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The Beat

Sept. 19, 2005
Sept. 19, 2005

Table of Contents
Sept. 19, 2005

Sports Illustrated Bonus Section: Golf Plus
NASCAR CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW
Teeing Off: Views and Voices
SI Players: Life On and Off the Field
After The Storm
NASCAR Championship Preview
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The Beat

Last week the recently retired Lance Armstrong, who's motivated by the negative press he's received in France of late, said he's "no longer ruling out" a cycling comeback. But now he's not the only one with a say in the matter. The seven-time Tour de France winner, 34, announced that he and singer Sheryl Crow, 43, his girlfriend of two years, got engaged while vacationing in Sun Valley, Idaho. "We've defied the odds," says Armstrong (left, with Crow). "We're still as happy as we were the first day." This will be Armstrong's second marriage--he has three children with ex-wife Kristin, whom he divorced in 2003--and Crow's first. The couple, who haven't set a date for the wedding, were to follow the engagement announcement with a meeting with the Dalai Lama this week.

This is an article from the Sept. 19, 2005 issue Original Layout

■ Everybody wants to be part of Vincent Chase's Entourage. The HBO show about the fictional actor's posse has already featured guest appearances by Lamar Odom and Lennox Lewis, and it looks as if more athletes will be dropping by soon. In July, Donovan McNabb spoke to star Kevin Connolly, who plays Chase's manager, about a role. And last week Jerry Ferrara (who plays Turtle), a self-described "huge New York Knicks fan" who will be appearing in a commercial for the team directed by Spike Lee, told SI he's trying to get New York guard Allan Houston or the Nets' Richard Jefferson on board next season. "I wore [Houston's] jersey in an episode once and got to talk to him later," says Ferrara.

■ Kentucky's 41--29 win last week against pushover Idaho State gave Wildcats fans plenty to get excited about. Well, at least the guys. Lexington radio station WKQQ has erected a billboard on New Circle Road featuring an on-air personality named Kitten with the tag line WHEN THE FOOTBALL TEAM WINS ... SHE LOSES. With each Wildcats victory, one piece of her clothing will be removed--much like the motivational tactic employed in the movie Major League.... Paging Gilbert Gottfried: The 100-year-old Friars Club has announced it will be promoting some verbal sparring with boxing hair-apparent Don King at its annual celebrity roast on Oct. 28. Apprentice mogul Donald Trump will be the roastmaster.... "I've seen how much patience [coaching] requires," says Ben Gordon, who went to Manhattan to assemble and coach a squad of streetballers to compete on MTV2's Nike Battlegrounds, which premieres on Sept. 18. But has the experience made him more sympathetic to Bulls coach Scott Skiles? No way. "This won't stop me from giving Skiles grief," says Gordon, winner of the the NBA's Sixth Man Award. "I'd have to coach for a long time to feel sorry for him." The series will follow Gordon as he puts his team together to face a Chicago outfit coached by Sixers forward Andre Iguodala. The teams will square off in the finale, which will be hosted by LeBron James and will air on Oct. 16.

PICTURE THIS

So a guy in a hula skirt, an electrical plug and a bottle of mustard walk into a bar. These outfits were no joke for Freddie Bynum, Nick Swisher and Dan Johnson (left to right), three of the Oakland A's rookies who wore embarrassing getups on Sunday in an annual initiation rite. These guys got off easy. After seeing closer Huston Street's sexy schoolgirl outfit, pitcher Barry Zito said, "He looks good in skimpy clothes."

THIS WEEK'S SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE

A Singapore man was given a deferment from compulsory military service to play in a video-game competition.

They Said It

DMITRI YOUNG

Tigers first baseman, on the White Sox mound staff, against whom he is 1 for 41 this season: "Those pitchers ought to have a wizard hat on."

PHOTOTONY GUTIERREZ/AP (PICTURE THIS)PHOTORON SCHEFFLER/US PRESSWIRE (YOUNG)PHOTOGEORGE PIMENTEL/WIREIMAGE.COM (ARMSTRONG AND CROW)PHOTOMICHAEL JORDAN/CLEAR CHANNEL RADIO (BILLBOARD)