Terrell Davis's links to a sex scandal threaten his wholesome rep
For Terrell Davis, the hits just keep coming. Over the past 18
months the Broncos' congenial star has sustained two severe leg
injuries, been subjected to questions about his toughness and
surrendered his title as the best running back in the NFL. Now,
along with several other prominent athletes, including Patrick
Ewing and Jamal Anderson, Davis will be asked to explain the type
of behavior that many of his peers take for granted.
Davis is scheduled to testify for the government in U.S. v.
Kaplan et al., a federal racketeering case in which the owner of
an Atlanta strip club is accused of fraud, money laundering and
prostitution. Davis is not charged with any crime. His agent,
Neil Schwartz, says Davis was merely "a customer in a place that
is legal and licensed. He's single, and he went to a strip club."
Whatever went on at the Gold Club and whatever the nature of
Davis's involvement, his association with the case jeopardizes
his family-friendly endorsement image. Regarding Davis's
prospects as a corporate pitchman, Nova Lanktree, president of
Chicago-based Lanktree Sports Celebrity Network, says, "Any
company will now proceed with caution, if it proceeds at all."
Notably, Davis recently lost his endorsement contract with
Campbell's Soup. Schwartz says, "I believe Campbell's dropped
Terrell solely because he hasn't been on the field much the last
two years." A Campbell's spokesperson wouldn't comment.
However, an outspoken Campbell--raunchy rap legend Luke
Campbell--has plenty to say about the Gold Club trial. "Mark
Chmura in the hot tub with an underaged babysitter is a scandal;
this ain't s---," Campbell says. "People got over the strip-club
thing a long time ago."
To what extent that's true is debatable, but Campbell certainly
knows plenty about athletes' indiscretions. For graphic examples,
check out his website, www.lukerecords.com., on which he sells
explicit videos whose raunchier moments depict lesbian sex acts
in which spectators ogle and pour beer on the participants. In
Luke's Freakshow Vol. 3, Cancun '99 some familiar faces pop up
on the tape: Super Bowl MVP Ray Lewis of the Ravens, the late
Chiefs star Derrick Thomas and a certain basketball superstar and
Nike pitchman who has been heralded as the new face of the NBA.
Yo, Vince Carter--whassup!
The degrading spectacle of the Freakshow videos would be hard to
top even at the Gold Club. But while Carter's association with
raunchy sex has slid under the radar, for Davis and his fellow
strip-club patrons, the trip to the witness stand looms as a big
High-Profile Athletes Who Have Lost Endorsements
Opel cancels $1.2 million contract in 1995 after Fraulein
Forehand is linked to German tax-evasion case against her father.
No-contest plea to felony cocaine possession in '96 leads to $1
million in lost endorsement money, plus lawsuit from Texas
Hertz drops longtime spokesman in '94 after he's charged with
double homicide; shockingly, no new deals arise following
Heavyweight champ sees Pepsi deal fizzle in '88 after then wife
Robin Givens--with whom he had appeared in company
spots--accuses him of spousal abuse.
Fried chicken and collard greens crack about Tiger Woods at '97
Masters costs him club deal with Dunlop and role as Kmart
THE AL DAVIS CASE
A BLACK MOOD
Now that Raiders owner Al Davis has lost his $1 billion lawsuit
against the NFL, the next question is, What will the defeat cost
him? His fellow owners pondered that issue for an hour on May 23
during their spring meetings in Chicago and will certainly
continue discussing the matter in the future. Davis, the eternal
maverick, has angered his peers before, but never to this extent.
During the case, in which Davis claimed the league undermined his
plans for a Southern California stadium deal in 1995,
confidential league documents that detailed the finances of each
team were leaked to the Los Angeles Times. Steelers owner Dan
Rooney and several others have made no secret of their belief
that Davis gave the papers to the press. (Davis has not commented
on the accusation.) "It's not just the trial that was upsetting,"
says Rooney. "We're a league. We operate together. How you deal
with people is important."
According to a rule enacted by the NFL in 1997, a team that sues
the league and loses must pay court costs. So at the very least,
Davis will need to foot the NFL's legal bill, which reportedly
exceeds $10 million. Beyond that, commissioner Paul Tagliabue
hinted Davis could be disciplined for conduct detrimental to the
league, probably through a fine. A suspension, however, would be
hard to justify based on precedent. In '99 Tagliabue suspended
49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo, but only after DeBartolo was
implicated in illegal activities, namely failing to report
extortion attempts by former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards.
The owners are contemplating another form of retribution:
stripping Davis of his franchise. While that would be nearly
impossible for legal reasons, the mere fact that such a drastic
step was suggested reveals the depth of the anger toward Davis.
"He may love the game, and he may love the sport," said Browns
president Carmen Policy, "but he has no regard or appreciation
for his partners in the league." --Jeffri Chadiha
Sport? Not a Sport? THIS WEEK: GREYHOUND RACING
NOT A SPORT. "They're beautiful animals, but dogs chasing
something around a track isn't a sport."
