Six-Love in a Time of War
Life--and big-time tennis--goes on in the Middle East nation of
With the prospects of a Gulf war intensifying, the windy city of
Doha (pop. 500,000)--the capital of the desert nation Qatar--has
been in the news an awful lot. Set in the Persian Gulf, some 340
miles from the Iraqi border, Doha is the U.S. military's nerve
center in the Middle East and will serve as operational
headquarters should the U.S. wage war against Iraq. Doha, where
thousands of U.S. soldiers are stationed, is beyond the range of
scud missiles that Saddam Hussein might have but is not
impervious to attack: Last month terrorist gunmen opened fire
near the military base, killing a U.S. Defense Department
Welcome to the latest stop on your favorite tennis tours. Last
month the ATP held the Qatar Exxon Mobil Open at the Khalifa
International tennis complex, 20 miles from where the troops are
massed. On Monday, Monica Seles, Mary Pierce and other stars
converged in Qatar for the $170,000 Total Finaelf Open, a WTA
Tour event sponsored by an oil company. "You don't think about
where you are," says Nicole Pratt, who's ranked No. 45. "We're
staying at a Sheraton near a beach. We play our matches, and we
go to the mall."
Yet at the tennis complex, security's tight, and the newspapers
at the Sheraton on Monday had headlines about the pressing threat
of war and regional unrest. The WTA, like the ATP before it,
commissioned comprehensive security inspections before the
tournament and got the all clear. "After that, I really didn't
have much concern," says U.S. pro Jan-Michael Gambill, who
reached the men's final. Players are also comforted that Qatar,
an oil-rich sheikhdom and one of the more socially progressive
Arab nations, has healthy diplomatic ties with the U.S. Nor does
it hurt that the athletes get feted like royalty. Seles was
invited to a sheikh's stables last Sunday, and a Valentine's Day
party is planned on a lush island. "We're taking every step to
provide players with the latest security information," says WTA
spokesman Darrell Fry. "You never know what's going to
happen." --L. Jon Wertheim
February 17, 2003
15 years, 11 months Time elapsed since Penguins center Mario
Lemieux had received a major penalty for fighting in a
regular-season game before last week's tussle with the Panthers'
4 Brothers (Doug, Scott, Jeff and Jason Lynch) who played for
Spokane in a Western Hockey League game last week.
4 Lions coaches in 27 months now that Detroit has hired Steve
5 Horses who share the title role in Seabiscuit, which is due out
on July 25.
806 1/2 Hours of coverage that NBC-owned networks will devote to
the 2004 Olympics in Athens, up from 441 1/2 hours during the
2000 Games in Sydney.
14 NBA players, who attended the Bronx's DeWitt Clinton, more
than any other high school.
$0 Amount incurred in fines this season by Mavericks owner Mark
Cuban, who had been fined eight times for $1,005,000 over 2 1/2
years when the season began.
13 Age of U.S. golfer Michelle Wie, who last week shot a 224 from
the men's tees to place 43rd in a field of 192 at the Hawaii
Pearl Open; she was the youngest player and the only female in an
event that included several Japanese tour pros.
FOR THE RECORD
RETIRED After 14 major league seasons, outfielder David Justice,
36, a three-time All-Star. Justice played on World
Series--winning teams twice, as a Yankee in 2000 and as a Brave
in 1995, when his home run in the sixth inning of Game 6 broke a
scoreless tie and gave Atlanta the championship. A career .279
hitter with 305 home runs and 1,017 RBIs, Justice reached the
playoffs 10 times, including last year with the A's. Justice, who
was married to actress Halle Berry from 1992 to '96 and who is
known as GQ for his stylish dress, hinted at retirement after
Oakland's first-round loss to the Twins. He confirmed his
decision last week, citing "a diminished desire to play." A's
general manager Billy Beane plans to offer Justice an
off-the-field position with the team.
ENDORSED By Martha Burk and the National Council of Women's
Organizations, the WNBA players' association's goal of seeking
more equitable working conditions in the league's new collective
bargaining agreement. The players want free agency and a larger
share of league revenue, among other things. According to the
WNBPA, players earned less than 15% of revenue generated by the
still unprofitable league, compared with 55% or more earned by
athletes in other sports. "It is unacceptable that WNBA players
are in such an inferior position," said Burk. Says NBA senior
vice president Tim Andree, "I'm very glad Martha Burk is a WNBA
season-ticket holder and that [she] has taken an interest. Both
sides are working toward a deal." The previous agreement expired
last Sept. 15.
