Hall Of Fame jockey Gary Stevens has landed a prominent role in
the movie Seabiscuit. He'll play jockey George Woolf, who rode
Biscuit in the 1938 match race against War Admiral at Pimlico.
"When he came in and read for the part, he was fantastic,"
executive producer Allison Thomas told the Daily Racing Form. "We
had him read a very emotional scene ... and he bowled everyone
over." The movie, based on Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling book
and starring Tobey Maguire as jockey Red Pollard, begins shooting
--At 21 Serena Williams is about the age of a college junior, but
that hasn't stopped ABC from casting her as a teacher. The
world's top-ranked women's tennis player was scheduled to be in
Burbank, Calif., this week to tape an episode of My Wife and
Kids, the ABC half-hour comedy starring Damon Wayans. Williams,
who has been eager to start an acting career, plays the
kindergarten teacher of Wayans's youngest daughter. The episode
is scheduled to air Oct. 30.
--In case you missed Andy Rooney's Neanderthal comments on The
Boomer Esiason Show, here's a reprise: "Those damn women they
have down on the sidelines ... don't know what the hell they're
talking about," said Rooney, 83. "A woman has no business being
down there trying to make some comment about a football game."
Curious about industry reaction, we chatted with HBO's Jim
Lampley, who was one of the nation's first two sideline reporters
(along with Don Tollefson) when he started with ABC in 1974.
"Rooney's only problem was making a gender distinction," Lampley
said, pointing out that you don't have to be a woman to stink up
the sideline. (A fact anyone who's ever watched Eric Dickerson
already knew.) Lampley also recalled his own blunder while
working the USC-Notre Dame game in 1974. After the Trojans'
Anthony Davis returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown,
the control booth called down to Lampley for a report from the
raucous crowd. Where was Lampley? "I was in the rest room, 27
rows away from the USC sideline," he recalls. "I stepped out of
the rest room and faked it. I just said to [announcer] Keith
Jackson, 'Keith, they're going crazy down here.'"
--Odds and Ends: Magic Johnson's first gig as a movie producer
looks like a winner. The Taye Diggs-Sanaa Lathan flick Brown
Sugar, on which Johnson served as executive producer, opened at
No. 3 and did a solid $11.05 million at the box office.... The
Uruguayan rugby players who survived a plane crash in the Andes
30 years ago by eating the flesh of teammates killed in the
accident--an ordeal which inspired the book and film Alive--held an
emotional reunion match in Santiago. Survivors from the Old
Christians team played a group of former Chilean Old Boys, the
team the Old Christians were en route to play at the time of the
crash.... Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez has pledged a $3.9
million donation to the University of Miami, the school at which
he shagged flies and took batting practice as a boy. After
receiving the cash, which will come in installments over six
years, Miami will rename its stadium Alex Rodriguez Park. A-Rod,
27, also plans to take classes at Miami and hopes to get a
THIS WEEK'S SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
Two European soccer teams--Holland's Utrecht and Georgia's Dinamo
Tbilisi--will each play a home game in an empty stadium because
their fans have been banned for violent behavior.
Ninety-eight-pound runner, while battling strong winds en route
to a second-place finish in the Chicago Marathon: "Oh, my
goodness, I'm going to blow away."