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Sports Beat

April 14, 2003
April 14, 2003

Table of Contents
April 14, 2003

Sports Beat

If there was one thought moviegoers shared upon leaving
Showgirls, it probably wasn't, I'd love to see the guy who wrote
that take a crack at Vince Lombardi. But ESPN would. They've
hired Joe Eszterhas, who also wrote Basic Instinct, to write the
script for a movie about the Ice Bowl, the 1967 NFL Championship
Game between the Packers and the Cowboys that brought the term
frozen tundra into sports. Says Ron Semiao, VP for ESPN original
entertainment, "We thought this story would evoke passion in a
big-time Hollywood screenwriter who's a big sports fan."

This is an article from the April 14, 2003 issue Original Layout

Eszterhas fits that bill: He's a sports fanatic who has written
for Inside Sports. He's also fighting throat cancer, which has
led him to give up smoking and drinking and start walking five
miles a day. "He's immersed himself in sports as part of his
recovery," says Semiao. "He viewed this opportunity as part of
that." The movie, which hasn't been cast yet, is scheduled to
premiere on Dec. 13, after the Heisman Trophy presentation.

The latest pop star to film a spot for the NBA's "Love it live"
ad campaign is Christina Aguilera, whose song Fighter will be
included in spots through the playoffs. Aguilera won over NBA
executives when she performed her ballad Beautiful at the
All-Star Game in February. The NBA has attracted her attention as
well. "It's always fun to go to games," says Aguilera, an Allen
Iverson fan. "You know, for the events, the energy of the crowd,
even to perform ... and of course, the cute players."

Just when you thought there couldn't be any more uncomfortable
silences on Jimmy Kimmel Live, they went out and hired Mike Tyson
to be the guest sidekick last week. While Tyson was at times
surprisingly chatty, he was also at times unsurprisingly vulgar.
On Friday, apropos of nothing, he asked guest Michael Vartan of
Alias if he had ever had sex with Shannen Doherty, then proceeded
to wonder aloud, "Can you imagine Shannen with a big, black
buck?" Another Tyson reference--to having sex with Alias costar
Jennifer Garner--as well as a lengthy comment that was bleeped out
left Vartan mute and looking as if he were sitting in the guest's
chair against his will.

Officials at Lincoln Financial Field, the new home of the Eagles,
have hired Kia Steave Dickerson, a designer on TLC's hit reality
show Trading Spaces--in which neighbors remake each other's
homes--to decorate the stadium's 132 luxury suites. Many of the
suites will contain billiard tables and fireplaces.... If actress
Johanna McCloy had her way, we'd be calling him Veggie Sanders.
McCloy, who starred as Ensign Calloway in Star Trek: the Next
Generation and did ads for Dog Chow and Miller Lite, has launched
Soy Happy, an organization determined to get vegetarian fare on
the menu at every major league ballpark. "I never really thought
I was going to get a movement going," says McCloy, 38. "It
started because I was at a Dodgers game a few years ago and there
wasn't one vegetarian option in the Stadium." She began writing
concession managers at parks, and now about a dozen stadiums
carry veggie dogs. Her website, soyhappy.org, features
endorsements from, among others, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa,
a vegetarian, who is pictured cuddling a couple of kittens.

COLOR PHOTO: BOB MARTIN (HORSE) PICTURE THIS Suffice it to say that Saturday's Grand National steeplechase in Liverpool, England, was no cantor in the park. After clearing 27 of 28 fences, Torduff Express tossed Timmy Murphy to the turf, where the jockey broke his nose and suffered a concussion. Only 14 of the 40 horses that started the 4 1/2-mile race finished. Four other riders suffered broken bones, and one horse had to be euthanized.COLOR PHOTO: RAY AMATI/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (YAO, CHRISTINA, SHAQ) Yao, Christina, ShaqCOLOR PHOTO: TED S. WARREN/AP (LESKANIC)

THIS WEEK'S SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE

The Reds' new Great American Ballpark has a built-in
decontamination system to treat fans in the event of a chemical
attack.

THEY SAID IT
CURTIS LESKANIC
Brewers pitcher, after Milwaukee's coaches moved their lockers
into the same room as the players: "I kind of like having them in
here. It makes me feel a lot better about my body."