--Shigetoshi Hasegawa, Angels reliever
SPORT. "The dogs are trained athletes. I don't want to compare
them to humans, but it's kind of like track."
--Elton Brand, Bulls forward
NOT A SPORT. "Yes, there's one-on-one competition, like the
100-meter dash in track, but there's no strategy. They're just
running after the rabbit."
--Eric Karros, Dodgers first baseman
NOT A SPORT. "It'll be a sport when the dogs start woofing, 'I'm
taking it one race at a time.'" --Trevor Pryce, Broncos
SPORT. "Horse racing is a sport, so why wouldn't greyhound racing
be one? They both involve animals, a track and betting." --Sonny
Hill, 76ers senior adviser
SPORT. "It's fixed like other sports. I know, I've lost a few
dollars on them. I heard they give some dogs too much water to
slow them down."
--Becky Iverson, LPGA golfer
NOT A SPORT. "If they start racing Greyhound buses, now that
would be a sport." --Ben Hamilton, Broncos center
on the Scene
As befitting its posh locale, the second annual Laureus World
Sports Awards, held May 22 in Monte Carlo, was a
no-expenses-spared operation. Sponsored by DaimlerChrysler and
luxury goods maker Richemont, the Awards drew athletes such as
Boris Becker, Michael Johnson, Dan Marino (above, with
Jean-Claude Van Damme), Martina Navratilova and Katarina Witt
(left), as well as celebs like Michael Douglas and Catherine
Zeta-Jones, Gregory Hines and Monaco's Prince Albert. Of course,
crowds like that come easy when you put your guests up in suites
on the Riviera, drive them around in new Mercedes (120 cars were
shipped in for the event) and fete them nonstop with parties.
Some presenters even received free Cartier watches (Jerry Lewis
also picked up a Cartier ring, gratis, for his nine-year-old
daughter). As a Laureus publicist said, "This is how you create a
The show was a polished affair, capped by LeAnn Rimes singing the
Laureus anthem, I Dream. (She fared better than former decathlete
Daley Thompson, who at an earlier party belted out Proud Mary and
Mustang Sally. "He shouldn't give up his day job," said Edwin
Moses. Retorted Thompson, "Moses? He's never had a day job.")
Tiger Woods won World Sportsman of the Year (and accepted by
satellite), while Australian Olympian Cathy Freeman won
Sportswoman honors. Jennifer Capriati (right) turned the most
heads when she accepted her Comeback of the Year award in a
revealing sari-influenced dress. Afterward, as revelers hurried
off to yet another party, South African adventure athlete Mike
Horn summed up: "Where else can you see athletes sing and dance
with princes and actresses?" --Joel Stratte-McClure
LOOK Hybrid jerseys made from two jersey halves sewn together.
BREAKDOWN Last year Matt Steichen, then a 16-year-old sophomore
at Bartlett (Ill.) High, attended Super Bowl XXXIV in Atlanta
with his dad, Craig. Matt, a Bills fan, took a Rams jersey and a
Titans jersey and attached them to each other with safety pins.
After being stopped by several intrigued fans and reporters, the
Steichens returned to this year's game with some homemade
models. They gave one to rapper Nelly, who wore it during his
performance on the halftime show, giving the jerseys the kind of
exposure the father-and-son team couldn't have bought. The
Steichens have since formed a company, Torn Apparel, and have
signed with the NBA and sportswear giant Champion to produce
NBA-themed jerseys, including a Lakers home and away shirt
CRITIQUE "It's a conversation piece," says Elena Romero, an
editor for fashion trade magazine DNR. "This shirt is for 2001
what Hawaiian shirts were for young people in the 1980s."
Tennis players Brandon Allan and Cameron Boyd of Knoxville's
Bearden High, from the Tennessee Class AAA state doubles
championship match, after Boyd yelled, "Jesus Christ!" when he
lost serve in the third set. According to Tennessee high school
association rules, players can yell "Jesus!" or "Christ!" but
By NASCAR, online gambling site Sportsbook.com's proposed
six-figure deal to sponsor Kenny Wallace's Winston Cup car.
Wallace signed with C.F. Sauer Foods.
By Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, that he'll give up
chewing tobacco. His brother-in-law and his mother-in-law were
recently found to have lip cancer and throat cancer, respectively.
The White Sox' marketing slogan for 2001. Chicago p.r. director
Scott Reifert acknowledged that "It's Time" was no longer an
appropriate motto for a team that was 18-29 and in fourth place
in the American League Central through Sunday. The Sox say
they'll focus on promoting the Comiskey Park experience.
The Turner Cup, emblematic of the International Hockey League
title, by the Orlando Solar Bears, who may be the last champs in
the history of the 56-year-old league. Six of the IHL's 11 teams
reportedly are preparing to join the American Hockey League,
helping create a single Triple A of minor league hockey.
The ashes of former Orioles outfielder Curt Blefary, over the
spot where home plate had stood at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium.
