Publish date:

Sports Beat

You'd have to imagine that the World's Fastest Man wouldn't have
problems catching women. So what was Maurice Greene doing on a
recent episode of Blind Date? "I watch the show all the time,"
says the 100-meter world-record holder. "They were looking for
some athletes to be on it and they asked me. I thought it would
be fun." Greene went through the same procedures as any other
contestant, including doing a video interview in which he
revealed his dating preferences. ("Likes: Good butts. Dislikes:
Bad breath.") The sprinter ended up getting paired with Christi,
24, who had no idea who her companion was. ("You probably won
some gold medal or something," said Christi upon learning that
Greene had competed in the Sydney Games. Responded Greene,
"Actually, I did.") Highlights of their encounter included the
couple getting a cheerleading lesson from the USC pep squad and
Greene giving Christi a foot massage during dinner. "There was
nothing difficult about it at all," says Greene of his Blind
experience. "The toughest part was going up to the door in the
beginning because I didn't know what she'd look like. But she
was cute." Greene and Christi ended the evening by agreeing to
go out on a second (off-camera) date. Looks like once again,
Greene got off to a fast start.

The world's highest-paid athlete can't build his dream house.
Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher last week scrapped plans to
construct a sprawling estate in Wolfhalden, Switzerland.
Schumacher--who has an annual income of $50 million--had been
set to build an 11,800-square-foot luxury home complete with
gym, pool and riding stables on 42 wooded acres in Wolfhalden.
The German driver, who lives with his family just east of Geneva
in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, wanted to move to
the German-speaking quarter of the country. However,
environmental groups, including the Foundation for the
Protection of Swiss Landscapes, challenged the project, claiming
that Schumacher's estate would have stood partly on land zoned
for agricultural use. "It was a difficult decision to give up
[the house]," says Schumacher's lawyer, Peter Munch, "but a long
legal process would have been unbearable."

He's broken down wide receivers' crossing patterns, and he's
seen Lawrence Taylor naked. So it makes perfect sense that CBS
football analyst Phil Simms will host the 51st Miss Universe
pageant from San Juan on Wednesday, doesn't it? "What
qualifications do you need for this?" says Simms, who was tapped
by CBS's brass for the pageant. "I've hosted TV shows, I've done
live TV, I've worked without scripts. I'm just going to go down
there and wing it. Besides, how long do you think I'll be on
camera to begin with?" At least one person is excited that the
former Giants quarterback got the gig--his wife, Diana. "She
hasn't traveled on the road once to do an NFL game, but she's
going to go to this one," says Simms, who adds that he isn't
worried about not getting recognized by the beauty event
contestants. "First off, they know nothing about American
football. Besides, kids in the U.S. don't even know who I am. If
anything, they tell me, 'Hey, I saw you on Hollywood Squares.'
That's me--the Hollywood Squares guy."

B/W PHOTO: BLAISE HART (LEWIS) PICTURE THIS Mike Tyson recently admitted he did indeed bite Lennox Lewis during their Jan. 22 press conference. Lewis, in any case, had proof: He had photographer Blaise Hart document the left thigh wound. The picture (above) appears in Hart's upcoming book Lennox, a photographic diary of two years of Lewis's life (with text by Melissa Mathison). The last chapter of this story won't be written until June 8.




To preempt hooliganism during the World Cup, a Japanese railroad
company is gluing down the stones that line the tracks near
Shizuoka soccer stadium.


U.S. soccer coach, on how his team is preparing for the heavy
rains expected in South Korea during the World Cup: "We shower
every day."