Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Top hopefuls emerge for Portland mascot jobs

Mascot tryouts for the Portland Beavers and Timbers are March 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at PGE Park. Suggestions for five able candidates:

1. The guy who paints his face red and black, stands on the Rose Garden floor and joins the huddle after pregame introductions at Blazer games. Maybe if you color yourself green, the Timbers will let you take a corner kick.

2. Ted Kulongoski. Those critical of our governor's rejection of a casino's offer to fully fund a new stadium are taking it all wrong. Kulongoski is simply a proponent of minor-league sports.

3. and 4. Marshall Glickman and Mark Gardiner. It's the least they can do after the mess they left the city in PGE Park.

5. Gary Grant. It would be a chance for the city to get to know the Blazers' newest assistant coach, who played all of 31 games in four seasons as a reserve guard for the team.

•ÊThey could be the coziest sports couple since George Steinbrenner and Derek Jeter: Philadelphia is abuzz over the romantic endeavors of A.J. Feeley and Heather Mitts.

Feeley, the former University of Oregon quarterback, backs up Donovan McNabb for the Eagles, and Mitts is soccer's reigning glamour goddess with the Philadelphia Charge.

Feeley, 25, and Mitts, 24, hooked up in January and are now denizens of the Philly social scene.

'I lucked out,' Mitts told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

She recently won playboy.com's reader poll as the Women United Soccer Association's sexiest athlete. Mitts (above) has a two-year endorsement contract with Fila USA and her own Web site (www.heathermitts.com).

• Dan Hawkins acknowledges that he wrestled with whether he should pursue the Oregon State football job before announcing that he was going to stay at Boise State.

He wouldn't say whether he was offered the OSU job, or whether he would have taken it. 'I will say I was seriously interested, very much so,' says Hawkins, who coached at Willamette for five years before going to Boise State in 1998.

Nearly every coach on Hawkins' staff has a state of Oregon connection. Offensive coordinator Chris Petersen coached at Oregon, and defensive line coach Romeo Bandison played there. Kent Riddle, who coaches running backs and special teams, played and coached at OSU. Robert Prince (receivers), Chris Strausser (offensive line) and Brian Harris (offensive graduate assistant) all coached at Portland State, while Harris played for the Vikings.

Hawkins uses the connection in recruiting. He has four Oregon products in position for playing time next year, including quarterbacks Legedu Naanee (Franklin) and Jared Zabransky (Hermiston), who redshirted as freshmen and will battle for the backup spot behind senior Ryan Dinwiddie. Marshfield graduate Travis Burgher, a 6-1, 210-pound senior-to-be, will start at outside linebacker. Kellen Wright of Churchill, who redshirted as a freshman, will be a reserve offensive tackle.

'Legedu is doing a real good job,' Hawkins says. 'He is a very dependable kid who works hard, is very coachable and does all the right things. He has all the intangibles, plus he's a heck of an athlete who can throw the ball and run around, has good size and speed. He's showing all the signs of being a great one down the road.'

The Broncos, incidentally, have a red circle around the Sept. 20 game at OSU. 'Oh, yeah,' Hawkins says, 'that one will be interesting.'

• Rick Adelman goes to great lengths to see his kids do their thing. The Sacramento Kings coach flew to Portland to watch his daughter, Kathy, coach Jesuit to victory in the state girls basketball quarterfinals. Then it was on to Salt Lake City for the Kings' victory over Utah the next day. A day later, it was back to Portland to see the Crusaders lose to Oregon City for the state championship.

•ÊOccidental, coached by ex-Wilson player Brian Newhall, faces Buena Vista (Iowa) in today's Division III basketball regionals at Storm Lake, Iowa. Occidental (24-2) beat Aurora (Illinois) in its opening playoff game for the first NCAA tournament victory in the California school's history. Two more wins would put Newhall's Tigers into the Final Four.