RON ARTEST has identified the "perfect role model for me and my sons."
George Washington? The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? President Obama? Mahatma Ghandi?
On his Web site this week, the Lakers forward identified role-model extraordinaire Tiger Woods as the perfect (his word) guy for his sons to emulate.
In an open letter to the girl-crazy golfing great posted on Artest's Web site blog, he blasts the media for unfair coverage of Woods' transgressions.
"I just really disagree, I guess you call it 'backlash,' " Artest said in an interview yesterday. "Hopefully, he gets everything in order and gets back on track, his personal [life]. Then after that, I can't wait to see him play golf again."
Artest said he was motivated to write the letter after talking with friends in light of the coverage Woods has received since a Nov. 27 car accident near his Florida home. We now know, of course, that Woods is approaching the McDonald's hamburger record for extramarital affairs.
It was not clear what Tiger has to offer that Artest wants his sons to emulate. He did say he would not tell them about Woods' personal life, because it's none of their business. So we guess the message will be work hard, practice, get really good at something, make a ton of dough, marry a beautiful model, have a couple of kids and live happily ever after. And blame the media if that dream life crashes into a fire hydrant.
Heavy message from Jaws
Kids' waistlines are expanding and Jaws doesn't like it one bit.
Former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski testified before Congress yesterday, noting that childhood obesity levels in the U.S. are "startling" and that kids need to get more exercise.
Jaws sponsors the United Way Jaws Youth Fund in New Jersey and "NFL Play 60," a campaign that encourages kids to be active for at least 60 minutes a day. His message? TV and computer games have produced a nation of young couch potatoes. He did not, however, suggest that kids skip "Monday Night Football" to exercise.
- Joe Berkery