"A team of nonprofessionals ain't gonna win the Super Bowl," says former NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe. "But even an amateur with good cards has a chance of winning the World Series of Poker." (He may be on to something. Actress Jennifer Tilly won the WSOP ladies no-limit Texas hold 'em last week.) Sharpe, who has been tutored by Mark Seif (who's already won two 2005 events), will join celebs such as Tobey Maguire and Brad Garrett at this year's Main Event on July 9. (The winner gets $7.5 million; a poker website staked Sharpe the $10,000 entry fee.) Recently, on his 37th birthday Sharpe had a test run against former Broncos teammates Rod Smith and Keith Burns. Says Sharpe, "I beat up on them and got a ghetto version of the World Series gold bracelet to show for it: a rubber band."
Now it can be revealed. Hulk Hogan says his matches with guys like Andre the Giant and the Iron Sheik had nothing on the fights he gets into with his 17-year-old daughter, Brooke--tussles that tend to be tests of will centering around boys or the length of her miniskirt. "He doesn't think I should date, and he's always telling me I'm way too 'sexy-looking,'" says Brooke (above), an aspiring singer who belted the national anthem at a 2004 Stanley Cup finals game in Tampa. "But I know how to work him over and can weasel my way out of that stuff." Their wrangling will play out on VH1's latest reality show, Hogan Knows Best, which debuts on July 10. "It's the opposite of The Osbournes," says the Hulkster. "We're a lot crazier--we just don't need the drugs or the rehab to be crazy."
The New York City premiere of Murderball on June 22 provided a touching epilogue to the documentary about quadriplegic rugby players. Former motocross racer Keith Cavill, who was paralyzed in a wreck in 2003 and appears in the movie as an aspiring player, was presented with a quad rugby wheelchair by a moviegoer. Cavill, 24, is preparing for a tryout with a local team. To get used to contact, he's been riding in his driveway with his nine- and 10-year-old cousins, who are in Big Wheels. "I just plow through them," he laughs.
David Ortiz (salsa and hip-hop) and Kevin Millar (country and rock) may control the locker room tunes, but Bronson Arroyo is the man in the Red Sox' clubhouse with the serious music chops. The pitcher-guitarist-singer is releasing his first CD, Covering the Bases, on July 12. The disc of '90s-era rock covers--"stuff I really enjoyed when I was just getting into music," he says--features several guests. G.M. Theo Epstein plays lead guitar on one cut, Johnny Damon sings on another and Sox fan Stephen King lends original vocals to the Foo Fighters' Everlong. Arroyo's verdict on King's cameo: "It's creepy as s---." ... Answer: The Queen, the Queen Mother and Jack Nicklaus. Question: Who are the only three people ever to appear on the Scottish five-pound note? The Royal Bank of Scotland is releasing a Nicklaus bill on July 12, two days before his final appearance at the British Open.
THIS WEEK'S SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
A New York City high school teacher lost his job for using sick days to wrestle professionally as "Matt Striker."
They Said It
Fifteen-year-old skateboarding pro and X Games champ, when asked if he's recognized at the grocery store: "Why would I go to the grocery store?"