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The Beat

HE RETIRED fromthe NBA 18 months ago, but Reggie Miller can't escape Spike Lee. The directortext-messaged Miller before the Pacers-Knicks game on Nov. 4 to say, THE KNICKSARE GOING TO WIN. (He was wrong.) Lee also wished the ex-Pacer good luck in hissecond career. Miller started a film company, Boom Baby Productions, in 2004and premiered his first feature, Beautiful Ohio, starring William Hurt and RitaWilson, in Los Angeles last week. (Miller also has an AAU basketballdocumentary and a drama based on the South's first interracial college hoopsgame in the works.) Asked how his first picture went, Miller, who may need alesson in hyping his product, said, "Is [Ohio] the best film in the world?No. But it sure ain't the worst."

• Jimmie Johnsonis taking the mystery out of the Nextel Cup (page 126), so the puzzle of theweek in NASCAR garages was Jeff Gordon's marriage to model Ingrid Vandebosch onNov. 7. The couple (right), who've been an item since 2004, sneaked down to anundisclosed spot in Mexico for a small ceremony. Even Johnson, one of Gordon'sbest pals on the circuit, didn't know about it; he said he found out about thewedding while watching Live with Regis and Kelly. Why the secrecy? Gordonpromised exclusive rights to the story to US Weekly, which made a donation tohis foundation and will publish wedding photos.

• Kick Ass Redsounds like something Bears fans chanted in the 1930s, but it's a wine beingsold by a Chicago figure of a more recent vintage: former coach Mike Ditka. InJune, Ditka visited the Ukiah, Calif., vineyard of the Mendocino Wine Companyto pick blends, and the first bottles are now available in Chicago. His cellarincludes a chardonnay, a cabernet sauvignon, a merlot and the Red, a blend ofzinfandel, syrah and petite sirah. Da Coach also has a pinot grigio, a favor,he says, for Da Missus: "My wife only drinks pinot grigio."

• Penny Marshallmade her movie directorial debut with 1986's Jumpin' Jack Flash. Now she mayhandle Smokin' Joe Frazier. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Marshallis developing a biopic about the former heavyweight champ and longtime Phillyresident.... Dallas owner Mark Cuban, Yankees boss George Steinbrenner and Heatcoach Pat Riley are among those narrating DVDs that teach sports—andsportsmanship—to toddlers. (Maybe Cuban should watch one himself.) The TeamBaby Entertainment series also features Al Michaels and Bob Costas

• Liftoff isn't a word often used to describe the Rockets' offense—showtime inHouston means dumping the ball in to Yao Ming—but the Toyota Center getselevated during timeouts. That's when the Rockets Power Dancers hit the floorfor their dunk routine: With the help of a trampoline, the ladies make likeMichael Jordan. The ballsiest dunker? Carrie Barnhart, who double-dipped whenHouston beat the Knicks last Friday.

SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE is auctioning a 2006 game-used Yankees hatbelonging to pitcher Carl Pavano, who was injured and didn't play at all thisseason.

They Said It

JON SPOELSTRA, former New Jersey Nets president, onhis team's scrapes with the law in the mid-1990s:

"One year we had six guys in jail. Not together,because that would have meant teamwork."