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Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Updated: December 23, 11:59 AM ET
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.

January
Miller Lite catfight
As you can see, the top wrestler is in position to execute a perfect half-nelson.
Catfight mania!
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"
That's the headline atop a (U.K) Sun article about the resignation of Gretna women's soccer team manager Barney Davidson, who quits after five years at the helm, even though his daughter is on the team.

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
Former Ohio State QB Kirk Herbstreit, a college football analyst for ESPN, is the country's freshest male sex symbol -- often surrounded by female fans who give him their phone numbers and sometimes even the keys to their hotel rooms, reports the Akron Beacon Journal.

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
Folks have been looking for Tony Powell, a former defender for the Norwich City soccer team, since September 2002. That's when Matthew Chambers, a Norwich (UK) Evening News sportswriter, placed a notice in the San Francisco Examiner, asking for anyone knowing the whereabouts of Powell to write him. Seems Norwich is celebrating its 100th season, and trying to track down ex-players.

"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.
"Hey, Matt, forget this driving thing. I'm going to become a photographer!"
Right. We agree. No fewer than three
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."

February
Emmitt Smith unveils new moves
Emmitt Smith, in a Playboy interview, says he likes sex after a game: "Oh, yes," he says. "It's comforting. It's hard to go to sleep on Sunday night."

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
Fox Sports World starts beaming "Dream Team," a sex-laden soccer soap, to U.S. viewers. The series made its British debut way back in 1997, and features a fictional squad called Harchester United, which is trying to gain a berth in the English Premier League.

"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?

Pun-ishing criticism
Adweek columnist Barbara Lippert, criticizing an awful Bud Light Super Bowl spot that featured a clown's butt, quipped, "Is it that, with the sudden prominence of 'Catfight,' Miller Lite now owns breasts, so A-B (Anheiser Busch) now feels it has to bring up the rear?"

Shantay Taylor, Snoop Dogg, The Bishop
Snoop and The Bishop: It's all about extreme coolness.
We're pimp with that
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
Lynell Hamilton, one of the top running-back prospects in the country, signs a letter of intent with San Diego State University. The Stockton Record and San Diego Union-Tribune report that Hamilton had originally preferred Oregon -- until he was offered sex (and drugs and alcohol) at a campus party while on a recruiting trip. "Oregon was my No. 1 choice, but they blew it for both of us," Hamilton said.

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."

Sports Illustrated 2003
We don't need to tell you -- the swimsuit issue always stirs up ... debate.
Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue: 'I'm shocked, shocked!'
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!
Barry Base, writing in the magazine Strategy, sizes up the annual, writing, "Strangely, the editorial shots seem almost demure, innocent. But the ads make sex leering and slutty as it should be."

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 ?
Don't look too closely at the back cover. There's nothing to see in those ice cubes.

The Streaker
And you thought there wasn't enough action in soccer.
Nobody said show business was easy
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 ...
The Associated Press, reporting that former Yankee reliever Sparky Lyle has received a five-year contract extension to manage the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League, decides readers should know that Lyle still engages in nude cake sitting. He began his hobby when he was with the Red Sox, ruining Ken Harrelson's birthday cake, which was shaped in the form of Fenway Park.

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
Bowden spawns a wannabee in Duke student Robert Findly, who runs onto the court during a Duke-North Carolina basketball game wearing only running shoes and a scarf. He also has a Nike swoosh painted on his back. He "got in a full lap before the cops got him," reports Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times. "According to the police report, Findly said he 'was trying to be like the guy on the Nike commercial who was running around naked on the soccer field' in hopes of getting some endorsement work."

March
Jennie Finch
This is the photo that put Jennie over the top. See ya, Anna!
Hello, Jennie. Bye-bye, Anna?
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
With Kirby Puckett on trial for sexual assault in Minneapolis, the beloved Hall of Famer quickly sees his image unravel. Turns out he's had a mistress for years, and even cheated on her with many other women. But his wife, Tonya, never knew. Until recently.

