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Best New Arrival on the Sports Scene

The Atlanta Beat

Most of what is odious in today's professional sports world can be chalked up to one thing: money. The smirk that accompanied Andruw Jones' testimony at the Gold Club trial likely had as much to do with the $8.2 million he's making this year as it did with the sexual favors he got in an upstairs room. But fear not, sports purist. This year saw the debut of the Atlanta Beat, one of eight teams taking the field for the inaugural season of the Women's United Soccer Association. Players are paid between $25,000 and $85,000 -- a relative pittance that tells us one thing: They play because they love it. And the Beat rose to pre-season expectations, getting all the way to the national championship last month, only to lose a heartbreaker to the Bay Area CyberRays in sudden death.

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