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SPORTS BEAT
February 24, 2003
Hey, how many dream jobs does one guy get? NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. recently landed a gig as a guest photographer for playboy.com. "How could you not say yes to an offer like this?" says Earnhardt. For his subjects Junior, an amateur photographer, chose the Dahm triplets—Erica, Nicole and Jaclyn, the December 1998 Playmates of the Month—and he photographed them at his garage outside Charlotte, posed around his yellow Corvette GTR. "I thought I was just going to show up and push the shutter down," said Earnhardt, "but I was involved in the whole thing, from the setting to the wardrobe."
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February 24, 2003

Sports Beat

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Hey, how many dream jobs does one guy get? NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. recently landed a gig as a guest photographer for playboy.com. "How could you not say yes to an offer like this?" says Earnhardt. For his subjects Junior, an amateur photographer, chose the Dahm triplets—Erica, Nicole and Jaclyn, the December 1998 Playmates of the Month—and he photographed them at his garage outside Charlotte, posed around his yellow Corvette GTR. "I thought I was just going to show up and push the shutter down," said Earnhardt, "but I was involved in the whole thing, from the setting to the wardrobe."

?The next best thing to having Tiger Woods as your pitchman? How about the fellow who carries his clubs. Last week Steve Williams (below, left), 39, who's been the caddie for the world's No. 1 player for four years, signed a deal with Valvoline to wear its logo on his shirtsleeve during golf tournaments. Details of the contract, which Tiger and his chief sponsor, Nike, approved, were not announced. At least one sports-sponsorship expert thinks Valvoline has struck oil. "They are paying for an indirect image association value with Tiger Woods," says Dean Bonham of the Bonham Group, a Denver-based sports and entertainment marketing firm. "How many people will associate Tiger Woods with Valvoline? Some will. And 'some' when you look at the universe of people who are watching Tiger Woods is a pretty big number."

? Golfer Greg Norman, already an accomplished vintner, course designer, clothier and agronomist (he's developed his own strain of grass), has found a new passion: yacht-building. His 70-meter cruiser, Aussie Rules, recently launched in Perth, Australia, is believed to be the world's largest motorized yacht. The vessel can comfortably sleep 24, including the 12-man crew needed to sustain it on long voyages. Guests can take excursions on a 42-foot sportfishing boat that fits comfortably on the back deck. There are some 200 fishing poles on board, scads of scuba-diving equipment, a decompression chamber for drops into the deep blue, a swimming pool, a spa equipped with 100 jets, and a theater.

?Construction worker and lying lover Evan Marriott, better known as Joe Millionaire, was booed lustily by fans when he attended the Warriors- Knicks game at Madison Square Garden last week....

Among the celebrities at the Daytona 500: actors Vin Diesel and John Travolta, boxer Evander Holyfield, skateboarder Tony Hawk and Mariah Carey, who sang the national anthem....

Sports agent Duane Martin couldn't crack the NBA—after averaging 14.8 points per game as a senior at NYU, the guard was cut from the Knicks' training camp in 1989—but he's appeared in more than a dozen Hollywood films, including the current release Deliver Us from Eva with LL Cool J and Gabrielle Union. He's also thriving as an agent, having recently handled contracts for Angels pitcher Francisco Rodriguez and Dolphins wide receiver Cris Carter, among others....

The February issue of Glamour offers some interesting off-the-pitch details about U.S. soccer star Landon Donovan, who's dating Dawson Creek's Bianca Kajlich. Once when Kajlich, 25, was out of town, Donovan, 20, missed the starlet so much that he sneaked into her house and slept there without telling her. The magazine also reports that when Donovan is on the road, Kajlich fills her time by surfing the Web to find sexy pictures of him.

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