DISQUALIFIED From the Champions Tour's Royal Caribbean Classic
last Friday, Fuzzy Zoeller, for hitting practice shots on the 6th
tee. Zoeller, who was filming a lesson for a local TV station
after his round had ended, was moved to the empty 6th tee by
tournament officials because the practice tee was too congested.
When the cameraman asked Zoeller for help with a shot showing
impact between club and ball, Zoeller hit three balls into an
adjacent lake. A tour official happened past and disqualified
Zoeller for violating Rule 71b, which forbids competitors from
practicing on the course between rounds.
TREATED For minor cuts and bruises after being involved in a car
accident that killed three women, Devil Rays righthander Jesus
Colome, 25. Colome was driving with two friends in a sport
utility vehicle on a highway outside his hometown of San Pedro de
Macoris in the Dominican Republic last Thursday night. According
to police, the car carrying the three women turned into Colome's
lane, causing the collision. Neither of Colome's passengers was
seriously hurt. Colome had been scheduled to return to Tampa Bay
on Sunday but instead stayed in the Dominican Republic to console
and help the families of the victims. "This could affect my
career," he said. "I don't know whether I feel O.K. to play this
season." Colome went 2-7 with an 8.27 ERA in 32 relief
appearances last season.
SIDELINED From the Kentucky Derby, Vindication, the 2year-old
champion of 2002 and the early favorite in the race. Undefeated
in four starts last year, including October's Breeders' Cup
Juvenile (right, with Mike Smith up), Vindication, a son of
Seattle Slew, damaged a ligament in his left foreleg while
training at Santa Anita Park. He will not train for at least two
months, and his handlers say that the Triple Crown, which runs
from May 3 to June 7, is out. "Everyone at the barn is
devastated," says trainer Bob Baffert. "We're still in denial."
The injury continues a thoroughbred jinx: In the 18year history
of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, its winner has never gone on to
wear the roses in Kentucky. Spectacular Bid, in 1979, was the
last 2year-old champion to win the Derby.
ENTERED For the first time, in the qualifying races for Sunday's
Daytona 500, Larry Foyt, son of A.J., the winner of four Indy
500s. Larry, 25, who has been racing stock cars for three years
on smaller circuits, was born to A.J.'s daughter, Terry, and
adopted by A.J. when Larry was two. He got a relatively late
start in racing because A.J. refused to let him compete seriously
until he finished college.
After graduating from Texas Christian University in May 2000 with
a degree in communications, Larry wanted to follow in his
father's open-wheel tracks. But A.J. steered him away. "He
thought if you're a young driver and you want to have a long
career, stock cars, and NASCAR especially, is the place to be,"
said Larry last Saturday at Daytona Speedway. "So he pushed me
that way. Not to lie, I was disappointed. But the more I tested
the cars, I really liked the way they drove. I started to get
The Foyts haven't abandoned Indy Cars, though. Last year A.J. IV,
the patriarch's 18-year-old grandson, drove A.J.'s car to the
championship in the inaugural season of the IRL's developmental
series for young drivers. This year the young A.J.--who refers to
stock cars disdainfully as "taxicabs"--will compete on the main
circuit, including Indy.
Larry, a multisport high school athlete who competed in Junior
Olympics as a volleyball player, might have spent another year in
the Busch series but moved up largely because his sponsor,
Harrah's, wanted Winston Cup exposure. For all of Larry's
pedigree, he's one of the youngest and least experienced drivers
on the circuit. "We know this year is going to be tough," says
Larry, who'll drive A.J.'s number 14 Dodge. "Our expectations are
just to qualify for races." --Mark Bechtel
My Little Sweatie Pie
Does love affect hang time? The truth about two-athlete
As Valentine's Day approaches, the word is that Serena Williams
and Keyshawn Johnson are embarking on the seas of romance. So
have a lot of other sports stars. But is this good for their
careers? We checked.
