Klitschko vs. Gomez
Now this is an international event. In Stuttgart, Germany, this Saturday, WBC heavyweight champ Vitali Klitschko, a Ukrainian, puts his title on the line against Juan Carlos Gómez, a Cuban defector who lives in Hamburg and is a devout Muslim. Will U.S. fans care? ESPN thinks so. It will broadcast the fight, the first live heavyweight title bout in its 30-year history.
As They See 'Em
Umpires prefer their anonymity—it's a sign of a job well done. But New York Times reporter Bruce Weber spent three years traveling with and talking to big league umps to see what life is like for the men in blue, and his book amounts to a sociological study of an exotic tribe. The verdict: Umps are close-knit, wary of outsiders, fanatical about their craft and say horse---- a lot.
Belichick and Weis rock out
At a benefit in New York City last week, Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Notre Dame's Charlie Weis hit the stage to help Jon Bon Jovi sing Wanted Dead or Alive. (Find it on YouTube.) How'd they sound? Like a couple of guys who have spent years yelling at players. Bon Jovi knows how hard it is to branch out. The Arena Football League went on hiatus four years after he bought a team.
NCAA Fencing Championships
Coed sword fighting sounds like a frat fund-raiser, but that's how the NCAA awards its fencing title—with a single team championship for men and women. The finals will be on Sunday at Penn State, which is fitting. Since 1990, when the gender-specific competitions were combined, the Nittany Lions have won 10 titles and finished second seven times.
March 22, 2009
For classic playthings
KB Toys cofounder Donald Kaufman spent six decades amassing the world's largest antique toy collection. A New Jersey auction house will place 1,500 of the 7,000 items in Kaufman's toy box on the block starting this Thursday. (Bid online at bertoiaauctions.com.) Among the treasures: dozens of mini race cars and a 14-inch, cast-iron eight-man scull expected to fetch $4,000.
The Pop Culture Grid
|How athletes fit in||Star I'd love to dance with||Movie that changed my life as a teen||Favorite author||Phrase I overuse the most||If I were on The Bachelor, I would ...|
|TRAVIS ZAJAC Devils C||Jessica Simpson||Poolhall Junkies||James Patterson||"You know...."||Move the show to Winnipeg|
|DANIEL MURPHY Mets LF||Amanda Bynes (above)||Lord of the Rings||Jon Krakauer||"Been there, done that."||Be more considerate|
|MARIO CHALMERS Heat G||Christina Milian||Hoop Dreams||S.E. Hinton||"Yee-Dah-Dee!"||Marry two girls|
|MICAH HOFFPAUIR Cubs 1B||Julianne Hough (left)||Can't say that any has||James Patterson||"Got it?"||Have a lot of fun|
INSIDE THE GRID
Bachelor Jason Mesnik (above), who dumped his choice of fiancée for the show's runner-up this month, gets no style points from Murphy: "I just wouldn't pick one girl, propose and then blow her off on national TV." Chalmers wouldn't mind making the show more like HBO's Big Love. "That would be something different," he says. Hoffpauir is fine with the current format: "What man wouldn't want 25 women vying for his attention?"