Folks who think KISS is not popular with the slacks-wearing set should think again. "KISS is my favorite rock group," says PGA champ Shaun Micheel, who used to wear the band's black-and-white makeup on Halloween. "I know every one of their songs." The day after he won the PGA, Micheel got a call from his friend Paco Zimmer, the band's road manager, inviting him to a show in Columbus, Ohio, on Aug. 19. The 34-year-old Micheel flew from his home in Memphis and met with the band backstage. He also found that he's not as anonymous as he used to be. "Some guy standing next to me between songs said, 'You look just like that guy who won the PGA Championship. And I said, 'That's because I am.' He was like, No way, no way."
?Gentlemen, start your divorce lawyers. The October issue of Playboy includes a pictorial and an interview with Deanna Merryman, the former cosmetics-counter attendant who claims to have been the cause of Jeff Gordon's high-profile split from his wife, Brooke. According to Merryman, she was working at a Neiman Marcus in Palm Beach, Fla., in 2000 when "this little short dude" asked her to lunch, and began an 11-month relationship. ( Gordon had no comment on Merryman's claim.) In the story Merryman says, "Jeff became a wild man. He got married when he was 23 and has been on the racetrack since he was a kid. He used to tell me that he never had a chance to have fun."
?Before he was a Beat writer, Jack Kerouac was a beat writer. Well, sort of. He covered sports for The Lowell Sun in his hometown of Lowell, Mass., in 1942. He also played running back at Columbia and was a big sports fan. So it's not so odd that the first 1,000 fans at last Thursday's Class A game between the Lowell Spinners and the Williamsport (Pa.) Cross-cutters received bobblehead dolls of the author holding a pen and notebook and standing on a copy of On the Road. The event was sponsored in part by the English department at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.
?Blair Underwood's new gig, playing Knicks team doctor Robert Leeds on HBO's Sex and the City, has several perks. There's the whole making-out-with-Cynthia Nixon thing. But Underwood also got to spend a day at Madison Square Garden when the show rented the arena out for a day of shooting. "I got a picture of myself slam-dunking," Underwood said. "Of course, the ladder will be cut out of the photo."
?In production: The Game of Their Lives, based on Geoffrey Douglas's 1996 book about the U.S. soccer team, composed primarily of working-class immigrants, that upset mighty England at the 1950 World Cup. The movie will be directed by David Anspaugh, who is no stranger to underdog stories—he directed Rudy. Wes Bentley (American Beauty) stars, but the most intriguing casting decision is Gavin Rossdale, who will play English star Stanley Mortenson. Rossdale played semipro soccer in England before becoming lead singer of the band Bush.... Though sidelined by a back injury, Anna Kournikova was still the most visible player in New York City in the days before the U.S. Open. Last Thursday she was in Herald Square helping Microsoft launch XSN, its line of sports games for the Xbox. After opening the NASDAQ exchange the next morning, she was in Grand Central Terminal with Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos peddling her "multiway" sports bra, which will be sold exclusively in the U.S. on Amazon.