|Anna's career options|
By Patrick Hruby
Special to Page 2
Say it ain't so.
According to a British newspaper, tennis siren Anna Kournikova may retire from the sport as soon as next year. The reason? A chronically sore back that has the 22-year-old Russian considering a second career.
"Acting and presenting are definitely things I enjoy doing," Kournikova told the London Evening Standard. "I'd love to appear in something like 'Sex and the City' or 'Friends.' I get offered lots of those sorts of jobs, but I've never had time to pursue them because of my tennis."
While the news is unquestionably heartbreaking -- we're never watching tennis again (well, unless Maria Sharapova is playing) -- Page 2 wishes Kournikova the best. In fact, we have a few suggestions for Anna K's next gig, just in case a part as the next Bond girl doesn't pan out:
Why it would work: While most tennis fans play doubles, few of them watch it. Kournikova could change that. Depending on her outfit.
Why it wouldn't: Losing to the no-name likes of Janette Husarova is just as embarrassing in doubles as it is in singles. Also, your partner might not be amused when your 40-mph second serve fails to reach the net, let alone clear it.
Host, "E!" Network's "Wild On ... "
Why it would work: You got the bikini part, right?
Why it wouldn't: Current host Cindy Taylor not about to give up the gig without a fight. A hair-pulling, clothes-ripping fight. First dibs on the pay-per-view rights! Provided it takes place in mud. Or maybe baby oil.
Job Description: Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. And a big thanks to our studio audience!
Why it would work: When your predecessors include Tempestt Bledsoe, Geraldo Rivera and the chunky third of Wilson Phillips -- well, how hard can it really be?
Why it wouldn't: Pout as she might, Kournikova likely can't match the touching poignance and heartfelt conviction of "Springer's Final Thought."
Why it would work: Kournikova is no stranger to performing in front of a large crowd. Oh, and she has a passing familiarity with hockey players, too. So we hear.
Why it wouldn't: Truth be told, does anyone really want to see Anna K wearing a giant foam head over a baggy suit made of artificial fur? That is, besides that sick and twisted Syracuse Orange?
Drive-Thru Window, McDonalds
Why it would work: When Kournikova asks if you want to "Super Size" it, are you really going to say no?
Why it wouldn't: If her short stint with the USA Network is any indication, Kournikova isn't exactly comfortable behind a microphone.
Job Description: Call three-second violations, collect the ball after free throws, assign technical fouls to Rasheed Wallace.
Why it would work: Faced with a zebra who has more in common with Heidi Klum than Joey Crawford, NBA players might not whine and moan. As much.
Why it wouldn't: Due to Russian upbringing, Kournikova might not realize that the Lakers and Knicks are supposed to get the calls.
Why it would work: Even with a dorky visor, Kournikova would amp up the sex appeal that Jan Stephenson says is lacking on the Tour. Better still, Anna K isn't Asian!
Why it wouldn't: In 20 years, Kournikova ends up as a race-baiting old hag. Sorta like Stephenson. Who, quite frankly, looks a lot like Skeletor -- albeit with basketball-sized breast implants.
Editor, Page 2
Why it would work: In-office Anna K web cam. You like to watch, don't you?
Why it wouldn't: Kournikova might actually try to edit someone. And the first time she asks, "Who is this ... Daniel-San?" the Sports Guy ain't gonna be happy.
Patrick Hruby is a sportswriter for the Washington Times. You can reach him at email@example.com.