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SPORTS BEAT
September 15, 2003
For the first 22 years of her life Veronica Kay was too busy to take in a football game. In addition to her career as a professional surfer, she's also a Roxy swimwear model and starred on the reality show Boarding House: North Shore. Kay finally went to her first game, between USC and Auburn, two weeks ago, but only because the Trojans' quarterback is her boyfriend, Mart Leinart (SI, Sept. 8), whom she has dated since April. "Matt has grounded me," says Kay. For the past couple of months she has settled near L.A. to be close to Leinart. The two-jock couple spends as much time competing as canoodling. "The problem is that Matt beats me in everything, even Connect Four," says Kay, though she hasn't yet tested Leinart's mettle on a surfboard. "That," she says, "might be a different story?'
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September 15, 2003

Sports Beat

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For the first 22 years of her life Veronica Kay was too busy to take in a football game. In addition to her career as a professional surfer, she's also a Roxy swimwear model and starred on the reality show Boarding House: North Shore. Kay finally went to her first game, between USC and Auburn, two weeks ago, but only because the Trojans' quarterback is her boyfriend, Mart Leinart (SI, Sept. 8), whom she has dated since April. "Matt has grounded me," says Kay. For the past couple of months she has settled near L.A. to be close to Leinart. The two-jock couple spends as much time competing as canoodling. "The problem is that Matt beats me in everything, even Connect Four," says Kay, though she hasn't yet tested Leinart's mettle on a surfboard. "That," she says, "might be a different story?'

?It was a long, dark summer at Baylor, but last Thursday the Bears' stadium brimmed with cheers, laughter and, for the first time in a long time, hope, as Bill Cosby led the student body in a pep rally. Some 20,000 people attended the comedian's free show and heard him talk about life, family and education. Cosby, in a BAYLOR TRACK AND FIELD T-shirt, said he came to lift spirits at the school, which has been battered by news of the murder of basketball player Patrick Dennehy, the arrest of his teammate Carlton Dotson and scandals in the athletic department. "The people left out of this equation are the students, faculty and administration that go into these buildings, which, by the way, were not founded on basketball or football," Cosby told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

?Time can turn old rivals into teammates. Plans are nearly set for a best-of-three-sets doubles match pitting Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe against Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras. The Legacy Tennis Challenge is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 27 in Las Vegas, and the winners would split $1 million; the losers $500,000. As a nod to the age difference ( Connors and McEnroe are 51 and 44, respectively; Agassi and Sampras, 33 and 32) the young'uns would get only one serve, unless they lose a set "It looks promising," says Connors. "I better get back into a little bit of shape just in case that happens."

?Visiting base runners have a new topic of conversation in Fenway Park: the video of Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar that the team airs to fire up fans. The clip shows Millar as a teenager earnestly lip-synching Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. Says Millar, "Everyone who comes to first base wants to know now how it all happened." Millar explains that teammate John Burkett got hold of the tape from an old friend of Millar's and turned it over to the Fenway entertainment crew, which debuted it before the sixth inning on Aug. 21. "I was rolling ground balls when I heard the song come on," says Millar. "It didn't dawn on me at first, and then I looked up and saw the biggest dork I'd ever seen. I looked over at the Oakland dugout and saw [pitcher Tim] Hudson laughing so hard he actually fell off the water cooler." Millar isn't complaining, though. As he'll also tell anyone who asks, the Sox have gone 6-3 at home since the clip's premiere.... Redskins receiver Darnerien McCants had two big opening nights last week. On Thursday he caught a touchdown pass in the first NFL game of the season as Washington beat the Jets 16-13. The next night he celebrated the opening of his art exhibit at The Old Yankee Framer gallery in Ashburn, Va. McCants, who has an art degree from Delaware State, paints primarily in acrylics on canvas and also does photography.

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