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
People magazine reports that the wife of Sacramento Kings guard Doug Christie, Jackie, accompanies him on almost every road trip, bars him from talking to some female reporters unless she's there to chaperone, and sometimes blocks female fans who want Doug's autograph. "There is this image that NBA players womanize. I want to show that this doesn't have to be true," Doug explains.

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'
Billy Bean, the former Tiger, Padre and Dodger (and not the current Oakland general manager Billy Beane), publishes his biography, "Going the Other Way." In the book, Bean, who came out after his career ended, tells of his struggles. Though he had a girlfriend, "It dawned on me that I didn't share my teammates' intense attraction to the opposite sex. There was always something missing, and I felt a restlessness I couldn't quite define or shake. At the same time, I couldn't fathom the alternative." Bean married, hoping he "could get beyond the 'gay thing.' " Of course, he couldn't, and divorced; he's now living with his partner in Miami.

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
Sorry, we couldn't show you the locker-room scenes.
Baseball player comes out ... on Broadway
"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
Almost -- but unfortunately, not -- lost in the controversy surrounding David Wells' "Perfect I'm Not" is a photo of the plump pitcher, standing naked in a field of sheep. We liked the idea of a tell-all, David -- but a show-all? Bad marketing move.

April
Nude bowling with Cindy
Burt Constable of the Chicago Daily Herald attends a meeting of the Chicago Sun Club, a nudist organization that, among other sporting activities, bowls in the nude. "Wearing bowling shoes, socks and a wrist brace, an otherwise nude Cindy of Glendale Heights picks up a tricky four-pin spare and rejoices with an impromptu hands-over-her-head, naked-breasts-a-jiggling, celebratory bowling dance," Constable writes.

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.
Besiktas striker Pascal Nouma ends his four-week scoreless streak as his team beats Fenerbahce 2-0 to stay atop the Turkish league, and celebrates his goal by taking off his jersey and sticking his hands down his shorts. He's immediately criticized for this, as the game is being nationally broadcast in the predominantly Muslim country. Nouma explains, "It was just a private sign of joy."

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."

The Mike & Larry Files
Mike Price and Larry Eustachy now have a lot in common: both highly-paid big-time sports coaches, both undone by tales of drink and debauchery that might not have made the papers a few decades ago, but spread like wildfire in this Internet age.

Eustachy: On April 28, The Des Moines Register publishes photos of the Iowa State basketball coach drinking with students at a party in Missouri and embracing and kissing young women. An article accompanying the photos quotes a Kansas State student who says Eustachy approached her at another party and said, "What are you doing here? Why aren't you going to KU? The girls down there are much hotter. You belong there."

The next day, the Register says Eustachy, the state's highest-paid public employee at $1.1 million a year, should be fired. The day after that, Eustachy says he's an alcoholic already undergoing counseling for his problem. Shortly after, he "resigned," walking away with about $960,000 after reaching a settlement with the university.

Price: Many of the facts are in dispute here. Price is currently suing Time, the publisher of Sports Illustrated, for defamation, charging the magazine's story about his conduct at a Pensacola, Fla., celebrity/pro-am golf tournament contained many inaccuracies.

This much is not in question: Price was fired by Alabama before he ever coached a game for the Tide because of his conduct at the tournament, including his admitted visit to an area strip club. He was also fleeced out of about $1,000 in room-service charges, allegedly by the woman who returned to his hotel room with him.

Alabama President Robert Witt said the coach hadn't conducted his "personal and professional life in a manner consistent with university policies."

And we thought ThunderStix were distracting
One Wookey FC fan comes up with a novel defense when the final of the Morland Challenge Cup final between Wookey and the North Hill Rangers ends regulation in a 0-0 tie and goes into penalty kicks.

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
Playboy.com's college nude photography contest yields a photo by Massachusetts College of Art student Lisa Pelletier. She explains what went into her prize photo: "My friend Melissa was excited to pose. I took the photos at my parents' house. My mom was having a party for my brother's football team, so there were a lot of people around. My neighbor was mowing his lawn, so he got to see everything we shot outside."

