City, N.J. ... Joe Calzaghe (34-0) successfully defended his WBO super-middleweight title in Cardiff, Wales, unanimously outpointing Miguel Jimenez. ... Unbeaten middleweight Jermain Taylor, a bronze medalist at the 2000 Olympics, won his 11th consecutive bout, a unanimous 10-round decision over Sam Hill.
COLLEGES: The FSU women's soccer team is No.10 in the SoccerBuzz preseason poll, the first time it has been in the Top 10.
TENNIS: Greg Rusedski reached the final of the RCA Championships in Indianapolis with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over third-seeded Tommy Haas. He faces Felix Mantilla, a 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 winner over Rainer Schuettler, today. ... James Blake beat top-seeded Andre Agassi 6-3, 6-4 to reach the final of the Legg Mason Classic in Washington. He faces Paradorn Srichaphan, who beat Marcelo Rios 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, today. ... Jennifer Capriati reached the final of the Rogers AT&T Cup in Montreal when Jelena Dokic quit with a knee injury. Capriati led 7-6 (7-5), 4-0. She plays Amelie Mauresmo, a 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) winner over Daniela Hantuchova, today. ... Ashley Harkleroad beat top-seeded Anka Barna 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 to reach the final of the GHI Bronx Classic in New York. She plays Lubomira Kurhajcova, a 6-2, 7-5 winner over Akiko Morigami, today. Mardy Fish and Dennis Golovanov reached the men's final.
SOCCER: Carla Overbeck scored on a rebound 1:20 into overtime as host Carolina beat Atlanta 2-1 and reached Saturday's WUSA title game. It faces Washington, which got a goal from Monica Gerardo in the 80th minute to beat host Philadelphia 1-0. ... Ronnie Ekelund's second goal of the MLS game in the 63rd minute gave host San Jose a 2-2 tie with D.C. United. Antonio Martinez had two goals and an assist in the second half in visiting Dallas' 3-1 victory over New York/New Jersey. ... Everton's Wayne Rooney, 16, became one of the youngest players to start in the English Premier League. The youngest was Sunderland keeper Derek Forster, who was 15 years, 185 days.
RUNNING: Sebastian Panga won the Helsinki City Marathon in Finland in 2:50:11, three minutes faster than Francis Kuruin.
CYCLING: American Tyler Hamilton finished fourth in the six-day Tour of Denmark, less than two minutes behind Jakob Piil. Kurt-Asle Arvesen was second.
HORSES: Beat Hollow held off Sarafan by a head and Forbidden Apple, a nose behind Sarafan, to win the Arlington Million at Arlington Heights. In the $700,000 Beverly D. for fillies and mares, Golden Apples overtook defending champion England's Legend in the stretch and held off a late charge by favorite Astra. Chiselling caught up and passed Jazz Beat to win the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds by a nose in a photo finish. ... Farda Amiga caught Allamerican Bertie in the final strides to win the Alabama Stakes at Saratoga.