The latest trend in greenlighting films, is naturally, producing soccer movies. Spike Lee is making a film about a Brazilian prodigy, The Goal--not to be confused with Goal, a trilogy about a Latino prodigy--and Elijah Wood is starring in Hooligans, about a Harvard student who becomes a violent fan. Perhaps the best soccer story to be committed to celluloid, though, is one that didn't have to be made up: The Game of Their Lives, which opens in April, recounts the U.S.'s shocking 1--0 upset of England in the 1950 World Cup. Wes Bentley stars as Walter Bahr, whose shot was deflected into the net by Joe Gaetjens for the only goal. (Bahr went on to have two sons, Matt and Chris, who kicked in the NFL.) Freddy Adu (above) has a cameo, and the film was produced by former Hartford Whalers and Pittsburgh Penguins owner Howard Baldwin.
‚ñ† Nearly 60 years after he broke baseball's color barrier, and 32 years after his death, Dodgers great Jackie Robinson last week was awarded the highest honor the legislative branch can bestow upon a civilian: the Congressional Gold Medal. During a ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda, Robinson's widow, Rachel, accepted the award from President Bush, who spoke of being seven years old and "hoping to get [Robinson's] Topps baseball card, even though I was an avid Giants fan." Robinson is the fourth athlete and second baseball player to be awarded the medal. (Roberto Clemente was honored in 1973.)
‚ñ† When he returned to Portland last week, Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace had a message for his many critics in the city where he spent eight seasons: Check out my ring. To make sure no one missed his 2004 NBA championship ring, Wallace, who was traded by the Trail Blazers to Detroit in February 2004, took it to a jewelry store near the team hotel to "get that thing buffed up and shined real good and just flash it off to all them out there." After he had 12 points and 10 boards in a 103--93 Detroit win, Wallace gave the media an eyeful of the ring during postgame interviews.
‚ñ† The Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League paid tribute to hockey's favorite 'do for the third season last week when they held Mullet Night III: The Final Cut. The first 5,000 fans at the Monarchs-Worcester IceCats game received mullet wigs that were identical to those worn by the Manchester players during warmups. Guests included Steve and Jeff Hanson of Slap Shot and ESPN analyst and Mullet Hall of Famer Barry Melrose. (Yankees pitcher Randy Johnson and Patrick Swayze are also in the Hall.) Miffed that the promotion has been copied by several other minor league teams, the Monarchs won't hold it again. "We'll try to think of what we can do as well as Mullet Night," said Jon Crabbe, the Monarchs' VP of sales and marketing. "But it's hard to hit home runs. This was a home run."
March 14, 2005
They Said It
Bulls forward, after Rockets center Yao Ming threatened to make him "swallow [his] mouthpiece" during a game: "He can speak English better than he lets on."
THIS WEEK'S SIGN OF THE
A ski jumping competition in Norway rewarded competitors for landing in trees.