Hall of fame jockey Gary Stevens has landed a prominent role in the movie Seabiscuit. He'll play jockey George Woolf, who rode Biscuit in the 1938 match race against War Admiral at Pimlico. "When he came in and read for the part, he was fantastic," executive producer Allison Thomas told the Daily Racing Form. "We had him read a very emotional scene...and he bowled everyone over'' The movie, based on Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling book and starring Tobey Maguire as jockey Red Pollard, begins shooting next week.
?At 21 Serena Williams is about the age of a college junior, but that hasn't stopped ABC from casting her as a teacher. The world's top-ranked women's tennis player was scheduled to be in Burbank, Calif., this week to tape an episode of My Wife and Kids, the ABC half-hour comedy starring Damon Wayans. Williams, who has been eager to start an acting career, plays the kindergarten teacher of Wayans's youngest daughter. The episode is scheduled to air Oct. 30.
?In case you missed Andy Rooney's Neanderthal comments on The Boomer Esiason Show, here's a reprise: "Those damn women they have down on the sidelines...don't know what the hell they're talking about," said Rooney, 83. "A woman has no business being down there trying to make some comment about a football game." Curious about industry reaction, we chatted with HBO's Jim Lampley, who was one of the nation's first two sideline reporters (along with Don Tollefson) when he started with ABC in 1974. " Rooney's only problem was making a gender distinction," Lampley said, pointing out that you don't have to be a woman to stink up the sideline. (A fact anyone who's ever watched Eric Dickerson already knew.) Lampley also recalled his own blunder while working the USC-Notre Dame game in 1974. After the Trojans' Anthony Davis returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown, the control booth called down to Lampley for a report from the raucous crowd. Where was Lampley? "I was in the rest room, 27 rows away from the USC sideline," he recalls. "I stepped out of the rest room and faked it I just said to [announcer] Keith Jackson, 'Keith, they're going crazy down here.' "
?Odds and Ends: Magic Johnson's first gig as a movie producer looks like a winner. The Taye Diggs-Sanaa Lathan flick Brown Sugar, on which Johnson served as executive producer, opened at No. 3 and did a solid $11.05 million at the box office.... The Uruguayan rugby players who survived a plane crash in the Andes 30 years ago by eating the flesh of teammates killed in the accident—an ordeal which inspired the book and film Alive—held an emotional reunion match in Santiago. Survivors from the Old Christians team played a group of former Chilean Old Boys, the team the Old Christians were en route to play at the time of the crash.... Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez has pledged a $3.9 million donation to the University of Miami, the school at which he shagged flies and took batting practice as a boy. After receiving the cash, which will come in installments over six years, Miami will rename its stadium Alex Rodriguez Park. A-Rod, 27, also plans to take classes at Miami and hopes to get a bachelor's degree.