Our question: Was that the Massachusetts College of Art football team?

May
A straight guy tackles "queer" lies
A year after setting straight ink-stained reporters who needed to know his sexual orientation, Mets catcher Mike Piazza goes to work on the glossies. In the June issue of Playboy, he says he has gay friends, and that mediocre players need not apply to break the gay barrier in basesball, "If he does his job on the field, I'll regard him as a regular guy." And if he's not doing his job ...?

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 ...
Every year, the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point men's and women's track teams celebrate the end of the season by running naked around the town square. It's no big deal -- even though it coincides with a beer festival this year, the town's police chief is unconcerned, reports the Stevens Point Journal.

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
Remember "The Real Cancun," that trend-setting and trend-stopping "reality" movie that came out in April? Well, it cost a couple of its co-stars, big time. Twins Nicole and Roxanne Frilot, 20-year-old junior soccer players at Texas Tech, lose their places on the team and scholarships because, the university says in May, they missed school and practice while promoting the movie. The girls later say they think that's hogwash. "We were pinpointed because we are athletes," Nicole tells Sports Illustrated in September. "It's not like we have huge boobs and were flaunting them."

The Real Cancun
That doesn't look like the Texas Tech soccer jersey to us.
Hmmm. Leanne Potts, updating the students' plight in the Albuquerque Journal in December, describes the scene this way: "In the film, Nicole and Roxanne stripped off their shirts and grinded their bare breasts into each other."

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
Massapequa High School on Long Island suspends 15 baseball players and the team's coaches because they "violated school rules" by going to a topless bar during a spring trip to Florida.

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."

Yeah, surrre.

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
The West Australian inadvertently runs a photo of Australian Rules football player Paul Hasleby with his penis hanging out of his shorts. The paper runs airbrushed versions of the photo in editions published after the hanger is discovered, but still issues a published apology: "The image was taken from the thousands in The West's picture library, and its detail went unnoticed during production of the graphic. When it was noticed it was rectified immediately."

Hasleby has no comment but is said to be considering legal action, reports the AAP.

David Horton
We're guessing David won't like the kisses in prison as much as this one.
Kiss Him Goodbye
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
NWN, known to its fans as the Nude Webcasting Network, streams its first event -- a nude tennis tournament featuring 20 naked players and 100 buff spectators. According to news services, players are competing for a $2,000 prize, but it's not clear if the prize is for winning the tournament.

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
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens -- 5-foot-4, 114 pounds, and eligible for a toupee -- is named one of the The 50 Most Beautiful People of 2003 by People magazine. Stevens, one of the greatest riders of all time, also turned out to be a silver screen natural, starring in "Seabiscuit." He says he's at peace with his stature. "I always wanted to be tall and a professional football player, but here I am 5-4, and it's a good thing, because my life turned out pretty well."

Gee, wonder why he can't get a job
At the UEFA Cup final between FC Porto of Portugal and Celtic Glasgow of Scotland, Mark Roberts walks onto the field wearing a ref's uni, flashes a red card to a real ref, strips, then tries a 12-yard shot on goal. He's promptly removed from the stadium.

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.

June
Funny Cide
Sorry, ladies, but Funny Cide's performance off the track won't be too pleasing.
He's a winner, but the mares don't give him a second look
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.

Mandy who?
After Andy Roddick beats Greg Rusedski in an early-round Wimbledon match, he's grilled at the standard postmatch press conference. This exchange came near the end of the Q and A, and, according to a later Sports Illustrated report, the questioner is a female journalist.

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.

Anna Kournikova
Anna's drop in the rankings isn't limited just to tennis.
Well, there are still 3 billion women less sexy than Anna
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?
Lots of fans don't find the golf too compelling at the U.S. Open at Olympia Fields (outside Chicago), so porn star Brittney Skye decides to liven things up near the end of the final round.

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.