What was LanceArmstrong doing last week while the Tour de France went on without him for thefirst time since 1997? For one afternoon, anyway, the seven-time Tour winnertook actors Matthew McConaughey and Jake Gyllenhaal on what his rep, MarkHiggins, called a "leisurely" bike ride through the mountains ofMalibu, Calif. Gyllenhaal is an old Friend of Lance and an avid rider, whileMcConaughey is a fellow Austin resident who roamed the sidelines with Armstrongduring Texas's 2006 Rose Bowl win. All three were in L.A. for the ESPY Awards,which were to be taped this week. (Armstrong will host the broadcast, whichairs July 19.) Besides spending time with pals, Armstrong, says Higgins, hasbeen training for the Nov. 5 New York City Marathon.
• Before the startof the Dodge/Save Mart 350 in Sonoma, Calif., last month, Jeff Gordon had twothings to say to his crew chief, Steve Letarte. First, Gordon, who hadn't wonin eight months, promised he would win the race. Then he told Letarte that heand Belgian model Ingrid Vandebosch (right) had gotten engaged. After therace--yes, Gordon won--the driver and his fiancée spread the news to family andfriends in a manner NASCAR's founding fathers could never have imagined: with acabernet toast at a croquet party. They haven't set a date yet.
• The Kit KatLounge and Supper Club, a predominantly gay bar in Cubs country, a few blocksfrom Wrigley Field, is "honoring" White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen--whosparked a furor by calling Chicago Sun-Times reporter Jay Mariotti a"f------ fag" last month--with the Effen Ozzie GuillenTini, a martinimade with Effen vodka and "a whole lot of fruit." Kit Kat generalmanager Kami Cantrell says the libation is truly an homage to Ozzie and thatthe Mariotti comments were blown out of proportion. "If the word fagoffends you," she says, "you're too new to the scene." ... TheLarry O'Brien Trophy, which goes to the NBA champs, is probably having a bettersummer than you are. Last week Miami Heat owner Micky Arison, who is chairmanand CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, took the trophy to Genoa, Italy, on one ofhis ships. Since the Heat won the NBA title last month, the O'Brien has cruisedto Hong Kong, Shanghai and Rome, where Arison joined tenor Andrea Bocelli andsupermodel Eva Herzigova for the launch of the 3,000-passenger ship CostaConcordia.... Mad magazine has updated Casey at the Bat for the steroid erawith a poem called Barry at the Bat, which will appear in the August issue....Not every NASCAR driver is as lucky in love as Jeff Gordon. Carl Edwards, whohas gone winless in 17 Nascar races this year, recently suffered a romanticflat tire as well. Edwards and swimmer girlfriend Amanda Beard have split aftera year of dating. Beard, a seven-time Olympic medalist, was recently namedWorld's Sexiest Athlete by FHM magazine, to whom she explained, "I'm asurfer girl from California, and when you date a race-car driver, there's somuch stress. Race-car drivers are too intense for me."
As this Citizens Bank Park ball girl found out onSunday, there is such a thing as having too good a seat at the game. The foulpop by Pirates pitcher Zach Duke wasn't caught, but the umpires wisely calledhim out by fan interference. The unidentified ball girl made a smart decisiontoo. Faced with the choice of being run over by Phillies leftfielder PatBurrell or being embraced by the ball-hawking fan, she grabbed her chair andran.
They Said It
comedian and host of The Colbert Report, on why helikes soccer:
"It's the only sport that leaves your hands freefor obscene gestures."
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
Police in Berlin arrested two men for causing seriousphysical injury by placing cement-filled soccer balls around the city withsigns that said CAN U KICK IT?