It was a split decision in the Taylor household last weekend as March Madness met March Badness. On Saturday night in Little Rock, 25-year-old Jermaine (Bad Intentions) Taylor (20-0) scored a TKO over Alex Bunema for the WBC Continental Americas Middleweight Championship. The next day the missus didn't pack as much of a punch. Louisiana Tech's Erica Smith-Taylor, who entered the game as the leading scorer in the NCAA women's tournament, at 29.5 points per game, was held to 11 in a 63-49 loss to Duke in the Sweet 16. Since their schedules often keep them apart, Erica, 21, makes a point of running into the locker room just before tip-off to call her husband of seven months. "He's always the last person I talk to before I step on the court," she told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. "I have to hear him say good luck and go get them. That's all I need, and I'm ready to leave it all out on the court."
?Just think: If Rachel Hunter had said to her agent, "The one thing you should know is that I absolutely refuse to play a mother hen to a bunch of strippers turned volleyball players," she would have never landed her role in the movie Cloud Nine. Hunter—a former SI Swimsuit model, current Playboy covergirl and Stacy's mom in Fountains of Wayne's sardonic video for the song of the same name—stars with Burt Reynolds. "I play the old stripper who has been there, done that," Hunter, 34, said. "It sounds like fun." Shooting starts April 19 in Malibu.
?Thanks to Dave Chappelle's hilarious impersonation of him on Chappelle's Show, '80s rocker Rick James is enjoying a bit of a renaissance. Last week the Ohio State hockey team was celebrating its conference championship with friends and family members at their hotel in downtown Detroit, and the funkmaster, who was also staying in the hotel, joined them. When the bar's proprietors tried to close the joint down, James persuaded them to stay open, then posed for pictures with the team and their trophy. He raised a champagne glass and said, " Ohio State!" Then he punctuated his toast with the words chappelle has turned into a catchphrase: "I'm Rick James, bitch!"
...It was a busy week for David Beckham. First he found himself answering questions from reporters about Mohamed Bekkali, one of the men accused of taking part in the Madrid train bombings. When police raided Bekkali's home, they found a birthday card signed by the Real Madrid midfielder. Beckham is believed to have unknowingly signed the card for Bekkali, a devoted fan who calls himself Bekks, at the team's training ground. When that controversy blew over, Beckham began talks to play a soccer player in a forthcoming remake of The Pink Panther, starring Steve Martin and Beyonc�....
Mandy Block, better known as the woman in the Italian sausage costume who was knocked to the ground by then Pirates first baseman Randall Simon during a sausage race in Milwaukee's Miller Park last summer, recently visited Simon's home country of Cura�ao. The tiny island's tourism bureau thought the incident was bad publicity, so they brought Block in for a week of fun that included swimming with dolphins at the Cura�ao Dolphin Academy.