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the Beat
October 29, 2001
Anthrax and sports: On Oct. 2, New York governor George Pataki held a press conference to announce the launch of the $40 million "I Love New York II" ad campaign. Famous faces at the event included Robert De Niro, Liza Minnelli, Sigourney Weaver, and sports figures Al Leiter, John McEnroe and Bobby Valentine. Two weeks after the conference, which was held in the governor's 38th-floor midtown Manhattan offices, anthrax was detected in a room on the 39th floor. Pataki and his staff are being treated with antibiotics. Leiter and Valentine were reportedly to be tested for exposure, but a spokesman for the Mets says it's a "personal matter" and declined to say anything further. McEnroe was unreachable for comment....
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October 29, 2001

The Beat

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Anthrax and sports: On Oct. 2, New York governor George Pataki held a press conference to announce the launch of the $40 million "I Love New York II" ad campaign. Famous faces at the event included Robert De Niro, Liza Minnelli, Sigourney Weaver, and sports figures Al Leiter, John McEnroe and Bobby Valentine. Two weeks after the conference, which was held in the governor's 38th-floor midtown Manhattan offices, anthrax was detected in a room on the 39th floor. Pataki and his staff are being treated with antibiotics. Leiter and Valentine were reportedly to be tested for exposure, but a spokesman for the Mets says it's a "personal matter" and declined to say anything further. McEnroe was unreachable for comment....

Chris Kattan will star in an as-yet-untitled feature in which he'll play a figure skater who gets recruited to teach agility and grace to a down-and-out NHL team. The producer of the movie will be Robert Simonds, who produced those arthouse films Happy Gilmore and The Waterboy. "Chris's strength is that he plays emotionally vulnerable characters," says Simonds. "The idea is to stick him with the most hostile, emotionally shut down, ruthless brutes on the planet—NHL players." Wonder if they can get Marty McSorley to costar....

Sharp-eyed sports fans watching the Game Show Network earlier this month might have noticed a familiar face on a rerun of Match Game PM. There, chatting with host Gene Rayburn on a show taped on Oct, 16,1977, was Brian Billick, now the Ravens' coach. Then a soft-spoken 23-year-old assistant at the University of Redlands ( Calif.), Billick (above) gamely tried to keep up with the wisecracking celeb panel—which included Richard Dawson, Dick Martin and Charles Nelson Reilly—but failed miserably, scoring no matches. (Typical question: "Hillary said, 'I don't trust that new doctor, he painted temperature marks on his blank and tried to use it as a thermometer.' " Billick's answer: tongue.) "It was fun," says Billick of his matchless experience, "but it was the first time I ever got shut out."

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