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Pong Hits

A fundraiser that's Taylor made

MON 12/5

In the logo for the Seminole Tribe of Florida JT's Ping-Pong Smash 2, a contorted caricature of Miami Dolphin All-Pro Jason Taylor shows his left foot angled behind him as the sole of his right sticks out in the forefront. Pretty funny, but also indicative of the importance of foot position in sports. Taken for granted by many observers, the precise placement of heel/sole/toes is critical, particularly in table tennis. That goes for football too, so maybe J.T. can step up with a paddle as well as he defensive-ends. Find out when the big guy, whose foundation to help needy children benefits from this event, joins other celebrities and a number of professional Pongers at the Hard Rock Live Arena (State Road 7 just north of Stirling Road, Hollywood) for a doubles tournament. Table-tennis stars Barney Reed, Biba, and Ilija Lupulesku will be on hand (and on their toes), along with boxer Shann"eon Briggs, erstwhile Dolphin O.J. McDuffie, and TV news anchor Jennifer Santiago. DJ Irie will blast tunes, and proceeds from your $5 admission go toward helping youngsters. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., games begin at 6:30, and a celebration follows at 9. Dial 954-424-0799, or visit www.jasontaylorfoundation.org. — Greg Baker

Cricket into High Gear

Major league action

THU 12/1

When legendary cricket player Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards (nicknamed "The Master Blaster") accepted an invitation to the 2005 National Interstate Cricket Tournament, he released a statement from the West Indies: "I am delighted to be a part of this bold and courageous move by Major League Cricket!" Speaking about the tournament, Major League Cricket's CEO declared, "This is truly a great day for cricket in America!" The guy who's in charge of building the playing field said "with technical support... from the ICC [International Cricket Council], we selected the most suitable soil." Basically, these people are not messing around about bringing the massive sporting event to Brian Piccolo Park (9501 Sheridan St., Cooper City). According to the park, the bat-and-ball game is the second-most-watched sport in the world, and more important, "cricket games are accompanied by a side show among the fans." Games run Thursday through Sunday. Admission is free, except for Sunday's final, which costs $10. Call 954-437-2600, ext. 231. — Deirdra Funcheon

Happily After Evert

Homegirl brings it for charity

SAT 12/3

Chris Evert has a funny way of "retiring." She came off the pro tour in 1989 with a record of 1,309 wins, 146 losses. That's nearly a 90 percent success rate — the best of any professional player in tennis history, male or female. But rather than stare at her picture in the Tennis Hall of Fame all day, the Fort Lauderdale native continues to host her Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic. This year's special guests include Mr. Gwen Stefani (a.k.a. Gavin Rossdale, pictured), tennis badass Lindsay Davenport, actor Scott Foley, twin hotties Luke and Murphy Jensen, and French racquet man Sebastien Grosjean. The games are played at the Delray Beach Tennis Center (201 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach) Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost $20 to $90. Call 561-394-2400, or visit www.chrisevert.org. — Deirdra Funcheon


SUN 12/4

If you're going to try to qualify for the Boston Marathon, the Marathon of the Palm Beaches is the course on which to do it. Flat, scenic and, oh, just 26.2 miles long, it'll probably give you a better time than, say, the Alaska Marathon. If you're just out to have fun — not torture every muscle in your body — try the half marathon or the 5K. Visit www.marathonofthepalmbeaches.org. — Deirdra Funcheon

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Greg Baker
Deirdra Funcheon

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