LORI BOWDEN, 35; PETER REID, 33
Ironman World Champions (right)
HOW THEY MET At an Ironman competition in Japan in 1993. Says
Bowden, "It's pretty shallow, but I took up the sport to meet
HOW THEY'RE DOING "We started dating full time in '96, and that's
when the [great] performances started," says Reid. The year they
married, '98, Reid won his first world championship, then won
again in 2000. Bowden won the women's division in '99. "He
inspired me," she says. "Seeing the way Peter trains was my
motivation. We're a support crew for each other."
KRISTI YAMAGUCHI, 31; BRET HEDICAN, 32
Figure skater; Hurricanes' defender
HOW THEY MET Hedican says at the 1992 Olympics, where Yamaguchi
won gold, but she doesn't recall. She thinks it may have been
when he asked her out for ice cream in Vancouver in '95.
HOW THEY'RE DOING They began dating right after that first cone,
and Yamaguchi skated to World Pro Figure Skating Championships in
'96 and '97. Hedican had a career-high 29 points in 1995--96 and
went to the Stanley Cup finals in 2002, two years after their
wedding. They plan to start a family. "Her mother keeps saying
she needs a picture of a grandchild," Hedican says.
KIM CLIJSTERS, 19; LLEYTON HEWITT, 21
HOW THEY MET At the 2000 Australian Open, when Clijsters asked
Hewitt for an autograph for her sister, Elke.
HOW THEY'RE DOING There's been precious little love in their
tennis, and that of course is a good thing. Australia's Hewitt,
who finished 1999 ranked No. 22, is now No. 1, and Clijsters, a
Belgian, has soared from No. 47 to No. 3. The couple has denied
rumors that they're engaged, but Clijsters is considering
applying for Australian citizenship.
ALISA CAMPLIN, 28; STEVE OMISCHL, 24
Aerial skiers (right)
HOW THEY MET They went head over heels for each other while
training in Calgary in 1999.
HOW THEY'RE DOING Camplin won gold in Salt Lake City and became a
superstar in her native Australia. Omischl, a Canadian, was so
excited by Camplin's Olympic victory, he couldn't sleep that
night and the next day fell on his first jump and finished 11th.
That led Omischl to visit a sports psychologist in the off-season
to steady his nerves, and it paid off: After Camplin won gold at
last week's world championships, Omischl calmly won bronze--his
first world-championship medal.
MIA HAMM, 30; NOMAR GARCIAPARRA, 29
Soccer star; Red Sox shortstop
HOW THEY MET In 1998 at a charity soccer event at Harvard, where
Hamm schooled Garciaparra in penalty-kick shootout.
HOW THEY'RE DOING The couple, who sometimes use the same personal
trainer, has had injuries in recent years. But last year, as
their relationship blossomed, so did their results. Garciaparra
led Boston with 120 RBIs. Hamm, who brings a glove to play catch
with her Washington Freedom teammates at practice, led the WUSA
in goal-scoring average. In November, during the soccer
off-season, Hamm said yes to Garciaparra's bended-knee proposal.
AMY VAN DYKEN, 30; TOM ROUEN, 34
Gold medal swimmer; Steelers punter
HOW THEY MET A friend set them up in 1998 despite Van Dyken's
reluctance because she thought "all punters were skinny and
5'6"." The 6-foot Van Dyken and the 6'3", 225-pound Rouen married
in March 2001.
HOW THEY'RE DOING In 2000 Rouen promised to buy Van Dyken--who
was recovering from two shoulder surgeries--a convertible if she
made the Olympics. She did, winning two gold medals--and a
Corvette from her man. Rouen averaged an excellent 46.5 yards per
punt for the Broncos in '99 while dating Van Dyken but was cut
twice in 2002 (by the Broncos and the Giants) before Pittsburgh
WHO IS... MARSHA WETZEL
Why we're hearing about her Last summer Wetzel, 40, became the
first deaf female referee in Division I history. After 13 years
of working in lower divisions and high school, then turning in an
eye-catching performance at a referee tryout camp, Wetzel, a
former guard for primarily-deaf Gallaudet University, was hired
by the Patriot and Atlantic 10 conferences to referee women's
games. She's following a trail blazed by Guy Kirk, who despite
being deaf has refereed men's games in the Southern Conference
for 17 years.
