The King of Pop had a bigger impact on sports than most give him credit for. He single-handedly changed the Super Bowl halftime show from a bathroom break into a megaevent. Before Jackson's memorable performance at Super Bowl XXVII, the NFL had such forgettable acts as marching bands, the Rockettes, Elvis Presto and Disney characters. The year before, the halftime show featured former Olympic champions Brian Boitano and Dorothy Hamill skating on sheets of Teflon. His sister Janet may have had the most controversial performance, but we can always thank Michael for saving us from watching Mickey Mouse run around the field during halftime of the Super Bowl again.
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As women's tennis struggles for respect at this year's Wimbledon, arguably the sport's biggest pop culture icon continues to make headlines off the court. Kournikova was reportedly involved in a fight at a Las Vegas club that left her with scratch marks on her neck.
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The best thing about Miami sports teams, aside from the lousy attendance and muggy weather, are the celebrities behind them. Julio Iglesias was part of the Heat's initial ownership group, and now Estefan is a minority owner of the Miami Dolphins. We can only hope Ricky Martin will step up to the plate and buy a stake in the Marlins.
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Jarrett Stoll and Rachel Hunter
If you were invited to the August wedding of Hunter and Stoll, a center on the Los Angeles Kings, you can make other plans. The 27-year-old Stoll bailed on Hunter, who will turn 40 in September, without an explanation last week. Considering Hunter's ex was former Kings foward Sean Avery (inset), we're only a few months away from L.A.'s season opener and a chance for Hunter to find her next boyfriend.
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Julie Henderson and Aaron Rodgers
The most mysterious and interesting tweets we get on Twitter these days are from Julie Henderson, the SI Swimsuit model and grapefruit heiress who should be getting reality show offers left and right. After being linked to Russell Simmons, Henderson reportedly was spotted getting cozy with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in New York. Why do we get the feeling this is only the beginning of a news-filled summer for Henderson?
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U.S. soccer team
Can we please stop using the word "choke" in reference to the U.S. soccer team? After being left for dead following embarrassing losses to Brazil and Italy, the Americans beat Egypt 3-0, shocked Spain 2-0 and had a 2-0 halftime lead on Brazil in their first ever FIFA final. So because Brazil did what they were supposed to do and stormed back to win the game 3-2, we're supposed to go back to square one again? American soccer is on the right track; unfortunately the same can't be said for some of the fan base.
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Congratulations to John Cena, er Blake Griffin for being the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. We've never seen Griffin and the WWE wrestler in the same room but we're hoping someone can hook these two look-alikes up. Not for our amusement (although that would be nice), but so Cena can give Griffin some pointers on how to not make viewers fall asleep when he's being interviewed.
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The Big Cavalier is moving to Cleveland to team up with LeBron James and play in a cold-weather city for the first time in his career. Something tells us this marriage won't result in a championship, but it will give us the most entertaining introductions and sideline celebrations in NBA history.
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Hank Baskett and Kendra Wilkinson
The next great reality-show couple tied the knot last week when Kendra exchanged vows with Philadelphia Eagles receiver Hank Baskett. They already came out as winners before going on their honeymoon, getting $120,000 for their wedding pictures from "US Weekly," even though the magazine tried to get some of it back after they were forced to put Michael Jackson on this week's cover. So if you're looking for those pictures of Kendra and "celebrity guest" Jon Lovitz, it's on Page 23.
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If you want to know how much the Dallas Cowboys locker-room camaraderie has improved since Terrell Owens left, take a look at the videos running back Tashard Choice is putting on his Web site, TChoice23.com. He's got Sam Hurd acting like the drill sergeant from Forrest Gump, Stephen Bowen acting like Benjamin Button and Cory Procter reenacting the most disturbing scene from Silence of the Lambs (inset).
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