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Original Issue

The Beat

When rapper Snoop Dogg paid a surprise visit to the USC campus on Nov. 16 and attempted to catch a 40-yard pass from quarterback Matt Leinart, the result brought to mind the title of the rapper's new song: Drop It Like It's Hot. Snoop insisted he would have made the grab had it been a game situation. "Ain't nobody sticking me, that's why I dropped it," he said. Snoop (left) swung by the Trojans' field to film a segment for Stand In, a new celebrity reality show airing on mtvU on Nov. 29, and Trojans coach Pete Carroll okayed the visit since it was a bye week. "On a normal game week it wouldn't have happened," said Carroll. "He did a great job. He was fun and gracious."

■ Red Sox outfielder Johnny Damon did plenty of damage in the Bronx--his grand slam iced Game 7 of the ALCS win over the Yankees--and now he's causing a ruckus in Brooklyn too. Someone has been stenciling a 10-inch image of the slugger on lampposts in the borough, and many local residents are not amused. "Breaking the Curse is still no excuse for defacing public property," said Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz. Damon admirers can find a more permanent picture of him in this week's PEOPLE, in which he's featured as one of the magazine's Sexiest Men Alive.

■ A portfolio of 25 pasty MIT students in Speedos might not sound like the perfect stocking stuffer, but that didn't deter the school's men's swimming and diving team from posing for a 2005 calendar. Without notifying the administration, the team started hawking the Guaranteed Wet calendar on its website for $10. Then the school found out and ordered the calendar to be pulled. In a letter to fans on the site, David Friend, a.k.a. Mr. December, wrote that the problem was "something about MIT being a prestigious institution and the calendar not altogether in accordance with our incoming president's views." ... Broadway Joe Namath will be rolling down his namesake avenue on Thursday. For the first time the NFL will have a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The field-on-wheels will carry Namath and other former greats such as Tony Dorsett and Harry Carson.... Eddie, the Jack Russell terrier from Frasier, may have gone into retirement when the show wrapped last May, but his purebred son Enzo is following in his pa's pawsteps. At the National Dog Show, broadcast by NBC starting at noon on Thanksgiving, Enzo will appear with host John O'Hurley (J. Peterman of Seinfeld) in spots throughout the two-hour special.... The Professional Bull Riders won't be sending in the clowns this season when riders are thrown from their mounts. They'll use the Dickies DuraBullfighters, whose protective gear does not include oversized shoes. The bull fighters and bullriders kicked off the new season last Thursday night with a bartop hoedown at Hogs & Heifers in New York City.


Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson asked fans for donations to help pay for a celebration fine he was planning to incur.

They Said It WES MOORE

"Chattanooga women's basketball coach, comparing his team with No. 1 Tennessee: "Their freshmen were high school McDonald's All-Americans; our freshmen ate at McDonald's in high school."




It was overshadowed by the Friday night fight in Detroit (page 44), but the pregame fracas between South Carolina and Clemson players the following day was no less disturbing. Clemson's Yusef Kelly (right) emerged from the fray with an unidentified Gamecock's helmet, which he eventually tossed into the stands. It took a battalion of state troopers to break up the brawl, which at one point stretched over half the field.