She calls 'em like she sees 'em Wetzel, who was born deaf to deaf
parents, hires an interpreter to help her at pregame meetings and
depends on fellow officials to use clear hand signals to
communicate calls. Mostly, though, she relies on what she calls
"my radar eyes--I'm more aware than anyone during games because I
double my attention level." Recently Wetzel was able to make a
key foul call a split second before halftime because she was
aware of the clock and wasn't swayed by the buzzer. "My only
fear," she says, "is blowing the whistle too loud."
The silence of the stands Neither booing from the crowd nor
screaming from the sidelines rattles Wetzel. "When I sense
emotion and anger," she says, "I don't let it get to me." Says
Bucknell coach Kathy Fedorjaka, "You don't notice that she's deaf
until you start yelling at her and realize it's not going to do a
thing." --Kelley King
THE WEEK IN TELEVISION
FRIDAY 2/14 > ESPN2 7 PM > America's Cup Finals, Race 1
Kiwis are aflutter as Team New Zealand defends the Cup on
Auckland's Hauraki Gulf against the Swiss boat Alinghi, which is
skippered by two-time Cup-winning--and some say traitorous--New
Zealander Russell Coutts.
SATURDAY 2/15 > MTV NOON > Made
This live-your-dreams reality series (we've seen a football
player sing opera; a self-professed nerd make his high school's
hoops team) now follows a 20-year-old Pizza Hut manager playing
out his fantasy of becoming a bull rider.
SUNDAY 2/16 > FOX NOON > Daytona 500
It's called the Super Bowl of stock car racing, but the Daytona
winner has gone on to the Winston Cup title just once since '79.
Think of it more as Opening Day at 185 mph.
SUNDAY 2/16 > CBS 3 PM > Buick Invitational
Tiger Woods could return from left-knee surgery on the Torrey
Pines course where Phil Mickelson snapped the Striped One's
six-event winning streak in 2000.
SUNDAY 2/16 > ABC 3:30 PM > Spurs at Kings
Another day, another high-powered matchup in the loaded Western
WEDNESDAY 2/19 > ESPN 9 PM > Maryland at Duke
The 16--3 Blue Devils can avenge their first loss, an 87--72
defeat at Maryland.
>> DON'T MISS
SUNDAY 2/16 > FOX 8 PM
The Simpsons' 300th episode
In "Barting Over," Bart leaves home and goes on tour with
skateboard legend Tony Hawk. That spurs a heartsick Homer to
chase after them and try to win his Bart back. Hawk (in red) and
Homer pull some dope moves, and hilarity ensues.
Swift and Super
We expect NFL Films' superb Super Bowl videos to include
slow-motion footage, wired-for-sound players and pumped-up
broadcasters. But we don't expect the video to arrive before the
victory-parade confetti is cleared away. NFL Films turned around
The Super Bowl XXXVII Champions Video in a record 16 days,
culling from 135,000 feet of film captured by 22 cameras. The
three-hour video ($24.98 DVD, $19.98 VHS) yields a terrific
insider's feel, such as when Tampa Bay safety John Lynch,
standing on the sideline, deduces Oakland's next play and barks
"Sluggo Seam" as Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon steps under
center. Thus alerted, safety Dexter Jackson gets in front of
receiver Jerry Rice for an interception. Lynch boasts, "I called
it right before the snap." Later, frustrated with the Bucs'
continued prescience, Rice snaps his helmet off and barks, "What
the f is going on?" The film includes highlights from every Bucs
game, none better than Keyshawn Johnson calling a Bengals
defensive lineman a "fake-ass John Randle," then apologizing to
Bucs quarterback Brad Johnson, "Sorry, Brad, I'm going to get you
ESPN2's coverage of the sixth and final match of Garry Kasparov's
chess duel with IBM computer Deep Junior was surprisingly
riveting. With the series tied 2 1/2-2 1/2, Kasparov offered a draw
to Junior despite having a favorable position. Analyst Yasser
Seirawan griped, "We wanted blood!" Added grandmaster Maurice
Ashley, "He showed no confidence.... Can he really beat the
computer? The answer looks like no." After Junior accepted the
draw, host Jeremy Schaap asked Kasparov, "Why is it more
important to you not to lose than to win?" Replied the weary
Kasparov, "[The pressure] is a terrible burden for a human." Good