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By Jocelyn Geboy in Miscellaneous on Jun 6, 2007 8:52PM


Last weekend, professional soccer players Dean Ruddy and Ross Smith came across the pond to raise money for a charity called Dreams for Kids. In soccer, one of the cardinal rules is that the players, save for the goalie, are never allowed to touch the ball with their hands. But these guys were feeling up Chicago like crazy. They weren't here to raise money playing soccer, they were here to hug.

It was called the Embrace Race, and they were out on Michigan Avenue, in front of the Jack Brickhouse statue from 11 a.m. Friday morning to 11 a.m. Saturday morning in an effort to break the Guinness Book of World Record mark for hugs in the same period -- 4,135 hugs. They did break the record, but we can't help wondering if their cause was helped a great deal by the fact that they were incredibly good looking Englishmen. We know we're not the only American who is completely intoxicated by nearly anything that comes out of the mouth of someone from the United Kingdom.

When we heard about the story, we were also reminded of the video we had seen on YouTube about the free hugs campaign, supposedly a grass-roots movement started by someone (Juan Mann?) who just wanted to bring a little more joy into the world. We are fully behind free hugs. But we think if we try to hug the CTA people tonight, we might get in a little trouble. We'll mentally hug them instead.

"Free Hugs: Chicago" by bluman