Search

Game Plan

March 23, 2009
March 23, 2009

Table of Contents
March 23, 2009

SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
SI Players: LIFE ON AND OFF THE FIELD
2009 NCAA TOURNAMENT PREVIEW
BASEBALL
PRO BASKETBALL
PRO FOOTBALL
MONEY IN SPORTS
Inside
Departments

Game Plan

What smart fans should do this week

• WATCH
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.

This is an article from the March 23, 2009 issue

• READ
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.

• SEE
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.

• FOLLOW
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.

• BID
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

View this article in the original magazine

How athletes fit inStar I'd love to dance withMovie that changed my life as a teenFavorite authorPhrase I overuse the mostIf I were on The Bachelor, I would ...
TRAVIS ZAJAC Devils CJessica SimpsonPoolhall JunkiesJames Patterson"You know...."Move the show to Winnipeg
DANIEL MURPHY Mets LFAmanda Bynes (above)Lord of the RingsJon Krakauer"Been there, done that."Be more considerate
MARIO CHALMERS Heat GChristina MilianHoop DreamsS.E. Hinton"Yee-Dah-Dee!"Marry two girls
MICAH HOFFPAUIR Cubs 1BJulianne Hough (left)Can't say that any hasJames 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?"

PHOTOKEVORK DJANSEZIAN/AP (KLITSCHKO)PHOTONICK LAHAM/GETTY IMAGES (BELICHICK)PHOTOMARCUS BRANDT/DPA/CORBIS (FENCING)PHOTOCOURTESY BERTOIA AUCTIONS (CAR)PHOTOJON KOPALOFF/FILMMAGIC/GETTY IMAGES (BYNES)PHOTOLOU CAPOZZOLA (ZAJAC)PHOTOCHUCK SOLOMON (MURPHY)PHOTO©NEW LINE CINEMA/EVERETT COLLECTION (RINGS)PHOTOBILL FRAKES (CHALMERS)PHOTOBRAD MANGIN (HOFFPAUIR)PHOTOCRAIG SJODIN/ABC (HOUGH)PHOTOLITTLE, BROWN & COMPANY (BOOK)PHOTOKEVIN CASEY/ABC (BACHELOR)PHOTO