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Thursday, June 14, 2001
Updated: July 27, 5:10 PM ET

Brandi Chastain


Mary Buckheit

Before 1999, few people knew many of the world's best female soccer players. But that all changed thanks to the Women's World Cup, and in particular the exposure of U.S. hero Brandi Chastain.

Brandi Chastain
Brandi Chastain strikes her famous pose after her 1999 World Cup heroics.
Now a midfielder-defender for the WUSA's Bay Area CyberRays, Chastain fielded 10 Burning Questions from Page 2's Mary Buckheit. Here's the thrilling convo ... try and keep your shirts on.

1. Page 2: So where is the infamous sports bra right now?
Chastain: It's in my drawer with all the other ones. Actually, I was heading out for a jog the other day and I grabbed it, but I thought, "Nahh, not today," so I guess it has to be a special occasion. But it's just thrown in there with all the rest. I think I have to start wearing it more often in games.

2. Your penalty-kick celebration made you an instant icon. Were you prepared for that, and are you pleased with the attention?
Chastain: It was definitely overwhelming, and there was certainly no way I could have prepared for it. It was instantaneous. It's so amazing how the media can change everybody's perception of you so quickly, literally overnight.

After that incident, and after getting so much attention, people would come to me, expecting me to suddenly have all the answers. And I was like, "You're crazy." But really, most significantly, the publicity has given me a chance to talk about soccer with more people more than ever, and that is what's most important to me. That's what I like best.

2a. How did your teammates react to your nude photo on the cover of Gear magazine?
Chastain: Everybody had their own opinions. Some people would do it themselves, others would not. It's a personal choice. I didn't do it on behalf of my teammates, or for soccer. It was my own decision.

3. So far, what's the most provocative question anyone's ever asked you?
Chastain: Hmm ... do marriage proposals count? I've been asked a bunch of times by young boys. It's very flattering.

4. What's the strangest piece of fan mail you've ever received?
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods could do well to celebrate á la Chastain.
Chastain: I'd have to say the weirdest stuff comes from incarcerated adults. But there are also letters about how we've motivated complete lifestyle changes. There was one guy who wrote and told me how he had lost something like 80 pounds and started getting active and playing in a league, all because he viewed the Women's World Cup '99 and was inspired.

5. Which male athlete would you most like to see take off his shirt?
Chastain: There are so many! At the Olympics I would watch these amazing athletes walk around and just admire their bodies -- they are perfectly sculpted. It's incredible!

Hmm ... my mom says Jason Sehorn. I think I would most like to see Tiger Woods without a shirt, though. Golf is such a game of edict and respect, they come across so quiet and well behaved, but I know Tiger works out. I'd like to see what's under his collared shirt.

6. So tell us, are 'friendlies' really friendly?
Chastain: No! I think I came out of the last "friendly" with eight stitches and a black eye. There is always a lot of pride on the line in every game you play, and we're always competitive every time we step on the field, so there usually isn't very much "friendly" about them.

7. Who won your foosball game with Kevin Garnett?
Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett
Chastain: I whupped him! I beat him so badly, he was really down about it. He told me if I was a guy he would have thrown the whole table right over. He had to get himself a table of his own so he could start practicing.

8. Is it true that you played pee-wee football, and Little League baseball?
Chastain: Oh, yeah! I was a nose guard. I played second base in Little League.

9. Who would play you in a movie about you life?
Julie Foudy
Julie Foudy
Helen Hunt
Helen Hunt
Chastain: I'm a big Helen Hunt fan. I'd like her to be me.

10. Who gets your vote for mayor of "Babe City"?
Chastain: Julie Foudy. She was homecoming queen in high school, and she loves all that glamour crap.