She perfected her snap kicks under the tutelage of Mr. Miyagi when she starred as The Next Karate Kid, and Hilary Swank will now add a crisp jab to her personal-defense repertoire for her new role as a boxer in Million Dollar Baby. Clint Eastwood will direct, produce and play the role of a grizzled fighter turned trainer who mentors Swank. The script was adapted from Rope Burns: Stories from the Corner, written by former fighter F.X. Toole. Swank has been training for the part at Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn, where Mike Tyson is performing community service to avoid jail time for his part in a brawl in from of a hotel last year. Swanks serious training regimen prompted Ralph Macchio, the original Karate Kid, to say, "I have no doubt she can kick my butt." Filming is set to begin in L.A. in June.
?As if we needed more proof that John Daly bleeds gravy and grits, his newest sponsor is—you guessed it—Redneck Putters. Dunlop created the line this year as part of its effort to bring golf to the masses—even the mulleted masses. "We're the product the blue-collar guy can afford," says Dunlop VP of marketing Shane Duffy. The putters come in a variety of models, such as the Lurch, Airhead, Bubba, Wilbur and Doublewide. Daly uses the $99 red-shafted putters on tour, and the PGA allowed him to wear the Redneck logo on his collar. ( NASCAR recently forbade driver Derrike Cope from applying decals for redneckjunk.com to his car.) Daly has also inspired a sitcom pilot called Bogeys, about a beer-swilling good ol' boy pro golfer. Shooting is scheduled to begin in North Carolina in June.
?What's the deal with talk radio? Last Thursday evening Jerry Seinfeld spent two hours on New York City's WFAN, the flagship station of his favorite team, the Mets. "I love the station," Seinfeld told host Steve Somers. "You got the funny guys in the morning, the obsessive guys in the afternoon and the Jewish guys at night. It's a great lineup." Seinfeld's take on Mark McGwire's use of andro: "I love how he left it in [his] locker. Put it in a bag. You haven't got a shaving kit?"
?Last Thursday was April Fools' Day, which did not go unnoticed in the world of sports. The Burlington ( N.C.) Indians of the Appalachian League sent out a press release saying that the team's mascot, Bingo, was going to appear on Late Night with Conan O'Brien as part of the Battle for Burlington Bragging Rights, a steel-cage battle royale against the mascots of the New York-Perm League's Vermont Expos (of Burlington, Vt.) and the Midwest League's Burlington (Iowa) Bees. According to the release, the last mascot standing would be crowned "the king of all Burlingtons." In Colorado, the editorial board of the Aspen Daily News—which announced last October that it was no longer going to cover the Kobe Bryant case—put up a story on its website proclaiming KOBE GETS OFF, with a picture of Bryant flanked by teenage girls and holding a bottle of champagne. (The paper runs April Fools' stories every year and changes the name of the paper to the Aspen Daily Planet for the day.) And in Jacksonville, WAPE-FM aired a phony report stating that the NFL voted to take next year's Super Bowl away from the city and award it to New York City. Jacksonville Super Bowl Host Committee director of communications Heather Surface said, "The Host Committee appreciates a good joke as much as the next guy, but, after three hours, the 'joke' went a bit too far."