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Beckham caught being upwardly mobile

David Beckham learned a lesson in phone etiquette last week, which is: When you’re being paid millions of dollars to promote a certain mobile phone, it is best to avoid using a competitor’s product in public.

Italian paparazzi caught Beckham in a Milan restaurant tinkering with an iPhone at his table. Beckham is the front man for Motorola’s new Aura phone advertising campaign.

Sensing he was spotted, Beckham sheepishly hid the phone under the table.

Mused the website celebritysellout.co.uk: Beckham was “no doubt playing the iPhone Pro Evolution Soccer app where the version of Beckham in the game has more speed” than in real life.

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Trivia time

How many times was Roger Maris intentionally walked in 1961, his 61-home run season?

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One-sitting reading

Minnesota Vikings rookie wide receiver Percy Harvin says friends describe him as “very competitive, very outgoing and probably goofy.”

Goofy? That certainly came across in a recent interview with the St. Paul Pioneer Press, in which Harvin revealed that the best book he had read was “The Cat in the Hat.”

Asked whom he’d like to trade places with for a day, Harvin pointed to Florida teammate Tim Tebow.

“Some of the stuff and some of the girls and things that were thrown at him. We saw all kind of actors and news reporters just kind of blatantly say, ‘Tebow, I want you.’ And he turned them down. I’m looking at him, like, ‘Man, you are crazy.’ ”

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Slow learner

Charles Barkley has two vices that got him into trouble -- drinking and gambling. He told the Associated Press he has given up gambling but not drinking -- and expects to resume gambling someday.

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“I like to drink. . . . I haven’t missed the gambling, to be honest with you. I needed to take a break from gambling because I was losing,” he said.

Last June, Barkley said he wasn’t going to gamble for the next year or two after he was sued by a Las Vegas casino for failing to pay $400,000 in gambling loans. He eventually repaid his debt.

“I’m going to start gambling again whenever I get ready, to be honest with you. . . . I like to gamble,” he said.

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Trivia answer

Zero. One reason for that: Batting behind Maris in the New York Yankees’ lineup that season was Mickey Mantle.

(Question and answer provided by Burt Smith of Westwood.)

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And finally

From Dan Daly of the Washington Times, on the only drawback to the 72-foot-high TV screen that stretches nearly from one 20-yard line to the other in the Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium: “The clicker weighs a ton.”

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mike.penner@latimes.com


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