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Sports Beat

How's this for a naked bootleg? After suiting up as quarterback
for the Miami Fury of the Independent Women's Football League,
Anita Marks briefly ditched her gear for a six-page spread in the
September Playboy. The 5'6", 130-pounder threw for 11 touchdowns
as the Fury went 6-0 this year, but after the team averaged
barely 500 fans at their home games in the Orange Bowl, Marks
decided it was time for some exposure. "A lot of people aren't
aware of women's pro football," she says. "This was an
opportunity to shed a positive light on females in sports." When
she isn't serving up TDs or cheesecake, Marks, 32, is a freelance
TV sports producer and cohosts a show as the Ultimate Sports
Chick on Miami's Fox Sports radio. She's hoping to parlay her
looks and experience into a job as an NFL analyst. "Football's
like chess," says the unwed pinup. "Not to take anything away
from Melissa Stark or Bonnie Bernstein, but do they know how to
read a Cover 1? I do."

--The baseball labor agreement might have something no one has
noted before: greasy fingerprints. In the afternoon of Aug. 28,
20 negotiators dug in at Bud Selig's Park Avenue office to try to
beat the Aug. 30 strike date. At 9:30 p.m. they tucked in too.
Baseball fan and celebrated restaurateur Danny Meyer, a friend of
baseball senior V.P. Tim Brosnan, had his restaurant Blue Smoke
deliver a manly array of baby back ribs, collard greens, macaroni
and cheese, baked beans, key lime pie and banana cream pie. "It
was a kind gesture," says Brosnan. "And it really hit the spot."
After divvying up the pie, the negotiators did the same with
their revenue.

--What was that about the agony of defeat? A few hours after
dropping a U.S. Open quarterfinal match to Amelie Mauresmo last
week, a boisterous Jennifer Capriati stripped down to her black
silk bra on the crowded dance floor at Serafina, a Greenwich
Village club. Capriati, who arrived with her Friends friend
Matthew Perry, unabashedly flaunted her abs and even grabbed a
mike and sang along to Nelly's Hot in Herre.

--Actor Russell Crowe and director Ron Howard, who teamed up on A
Beautiful Mind are considering making a film called Cinderella
Man, based on Depression-era boxer and folk hero James Braddock.
The heavyweight lived in obscurity before a run of upset wins,
including a title victory over Max Baer in 1935, gained him
prominence. Renee Zellweger might get the call to play Braddock's

--The recent legalization of same-sex marriages in Quebec had its
first impact on the sports world when Nancy Drolet, 29, a veteran
of Canada's women's hockey team, married longtime partner,
Nathalie Allaire, in a civil ceremony last month. Drolet, a
center, played on Canada's silver-medal squad in Nagano in 1998,
and her overtime goals clinched the World Championships in '97
and 2000. With the marriage, Drolet became the first prominent
Canadian female athlete to disclose her homosexuality.


A silver medalist at the World Bridge Championships has been
stripped of her medal for refusing to submit to a postmatch drug

COLOR PHOTO: ADREES LATIF/REUTERS (HAKA) PICTURE THIS Most of the players who were waving their arms, yelling and stomping their feet at the World Basketball Championships last week were playing aggressive D. The New Zealand team, however, was doing the haka, a native Maori warrior dance, which is an expression of respect for one's opponent. They performed it before every game, and it helped--the Kiwis finished fourth.




Former Tigers pitcher, after being lifted from the rotation
before his release last Saturday: "This is embarrassing for me. I
feel like leftover food you put in the refrigerator, and the
cucaracha eats it."