|The Year in Sex & Sports: 2003|
By Jeff Merron
Page 2 staff
Back in the day, there was this series of commercials for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. You might remember them -- someone carrying chocolate would accidentally run into someone with peanut butter. "You got peanut butter on my chocolate!" the chocolate snob would say. "Hey, you got chocolate in my peanut butter!" the other would haughtily reply.
Then they'd both try their favorite treat, with the other mixed in. And proclaim the combination splendid.
So it is with Sex and Sports. The two are so intertwined that Page 2 devotes an annual review of all the times they've intersected over the past 12 months. As usual, there's so much here for 2003 that we're breaking our Sex and Sports series into two parts.
Dig in to Part 1 today, and come back Tuesday for Part 2.
Miller Lite's "Catfight" commercial features two beautiful (and buxom) women who care passionately about the great debate ("tastes great" argues one; "less filling," says the other). They end up ripping off each other's clothes in a swimming-pool brawl, then mud wrestle. Miller is thrilled about the criticism that ensues. "For us, the publicity has been great," a corporate mouthpiece says.
Miller gets 200 complaints about the ad, but it doesn't bother brand manager Tom Bick. The commercial is aimed at 21- to 31-year-old beer drinkers, he says, and "They see it for what it is: A hysterical insight into guys' mentality. It's really a lighthearted spoof of guys' fantasies."
"I wanted my soccer girls to play for each other ... not with each other"
There's just too much friction within the team, which won the Northern Women's League in 2002 and is currently fourth in the Northern Combination-League (which includes the Manchester United women's team).
"Half the team are lesbians and at one time there were more," Davidson tells the London Daily Mail. "I could write a book about some of the things that have gone on. I'm sick of the hassle. If one lesbian is with another girl in the team, and then she has a relationship with someone outside the team, these two girls fall out, and then their mates get involved and fall out and end up leaving the team. I like to win, and I find it very annoying if people in the team don't show the same level of commitment. I'm at the end of my tether. Some girls spend all the time squabbling rather than actually focusing on the game."
In February, the team looks like it will fold, but its season is saved at the last minute by Carlisle United, an English third division team, which provides uniforms and a place to play.
The most popular QB at ESPN
Herbstreit, who's married and has three young children, says, "It's flattering. I suppose I like it that women say nice things about me. More than anything, they say things about the show, that they like watching."
Herbstreit says his wife doesn't mind the attention he gets, and neither do some appreciative men. "Their husbands also come up and thank me," he says. "They tell me they get to watch the show because their wives like me."
Finally, the mystery is solved
"The club has lost contact with him, but believes he had a sex change and is now living in San Francisco," Chambers wrote. "I was thinking it could make a good story if we could track him/her down."
Powell also played in the NASL in the early 1980s, for the San Jose Earthquakes and the Seattle Sounders.
A month later, a report appeared on the Web site uk.gay.com saying that while Powell hadn't had a sex change, his ex-wife claims he is gay, and says they had divorced because she found him in bed with a man.
Finally, Radio Times tracked Powell down in Hollywood. It reported in its Jan. 18 issue that on a program called "Rough Cut," Powell denounced the rumors. "It's ridiculous," he said. "I don't know where all this started. I am all bloke. I've never worn a frock in my life."
Dale Earnhardt Jr. takes his turn as a "celebrity photographer" for Playboy.com, reeling off a dozen rolls of film during a three-hour shoot of Misses December 1998 -- the Dahm triplets, Erica, Nicole, and Jaclyn. Junior's bright yellow Corvette GTR is the backdrop. The photos are posted on Playboy.com's Website in February, just in time for the Daytona 500.
The winner of Daytona, Michael Waltrip, provides some perspective. What could Earnhardt's motivation have been? "There is one reason he would agree to be a photojournalist," Waltrip says. "If there were three girls instead of one."
Comforting, for sure. But it sounds like he leaves some of his best moves for off-the-field action:
PLAYBOY: Can a religious man enjoy sex as much as a hedonist?
SMITH: Of course. Why not? If you're married, you've got your mate. You can do a whole lot; you can do it all.
PLAYBOY: We tend to think of churchgoing men as straight arrows.
SMITH: Man, I'm going to have as much fun as I possibly can. My wife and I will go wherever, do whatever. We don't limit ourselves.
