- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Ah, for the good old days, when all we had to worry about was the athletes. Now we have to worry about their wives. Wives with knives. Wives with secret lives. Maybe it’s time we started giving the Little Woman the Wonderlic test.

“Restless Sports Wives” — it’s practically a weekly series. The latest episode involves Janet Jones, wife of hockey great Wayne Gretzky, whose dealings with an illegal gambling operation has had her husband looking for an enforcer to hide behind. Janet says “The Great One” had nothing to do with her wagering, and there’s no evidence he did, but that hasn’t kept it from being a heart-in-the-throat moment for the vulnerable sport.

After all, the NHL is still recovering from a 15-month hospital stay caused by acute labor/management-itis. And now we hear that Gretz’s bride, according to authorities, has made “at least $100,000” in football bets. What’s next, accusations that Wayne used an illegal stick?

It’s scary out there for our sports heroes, it really is. Not long before Jones, the part-time actress, began auditioning for “The Sting II,” John Daly’s wife, Sherrie, started a five-month sentence for being involved with a drug ring and illegal gambling outfit. Poor John. He was just about to launch his reality show on the Golf Channel, “The Daly Planet.” No word yet on whether the show’s name will be changed to “John Daly at Folsom Prison.”

By the way, John met the fourth Mrs. Daly at a tournament in 2001 … and married her seven weeks later. Let that be a lesson to all you athletes out there: Beware of the Seven Week Itch.

Around the same time, the wives of Indianapolis Colt Nick Harper and New York Knick Antonio Davis were in the news. Fortunately, they were separate stories. You wouldn’t want these two women together — unless, perhaps, you could get them to mud wrestle.

If life were a game of “Clue,” we could say: Daniell Harper did it in the bedroom with the kitchen knife. That, at least, is how police reconstructed events. She and her husband were having a disagreement — he was lying in bed refusing to speak to her — so she “got a knife from a kitchen drawer and began waving it over him,” the Associated Press reported.

The knife — as knives will — punctured his right knee, and Daniell wound up spending the weekend in jail. (Just wondering: Is this what they mean by “cut blocking”?) Nick, meanwhile, needed three stitches to close the inch-deep wound but, miraculously, played the next day in the Colts’ season-ending loss to the Steelers. The felony battery charge against his wife has been dropped, but she still faces a criminal recklessness charge. Something tells me, if the marriage stays together, Nick will never not speak to her again.

Shortly after Mrs. Nick Harper was released from the cooler, Mrs. Antonio Davis caused a huge scene by getting into it with a Chicago fan at a Knicks-Bulls game. You’re probably familiar with the details. Seeing his beloved Kendra embroiled in something, Antonio went into the stands — though it’s unclear whether he was trying to protect his wife from the fan or the fan from his wife.

His chivalry resulted a five-game suspension and $630,000 in lost salary. But the Adventures of Kendra don’t end there. Two weeks later, she was charged with misdemeanor battery after an Illinois woman claimed she had thrown a cup of coffee at her during a traffic dispute. Soon enough, the Knicks traded Mr. and Mrs. Davis to the Raptors.

Finally, there’s gun-totin’, fur-wearin’, politically incorrect Anna Benson, the former stripper whose husband, Kris, was recently shipped to the Orioles. What fun she’ll be in Baltimore. Anna hasn’t been arrested for anything, as far as I know, but she could have been for wearing that naughty Santa outfit at the Mets’ holiday party. (Rudolph the reindeer was said to be not just red-nosed, but red-faced.)

Anna’s comment when her husband got dealt was one of the all-time classics. “If they traded Kris because of what I’ve done,” she said, “then that’s a dirty, rotten, nasty trick.”

Maybe the Mets didn’t trade him because of what you’ve done, girl. Maybe they traded him because of what you might do.

And to think that all Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio’s squeeze, ever did was show off her legs as she cavorted over a subway grate.

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