He's always on the road; several women have claimed he's cheated on his wife, Victoria, with them; and his sons, Romeo and Brooklyn, may very well grow up to hate the names he gave them. But David Beckham has still been named one of the 20 finalists for England's Celebrity Dad of the Year Award. Voting for the award, which is done on the Internet, ends June 15, with Beckham facing stiff opposition from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, rocker Sir Bob Geld-of and prime minister Tony Blair.
?Now that she doesn't have to spend time with her Friends, Jennifer Aniston is taking part in the Olympic torch relay. The 35-year-old actress—the daughter of actor John Aniston, who was born in Crete as John Anastassakis—will run a leg when the torch makes its way to the U.S. in June. (The relay begins its 46,800-trip from Sydney to Athens on June 4.) Also set to lug the lamp: ER star Parminder Nagra, who played the lead in Bend It Like Beckham. Nagra, 28, showed so much athletic ability in that movie that bookies in her native England are taking bets on whether she can run faster than Aniston in the relay. Ladbrokes has installed Nagra as the 8-to-11 favorite.
?In 2002 Charleston RiverDogs co-owner Mike Veeck staged Nobody Night, in which fans weren't allowed into the park until the fifth inning. The master promoter is at it again, this time spotlighting a particular nobody: Marc Turndorf, a 35-year-old video game producer from Los Angeles. Turndorf paid $5,601.01 on eBay to get a plate appearance for Veeck's St. Paul Saints in a May 14 exhibition game. Turndorf, who will also play in the outfield, has been working on his swing in the batting cages. "I'm making contact—pathetic contact—maybe 80 percent of the time," he says. As for his dream scenario: "I'd love to get on base and try to steal second." And his worst-case? "They give me some chin music, I rush the mound, turn around, and no one's following me."
? Falcons quarterback Mike Vick took to the airwaves in Atlanta on April 27 to debunk a fake Internet report that claimed he had come out of the closet. A story quoting Vick as saying, "I've been a gay man hiding behind lies about my sexuality for years," was posted by an organization calling itself Global Associated News. It looked real—except for the link at the bottom informing readers it was a hoax. Still, Vick went on the radio and proclaimed, "I won't even feed into that.... Everybody who knows me, knows how I get down. It's not even an issue."
?Stats, spreadsheets and the relative merits of on-base percentage and slugging percentage don't seem like fodder for a Hollywood blockbuster, but that hasn't stopped Sony Pictures from acquiring the rights to Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, the best-selling book by Michael Lewis. The film will focus on Billy Beane's roots as a top prospect gone bust before delving into the numbers-based system he now uses to evaluate players as Oakland's G.M. Lewis, who has nothing to do with the film, says, "I don't have the first idea how they plan to do it God help them."...Want to get Eminem and Moby in the same room? Ask the New York Athletic Club. They've convinced UConn's hoops coaches Geno Auriemma and Jim Calhoun, whose relationship is frosty to say the least, to come to dinner together on May 18. They'll receive the 2004 Winged Foot Awards, which are presented to the coaches of the women's and men's NCAA national champs.