Girlfriend of Browns QB Garcia is a knockout in more ways than one

September 13, 2004|By PETER SCHMUCK

THE RAVENS never should have underestimated Cleveland Browns quarterback Jeff Garcia, not when the guy's ridiculously hot girlfriend is more likely to deliver a nasty hit than Deion Sanders.

It's true. Carmella DeCesare, the 2004 Playboy Playmate of the Year who accompanied Garcia to his now-famous "I'm not gay" news conference last month, has been charged with assault after allegedly beating up one of Garcia's former girlfriends in a bar.

DeCesare, who in her Playmate profile lists martial arts among her favorite activities, has been accused by Kristen Hine of kicking her in the head when the two ran into each other at a Cleveland nightspot on Aug. 21.

FOR THE RECORD - My bad: I made a small error in Monday's column. The Web site for the Mark Belanger charity golf tournament on Oct. 11 is www.markbelangergolf- classic.org. I listed it as a .com.

Maybe I'm out of line here, but this is my kind of woman. Whenever my wife runs into one of my old girlfriends, they get a booth and spend the evening comparing "Peter is an idiot" anecdotes. And, on rare occasions, they both top off the night by kicking me in the head.

It might not be a coincidence that DeCesare currently is taking part in the World Wrestling Entertainment diva search. This kind of publicity surely can't hurt, though DeCesare pleaded innocent to the assault charge on Friday.

Maryland quarterback Joel Statham looked much more comfortable in the Terrapins' offense during Saturday's 45-22 victory over unranked Temple, but it's tough to gauge just how far he has come during the first two weeks of the season. It's also difficult to predict how the Terps will respond to their first ranked opponent when they travel to No. 7 West Virginia this weekend.

The Terps had the 27-point spread covered by halftime, but coach Ralph Friedgen sent in his reserves - who were favored by only 22 - and the Owls put some points on the board in the second half.

Meanwhile, Navy survived a 28-24 squeaker against Northeastern, a team that had rolled up 71 points against formidable Cheyney a week earlier, but don't get too excited about that either.

Cheyney, no relation to the vice president (who almost certainly would have advocated a stronger defense), came back this week and gave up 98 points to mighty Western Illinois.

Great moments in sports commercialism: I took a dig at NASCAR for last week's Pop Secret 500, but reader Rob Daniels was quick to point out the Automobile Racing Club of America already owned the prize for most ridiculous race name this year - The Pork The Other White Meat 200, which was held in Atlanta in May.

"This surpasses the Poulan-Weed Eater Independence Bowl as the silliest corporate-sponsored name in history," Daniels wrote.

Don't normally plug stuff here, but there are a couple of worthy events coming up.

Rob Belanger, the son of the late Orioles shortstop Mark Belanger, has put together a charity golf tournament on Oct. 11 at The Wetlands in Aberdeen to benefit lung cancer research. Golfers who are interested in taking part in the event - which will feature Cal and Bill Ripken, former Orioles great Ken Singleton and an array of other sports celebrities - can call 410-916-5609 or go online at www.markbelangergolfclassic.com.

The next day, legendary Baltimore auto dealer Richard Sammis (Mr. Nobody) and restaurateur Steve de Castro will host the annual Ruth's Chris "Sizzling" Celebrity Golf Classic for Leukemia at Chestnut Ridge Country Club and the Havana Club. Call 410-825-2500 for information.

In each case, it's a very personal crusade. Mark Belanger died of lung cancer in 1998, and Sammis lost his daughter to leukemia.

Final thought: Good thing Notre Dame upset then-eighth-ranked Michigan on Saturday. Navy coach Paul Johnson was taking a lot of heat for padding his schedule with the Fighting Irish.

Contact Peter Schmuck at peter.schmuck@baltsun.com.

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