Smith also says that Phoenix has the best-looking women in the NFL. Guess which team he ended up signing with?
Sex, lies and pro soccer
"I was shocked and amazed when I saw the first tape," Fox Sports World Executive Producer Dermot McQuarrie says. "I have never come across such a hot property. We had to edit out some of the sex and violence to get it on the air in prime time, but we still left plenty of sizzle. This series is a must see. It's not just one for the guys! Gals, look out for the hunky players like you've never seen them! This is one for all soccer fans."
According to one reviewer, the program has convincing soccer scenes, with Harchester jerseys superimposed onto real soccer players.
But does anyone really care if the soccer scenes are realistic?
During NBA All-Star weekend in Atlanta, Snoop Dogg and a man described by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as "pimp-turned-preacher Bishop Don Juan" host "The World's Famous Players Ball," at Club Mirage. Tickets cost $60 a pop, and Atlanta officials are furious that a "pimp convention" is being held in their town, especially considering they've just cracked down on child pornography.
The producer of a video of the event tells the AJC that Atlanta's honchos have it all wrong. "In the hip-hop world, pimp is not a word used to describe you got prostitutes," he says. "It's a word that means extreme coolness. If it meant child pornography, these guys wouldn't associate with it."
No word on whether R. Kelly attends.
Sometimes, scoring is not good for a football team
Hamilton told his parents that he also had sex offered to him during recruiting trips to Michigan and Colorado, but he resisted. "I didn't do it because that's not who I am," he said. "I am a Christian. God was with me on those trips."
Filip Bondy of the New York Daily News says that female athletes are showing so much skin in SI that it "isn't just wrong, it's immoral." He notes the provocative poses of Serena Williams, Ekaterina Gordeeva and Annika Sorenstam, and even calls out a photo "of one more woman athlete, Tonya Harding, getting punched in the face."
What's wrong with these pictures? Bondy says if these female athletes don't flash the flesh, they don't get the press. Although we're still not sure what his problem is about showing Tonya Harding, a "pro boxer," getting punched in the face.
Nancy Kerrigan probably has a full-size poster of that one displayed in her house ?
SI's swimsuit issue: It's the ads!
Does he mean what he wrote?
In any case, Mr. Base correctly points out that there are many sexually-oriented ads, like the cover foldout of a woman, standing next to a mag wheel, wearing an open jeans jacket with nothing underneath. And the Captain Morgan ad that features the captain using a fire hose to disrobe models "clad" in painted-on bikinis. And so on.
The column appears in the March 10 issue of Strategy under the headline "SI Swimsuit Issue all sexed up." This kind of inside info runs subscribers $93.50 for 25 issues.
SI's swimsuit issue: She's as cold as ice ?
The New York Post reports that Mark Bowden, who stars in the new Nike streaker ad (he runs out on a soccer pitch and is chased by soccer players and cops), really was wearing just a long scarf and Nike Shox sneakers. That doesn't seem like a big deal, until it's revealed that the commercial took four 8-hour days to film. In December. At a real soccer stadium in south London. Bowden ran around plenty, and of course had clothes to wear between takes, but says he was "screaming with pain" when he was au natural.
Gee, that wasn't what I wished for ...
Lyle says he's trying to give up the practice, but hasn't yet kicked it. "I just say I'm in therapy now. And every once in a while, I stray from my therapy."
We know Mark Bowden, and you're no Mark Bowden
By an overwhelming margin, former University of Arizona softball pitcher Jennie Finch outpolls Anna K. in ESPN.com Page 2's "Hottest Female Athlete" contest., capturing 63 percent of the votes cast. Finch, named best-dressed at the 2002 ESPYs, dominated the first round of 16 (which didn't feature Anna), collecting 32 percent of the votes cast.
In his in-depth probe of the Finch phenomenon, ESPN.com's Darren Rovell calls on an expert, sports sociologist Jay Coakley. "For the people that have visited Anna's Web site 100 times over the past four years, it's possible they are ready to look at someone else," Coakley says.
Kirby, we really didn't know you
Jeff Dubay of KFAN in Minneapolis, a former Twins batboy, tells SI's Frank Deford that Kirby's cheating was par for the course. "With the exception of guys who were devout Christians, virtually everybody had someone on the side. I would walk past the wives and think, They are either the dumbest or the most naive people in the world. I mean, everybody knew it was going on."
