News In Brief

HEY, HONEY, GUESS WHAT!

It was with some sadness that Katie Smith set off last September on a 10,000-mile trek that would take her and boy-friend Dave Gould from Harrogate, England, their hometown, to Egypt, Costa Rica, and parts of the US. Not because she wasn't looking forward to their adventure, but because just before leaving her gold-and-sapphire ring disappeared. But off they went anyway. Now, fast-forward to last month and the discovery of the ring ... which had been embedded in the tread of one of Gould's hiking boots the entire time.

OH, PHOOEY

Now, imagine the disappointment of thieves who smashed through three sets of doors and a hardened glass display case inside New Zealand's Auckland Museum to steal a golden frog. Alas, after all that work, they escaped with only a mere replica. The original, crafted in or near what is now Panama between AD 800 and 1200, is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. But it has been in storage for 30 years.

Dallas Cowboys ranked as world's most valuable team

US teams dominate a new ranking of the world's most valuable professional sports franchises. American names accounted for seven of the top 10 - the others are European soccer teams - as calculated by New York-based retail consultant FutureBrand Worldwide, which factored in revenues, profits, and market competition. Its evaluators arrived at three basic characteristics for a valuable franchise: a strong local fan base, a history of winning, and broad-based marketing. FutureBrand's top 10 pro franchises and their worth (in millions):

1. Dallas Cowboys $274.3

2. Manchester United 258.9

3. Washington Redskins 210.6

4. New York Yankees 180.2

5. New York Knicks 171.1

6. Real Madrid 155.1

7. Bayern Munich 150.3

8. San Francisco 49ers 147.4

9. Los Angeles Lakers 146.6

10. New York Rangers 145.7

- Business Wire

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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