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Original Issue

The Beat

"I was with everyone else, making fun of figure skaters," says former Full House actor and hockey fanatic Dave Coulier. "I thought they were pansies. Then Scott Hamilton informed me, 'There are more girls at figure skating events than you can count on 50 hands.'" That's all it took to persuade The Man Formerly Known as Uncle Joey to join Todd Bridges (Diff'rent Strokes), singer Deborah Gibson (below) and others on Fox's six-episode series Skating with Celebrities. The show, which debuts on Jan. 18, pairs each celeb with a seasoned skater to compete in choreographed routines. (Coulier teams with Nancy Kerrigan.) A panel of judges, including Dorothy Hamill, will eliminate one pair per episode, but Coulier's hockey-playing pals have already weighed in. "They call me Toe Pick," he says, "and they gave me purple-sequin skate covers."

• A pair of phenomenal A.J.'s got together last week during a taping of Spike TV's iMPACT! show when pro wrestler "The Phenomenal" A.J. Styles met White Sox catcher "The Phenomenal" A.J. Pierzynski--who was given that moniker during the 2005 postseason. As often happens on wrestling shows, things didn't go well. A brawl broke out when a trio known as the Diamonds in the Rough crashed the set. Now Pierzynski will play a part in the inevitable rematch. After receiving some guidance from Bobby (the Brain) Heenan, Pierzynski will manage Chris Sabin, Sonjay Dutt and Dale Torborg (who is also a Sox minor league strength and conditioning coach) in a three-on-three match against the Diamonds in a pay-per-view event this Sunday. Among those expected to attend are ballplayers Johnny Damon and Chris Widger and Torborg's father, Jeff, a former major league manager.

• Some walk down the aisle, some run. At the Mile 5 marker of the New Las Vegas Marathon on Sunday, 20 fleet-footed ladies and their grooms ducked into--and quickly out of--the Run-Thru Chapel, which was set up to accommodate altar-bound participants. (Rev. William Petersen, 62, who oversaw the three-minute group ceremony, in which three couples got married and 17 renewed their vows, finished the race in just under six hours.) There were also 36 Elvis impersonators in the field, lending the occasion a special dignity.

• If you've tried, in vain, to buy the extremely scarce Xbox 360 video game system this holiday season, be prepared to hate Kevin Garnett. The Timberwolves' forward procured 13 of the units--one for each of his teammates, plus one for the team's locker room--because, he says, "stuff like that brings us together." The 360 retails for $500, but some have sold for more than $1,000 on eBay. So where did Garnett score the stocking stuffers? "Don't worry about it," says Garnett, who incidentally holds an endorsement deal with Best Buy. "I found them. I wouldn't say they fell off a truck. They were under a tree." ... USC quarterback Matt Leinart has made plenty of friends in Hollywood. Two nights before he led the Trojans to a 66-19 rout of UCLA, Leinart brought a pal--Wilmer Valderrama of That '70s Show--to a campus pep rally. After students fed a wooden bruin to a roaring bonfire, Valderrama, who was wearing a Leinart jersey, explained what he likes about USC: "The ladies and winning."


Reggie Bush does it all: He runs, receives and makes sure no photographer leaves without a great closeup shot. The USC running back almost became a human lens cap during a win over UCLA. The shooter was unhurt, and the picture couldn't be rosier for USC, which plays for the national title on Jan. 4.


In England, 4,600 Santas competed to set a world record for running 4.5 miles while yo-yoing.

They Said It

BOB MCNAIR, Houston Texans owner, on his 1-11 team:

"I'm not going to drive off any cliffs. There aren't any around here anyway. I know because I've been looking."