Jackie Christie plays defense
But doesn't her need for constant babysitting prove otherwise?
Anyway, Brenda Thomas, author of "Threesome: Where Seduction, Power and Basketball Collide," understands why Mrs. Christie goes to such extremes. "There are women out there that are way above groupie level," she tells People. "If you want to call them geishas, you could."
No, no, no -- he's 'the boy of every boy's dream'
The book is a bestseller, and garners some interest from Hollywood.
Back in Bean's playing days, when Tommy Lasorda saw Bean he'd sing, "Billy Bean, Billy Bean, the boy of every girl's dream."
Bean's former roommate, utility infielder Archi Cianfrocco, tells the Miami Herald he wishes he had known. "We had a good friendship. Looking back, I wish he could have told me because he went through a lot. I could have been a friend he could lean on."
"Take Me Out," a play about a big-league center fielder who reveals he is gay, is a hit, and moves from the New York Public Theater to Broadway. The play, starring Daniel Sunjata, features plenty of locker-room nudity (think showers).
Billy Bean interviews Sunjata for Interview magazine. "You knew that nudity was part of the gig when you read for (the part), right?" Bean asks. "Indeed," Sunjata replies. "And I'm sure that hasn't hurt ticket sales."
Indeed. As Barbara Hoffman reported in the New York Post back in February, when Sunjata showered on stage at the Public Theater, plenty of theatergoers scoped him out with binoculars.
One woman, sitting in the front row, couldn't restrain herself during a group shower scene, reports Hoffman. She shouted out, "Oh my God, yes!"
Could that have been Meg Ryan?
Don't let David Wells in the play
It sounds kind of sexy, if you think of Cindy as, say, Cindy Crawford. But that's not the likely body type among this group of 50 or so naked bowlers, Constable writes. "Some older, larger bodies are so lumpy and ill-defined, the gender is not obvious."
Gee, thanks, Burt. Lovely image. Where do we sign up?
Nice goal. Now get your hand out of your pants and go home.
The Frenchman's "private sign" is intolerable. He's immediately fired and given a one-way ticket home, reports the BBC. "Nouma's actions during the Fenerbahce match are definitely against Turkish moral values and traditions" the team's president says. "We've decided to send him back to his country."
And we thought ThunderStix were distracting
Every time a Ranger is about to kick, the woman, standing behind the goal, flashes her breasts. Wookey makes three kicks, but the Rangers can only muster two, and blame it on the distraction. "It definitely got to the lads," captain Lee Baverstock says. "With all that flesh on show they couldn't concentrate"
Apparently. "It was over in a flash," the Gloucestershire Citizen reports. The final kick sailed "over the top" with the Ranger "clearly diverted from his original purpose."
Next time, we're mowing the grass
Our question: Was that the Massachusetts College of Art football team?
Piazza also says he has a certain fondness for Playboy playmates, that he's slept with "More than five, fewer than 100" women, and that his current squeeze is Alicia Rickter, Miss October 1995. "And she's an actress," Piazza takes care to point out.
The most interesting part of the interview is when Piazza says he believes premarital sex is a sin, and that as a result he regularly confesses to priests, who vary in their prescribed penance. This reveleation leads to a follow-up exchange:
PLAYBOY: Have you ever had sex and said, "That was worth 10 Our Fathers"?
PIAZZA: Of course. There's always part of a man that's ready to launch into animal instinct.
Sounds like Cory has had some learning experiences ...
But fifth-year senior Cory Lesperance, 23, a sprinter and long jumper, warns potential participants about some risks. "Look out for fire hydrants," he says. "If you see someone with a camera, cover up or run quicker. Don't fall down is key."
Cory's final dash turns out OK. He's among the 50 or so runners and 2,000 spectators who turn out for the dash around midnight, braving temperatures in the 40s. Later, he says, "It was a little cold I guess, but you get an adrenaline rush when you do that kind of stuff."
The Real Lubbock
Potts also reports that appeal of the ruling fell flat. The girls returned to school at the start of the fall semester. Without scholarships. And not as soccer players.
When the movie came out, Roxanne told Time, "I'd rather be known for this instead of being smart or something. There's a million people who are smart. There's only 16 of us who were in Cancun together."
But in December, she tells Potts, "Nicole and I regret the movie more than anything we've ever done."
