The Salt Lake Winter Games are looking for 11,500 good torch-bearers for their 13,500-mile, 46-state Olympic torch relay. You can nominate a worthy candidate (including yourself) by writing a 100-word essay on the theme "Light the Fire Within" and submitting it to saltlake2002.com by May 15. Here's how we envision a few essays by sports figures.
"I would like to nominate my ex-girlfriend Lisa (Left Eye) Lopes. In 1994 she lit the fire within my suburban Atlanta mansion. Burned the place to the ground."
"My former promoter Don King would be a splendid choice. He was inspirational to me because he showed that a convicted felon and hellraiser could still achieve stupendous greatness. Just watch that he doesn't walk off with your torch."
"As owner of the Texas Rangers, I can think of no better candidate than my new shortstop, Alex Rodriguez. This fine young man has suffered through the turmoil of a 2,000-mile relocation, sacrificing what now looks to be a probable playoff spot (not to mention Seattle's excellent coffee)."
"I nominate Miss Anna Kournikova. So many of my fellow athletes carry a torch for her that I think she should return the favor."
"Yo, check out my man Isaiah Rider. Like, playa knows how to light it up, if you know what I mean."
Mark Cuban (e-mail No. 257)
"Here's another great idea: portable DVD players for all 11,500 torchbearers! If I'm included, that is. Oh, and can I ride in the bobsled?;)"