A Sports Nut He Is Not
Jason Alexander, whose character George Costanza toiled for the Yankees on "Seinfeld," takes on the role of a sports columnist in "Listen Up," a new CBS sitcom based on the wacky life of our colleague Tony Kornheiser. But Alexander, writing in next week's issue of Sporting News, makes a confession: He doesn't watch games on TV and utterly ignores the sports pages. "Review stats? What are you people, nuts?" he writes.
"However, I am a Broadway musicals/chick flicks/Barry Manilow kind of guy. I even know Liza Minnelli personally. If I weren't a devout heterosexual, married 22 years, believe me, the rumors would be a-flyin'. Rumors aside, I am not a sports guy -- much to the chagrin of my family."
Decades ago, Alexander's uncle Jack Simon was the director of Mets, Knicks and Rangers games. Two of his cousins became sportscasters. "They turned our early years in the bleachers into careers because they cared about the games. I, too, have somehow turned those years into a career," he writes. "The difference is, I don't give a rat's!"
When the show debuts Sept. 20, Alexander hopes fans won't confuse the character of Tony Kleinman with the real, sports-indifferent man that he is. "You can issue a recall on my genitals, call me a traitor to the gender, but frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. ('Gone With the Wind' -- chick flick.)"
Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have a Winner
* Coincidence or conspiracy? By golly, our calendar says it's already Sept. 9, but Homeland Security top dog Tom Ridge has chosen today to officially launch "National Preparedness Month." Better late than never -- and to mark the occasion, we're presenting the results of The Reliable Source's contest to name the department's new cartoon mascot, a heroic canine the feds call an "American shepherd." (Which isn't a recognized breed, but as we reported last month, the actual mascot contest is for schoolchildren and the sketch hasn't been finalized yet.)
Our readers submitted scores of entertaining submissions, among them: K-911, Spot, Patriot, Gitmo, Target, Defender and several variations of Homie, including Homer and Homely. Sorry: a bit too predictable. And though we appreciated the nominations of George Bush's lovable Scottie, Barney, it's unclear whether the little fella's going to be available for another term of duty.
Honorable mentions: Code Yeller, from Jane Long of Arlington, and Tom, from Jim Haynes of Silver Spring, who submitted a cartoon of Secretary Ridge. But the winner is . . . Nosey! Carlton Stoiber of Washington, an international lawyer, drew a mascot embodying the intrusive nature of our national security apparatus but also its dogged mission to sniff out danger.
* Just when we thought we'd never have to spell Omarosa's last name again -- for the record, it's Manigault-Stallworth -- she's baaaaack. In town for a Congressional Black Caucus event, she was spotted yesterday at Secondi, an upscale consignment store in Dupont Circle, trying on gowns and such. "This looks fabulous!" a fellow shopper overheard Omarosa gushing to a mirror. "I could wear this to the Emmys!" Our witness also says the reality-show reject asked the staff to reduce prices because "I'm going to spend $2,000 in this store." (Actually, she spent $700.) Store staff members told us Ms. O, a longtime customer, "is always nice."
* Mira Sorvino, Oscar-winning actress and Amnesty International ambassador, visited members of Congress yesterday in her quest to stop violence against women in the Darfur region of Sudan. "Genocide is something that has always gotten to me since I was a little girl -- kind of an obsession," the Harvard grad told us. (We ask you: Who's not against genocide?) A few weeks ago, actor Danny Glover dropped into D.C. to get arrested at the Sudanese Embassy, but Sorvino said: "No, that's not part of my agenda today. We have a short amount of time so I might be able to accomplish more in the meetings I have than in a jail cell." The newlywed was with husband Christopher Backus -- whose sister is a paralegal in Washington -- but she wouldn't talk at all about family matters. "I'm not here for gossip, sorry."
The Daily Blowhard
* "He will be with us a while longer because we understand that hell was full -- and he will be granted a full recovery. We do know that he is getting bypass surgery, but we cannot confirm it is of the heart. It may be of another organ."
-- Conservative radio host Michael Savage, referring to Bill Clinton.
With Anne Schroeder