Sports Beat

March 08, 2004

Now that Billy Bob Thornton is out of the picture, Angelina Jolie
is carrying a torch for someone else--Juan Antonio Samaranch.
Saying she would "consider it an honor to run with the Olympic
torch as a gesture of hope for refugees and to express my active
support for sport and world peace," the Oscar-winning actress
will carry the flame for a few hundred yards in Athens on Aug.
12, the day before the Opening Ceremonies. Jolie, who has been a
goodwill ambassador for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees
since 2001, is no stranger to athletic endeavors on the Greek
Isles. Part of 2003's Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
was filmed on the island of Santorini.

--In the March 9 Queer Eye for the Straight Guy the Fab Five will
make over a guy who already has a wardrobe filled with sequined
outfits: three-time national pairs figure skating champion John
Zimmerman. The 30-year-old has been getting less than a perfect
6.0 from his new wife, Silvia Fontana, a former Italian women's
figure-skating champion. Fontana thought the self-professed
"country boy at heart" from Birmingham would benefit from some
hip tips and persuaded him to sign up for the show. "John's got
many of the same straight-guy problems as the other guys," says
Queer Eye producer David Metzler. "He's just better on the ice."

--For a man who's about to host a reality show, Mark Cuban is on a
pretty unreal run. "In the span of seven months I will have
enjoyed the birth of my first child, played against the
Globetrotters, been KO'd in the WWE and played in a baseball game
with batting lessons from Steve Garvey," says the Mavericks'
owner. "So I'm just making the most of the situation and going to
bed every night with a big ol' smile on my face--until my
five-month-old wakes me up." His latest endeavor is ABC's The
Benefactor, a show that will debut this summer with a simple
premise: What would you do for $1 million? Thirty contestants
will live in a house, and Cuban will pay the winner himself.
"There won't be any guidelines or rules as to what is
acceptable," says Cuban. "I'm expecting to be surprised, if not
shocked, by what people come up with."

--Although he's never golfed with the Dalai Lama, Tiger Woods came
close to reaching total consciousness by playing the role of
Caddyshack's Carl Spackler in an American Express commercial that
debuted Sunday. The 1980 movie is one of Woods's alltime
favorites, and he transformed himself into Bill Murray's scruffy,
flannel-wearing, demented greenskeeper. The ad keeps true to the
original script as Woods floods a gopher's hole, sprays the
rodent with a fire extinguisher and tries to blast him with
explosives.... Skater Nancy Kerrigan recently recorded Simply the
Best on a Tina Turner tribute album. "It's scary, it's Tina
Turner. She's awesome!" says Kerrigan. The Olympic silver
medalist's past singing credits include Shining Through on a
compilation album in 1999 and a rendition of Take Me Out to the
Ball Game at Wrigley Field that same year, a performance for
which she was roundly booed.

COLOR PHOTO: CLAUDIO YASKY/WIREIMAGE.COM (BECKHAM) PICTURE THIS Confirming the suspicions of at least some snarky soccer fans, David Beckham does wear a skirt. Well, he did when filming a new Pepsi commercial, in which he and several top players--such as Raul and Beckham's Real Madrid teammate Roberto Carlos--donned Roman gear and had a kickabout. Beckham's gladiatorial gear was enhanced by a tattoo of his familiar jersey number: VII. COLOR PHOTO: DOUG PENSINGER/GETTY IMAGES (MCGRADY) COLOR PHOTO: DAVE HOGAN/GETTY IMAGES (JOLIE) Games girl

THIS WEEK'S SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
Gatorade is planning to introduce an "ESPN-flavored" drink.

THEY SAID IT TRACY MCGRADY
Magic guard, after being fined $10,000 for kicking the ball into
the stands twice during a game: "That's a lot of money. I'll have
to get me another autograph-signing session to pay that."

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)