Red Sox centerfielder Johnny Damon walked down the aisle to the Brooks & Dunn song Brand New Man, but he had the same old scruffy beard and long hair for his marriage to Michelle Mangan at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando last Thursday. Several of Damon’s fellow Boston “idiots” were among the 175 guests, including Kevin Millar, Mike Timlin, Doug Mientkiewicz, Bronson Arroyo, Kevin Youkilis and Keith Foulke, whose wife, Mandy, was a bridesmaid. The couple (left) kept their guests busy. On Tuesday the men played golf and the women received spa treatments. That night everyone enjoyed a performance by SNL’s Seth Meyers, and the next day Damon went fishing with 40 buddies. “It kind of stinks for people to come into town for one day, so we put together a bunch of stuff,” Damon told The Boston Globe.

■ Carmelo Anthony’spals hope he paid attention to the party the Damons threw because the Nuggets’ star has nuptials of his own to plan. Anthony, 20, capped a tumultuous year--which has included a dropped drug possession charge and an appearance on a DVD in which another man threatens those who tip police about drug deals--by proposing to MTV veejay La La Vasquez, 25, on Christmas. Melo gave his girl a nine-carat diamond ring; no date has been set.

■ LSU football coach Nick Saban is headed for a new home (with the Dolphins) and so is Mike the Tiger, the school’s 15-year-old Bengla tiger mascot. LSU is building a $3 million, 15,000-square-foot tiger habitat with a waterfall, oak trees and an Italianate stone tower. Mike’s new digs, which will be located outside of Tiger Stadium’s north end zone, should be ready by September. “Mike the Tiger’s habitat is one of the most visited sites in all of Baton Rouge,” says Tiger Athletic Foundation spokesman Herb Vincent. “People want to see him taken care of.”

■ The animal rights group PETA hooked a Worm last week when Dennis Rodman agreed to pose for the organization’s I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur campaign. Rodman recently met PETA vice president Dan Matthews at a South Beach nightclub, and he was persuaded to join the cause when Matthews explained that PETA donates thousands of fur coats to the homeless--a cause close to Rodman’s heart since his foundation gives aid to the homeless. “He said that furriers have pushed free furs on him over the years, and he’s always refused,” said Matthews. “He said that he was always embarrassed when an ex-wife wore furs.”... Sonics president Wally Walker had a special guest on Seattle’s road swing last week: Bruce Hornsby. The singer performed at his old pal’s 50th birthday party in July, and Walker repaid the favor by letting Hornsby travel with the team to Atlanta, Miami and Charlotte, where Hornsby sat next to North Carolina coach Roy Williams at courtside on New Year’s Eve.


English rugby star Lewis Moody missed the first game after the holidays because he said he’d hurt himself “repeatedly shaking hands over the festive period.”


Latvia-born Hurricanes goalie, on the NHL owners’ negotiating tactics: “They take a shove-it-up-your-throat kind of approach.”

COLOR PHOTOMICHAEL STEELE/GETTY IMAGES (PICTURE THIS) PICTURE THIS Glasgow University researchers caused a stir in Britain last month with a report that heading soccer balls can cause brain damage. Plays like this one probably aren’t good for the ol’ noggin either. Gillingham’s Ian Cox was leveled by Sunderland forward Chris Brown during a Coca Cola Championship match in Sunderland, England, on Monday. Somehow Cox was unhurt, and Brown scored the Black Cats’ lone goal in a 1–1 draw. COLOR PHOTOANDY MEAD/ICON SMI (IRBE) COLOR PHOTOJENNIFER ABELSON (TIGER) COLOR PHOTOJOHN UNRUE/WEDDINGS UNIQUE (DAMON WEDDING)

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
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Double Bogey (+2)