Jack Pollock
SOCCER STREAKERS After kicking in the winning penalty shot at the 2000 World Cup, Brandi Chastain ripped off her jersey and stripped down to her sports bra.

During Sunday's quarterfinal game at PGE, two animal rights activists went a bit further: They took off everything. If you were watching the US-Germany game on ESPN2, it was one of the highlights left out of the Adidas-sponsored broadcast.

Just after halftime, as the US goalie Brianna Scurry lined up for a penalty kick, two women leapt from the stands and rushed across the entire width of the field. Carrying a banner reading "Adidas Kills," they sprinted for almost 30 seconds before security guards were finally able to grab them. As they were escorted out, the pair was given a rousing cheer from the crowd, many of whom may have assumed the streak was a mere prank.

But in fact, the streak was motivated by the concern that Adidas uses kangaroo hides in their high-end soccer shoes. Megan, one of Sunday's streakers and a soccer player herself, said she had become "deeply depressed" after watching a video of a hunt in Australia.

"These little joeys [baby kangaroos] were just grabbed from the pouch and slammed against the back fender [of a truck]." In the past year, 6 million kangaroos were killed for their hides--a rate of killing that's three times faster than the marsupials' reproductive rate.

The idea to streak stemmed from a PETA campaign that showed a naked Melissa Etheridge with a caption stating "I'd rather go naked than wear fur." The activists smuggled sections of a flagpole into the stadium and assembled them in the bathroom. The pair then edged a few rows away from the field. They had planned to rush out during halftime, but missed their opportunity and waited for a penalty kick to rip off their snap-on clothing.

"I was shaking, but all I could think was, 'This isn't about me.' I just had to remember those images of the kangaroos running scared and being popped off. It was about getting our flag up there."

Fortunately for Megan, when security pulled her from the field, she was near the lost and found. The officers wrapped her in three discarded sweaters. Arrested and released, Megan and her compatriot are awaiting trial later this month.

For more information about Adidas' use of kangaroo hides, contact In Defense of Animals at 249-9996 or check out savethekangaroo.com. PHIL BUSSE