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The Inside Track | T.J. Simers

Returning to Kings From Silicon Valley of the Dolls

April 28, 2002|T.J. SIMERS

As affairs go, it was brief, a couple of hours at the Playboy Mansion, and I was back with the Kings Saturday.

Regrets? Sure, I had some. I'm man enough to admit I was crying most of the afternoon on Miss March's shoulder, feeling a little guilty that I wasn't with the guys in Denver. Or it could have been Miss January--when their name tags come off it's really hard to tell the difference.

I know I said I wouldn't shave until the guys won the Stanley Cup or were eliminated. But I thought a beard might identify me as a King fan, and doing my research on who might be Playmate of the Year, I noticed every Playmate had "King fans" listed under "turnoffs."

I know how shallow that makes me sound, and I was worried how this might affect my relationship with Jason Allison and the guys, but they seemed more interested in how I did than how they played.

"So, Coach, how about that seventh game in Colorado?" I asked.

"Where are the pictures?" said King Coach Andy Murray, and I hope he hadn't promised them to the guys for motivation.

"How about that first goal by Allison?" I said when I got the chance to talk with Craig Johnson.

"It was fine," Johnson said, "but now tell me, how was it? They tell me there's a zoo up there. Were you by the zoo? I mean, how was it?"

The guys have done pretty well on their own, but maybe a little motivation might help. I wonder if I can get Hef to promise them a trip to the Grotto if they beat Colorado.

I won't be able to be in Denver, of course, because I have to play golf. But I'll be happy to show them around the Mansion when they get back.

*

I'M HEARING country singer Garth Brooks has expressed interest in joining the Anschutz Empire's efforts to bring the NFL to town. I wouldn't be surprised if a call isn't made to John Elway soon too.

I'M ALSO hearing the Anschutz Empire has a date in the next two weeks to visit the NFL in New York. The plan is to emerge from that meeting with a term sheet that will allow the Anschutz Empire to pursue the Chargers, Colts or Saints and get one of them to commit to moving into a new football stadium a few blocks from Staples Center.

The key to the deal is a "G-3" loan from the NFL for $150 million toward the construction of a new stadium--money that essentially never has to be repaid. At least 24 of the NFL's 32 owners must approve such a loan. NFL bylaws also dictate such a loan must be given to an NFL team--rather than a city on the prowl for a team--so the Anschutz Empire will have to gain a commitment from a team on the move relatively soon to proceed with stadium plans and construction.

By the way, the Los Angeles Chargers selected a cornerback in the first round of last week's NFL draft.

*

THE KING coach made a big deal out of not getting Colorado goalie Patrick Waugh mad, so what did the Staples Center operations people do? They put together a video of all the goals Waugh has given up and played it on the overhead scoreboard, because as one Staples official said, "We think we can get into Waugh's head." Apparently he was right.

JUST MY opinion, but something is shady when $118,000 comes in to Hollywood Park from Lewiston, Maine, on a horse that has taken in only $11,000 in bets, and wins.

Someone has an unfair edge. But we know this, they aren't sharing their information with our handicapper Bob Mieszerski, because after four days Bob has only eight winners.

*

HARLAN'S HOLIDAY is expected to be the favorite when the Kentucky Derby is run Saturday, but we probably won't know for sure until all the money has come in from Lewiston, Maine.

*

ALBERT BELLE, all those years the reluctant interview, calling up the Jim Rome show to defend himself after former teammate Omar Vizquel wrote in a book that all of Belle's bats were corked, is pretty funny. It would have been a lot funnier had Rome refused to talk with him.

*

FOX'S JEANNE Zelasko recently gave birth to Trevor Jayden, and the baby's father, Channel 7's Curt Sandoval, is doing just fine. That is, he was until he heard the child's uncle call his new son "T.J."

*

THE LAKERS have won 17 consecutive games in Staples Center, and they didn't think the home-court advantage was worth playing hard for every night.

*

WHEN HBO Real Sports' James Brown asked Rasheed Wallace if he needed counseling for his inability to control his temper, Wallace said, "No," but said if someone like his wife said he needed it, he'd be more inclined to pursue it. So Brown asked Wallace's wife, and she said, "No," proving the point that love really is blind.

*

THE ICE skating judge, Marie-Reine Le Gougne, who was embroiled in the Olympic controversy, said last week, "I have no intention of letting myself be decapitated." Remember, she hails from France.

*

THE AGENT for Anna Kournikova says the topless pictures that Penthouse magazine is running in a 10-page layout are not of the tennis player. You know how agents are--I think you'll have to see for yourself.

*

TODAY'S LAST word comes in a letter from Phoelicks:

"Comparing horse racing to the L.A. Sparks? You are just another example of a man who is threatened by attractive, talented and successful females who happen to be athletes."

And don't forget Playmates too.

*

T.J. Simers can be reached at t.j.simers@latimes.com.

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