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January 28, 1998|ROY RIVENBURG | Times Staff Writer

Honk If You Love Jesus' Zone Defense: Does God care who wins the Super Bowl? Absolutely, say a number of players interviewed in a recent issue of Sports Illustrated. Green Bay guard Adam Timmerman, for example, prays for victory in order to "have an even bigger platform" to evangelize non-Christians. "People listen to winners more than they do to losers," he says. But several theologians in SI scoff at the idea of divine intervention in sports. "We have a terrible war going on in Bosnia and the persecution of Christians in Indonesia and genocide in Rwanda, and to suggest--in that light--that God has a direct involvement in athletic contests trivializes the whole notion of [his] involvement with the world," says Yale Divinity School Dean Richard J. Wood.

Then again, how else to explain the Broncos' win?

Simon Says . . . Don't Smoke: A vintage photograph on the cover of Simon and Garfunkel's new "Old Friends" boxed CD set shows Simon's left hand giving what appears to be a "Star Trek" Vulcan-style greeting. In reality, Ice magazine reports, "a cigarette and smoke were removed from the photo at Paul Simon's request."

Give 'Em an Inch Department: If Texas cattlemen win their lawsuit claiming that Oprah defamed beef, they might go after a bigger target, says Bill Maher, host of ABC's "Politically Incorrect." Next in line: the pope. Maher says they want to haul him into court for that whole no-meat-on-Fridays-during-Lent thing.

A Horse Is a Bridesmaid, of Course, of Course: A report from the British Express says a woman had a pony serve as chief bridesmaid during her wedding ceremony.

Roll Over in Your Grave, Beethoven: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born 242 years ago this week. So far, the world is being spared another onslaught of Mozart memorabilia. In 1956, a Mozart bra was created to honor his 200th birthday. It played 20 seconds of music and flashed lights in rhythm to the composition. More recently, on the 200th anniversary of Mozart's death in 1991, Austrian entrepreneurs hawked Mozart perfume, skis, burgers and even Mozart mayonnaise.

All of those are tempting, but we're holding out for the Michael Bolton musical bra.

It's Just a TV Show, Folks: The Realist notes that actress Kim Delaney received "quite a few angry letters" when her character on "NYPD Blue" was slow to accept a marriage proposal from Jimmy Smits' character. Wait till she sees what happens when viewers find out her bridesmaid is going to be a pony.

There's Always a Catch: Also from the Realist, a recent press release described the "emotional catch . . . [that was] audible" in the voice of Sacramento Assemblywoman Barbara Alley as she spoke about her bill requiring CD-ROM listings of sexual offenders. One other catch: The press release was distributed before she uttered a word.

Best Supermarket Tabloid Headline: "I Got Pregnant During a Computer Sex Chat!" (Weekly World News)

See, even cybersex can be unsafe. Frazzled Frances Wyndham believes she was impregnated during a steamy e-mail exchange with someone 1,500 miles away. "His words were so convincing it felt like we were actually having sex," she says.

* Roy Rivenburg can be reached by e-mail at

Contributor: The Realist

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