Blefary, who played with the Orioles from 1965 to '68, died in
January of pancreatitis at 57. Construction workers demolishing
the old venue cleared debris and graded the home plate area so
that Blefary's widow, Lana, could fulfill her husband's dying
Last Thursday, Erik Weihenmayer, 32, became the first blind
climber to reach the summit of Mount Everest. His wife, Ellie,
monitored his ascent from their house in Golden, Colo., and
offers these thoughts on his accomplishment.
Erik and I were married on Mount Kilimanjaro in 1997. While I
believed his love for adventure would enhance our relationship,
I also knew it would strain our bond as husband and wife. After
several climbs, I felt the mountains had become his mistress.
"Just one more, Ellie," he'd say. "Just one more mountain." Then
last June we had Emma, and he learned how baby girls tug at your
heart. Still, he wasn't ready to give up on Everest. I
understood. If you're going to call yourself a mountain climber,
you have to climb a major Himalayan peak, like Everest.
During his quest, which began in early April, Erik and I talked
by satellite phone a few times, but mostly I had to follow his
progress on the Internet, like everyone else. After putting Emma
to bed, I would click on 2001Everest.com. When there was no
news--and on a few occasions there wasn't any for several days--I
felt as if my air supply had been cut off. Many nights, images of
avalanches and dark crevasses flashed in my head, but I'd push
I found out Erik had summited when Kevin Cherilla, the manager of
the expedition's base camp, called on Thursday morning. "They're
standing on top of the world, Ellie!" he said. I could hear
screaming in the background from the people in the tent, and a
sound like a crazy peacock erupted, and I realized it was me
yelling. Erik finally called home at 3:00 a.m. on Sunday from
base camp. "It's unreal," he said. He told me he felt as if some
other body had been up there, not his.
Your life will change, Erik's dad says. He's thinking of the
publicity the climb has generated and the opportunities for Erik
to educate people about the capabilities of those with
disabilities. I'm thinking my life will change because I now
live with a man who has stood on the upper deck of our planet.
How will he handle all this oxygen down here?
Steve Nash has been bedazzled. The Mavericks guard, last seen
squiring English bad girl Geri (Ginger Spice) Halliwell, is now
dating Elizabeth Hurley, former companion of English bad boy
Hugh Grant. Nash (below) and Hurley have been spotted out and
about in Dallas recently, where Hurley is filming the comedy
Servicing Sara, with Matthew Perry. "They just vibed," says
Nash's agent, Bill Duffy. "They ended up hanging out, and there
was some chemistry. The relationship is authentic." So why is
Nash such a babe magnet? "Everyone underestimates him," says
Duffy, "both on the court and in his appeal to females."...
You never know where you'll get discovered. Jenn Cristy, who as
a senior at Indiana last year was an All-America swimmer, has
sung the national anthem twice at Hoosiers home basketball
games. Rocker John Mellencamp, an avid Indiana fan, heard her
and was impressed enough to invite her to sing backup vocals on
his new album, Cuttin' Heads. Cristy, who was the outstanding
swimmer in this year's Big Ten women's championships, will tour
with Mellencamp this summer....
When the producers of HBO's Arli$$ wrote an episode that called
for a big, colorful athlete to go on a Who Wants to Be a
Millionaire-type game show, they knew they needed a jock who
could do more than the usual cameo. They found their man in Tony
Siragusa. While most sports stars on the series get a line or
two, the Ravens' defensive tackle has one of the biggest roles
yet written for an athlete on Arli$$. "Tony's a natural," says
executive producer Jonny Fink. "He'd be perfect for The
Sopranos." The episode airs June 17....
Foley Is Good, the second volume of memoirs from WWF wrestler
Mankind, a.k.a. Mick Foley, hit No. 1 on The New York Times
nonfiction list last week. Now Foley is at work on a novel.
"Wrestling is fiction too," he says. "You establish your
character and get sympathy for him." As for whether wrestling or
writing has been more satisfying, the man who used to work
wearing a leather bondage mask says, "I get the same type of
rush from writing a good line as I do from executing a good move."
Amount Colts owner Jim Irsay paid at auction for the original
manuscript of Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road.
Amount the Colts lost from 1997 through '99, according to
evidence in Al Davis's lawsuit against the NFL.
117, 114, 78
Pitches thrown by Hideo Nomo, Kerry Wood and Jon Lieber,
respectively, in their one-hitters last week.
Times Arnold Palmer has shot his age (now 71) or better in a PGA
Inches that 1977 White Sox jerseys made for a turn-back-the-clock
game came up short, forcing Chicago to wear its regular shirts.
Indy 500 finish of Jeff Ward in a hot-pink car sponsored by
This Week's Sign of the Apocalypse
Wells Fargo Bank will pay $12,000 over the next two years for the
naming rights to a new Arizona Class 4A high school sports
he'd run naked through Times Square if Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki
won the batting title: "You'd better start working on your tan."