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Sports for the Girls: Martina Navratilova, Brandi Chastain, Lingerie Bowl

Sports for the Girls: Martina Navratilova, Brandi Chastain, Lingerie Bowl

Martina Navratolova is in one hell of a 'divorce' settlement with her ex Toni Layton. Meanwhile, big-mouthed anti-gay marriage advocate Miss California Carrie Prejean is swimming with the fishes...well, dating Olympiad Michael Phelps that is. World Cup star Brandi Chastain's sports' bra is being held hostage and Condoleeza Rice considers a stint on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

As you may have noticed, I tend to slide off topic from time to time regarding the great subject of sports. I mean it’s technically sports…or athletes…or people having sex with athletes. Or unfortunately, in this case, it’s the messy aftermath of when one stops having sex with said athlete.

We hold court today with the queen of clay and grass, Martina Navratilova. She’s in a royal mess right now. The pro tennis player’s longtime lover, Toni Layton, has been threatening to air Navratilova’s dirty laundry if she doesn’t receive a bigger split settlement. 

Layton wants a settlement she considers fair, or she will reveal the tennis legend’s deepest secrets, reports the New York Post. For a year they have been trying to work out a settlement to no avail. Layton was insulted by the offered $200,000 and has gone into attack mode: 

“There are a lot of skeletons in Martina’s closet. It is more like a storage facility full of them, and I know them all,” Toni Layton stated. She means business because she’s hired famed celebrity lawyer, Raymond Rafool, who represents Linda Hogan in her divorce against Hulk Hogan.

It looks like it’s going to get worse before it gets better. “Navratilova is using Florida’s failure to recognize gay marriage to her advantage,” said Layton’s spokesperson, Gary Flack.

“We are standing up for gay rights in this case,” said Rafool. “Toni has the right to obtain a fair settlement the same as if she were the spouse in a traditional marriage.” Of course, there’s the small detail of a tell-all book deal on the table, and a TV mini-series, which will expose all the dirty details of the famous tennis player’s personal life.

“We fight fire with fire,” says Rafool. A spokesperson for Navratilova had no comment.

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On the other side of the love equation is Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. He’s been seen hanging around with none other than Miss USA runner-up -- “marriage should be between a man and a woman” -- California Carrie Prejean. I don’t have much to say about her that doesn’t involve holding Perez Hilton’s hand and screaming profanities but I would like you to note that her grandmother is the source of the story.

Next up in sports news this week is a bargain I stumbled upon. After pouring over page after page of Michael Jackson’s leftovers from Neverland Ranch, I’ve found something for the sports’ lover. Imagine the uptight business types when they read this headline in the Wall Street Journal:

Feds Seize Brandi Chastain's Bra - Demand Ransom

Ok…I might have switched some of the words around, but you get the idea. Here’s an actual blurb from the journal:

The black sports undergarment that Brandi Chastain famously exposed to the world after a game-winning goal in the 1999 World Cup had been taken into custody by U.S. bankruptcy court. To secure its release from a storage facility in Newark, N.J., Ms. Chastain would have to pay $250–plus shipping.

The sports memorabilia had been loaned to the Sports Museum of America in New York, a for-profit organization that recently declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy after opening to great fanfare last May. To satisfy creditors, all of the museum's assets were seized, and if they aren't claimed promptly, they may face the auction block.

Chastain’s response? "Thank goodness I have another one.

(Is it just me doing photo research for the Lingerie Bowl, or did this picture seem much more risqué 10 years ago?)


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Other things that are in limbo and possibly up for auction are Tony Hawk's childhood skateboard, race-car driver Richard Petty's trademark sunglasses, a gold medal won by Jesse Owens, and yellow jerseys worn by cyclists Lance Armstrong and Greg LeMond.

I bring a big present for Seattle sports fans, also.The dreary days of a sad sports landscape will soon be over. Not because the Seahawks, Mariners and Sonics are destined for greatness, but because they have created the Seattle Mist. As delicious sounding as an alcohol-laden beverage, this, people is the newest franchise of the Lingerie Football League. Ahhhhhh…refreshing. 

To perpetuate that vicious rumor that I’m a serious reporter, I leave you with politically tainted news this week:

At an HBO production meeting last week staffers were informed that former Sec. Of State Condoleezza Rice's agent had inquired about her joining Bryant Gumbel's Real Sports reporting team.

Producers talked about Rice's inquiry, they told some of the other staffers and naturally, everyone ran right home and told all their friends about it. Strange as it sounds, she’s got a lot going on her side for the job.

Rice is a huge sports fan, and is comfortable in front of the camera. She’s also faced stiffer questions than any of the softballs Gumbel could throw to her.

There’s going to be a slight problem though. Gumbel needs to give the OK no matter who the show hires, and since he's one of the more strident anti-GOP media boys, he may not give the go-ahead to a former Bush staffer, regardless of how qualified she is.


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Helen Wortham