?Ford Models, by the Magnum Sports & Entertainment talent agency. The storied modeling firm, whose clients have graced thousands of magazine covers (including SI, with Christie Brinkley, and Mademoiselle, with Clare Durkin), is being purchased for an undisclosed sum by Magnum, whose athletes include Packers receiver Antonio Freeman. "You see models who are acting and sports people who are modeling," said Katie Ford, who will continue to run the agency. "There's a convergence that's been happening over time."
?Rocky Sonkowsky, 10, from a New Prague ( Minn.) Intermediate School field trip to visit a Vikings practice, because he wouldn't cover up his Packers jersey. The Minnesota Civil Liberties Union filed a violation of free speech suit against the school district. After hearing of the case, the Vikings gave Rocky and his dad two tickets to Sunday's game against Green Bay, which was won 33-28 by the Pack.
?The giants within the Wizards, after players met with motivational speaker Tony Robbins. Owner Abe Pollin sent the last-place Wizards to a seminar featuring Robbins on Dec. 12. The next night against the division-leading 76ers, Washington played a competitive first quarter but then got blown out 102-82 for its eighth straight loss.
?Renovations to Nashville's Gaylord Entertainment Center, home of the NHL Predators. Among the $2 million worth of improvements: the replacement of 10,000 square feet of terrazzo floor covering. "We're slowly but surely making progress on the building each year," said the arena's manager, Russ Simons. The Gaylord Center opened in December 1996.