Pete Mcentegart
Thursday January 27th, 2005

1. Disney will discontinue its promotional campaign of having a prominent member of the Super Bowl-winning team look into the camera after the game and say, "I'm going to Disney." Corporate officials realized the viewing audience wouldn't believe anyone would ever choose to leave the earthly paradise that is Jacksonville.

2. Angry Steelers coach Bill Cowher said Wednesday rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was exaggerating when he said a day earlier he had broken two toes during the AFC Championship Game. In fact, said the steel-jawed Cowher, Roethlisberger had sustained no broken bones. Yet.

3. The 10 Spot caught some of the terrific Serena Williams-Maria Sharapova Australian Open semifinal late Wednesday night. Williams dropped the first set, fought off a few match points in the second and won an 8-6 thriller in the third. I must confess my interest in the match was piqued when I noticed that Sharapova had declared it would be a "catfight." I don't think she knows the power that word holds over the typical male, which Elaine Benes once discovered to her chagrin.

4. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has filed a $2 million lawsuit against General Motors for allegedly using his likeness in an ad last January, several weeks after his contract with the automaker had expired. A GM official said the company simply couldn't resist using the ad because Brady was "too damn cute."

5. The Colorado football program is under fire again, this time for spending nearly $35,000 to give each player an electronic organizer as a reward for reaching a bowl game. Football officials defended the move, saying the expensive organizers were necessary for players to balance busy practice schedules with their many interviews with investigators.

6. Bad marketing idea of the week: All Pro Deal will reportedly produce NBA-licensed playing cards featuring caricatures of NBA players, and poker chips bearing the NBA logo. Put aside for a moment the notion of a professional sports league effectively sanctioning gambling. Aren't the players going to fight over whom will be represented on the best cards? Who is going to tell Kobe Bryant that he's merely the king of hearts while Shaq is the ace of diamonds? And what self-respecting NBA player will concede to being the two of clubs? Look for brawls over NBA charter-flight card games to increase precipitously.

7. A former Memphis high school coach testified in federal court that he accepted $150,000 from an Alabama booster to convince his star player to sign with the Crimson Tide in 2000. Lynn Lang, who coached defensive tackle Albert Means at Trezevant High, said Georgia and Kentucky also paid him, and four other schools offered money as well. The schools responded that they were simply abiding by NCAA restrictions against paying players.

8. SI Swimsuit Model Search update: Wednesday's episode was strange. First came an extended appearance from supermodel Petra Nemcova, though no mention that Nemcova is still recovering from a broken pelvis and internal injuries suffered in Thailand during the devastating tsunami that also led to the loss of her photographer boyfriend, Simon Atlee. Stacy, Shannon and Alicia advanced to next week's finale in Bora Bora, though not without hearing some slights. Judge (and former SI swimsuit model) Roshumba Williams noted of Stacy, "We do have to consider that she has no boobs." Noted meanie judge Joel Wilkenfeld of Shannon, "You know what? There's just nothing behind her eyes." Then Joel told Alicia, in trying to compliment her for how far she has come: "You were the saggy-ass girl." In the end, the judges bounced 10 Spot favorite Jenna, in part for what they felt were surgically enhanced breasts. Let that be a lesson to you kids out there: Natural is better.

9. Baseball officials are finally displaying both self-awareness and a sense of humor. MLB president Bob DuPuy said baseball hopes to quickly pare down candidates to purchase the Washington Nationals and to have the sale "buttoned up" by Opening Day. DuPuy did concede, "If you judge by my predictions on the relocation process, the chances of the sale happening that soon are probably zero." Maybe that should count as DuPuy's reader submission.

10. Reader submission: The winner is J.P. of Kansas City, who opines, "By signing former Heisman winner Eric Crouch, the Chiefs hope the former option quarterback can add another alternative to a secondary that typically faces just three choices: Stop, drop or roll." Well done, J.P., very subtle. Honorable mention goes to Mason of Malden, Mass., and former winner Kevin of St. James, N.Y. Thanks as always for all the entries.

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