Feel a draft?

From the start, it wasn't exactly a marriage made in heaven. Now it appears that Belo Corp. and the Dallas Mavericks are headed for an amicable, if lucrative, separation. Belo revealed this week that it has reached an "oral agreement" to sell its minority share of the Mavericks and the associated Arena Group to the team's majority owner for $34.5 million. That's more than $10 million more than Belo paid for its 12.38 percent interest in the Mavs and 6.19 percent share of the Arena Group.

Belo's decision last summer to invest in the team and arena prompted a mini-revolt in the newsroom and raised widespread questions about the objectivity of The Dallas Morning News, Belo's flagship newspaper. OK, maybe "widespread questions" is a bit of a stretch, but Buzz got a few columns out of it. Few people really think the Morning News is particularly objective when it comes to arena issues anyway.

Belo says the decision to dump the Mavs is part of an overall strategy to improve the company's flagging stock price--a plan that also includes selling two small papers in Kentucky and the Bryan-College Station Eagle.

A cynical person--certainly not Buzz--might suggest that Belo's timing couldn't be better, seeing how the NBA draft is this week. Given the Mavericks' history, God knows what sort of chain-smoking, glandular-afflicted, circus-league freaks the team is likely to scare up, but the phrase "git while the gittin's good" comes to mind.

And a truly cynical person might look at the 42 percent profit Belo stands to make in less than a year on a truly stinking team and think "payoff."

But not Buzz. No way.

Like a virgin

Buzz, not being a 13-year-old girl ('cept in our dreams), is unfamiliar with the music of Richardson-born pop starlet Jessica Simpson. We gather she's like Britney Spears, only not quite so hot.

While we may not know her music, we are way too familiar with the state of her hymen, thanks to USA Today and a loyal reader, who sent us a blurb from the nation's pie chart. "'I'm surprised that people are surprised that I'm not having sex,' singer Jessica Simpson says of her much-publicized commitment to virginity," the brief article stated.

The newspaper reported that she has found her "Prince Charming" in a 26-year-old member of 98 Degrees, Nick Lachey, who has been not getting any--er, we mean dating Simpson--for more than a year.

Apparently, this reader thought Buzz might have something vicious and snide to say about Simpson's chastity, and, frankly, we're hurt. Sure, the words "what a waste" and "Lewinsky" popped into our head, but even Buzz isn't going to poke fun at a religious person's commitment to abstinence.

Oh yeah, that's a big fat lie. Here goes:

Buzz also had on our desk a list of 10 tips for how men might be more romantic from Gregory Godek, author of 1001 Ways to Be Romantic. We thought we might share these with Lachey, who apparently needs all the help he can get. Our personal favorite--"get her drunk"--wasn't on it. But Godek did suggest kidnapping your love, blindfolding her, and taking her to the "theater, the racetrack, or another place you both enjoy." Yep, snatching the love of your life off the street and hauling her to the dog track is always a good plan.

Godek also suggests having "your song" playing on the stereo when she gets home.

In this case, Buzz supposes that would be "Good Vibrations" or "I Touch Myself."

Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams