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Thursday, July 17, 2003
Live from the ESPYs

By Annie Hoffman
Special to Page 2

Editor's Note: Annie "Hollywood" Hoffman will cover the intersection of sports and entertainment in a new column every week on Page 2.

From the Red Carpet at the ESPYs
ESPY Awards host Jamie Foxx took a ride down the magic red carpet at Wednesday 2003 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles and professed his love for ... soccer. "Most people don't know I love soccer -- I loved 'Bend it Like Beckham.' We're going to supply the party tonight. People are going to say, 'My goodness, why did I not get a ticket?' I told P. Diddy, 'Get on a plane and be here!'" Foxx also revealed he was actually a badminton champ from 1983-1986 (and the night was early so I know I heard him right).

From one fox to another: ESPY Awards presenter Vivica Fox was looking so svelte. She went from a size eight to a size four while training for the Quentin Tarantino action flick "Kill Bill," due to hit screens in October. Fox knows how to do it right on the red carpet in the heat -- she had someone fanning her while she did her "thing." Fox says that good friend Serena Williams has an acting coach and is taking her interest in an acting career very seriously. Fox also shared a passion when asked about her fabu outfit -- "I admit I'm a shoe ho!"

I then chatted with the president -- that is, the actor who plays one on "24." Dennis Haysbert said if it was not for his mother insisting he get involved in the arts as well as football, he might have had a career in sports. After playing in the band, he tried acting and, as they say, the rest is history. Haysbert was still ranting about Tuesday's All-Star Game and asked me to have MLB call him to play in the Celebrity and Legends Game next year. I get that all the time.

Vivica Fox
We think Vivica Fox deserved an ESPY for this outfit.

Lisa Leslie, winner of last night's Best WNBA Player ESPY, says the secret to a long athletic career may be the yoga that she loves. Besides playing in the WNBA, Leslie keeps busy modeling and doing broadcast work. She tipped me off, telling me that singer Brian McKnight can knock down jump shots -- which she discovered playing with him at this year's WNBA All-Star Game.

Former NFL quarterback Warren Moon said, "The ESPY Awards is the sports version of the Academy Awards. Every athlete wants to be an actor and every actor wants to be an athlete so we get that combination here." Moon's favorite sports moment of the year -- the Syracuse basketball team winning the national championship. And the one person Moon would really like to meet is Tiger Woods.

Film director Penny Marshall showed off the evening bag given to her by the Maloof family, owners of the Sacramento Kings. It was a beaded clutch with the Los Angeles Lakers' logo on it. The Maloofs got permission from the Lakers to get the bag made for Marshall (nice friends, huh?). Marshall, who grew up in New York, says she is still a Yankees fan, but thinks the Knicks are so sad!

ESPN's Chris Berman revealed his favorite celebrity moment of all time was talking football with Ann-Margret for 20 minutes. "After meeting Ann-Margret, I don't need to meet anyone else. I'm done. It doesn't get any better than that for me." As you'd probably guess, Ann-Margret was a fan of the old Los Angeles Rams. I mentioned to Berman that comedian George Lopez told me he wanted to give Berman some hair tips. He replied, "Hey, I'm happy I have a couple of hairs I get to cut every once in a while. I try to grow whatever I have long."

Super model Angie Everhart said her passion for sports came from growing up with five brothers. Being a girl from Ohio, she loves the Cleveland Browns' infamous Dawg Pound (I'm having a hard time picturing Everhart in the Dawg Pound.) Oddly enough, Everhart said she begged someone to get her tickets to attend the ESPYs (another picture I'm having a hard time visualizing). I told her I'm sure there are some gentlemen who work at ESPN who would love to have her as their date to next year's awards.

Backstage at the ESPY Awards
Actress Lara Flynn Boyle on how she got to be a sports fan: "I grew up in a very poor family. We could go to a Cubs game or a Bears game and it was cheap and Mom could feed me. You know I grew up in Chicago and it's a sports city." The on-again and off-again girlfriend of Jack Nicholson says she is worried about the possibility of Lakers' injuries. When getting dressed for the ESPYs, Flynn Boyle decided to look in her lingerie collection (no wonder Nicholson keeps coming back) and decided on a fuchsia colored slip to present one of last night's awards.

Serena Williams
Then again ... maybe Serena deserves that ESPY.

Syracuse basketball player Carmelo Anthony, winner of the Best Male College Athlete ESPY, told me he had always wanted to meet Julius Erving and that dream came true. Anthony also said he'd vote for ESPY presenter Vivica Fox and ESPY winner Serena Williams as "Hottest Women of the Night." He was like a kid in a candy store -- every time I saw him, he had a big smile on his face.

New Laker Gary Payton said he'd like to try acting and he's already had calls from some Hollywood-types. If there was an award for "Best Spouse," Payton's wife would be my pick -- she was so sweet. Like most people in her situation, she is feeling a bit overwhelmed about their move from Seattle to Los Angeles (with a quick stop in Milwaukee in between).

Two girls who looked like they were having fun -- soul singer Brandy and Wimbledon champ Williams. Williams, who won Best Female Athlete, said she just completed her part in the independent film "Beauty Shop." "The director loves me; I mean he loves my personality. It's always good to work with people who like you," she said. She really enjoyed her small role on ABC-TV's "My Wife and Kids" last season as well. "I love that show -- it's so funny!" said the tennis superstar. Williams is set to film an episode of the Showtime series "Street Time," as well. It's amazing that she is ranked No. 1 in the tennis world and finds time to act and design clothes. Williams was excited to show me her outfit -- an original Serena design. She is starting a new clothing company called "ANERES" (her named spelled backwards) based in Italy. Williams will design and sell evening wear and wedding wear for her company ... pretty far outside sportswear!

Singer Brandy, who used to date Kobe Bryant, said she loved being a presenter and thought it was great when LeBron James waved to her from the audience. Brandy enjoyed success at a young age and thinks James seems to be handling all the attention so well for his age. Brandy said her friend Serena is going to make the crossover into entertainment in a big way and is looking forward to watching her flourish. The night before the ESPYs the two friends hung out with Terrell Owens and it looked like their friend Keyshawn Johnson was enjoying their company as well during the ESPY festivities.

You can reach "Hollywood" at annie@anniehoffman.com.