Political Football -- Literally

Like we've always said: It's not any fun until somebody loses an ear!

Okay, so Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) didn't really lose his ear in Wednesday night's rain-drenched charity flag football game at Gallaudet University pitting members of Congress against the U.S. Capitol Police. But it did require a dozen stitches after a muddy pileup, and sources say it was as swollen as a cauliflower yesterday. Meanwhile, a teammate, Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), dislocated a finger.

This was flag football? "A lot of egos, a lot of testosterone," explained Chief Terrance Gainer. "It got a little rough," said the congressional team's co-captain, Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.), "but all in the spirit of people wanting to win."

The final score was 14-14, but both sides declared victory: $40,000 raised to benefit the families of two officers slain in 1998, doubling the fund's previous size. Neither could resist drawing political lessons from the game. "Republicans and Democrats . . . fighting as one team, we can't be beat," Renzi mused.

"We laughed about their huddles," Gainer said. "They were in there so long it looked like a filibuster."

No Dish on Angelina or Liza? We're Still All Ears

They're both the Oscar-winning spawn of Oscar winners. They both have very complicated love lives. And yesterday in D.C., they both showed off their tastes for lite-liberal causes -- Angelina Jolie lobbying for funding for AIDS orphans, Liza Minnelli presenting an award to Showtime brass at the Diversity and Women Leadership Summit at the Marriott Wardman. So we're praying one of you will report you saw them together, chitchatting over a latte or a yoga class . . . No? Okay, then, tell us something else: reliablesource@washpost.com.


Washington doesn't make anyone's list of fashion capitals, which is why the "West Looks East" show presented by Mosiac Foundation -- the McLean-based charity run by wives of Arab ambassadors -- made a splash this spring. Designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano and Christian Lacroix contributed 29 couture gowns inspired by Middle Eastern attire.

Yesterday, the dresses were auctioned at Doyle New York, raising $135,060 for Children's Hospital. The top sellers, at $8,963 apiece, were a platinum lame and gold leather gown by Jean Paul Gaultier and a black and gold silk ensemble by Ralph Rucci. Bargains in big-name fashion -- if you can fit into those skeletal couture sizes. Happily, D.C. lawyer Nancy Dutton tells us she managed to snag a Jean-Louis Scherrer beaded caftan ($2,032) in a healthy medium. "It's gorgeous," she said.

The Prosecutor, Keeping His Own Counsel

Oh, our poor Patrick Fitzgerald! All he wanted to do yesterday was charge media baron Conrad Black with looting millions from his own company, Hollinger International.

But when he tried to announce the indictments at a Chicago media conference, that pesky press corps kept asking him about the PlameOut saga. And when he gave them his usual no-comment, they ganged up on him -- and asked him about his "sexiest man alive!" honors in this week's People magazine.

"I would almost enjoy going back to the leak questions I can't answer," he said with a bit of a blush (how cute!) and that little smile of his, our colleague Peter Slevin reports.

"I've played a lot of practical jokes on people for a lot of years," he added, "and they all got even at once."

This Just In . . .

* Updates today on all the big broadcaster bruisings! First, Richard "DJ Zxulu" Dunkerson, victim of an alleged beatdown by a member of rapper The Game's posse at WKYS's studio, will do a tell-all interview -- or at least a tell-as-much-as-pending-legal-matters-allow interview -- with DC-101's Elliot in the Morning at 8:30 a.m. today. Then, Channel 4 sports director George Michael -- still off the air, three weeks after getting thrown by his horse -- will nurse his broken ribs in an interview at 6 and 11 p.m. with anchor Jim Vance. Still no word on when he returns . . .

* Jet-set alert! Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are due to zip into town for tonight's reception at the National Museum of African Art celebrating the visiting contemporary art collection of Jean Pigozzi, heir to the Simca auto fortune, the kind of guy who parties on yachts with Mick Jagger and Martha Stewart.