Figure Skating Worlds They're back! Ice dancers Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto missed the U.S. championships in January due to Agosto's back injury, but last week—after performing their routine before an international panel to prove they are physically fit—the 2006 Olympic silver medalists were declared eligible for the worlds in L.A. this week. (Check listings for coverage on Oxygen and NBC.)
Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee It sounds like a Letterman riff ("Oprah ... Uma! Barra ... Berra!"), but author Allen Barra's bio of the beloved Yankees catcher is a finely tuned portrait of a larger-than-life figure. Barra follows Berra from his St. Louis childhood to his dotage as a pinstriped icon and builds a case that Yogi is the best catcher ever. That's debatable (Johnny Bench?), but the book is an excellent read.
Skin like Serena's... and support a good cause. A group of athletes including Serena Williams, Steve Nash, Mia Hamm and Carmelo Anthony are supporting MISSION Skincare, a line of potions designed to keep sun-soaked jocks smooth. Some proceeds benefit the athletes' charities of choice, including the Steve Nash Foundation and distance runner Charlie Engle's H2O Africa.
Dhani Tackles the Globe Like many NFL players, Bengals LB Dhani Jones is traveling in the off-season. Unlike most, he has a Travel Channel crew with him. Jones's show (Mondays at 9 p.m.) has him trying unusual sports in far corners of the globe: Muay Thai in Thailand and schwingen in Switzerland, for example. Next, maybe Jones will take the Bengals someplace really exotic—the playoffs.
March 29, 2009
More March Madness No, not the NIT. It's the College Basketball Invitational, a 16-team event launched in '08 for schools that miss the NIT cut. The final, a best-of-three series, begins on March 30 on HDNet. (Check gazellegroup.com for info.) Wyoming's Adam Waddell created some CBI buzz last week: His postdunk somersault and painful-looking landing was a YouTube hit.
The Pop Culture Grid
INSIDE THE GRID
With X-Men Origins: Wolverine hitting the big screen on May 1, Millwood wouldn't mind borrowing one of his favorite mutant's powers to get him through the upcoming season. "He just heals himself and keeps going," says Millwood. "I need some of that." James appreciates Batman's boot-strapper rep. "He wasn't born with special powers. He's self-made and human like everyone else," says the NBA's leading MVP candidate. "Oh, and I like that car too."