In the latest cinematic adaptation of Nick Hornby‚Äôs autobiographical book Fever Pitch, the sport has changed but the premise remains the same: girl meets boy who seems normal until his favorite team‚Äôs season begins. The beloved team in Hornby‚Äôs book (and the 1997 British film starring Colin Firth) was English soccer power Arsenal. In the Farrelly Brothers‚Äô (Dumb and Dumber) forthcoming flick, the team is the Red Sox. Drew Barrymore (below) will play Lindsey, who‚Äôs happily in love with a guy named Ben (Jimmy Fallon) until she learns of his Sox obsession. Filming starts next month, with a week scheduled at Fenway Park. The rest of the film, though, will be shot in Toronto. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs criminal,‚Äù Peter Farrelly said. ‚ÄúThis is the ultimate Red Sox movie, and we have to make it in Canada.‚Äù
‚ñ†For those who like to keep abreast of the tennis news: French Open winner Anastasia Myskina has filed an $8 million suit against GQ, claiming the magazine did not prevent topless shots taken of her during a photo session two years ago from being sold to the Russian glossy Medved, which features them in its most recent issue. According to the lawsuit, Myskina, 23, never intended for the pictures to be published and that they ‚Äúare highly embarrassing and and have caused Ms. Myskina great emotional distress and economic harm.‚Äù
‚ñ†First, he didn‚Äôt make the Olympic team, and now Tim Montgomery, the 100-meter world-record holder, has been swooshed from a Nike spot he filmed with his girlfriend, sprinter Marion Jones. According to The Wall Street Journal, Montgomery was in the supposedly final version of the commercial--in which Jones sprints away from a haunted house--but has since been edited out. Nike wouldn‚Äôt explain why the world‚Äôs fastest man, who contests USADA‚Äôs charge that he used steroids, had landed on the cutting room floor. Said a company spokesman, ‚ÄúIt is common practice for us to shoot a wide array of athletes and imagery well in advance to give us a number of options as we put the ads together.‚Äù ... Michael Vick hopes that what worked for Samson works for him. The Falcons quarterback has vowed not to cut his hair until Atlanta wins the Super Bowl. ‚ÄúI figure come January it shouldn‚Äôt be so high,‚Äù says Vick, who tried to follow the same superstition last year but broke down and got a trim. A few weeks later he broke his leg and missed the rest of the season. ‚ÄúI figure this year I‚Äôll stick to the script,‚Äù he says.
‚ñ†Who needs some fancy Gallup Poll when you‚Äôve got bobblehead dolls? On Aug. 2 fans at minor league parks in seven states declared their presidential preference by choosing either a George W. Bush or a John Kerry doll as their promotional gift. In the end Bush got the bobblehead nod: He took four states (New York, South Carolina, South Dakota and Florida) to Kerry‚Äôs three (Massachusetts, Connecticut and Minnesota) and also won the overall popular vote, 4,850 to 4,547. In some cities local politicians showed up to stump for their candidates, both inside and outside the ballparks. ‚Äú[Those who stayed] outside hurt me deeply,‚Äù says Mike Veeck, the minor league impresario who thought up the promotion. ‚ÄúI hated to not be able to sell them a ticket.‚Äù One footnote: A few fans complained they couldn‚Äôt choose a Ralph Nader doll.
THIS WEEK‚ÄôS SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
Golfer John Daly has signed endorsement deals with Trimspa and Dunkin‚Äô Donuts.
THEY SAID IT
Red Sox manager, on infielder Kevin Youkilis (left), called the ‚ÄúGreek God of Walks‚Äù in the book Moneyball: ‚ÄúI‚Äôve seen him in the shower, and I wouldn‚Äôt call him the Greek god of anything.‚Äù
KEVIN MAZUR/WIREIMAGE.COM (BARRYMORE)
ALEXANDRA WINKLER/REUTERS (PICTURE THIS)
You can do anything, but don‚Äôt step on Maurice Greene‚Äôs red-white-and-blue-striped shoes. The defending Olympic 100-meter champ sported these spirited spikes at last weekend‚Äôs Team Challenge meet in Munich, a last-minute warmup for Athens. At the Sydney Games in 2000 Greene and the rest of the 4√ó100-meter-relay team drew criticism for overdoing a flag-waving celebration after winning gold. Greene‚Äôs response to those who would quell his patriotism: Don‚Äôt tread on me.
MATT HANSEN (BOBBLEHEADS)
MICHAEL ZAGARIS/MLB PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES (YOUKILIS)