A rite of initiation goes wrong
The students went to the club, which lured them in with a sign that read "Cool off with our hot ladies," and served up $10 lap dances, according to the New York Daily News. They were accompanied by a parent who, theoretically, was acting as a chaperone. The manager of the Sassy's Merlot 2 club denies that the teenagers were in his club. "No way, it's not possible," he says. "We've never had minors in here."
About 200 parents meet with the school superintendent to protest the suspension, including "a retired NYPD detective" who inadvertently condemns the criminal justice system when he argues, "Common criminals are treated better than these kids."
The bigger fuss concerns the fate of some of the players who have college scholarships hanging in the balance. Being suspended for the rest of the season could cost them big, maybe too big, since, as a junior girl at their school offered, "They're teenage boys. Why wouldn't they want to go to a strip club?"
Sorry, we missed that small detail
Hasleby has no comment but is said to be considering legal action, reports the AAP.
David Horton wants his 15 minutes, and he gets it -- bussing his not-too-thrilled-looking date on the cheek on the Great American Ballpark's scoreboard "Kiss Cam."
Turns out Horton's parole officer is at the May 7 game, too. Horton's arrested and sentenced to 4 1/2 years for cocaine trafficking and parole violation.
Judge Melba Marsh says, "Lo and behold, you're found on the Kiss Cam, smooching it up, an image shown the world over. How stupid (are you)?"
New sports network debuts
Miller Lite is among the sponsors, and naked volleyball is among future events scheduled on NWN.
One Website offers a videotape of the tournament for $9.95. Ironically, commemorative T-shirts are also available -- but they're the most expensive souvenir item, at $12.95.
Short, thin, bald, middle-aged, and ... beautiful
Gee, wonder why he can't get a job
It was Roberts' 271st time streaking, and sporting contests seem to be his events of choice -- he also went buffo for the FA Cup Final and Wimbledon.
Roberts, a 28-year-old from Liverpool, is unemployed. But busy.
Poor Funny Cide. Although he's going for the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes (he won't get it), he has been the butt of jokes because he's a gelding. He has been castrated, and has no testosterone-producing glands.
This makes Funny Cide a rarity. Funny Cide "probably shouldn't race as well as he has," UGA veterinary professor Andrew Parks tells Michelle Hiskey of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I don't know why this is, but a minority of horses race better as geldings. I don't know if it's psychological or physical or what."
In any case, Funny Cide won't get to lead the life of a four-legged Hugh Hefner, as most great racehorses do. On the other hand, he might live a longer life. For example, the ironically-named John Henry, also a gelding, was twice named Horse of the Year. Though no stud, the 28-year-old enjoys leisurely days at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
The entire transcripted is posted at the official Wimbledon site. This is the relevant portion:
Q. You were seen as a new sex symbol of the tennis circuit. Do you enjoy this status?
ANDY RODDICK: Do you want to go to dinner later?
Q. So --?
ANDY RODDICK: Sorry, I didn't hear the question. I was just looking at you, Jesus.
It appears that at age 22, Anna K's tennis career could be over, as she has been beset by injuries. Although lucrative endorsement contracts and appearance fees continue to roll in, she's slipping in popularity. In FHM's Internet poll, Anna falls from being the Sexiest Woman in the World in 2002 to No. 9 in the rankings (Halle Berry was No. 1). Other sporting figures who cracked the top 100 are CBS sideline reporter Jill Arrington (70th), and Canadian figure-skating gold medalist Jamie Sale (96th).
What's love got to do with it?
On the 11th hole, just as eventual winner Jim Furyk is about to putt for birdie, Skye, topless, sporting two perfectly-placed pasties and a temporary tattoo touting an online casino, streaks out of the crowd and tries to give Furyk two roses. She's arrested, but it's mission (advertising) accomplished.
"I've seen (the casino's) ad tattoos before, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to get some exposure and be part of a new marketing trend," Skye says in a press release.
"It definitely caught me off-guard," Furyk says. "I looked up, turned around and the woman was four feet away from me holding a flower. All I was thinking was, 'I love my wife.' "
The casino had struck earlier in the year with similar tactics at the UEFA Cup Finals and the French Open (using a male), but Skye took the Internet by storm -- according to Slate's Rob Walker, the photo of her, with a full view of the casino's URL, was one of Yahoo!'s most e-mailed pages for a week.