Chamique is da Bomb!

They looked like a million bucks, those women we're used to seeing in baggy orange and white shorts. They were hauled over to the Tennessee Theater in fancy cars Monday night, and jaws dropped all the way down to the pavement when the basketball Lady Vols made their entrance. Most decked out were Kellie Jolly, in red pumps and a red mini-dress, and Chamique Holdsclaw, who was an absolute stunner in a backless, bronze satin floor length number. One of the most memorable images of the highly scripted evening came when the team gathered backstage before the screening of the HBO special A Cinderella Season: The Lady Vols Fight Back. The lights dimmed, the silver screen glowed and Bill Snyder and the mighty Wurlitzer rose from the orchestra pit. Unexpectedly, Holdsclaw's svelte silhouette appeared onscreen. Then her teammates and producer Jon Alpert joined her, treating the crowd to a shadow dance.

The documentary has been amply reviewed elsewhere, but viewers should watch for guard Niya Butts, a funny, mouthy Georgia girl who practically steals the show. Finally, somebody gave them the hook and, predictably, a shadow appearing to be that of Semeka Randall was the last to leave, walking like an Egyptian off the stage.

But the mega-star of the evening, of course, was Pat Summit, who has made her life quite literally an open book this season. Summitt, whose toughness is legendary, has become a lightning rod for the scathing criticism of fanatic women's basketball fans in other parts of the country (mostly Connecticut, where they call us the Trailer Park People). Is she sensitive about the Internet kvetching over everything from her cooking and her wardrobe to her husband, R.B.?

Na: "They'll talk about me. I know I've given them plenty of ammunition. They'll say I'm mean; they'll say what they want to say. I don't care. Tennessee's not for everybody." She laughs.

We'd Pay to Escape

Mailing lists are important to candidates for office. They need them. But they get on them, too. Take, for example, the letter that went out from The Ingram Group about The Campaign School. For just $500, candidates who filed to run in the May primaries can attend the one-day school and get advice about running a campaign. Among The Featured Speakers is James Pratt, whose most recent campaign experiences include heading the city/county unification effort and being involved in the re-election campaign of former Sen. Jim Sasser. And, of course, there's George Korda, ubiquitous star of TV news and radio talk shows, whose opinions are widely available for something less than the $62.50 hourly rate charged by The Candidate School.

"If I have to listen to George to keep the democratic flame burning, I'll take Communism," says one candidate.

Nope—They're Not as Busy as You Thought

We hoped to have some good news for all you urban wildlife lovers in mourning for the dearly-departed East Towne beavers who were so rudely removed to Campbell County this winter. But, alas...rumors of beaver sightings at Holston River Park have proved to be wishful thinking. City Parks and Recreation chief Sam Anderson has looked into reports of felled trees in the park and says they're the work of humans. "I never saw a beaver use an ax," he says. "There were wood chips all over the place." Anderson points out that beavers build dams (there's not one here); and they typically pick out a creek, not a full-blown river. His best guess is that some overzealous fisherman axed the trees and dumped them in the river to build some fish habitat.