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Original Issue

Sports Beat

OOOOH, CANADA. Figure skater Jamie Sale is bucking her smalltown
image (she's from Red Deer, Alberta) with a three-page spread in
the January FHM. The photos are a far cry from the staid
portraits of Sale and her on-and off-ice partner, David
Pelletier, that graced the covers of Time and Newsweek after they
won Olympic pairs gold medals in February 2002, following a
judging controversy. Sale, 26, said she did the shoot for
additional exposure. No kidding: One photo has Sale lying on her
back, nude, with faux snow strategically covering parts of her
body. She and Pelletier tour with Stars on Ice and will kick off
its 2004 campaign in Spokane on Jan. 2. The self-described
"wholesome" Sale says, "I was more than a little nervous. But I
think they're great, and I'm getting a lot of phone calls from
people." Pelletier's reaction: "When he opened the magazine, he
had this big smile on his face," says Sale. "I asked him why he
was smiling and he said, 'Yeah, that's my girlfriend.' It was
very cute."

--Making a name for yourself in the Hasselbeck family is no easy
feat. Brothers Matt and Tim quarterback NFL offenses (the
Seahawks and the Redskins, respectively), and baby brother
Nathanael returns punts for Boston College. But Elisabeth
Hasselbeck might soon surpass them all. On Nov. 25, just five
days before her husband, Tim, inherited the quarterback job from
injured Redskin Patrick Ramsey, Elisabeth joined the lineup of
ABC's girly gabfest, The View. To fill the chair vacated by Lisa
Ling, Elisabeth beat out 20 finalists. (Competition is nothing
new. She's a former softball captain at B.C., and she finished
fourth on Survivor in 2001.) Says Tim, "No one's going to say,
'Hey, I saw your wife on TV,' because I don't think many football
players would admit to watching The View. But we have a ton to be
thankful for." Their next project? "Figuring out when we'll see
each other."

--Sarah McLachlan was recently at the Four Seasons in L.A.
promoting her album Afterglow when she ran into one of her
biggest (or at least tallest) fans: Shaquille O'Neal. McLachlan,
who says she came up to Shaq's nipple, notes the Lakers' center
was most gracious. "He was like, 'Oh, Sarah McLachlan! Wait a
minute, I've got to give you a kiss!' It was so sweet." The
Canadian singer, who had Grizzlies season tickets before the team
left Vancouver for Memphis, picked up her daughter, India, who is
nearly two, to give her a better look at Shaq. O'Neal playfully
told the toddler, "Keep an eye on me. I'm going to be a famous
basketball player."

--The 2004 Sundance Film Festival will open with a documentary
for the first time ever, and it's a sports film. Stacy Peralta,
who directed 2001's Dogtown and Z-Boys, will debut his new
surfing flick, Riding Giants.... Also coming to the big screen is
the story of Parinya Charoenphol, who was one of Thailand's top
kickboxers before having a sex-change operation. (Don't they ever
do anything new in Hollywood?) Beautiful Boxer opens this
month.... The Rolling Stones are rarely upstaged by anyone, but
Mick Jagger pushed back his knighthood two days because he did
not want to appear at Buckingham Palace the same day as Jonny
Wilkinson, whose last-minute drop goal won rugby's World Cup for
England last month and earned him an MBE. Mick will become Sir
Mick on Friday.... David Duval is engaged to Susie Persichitte,
whom he met at the International in August. One thing is for
sure: She wasn't drawn to him because of his golfing
accomplishments. On their first date she asked if he had played
in the British Open. Says Persichitte, "It wasn't until later
that he said, 'Susie, did you know I won the British Open?'"


COLOR PHOTO: STEPHEN CARR/THE PRESS-TELEGRAM (PICTURE THIS) PICTURE THIS It was not the most glorious journey for the Goodyear Spirit of America, one of the tire company's three blimps that hovers above about 40 sports events a year. Spirit broke free of its moorings in Carson, Calif., drifted 300 yards and nose-dived into a compost heap. A cameraman on board bruised a knee. As for the ship, it suffered nose damage, a broken gondola window and, presumably, it smelled really bad.



At its men's basketball game against Seton Hall on Valentine's
Day, Notre Dame will give away oven mitts to the first 1,000
female fans.


Nuggets coach, on how the sudden improvement of his team has
affected him: "When I crossed the street last year, people would
accelerate. Some brake now."