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Original Issue

The Beat

NFL ROSTERS aren't supposed to exceed 80 players in training camp, but the Saints bent the rules when they made country star Kenny Chesney (below) their 81st on Aug. 11 in Jackson, Miss. Chesney, who played wide receiver in high school and is pals with New Orleans coach Sean Payton, wore number 7 when he practiced with the team as a wideout. Toward the end of practice Payton told his players they would get Sunday off if Chesney could catch a punt within two tries. The singer needed three tries, but Payton still gave the team the free day.... If the music that blares when Torii Hunter walks to the plate at Angels Stadium in the coming days sounds unfamiliar, that's because it will be an original song created for him. Hunter recently partnered with his pal Ludacris for a competition on, a user-generated music community in which people can submit songs to be reviewed by the ballplayer and the rapper. "Ludacris and I were sitting around and thinking of ways to get urban kids into baseball, and one was through music," says Hunter. "So we'll let these kids put their talents to work and put baseball in the mix."


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