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Sports Beat

With a work stoppage this fall looking ever more likely, what's a
pro hockey player to do to fill the time? For Phoenix Coyotes
defenseman Cale Hulse, the answer: Get married. Hulse, 30,
recently proposed to former Baywatch star Gena Lee Nolin, 32, and
the couple plans to marry in September--a time usually reserved
for preseason games. Hulse introduced his Coyotes teammates to
Nolin (below) last fall by showing up at winger Shane Doan's
Halloween party dressed as Baywatch star David Hasselhoff (he
wore shorts and a whistle), with Nolin on his arm. The pair has
invited a number of hockey players to the wedding. "There were a
few locker room giggles at first," Hulse says. "But I would have
been surprised if there weren't. These are men. She was on
Baywatch. Come on."

--When Barry Bonds's publicists needed someone to lure him to a
surprise 40th birthday party on June 28, they naturally reached
out to ... bestselling romance novelist Danielle Steel. Huh?
Actually, the unlikely pals know each other through her
bodyguard, Danny Molieri, who has been Bonds's best friend since
high school. Steel, a master at plotting, had the perfect scheme
on party night: She invited Bonds and his wife, Liz, to dinner
and sent a limo to pick them up, then had the car swing by the
Lucky Strike Lanes in Hollywood, where she told Bonds she'd be
finishing up a few games with her daughter. Bonds, who doesn't
turn 40 until July 24, walked in to see not only Steel, but also
more than 300 family and friends who had gathered for the party.
"They say I don't have any friends," said Bonds. "Look at all
these people here."

--David Beckham's penalty-kick shootout miss in a loss to
Portugal in the Euro 2004 soccer championships cost England a
place in the semifinals and had other far-reaching consequences.
Shortly afterward, vandals defaced a portrait of Becks in
London's Royal Academy of Arts by writing you loosers on it in
red ink. (The spelling was intentional; it refers to Beckham's
alleged affair with his former personal secretary Rebecca Loos.)
Meanwhile, English fans lashed out at Swiss referee Urs Meier,
who disallowed what would have been the game-winning goal: Meier
went into hiding after receiving death threats. And in Greece
three men believed to be English fans broke the arm of a woman
who had the temerity to wear a Swiss soccer T-shirt. As for
Beckham, he has just kept on doing the things international
celebrities do: Last month he spent $1,700 for the pants Johnny
Depp wore in Edward Scissorhands; they now hang in a glass case
in his bedroom.

--Things have gotten a bit ugly with the NBA's best-looking
couple. Lakers forward Rick Fox, 34, and his wife of five years,
singer and actress Vanessa Williams, 41, confirmed last week that
they're splitting up. (They didn't say whether tabloid pictures
of Fox canoodling with an unidentified blonde played a part in
the split.) Fox and Williams, who have a four-year-old daughter,
spent the bulk of their marriage on opposite coasts--Williams in
Westchester County, N.Y., and Fox in Los Angeles.... X-Files star
David Duchovny, surrounded by little green men, looked as if he
had finally found the truth out there in the Hudson River on June
27. Actually, as one of the 1,800 participants in the fourth
annual New York City Triathlon he was in a sea of swimmers
wearing lime-colored caps. Duchovny finished 107th in his age
group (40-44) in a time of three hours, four minutes and eighteen

COLOR PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES/WIREIMAGE.COM (PICTURE THIS) PICTURE THIS Hey diddle, diddle. The cat and the fiddle. The cow jumped over the ... dock? Lawrence Harrison and Bob Dix piloted their Skateboarding Cow on Sunday in the Bognor Birdman, a competition for human-powered flying machines held on England's south coast. The bovine airship flew 32 feet and had a hang time of 1.367 seconds, good enough for top honors in its class.




Shaquille O'Neal's wife, Shaunie, said their family has outgrown
its 18-bedroom home.


Croatian player, ranked 64th in the world, after losing in
straight sets to eventual champ Roger Federer at Wimbledon: "I am
happy with my result here. I just wish I played someone less