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Original Issue

The Beat

THE BASIC premiseof Jim Carrey's new movie, The Number 23, is that the number 23 is unlucky.That might be a hard sell in Chicago, where much of the citizenry still walksaround in Michael Jordan jerseys, and where another number 23—DevinHester—provided one of the Bears' few Super Bowl highlights. Before Chicagotook on the Colts, Carrey told friends to watch out for Bears return manHester, whom Carrey has long been a fan of. Hester ran the opening kickoff backfor a touchdown, and a week later Carrey invited him to the L.A. premiere ofThe Number 23. (It opens nationwide this Friday.) So, now that he's seen themovie, is Hester planning to swap his 23 for a safer number? "Hardly,"he tells SI. "Twenty-three ain't a bad number for me. If you kick the ballto number 23, bad things are going to happen to you. It's the scariest numberin football."

▪ Can't decidewhether to begin your day with SportsCenter or The View? Your prayers have beenanswered, maybe. Sportsbabes, an online video roundtable of fivesports-obsessed women, debuted on Feb. 14. (It can be viewed The show features MTV personality and former Lingerie Bowlparticipant Lauren Bergfeld (above), Vicki Johnson (a former reporter for theSpeed Channel), model and actress Keriann Kada, MarieSam Sanchez (a sports deskassistant at the Los Angeles Times) and Marisol Salguero (also on the sportsdesk at the Times) . Margot Rogers Ocañas, a rep for the show, calls the women"eye candy with a bucketful of knowledge," and thinks they'll overcomeviewer skepticism. Says Ocañas, "The challenge is to make sure guys don'tturn off the sound."

‚ñ™ It's hard tothink of O.J. Simpson as inspiring—unless you're a writer for Law & Order.This Friday, NBC's ubiquitous crime drama will air a show that seems based onthe controversy surrounding Simpson's ill-fated tell-all book about the 1994murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman. (HarperCollinscanceled If I Did It 10 days before its scheduled November release.) In theepisode, titled Murder Book, a fictional ex--major leaguer has a similar bookpulled—and his publisher subsequently turns up dead. (Simpson's editor, JudithRegan, was merely fired.)

▪ Tom Brady andactress Bridget Moynahan broke up in November after three years together, butthat's not the end of their story. Last week Moynahan, 36, announced that sheis pregnant and that Brady, 29, is the father. She is "healthy andexcited," according to a representative for the Six Degrees and GrayMatters star. Meanwhile Brady, who is reportedly dating model Gisele Bündchen,has stayed quiet. "This is the first I'm hearing about it," a Patriotsrep told the Boston Herald. "And I don't anticipate having anycomment."

Ever wonder what might happen if Ron Artest took up elephant polo? During atournament in Sri Lanka last week 8,800-pound, 18-year-old Abey, one of theU.S. team's mounts, went on a mid-game rampage. He threw off his rider, chargedoff the field and attacked the Spanish team's minibus. Luckily, no one was inthe bus. The vehicle was badly damaged, however, and afterward Abey announcedhe's starting a music label: Tru War Elephant Records.

They Said It

JOSH PAUL, DevilRays catcher, on taking his first drug test of the 2007 season on Sunday:
"The key is to hit the cup."



In a 2001 humor column, named TimHardaway one of its "Ten Most Likely Gay Ballers in the NBA."