SI Vault
 
The Beat
Adam Duerson
June 19, 2006
What's a 13-letter synonym for "Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina"? "Crossword geek," perhaps? "I prefer crossword jock," the righthander told SI. "Geek is a pretty strong term." Mussina appears in the upcoming crossword puzzle documentary Wordplay (June 23) with fellow puzzle devotees Bill Clinton, Bob Dole and The Daily Show's Jon Stewart. Mussina likens his desire to finish a puzzle to his drive for a complete game. "It only happens occasionally," he said, "and those games are really special." The film focuses on The New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz, but Mussina considers those puzzles out of his league. He prefers to nab a USA Today from his hotel room and then huddle up with teammates Jaret Wright, Shawn Chacon and Mike Myers. "When we get a group," he says, "we can really pound one out."
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
June 19, 2006

The Beat

View CoverRead All Articles

What's a 13-letter synonym for " Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina"? "Crossword geek," perhaps? "I prefer crossword jock," the righthander told SI. "Geek is a pretty strong term." Mussina appears in the upcoming crossword puzzle documentary Wordplay (June 23) with fellow puzzle devotees Bill Clinton, Bob Dole and The Daily Show's Jon Stewart. Mussina likens his desire to finish a puzzle to his drive for a complete game. "It only happens occasionally," he said, "and those games are really special." The film focuses on The New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz, but Mussina considers those puzzles out of his league. He prefers to nab a USA Today from his hotel room and then huddle up with teammates Jaret Wright, Shawn Chacon and Mike Myers. "When we get a group," he says, "we can really pound one out."

? The public debut last week of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's offspring, daughter Shiloh, overshadowed the arrival of another celebrity birth. Olympic gymnastics gold medalists Bart Conner and Nadia Comaneci (right) welcomed their first child, Dylan Paul, in Oklahoma City on June 3. Conner, 48, and Comaneci, 44, combined for 11 Olympic medals before marrying in Romania 10 years ago. No wonder delivery-room staff described the newborn as a "perfect 10" and Conner joked, "He already has definition in his deltoids and his biceps."

? If you'd like to get a little taste of the Dave Matthews Band but don't feel like shelling out $75 to catch the group on its summer tour, you might try keeping your ears glued to ESPN2 later this month. Boyd Tinsley, the band's violinist and a rabid tennis fan, composed The Ghost of Wimbledon, the theme song the network will use for its coverage of the tournament, which begins on June 29. Tinsley also sponsors the Boyd Tinsley Tennis Program, which provides instruction and equipment for kids in his hometown of Charlottesville, Va.

? This summer Samuel L. Jackson battles Snakes on a Plane; next year he'll be a snake, of sorts. In Resurrecting the Champ, Jackson will play a homeless man who tricks a sportswriter ( Josh Hartnett) into believing that he's a former heavyweight contender. The screenplay is based on a 1997 Los Angeles Times Magazine story by J.R. Moehringer (author of The Tender Bar), who fell for a similar trick while searching for Bob Satterfield, a reckless 1950s fighter who went toe-to-toe with Archie Moore, Jake LaMotta and Rocky Marciano. Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway has already shot a cameo for the film, which is set in Denver.... Packers fans should keep their eyes on football flick We Are Marshall, which hits screens in October. Dorsey Levens, who twice led Green Bay in rushing before retiring (from the Eagles) last year, swung by the film's set at Morris Brown College in Atlanta last week, and the next thing he knew he was shooting a scene. Levens was shot pacing the sidelines for Xavier as an assistant coach. Says Levens of his first acting gig, "It's almost like a two-a-day out there; it's brutal."

1