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April 15, 2002
From trading paint to spilling ink: Jeff Gordon will soon write his autobiography. According to a publishing insider, a 50-page proposal titled Jeff Gordon: Finding the Line had been making the rounds of major houses. Last week Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, was close to signing the NASCAR star, offering him a reported $1.2 million for the project. By comparison, Warner Books paid Dale Earnhardt Jr. a reported $1 million last year to write Driver #8, a memoir of his rookie season on the circuit. That deal is turning out to be a bargain: Last week Driver #8 was—appropriately enough—No. 8 on The New York Times nonfiction bestseller list....
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April 15, 2002

The Beat

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From trading paint to spilling ink: Jeff Gordon will soon write his autobiography. According to a publishing insider, a 50-page proposal titled Jeff Gordon: Finding the Line had been making the rounds of major houses. Last week Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, was close to signing the NASCAR star, offering him a reported $1.2 million for the project. By comparison, Warner Books paid Dale Earnhardt Jr. a reported $1 million last year to write Driver #8, a memoir of his rookie season on the circuit. That deal is turning out to be a bargain: Last week Driver #8 was—appropriately enough—No. 8 on The New York Times nonfiction bestseller list....

John Travolta is in talks with Disney's Touchstone Pictures to star in a baseball drama called Mr. 3000. In the film Travolta would play a retired Hall of Famer who mounts a comeback after three of his hits are disallowed, dropping him out of the 3,000-hit club. While making his return, he rediscovers his love for the game, a quality he'd lost during his career, when he had become a churlish diva. Disney, encouraged by the success of The Rookie, which stars Dennis Quaid as real-life major leaguer Jim Morris, hopes to start shooting Mr. 3000 this summer....

Responding to a flurry of stories that say Adidas is getting impatient because their $4 million-a-year spokesperson, Anna Kournikova, has yet to win a tournament, the sportswear company released a statement of support for the 20-year-old tennis vixen last week. "[The rumor] claiming Anna Kournikova has been warned to play better by Adidas is simply not true! She is a top symbol and important partner for Adidas." Also showing Anna the love is current paramour Enrique Iglesias. The Latin pop star, who hooked up with Kournikova when she filmed steamy scenes in a video for his new single, Escape, reportedly is having hard, clay and grass tennis courts installed at his home in Miami. Seems like everyone wants Anna to practice more.

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