Sports Beat

December 29, 2003

FOLKS WHO don't want to shell out $19.95 to watch the inaugural
Lingerie Bowl on pay-per-view at halftime of the Super Bowl can
still see some attractive entertainment on CBS. Calling the game
"a unique and exciting experience that I have looked forward to
for many years," Janet Jackson has signed on to perform at
intermission of Super Bowl XXXVIII at Houston's Reliant Stadium.
Jackson has a new album scheduled for release in early 2004. As
for the alternative game, in which teams of scantily clad models
will play football under the watchful eye of coaches Lawrence
Taylor and Eric Dickerson, it will go on without its lone major
sponsor. Dodge, which had hoped to use the event to sell trucks
to the macho set, pulled out last week after research revealed
that the game might be viewed in some quarters as a tad sexist.
Said Dodge's global marketing chief, George Murphy, "The event
was diverting media and consumer attention from current
products."

--Indianapolis running back Edgerrin James might not even be the
best colt with that first name. Edgerrin, a 2-year-old
thoroughbred owned by Indianapolis season-ticket holders Herb and
Darlene Likens, has won all three of his starts--including the
$35,000 South Bend Stakes on Nov. 29. "He's big and powerful, and
he's a competitor like Edgerrin James," says Herb Likens.
"Edgerrin the horse knows he's good." That's all that matters to
James, who was pleasantly surprised when SI told him of the
horse's existence--and even happier to learn he's undefeated.
"That's what I'm talking about," said James. "A young
thoroughbred champion in the making!" His request for the
Likenses: "They can't keep that horse too clean. It's got to be
unique, and it's got to win."

--We don't yet know how good it is, but The Perfect Score, which
stars Darius Miles alongside Lost in Translation star Scarlett
Johansson and hits the screen next month, certainly sounds
realistic. The Cavs' forward, who skipped college to jump to the
NBA in 2000, plays Desmond, a New Jersey high schooler
contemplating a similar move. Ultimately Desmond wants to go to
St. John's, so he schemes to steal a copy of the SAT. Miles--who
had no acting experience and says he modeled his work on the
thespian techniques of Shaquille O'Neal (Kazaam)--got the gig
after being asked to audition by the film's producer and writers,
who are Clippers fans. (Miles played in L.A. until last season.)
Says Miles, "All of my lines in the movie are basically the same
stuff I was telling people when I was in high school."

--Talk about a target audience: Democratic presidential candidate
Gen. Wesley Clark put together a campaign ad that ran only in New
Hampshire (primary date: Jan. 27) and only during last Saturday's
Patriots-Jets game. Clark wore a Pats sweatshirt, juggled a
football and went heavy on metaphor: "When you're down, you have
to be able to turn things around, and you never give up. And
let's face it, you have to be strong on defense," Clark said to
the camera. "You also need to be strong on offense. And having a
heck of a quarterback doesn't hurt either." ... Hall of Fame
jockey Gary Stevens, who played jockey George Woolf in
Seabiscuit, says he'll take a leave of absence from riding if an
acting project comes along. "I've got other priorities right now
besides horse racing," said the 40-year-old, who suffered a
fractured vertebra and a punctured lung in a spill at the
Arlington Million in August. "It's a lot safer behind a camera
than it is on top of a horse."

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (WOODEN) PICTURE THIS Surrounded by more than 70 of his ex-players--including George Stanich, from his first UCLA team in '48-49, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, whom he still calls Lewis Alcindor--John Wooden was honored before last Saturday's UCLA game. The Pauley Pavilion court was renamed for Wooden, 93, and his late wife, Nell. Wearing replica 1963-64 jerseys, the Bruins upset Michigan State 64-58. COLOR PHOTO: BILL BAPTIST/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (AMAECHI) COLOR PHOTO: REUTERS NEWMEDIA INC./CORBIS (JACKSON) Beauty and the Bowl

THIS WEEK'S SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE

A Scottish rugby team quit in the middle of a league match
because the players complained that the 43° weather was too
cold.

THEY SAID IT JOHN AMAECHI

Rockets center, on not having played a single minute all season:
"That's part of the challenge of being a professional athlete."

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)