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SPORTS BEAT
December 08, 2003
The WUSA may be history, but its steamiest soccer siren, Heather Mitts, is alive and kicking. Mitts, 25, the former Philadelphia Charge defender who last year was voted the sexiest WUSA player in a playboy.com poll, has been hired as a sports anchor by the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia. But don't expect Mitts, who worked as an analyst for ABC and ESPN during the 2003 Women's World Cup, to go too hard on the Eagles—especially not on backup quarterback A.J. Feeley, whom she's been dating for about a year. "That would be tough," she says. "I would never jeopardize our relationship for anything."
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December 08, 2003

Sports Beat

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The WUSA may be history, but its steamiest soccer siren, Heather Mitts, is alive and kicking. Mitts, 25, the former Philadelphia Charge defender who last year was voted the sexiest WUSA player in a playboy.com poll, has been hired as a sports anchor by the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia. But don't expect Mitts, who worked as an analyst for ABC and ESPN during the 2003 Women's World Cup, to go too hard on the Eagles—especially not on backup quarterback A.J. Feeley, whom she's been dating for about a year. "That would be tough," she says. "I would never jeopardize our relationship for anything."

?The NFL may have prevented Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil from giving kicker—and fellow oenophile—Morten Andersen a rare bottle of Bryant Family Cabernet Sauvignon from Vermeil's cellar (the intractably sober league said the $500 California wine would constitute a performance bonus that wasn't specified in Andersen's contract), but Andersen will still get to do some sipping as a reward for his game-winning kick against the Raiders on Nov. 23. Vermeil promised the 43-year-old Andersen that they would "share a glass at my house" after the season, and last week at practice Andersen's teammates gave him a $2 bottle of Boone's Farm, screw-off cap and all.

? Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui and tennis star Andy Roddick were the only athletes featured in PEOPLE magazine's 2003 Sexiest Men Alive issue. (Non- Pittsburgh pirate Johnny Depp was named the sexiest.)...

Rallying his team from a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Seahawks 44-41 two weeks ago wasn't enough to get Ravens quarterback Anthony Wright a game ball. Coach Brian Billick instead gave it to Wright's wife, Nicole, who went into labor with the couple's second child three hours after the game. (They named her Trinity, after the character in The Matrix movies.) "As I told the players, I don't want to hear about pain," said Billick, a father of two, referring to childbirth. "I don't want to hear about 'I'm hurt' because you have no concept of it."

...Newly anointed IMG model Maria Sharapova (THE BEAT, Dec. 8) will be among the featured pros at the annual Chris Evert Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic, which has raised nearly $11 million since 1989 to fight drug abuse and to assist neglected and abused children in South Florida. Sharapova, Lisa Raymond, Xavier Malisse and Vince Spadea will be joined on the courts by Matthew Perry, former president George Bush—who at age 79 still plays regularly—and supermodel Frederique at the Delray Beach Tennis Center on Dec. 6-7....

After the gaudy silver jerseys they wore on opening night were widely panned (and immediately abandoned), the Mavericks have hired clothing designer (and all-round hip-hop mogul) P. Diddy to come up with an alternative jersey for next season....

Ever wonder what a poet laureate does? Andrew Motion, who holds the tide in Britain, has been tapped to select the country's Chant Laureate—the fan who writes the best soccer chant. The winner gets a $17,000 subsidy to attend matches.

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