What better place than a bridge from which to take the Plunge? Last week we reported that Titans running back Eddie George proposed to R&B singer Tamara Johnson on the Brooklyn Bridge. Now comes word that New York Rangers center Petr Nedved dropped to one knee on the 650-year-old, statue-studded Charles Bridge in Prague and popped the question to Veronica Varekova, the European beauty who has been an SI swimsuit model. Wowed by the old-fashioned proposal from her Czech mate, Varekova said yes.
?New Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer and his longtime fianc�, Sonia Flores, might have gotten engaged on London Bridge, which since 1971 has been in Arizona, the state where he has played much football (for ASU and the Cardinals) and where she was born and raised. But they're not giving out details except to say that they got engaged somewhere, and they'll marry after the NFL season. "It was due to happen, bound to happen," says Plummer. "It's a chance for us to be on our own and start a new deal."
?No one has ever accused Major League Baseball of being too hip for its own good. And so in the fervent hope that somebody finally will, the game is putting up millions to sponsor concerts this summer, including many Lollapalooza and Ozzfest dates. Along with the music, folks can experience the MLB Road Show, two 53-foot trailers full of batting cages, radar guns, video games and memorabilia displays. Eddie Vedder and the rest of Pearl Jam warmed for five recent shows by taking batting practice. MLB has also made custom jerseys for the artists on the tours: Ozzy Osbourne got a number 00 Dodgers shirt with OZZMAN on the back.
?But soft! A legendary sportswriter is the subject of a new play, The Shakespeare of the Press Box: The Life and Times of Red Smith, written by New York Times sports columnist Ira Berkow. The two-act, one-man play traces Red Smith's hardworking life (1905-82), during which he won a Pulitzer for commentary in 1976 while with the Times. "There is drama, humor and pathos," says Berkow, author of a 1986 Smith biography, "and much of the play is in Red's words." Those words—Smith once described Jackie Robinson making a catch as "...stretched at full length in the insubstantial twilight, the unconquerable doing the impossible"—are set against a backdrop of piano music and stirring photos. The play will be read this Thursday at a theater in New York City—by 87-year-old screen great Eli Wallach—and then run Sept. 3-7 at the Vineyard Playhouse on Martha's Vineyard.
?Art interrupts life: The start of the Tim Henman- Michael Llodra second-round match on Wimbledon's Centre Court was delayed for half an hour so a film crew could shoot scenes for a movie called Wimbledon, starring Kirsten Dunst.... Roger Clemens is giving the jersey he wore during his 301st career victory (against the Mets on June 28) to Bob Hope as a belated 100th-birthday present. During the off-season Clemens made like Hope and went to the Middle East to visit U.S. troops. Said Clemens, "I got to do just a little bit of that, and he did it for so long, it's pretty cool."