When Russell Sealy was fired from his job after five years with Consignia, Britain's postal service, he resolved to appeal on grounds that he had been treated unfairly. That was in in the fall of 2000. Now, it appears, he may lose because of a court's ruling against him. Not on the merits of the case, mind you. Rather, it was on a technicality: The appeal wasn't received until two days past his deadline. And why was that? Because Sealy had mailed it. In fact, he paid extra to send it first-class, which was supposed to guarantee next-day delivery. Alas, Consignia didn't come through for him. After the hearing, in which the postal service defended itself vigorously, Sealy's lawyer said he saw a certain irony in the fact that Consignia relied on its own unreliability.

Fans' choices for all-time 'dream team' in pro soccer

In a race almost as closely contested as a World Cup game, Argentine midfielder Diego Mara-dona won the most votes in an online survey to determine which players – current or retired – should be on the sport's ultimate "dream team." Maradona topped legendary Brazilian striker Pele by just 3,496 votes. Participation in the survey, sponsored by FIFA, the governing body of pro soccer, was open to fans around the globe. The top finalists, by position, home country, and number of votes:


Pele, Brazil 107,539

Johan Cruyff, Netherlands 53,645

Romario, Brazil 29,480


Diego Maradona, Argentina 111,035

*Zinedine Zidane, France 80,527

*Roberto Baggio, Italy 55,625

Michel Platini, France 53,783


Franz Beckenbauer, Germany 81,442

*Paolo Maldini, Italy 58,523

*Roberto Carlos, Brazil 58,200


Lev Yashin, Soviet Union 24,587

* (still active)

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