Once among theworld's fastest women, the sprint champion now cuts to the chase as ahairstylist
AFTER THEY walkthrough the glass doors of the Nubiance Salon in Stone Mountain, Ga., newcustomers might not recognize the woman whom Jamaican sprinter Juliet Cuthbertonce called "the biggest bitch in track." They take a seat at the thirdstation on the right and start chatting and laughing with the pleasant stylist.It's often not until the clients have been handed a bill with the full name oftheir coiffeuse that shrieks of recognition commingle with the roaring ofblow-dryers. "I thought one lady was going to faint," says thestylist--Gwen Torrence, one of the fastest women in the world for a decadebefore retiring in the late '90s.
In some ways, allthat the 41-year-old Torrence accomplished on the track--including winning fiveOlympic medals, three of them gold--constitutes a detour on her journey fromAtlanta, where she spent her childhood, to Nubiance, just seven milessouthwest. By the fourth grade Torrence was pressing and curling her own hair,and she recalls that "everyone thought I was going to be a big-timecelebrity hairstylist."
July 2, 2006
Her speed,however, took her to three Olympics (1988, '92 and '96) and a lifetime offinancial security. She also became one of the most outspoken women in sports.After finishing fourth in the 100 meters at the '92 Games, Torrence impliedthat three of the eight finalists--including Cuthbert--were using bannedsubstances, which elicited Cuthbert's remark about Torrence's character.(Torrence's comments were denied.)
Last monthsomeone who knew quite well the identity of the stylist at the third stationwalked through Nubiance's doors. The customer was Cuthbert. Torrence embracedher onetime bitter rival, whom she hadn't seen in 10 years. Cuthbert left thesalon with a sense of reconciliation but without one of Torrence's 'dos:Torrence was fully booked, and what would her clients have thought if they hadbeen bumped? --Ben Reiter
The slugger ishappy to recite his stats--or trash the competition--in making his case forCooperstown
CONVERSATIONSABOUT baseball with former outfielder Dave Parker usually begin like this:"Gary f---ing Carter? Ryne Sandberg?! Are you kidding me?" As in, Whyare those players (to name just two) in the Hall of Fame while Parker's not?"Don't get me wrong, Carter and Sandberg are great guys and greatplayers," says Parker before rattling off his own achievements with sixteams from 1973 to '91: the 1978 National League MVP award, two World Seriesrings (with the Pittsburgh Pirates in '79 and the Oakland A's in '89), threeGold Gloves, seven All-Star appearances, 339 home runs, 1,493 RBIs and a .290batting average. Neither of the aforementioned inductees can match most ofthose numbers--but then, the standards are different for an outfielder thanthey are for a catcher (Carter) or a second baseman (Sandberg). Parker doesn'tbelieve that his admitted cocaine use in the early '80s explains why he hasnever come close to being voted into Cooperstown in his 11 years on the ballot."Every Hall of Famer has a past," Parker says, citing white inducteessuch as Paul Molitor and Dennis Eckersley, who also overcame drug or alcoholproblems. "It's just a good ol' boys network. But I don't want to beinducted when I'm dead and gone. I want to reap the fruits of mylabor."
While awaiting acall from the Hall, Parker, 55, has kept busy. He spent one season as a battingcoach for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998, when Mark McGwire smashed 70 homeruns. The 6'5" Parker is now a guest instructor at the Pirates' springtraining camps. "They had a regular hitting instructor," he says,"but all these young guys would pull me aside and say, 'What do you think,Dave?'" Parker also coached son David's Little League team in Cincinnatifor six seasons before David, now 21, lost interest in his dad's sport.("He decided AAU basketball was more his thing," says Parker p√®re.) In1997 Parker opened a Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits franchise in Cincinnati. Heis a very hands-on owner--often slinging fries, frying chicken and manning theregister, to the delight of his customers--because, he says, "I wouldn'task my employees to do anything I wouldn't want to do." (His least favoritedetail: "Working behind those damn fryers for eight hours.") Two yearsago he opened his second store, and now he plans to launch four morefranchises. To help make things run "the Parker way," he employed hiswife, Kellye, to manage the business and Danielle, 24, the eldest of theirthree children, to oversee one of his stores. All the extra help has allowedParker, who now lives with his wife in Loveland, Ohio, to spend more timestumping for Hall of Fame induction--which, he says, "has become afull-time job."
The former wildman struck lottery gold but beat even bigger odds by overcoming his drughabit
FIVE. EIGHT.Seventeen. Thirty-five. Thirty-eight. Forty-one. Those six Texas Lotterynumbers in March 2000 netted Thomas (Hollywood) Henderson $10 million. For theformer NFL linebacker, the luck was all in the timing. "[The old] Hollywoodwould have called a private jet, gotten four or five hookers, six ounces ofcocaine and a bunch of champagne and marijuana, and partied for a couple weeksin Vegas," says Henderson, 53. "If I'd won [the lottery] in the 1970s,it would have been tragic."
But Hendersonleft his Hollywood alter ego in a dingy Long Beach, Calif., jail cell inNovember 1983, after he'd been arrested for sexual assault during a drug binge."I remember standing over a dirty sink, looking in the mirror, thinking,Who are you? What did you do with Thomas?" Henderson says. At that momentHenderson turned his focus to recovering from addiction. While on bond heentered rehab, and in November '84, during a 28-month prison term on the sexualassault conviction, he celebrated a year of sobriety. In '86, a week after hisrelease, Henderson stood before an audience at Virginia Tech to give the firstof many lectures about his recovery. He has written two books and producedeight motivational videos. "Most rehabs and prisons in the U.S. have aThomas Henderson video," he says. "Hundreds of thousands of inmateshave benefited from my recovery."
The Austinresident spends much of his time golfing and doting on his two children and twograndkids, but through e-mails and phone calls he still counsels thosestruggling with addiction. Once a month he meets with patients at a rehabfacility in West Palm Beach, Fla. "I tell them that when you [take controlover your addiction], you can get past it," he says. "If ThomasHenderson can change his life, anyone can."
It took 33innings for the Pawtucket Red Sox to win; in the ensuing 25 years no game hasmatched it
1981 - 25th Anniversary - 2006
OF WADE BOGGS'S3,734 hits as a professional ballplayer, his game-tying double for the Triple APawtucket (R.I.) Red Sox in the bottom of the 21st inning in the early hours ofApril 19, 1981, is the most bittersweet. "Everybody was upset that Iprolonged the agony," recalls Boggs, who played third for Boston's top farmteam. The Rochester (N.Y.) Red Wings (a Baltimore Orioles affiliate) had takena 2--1 lead in the top of the inning, and most of the exhausted and freezingplayers were ready to pack it in. "I don't know if the temperature was 20degrees, but it seemed like it was," says Marty Barrett, a second basemanfor the PawSox at the time. "We had these big, old oil barrels in thedugout, and we were putting broken bats in there and lighting them on fire forwarmth."
It's fortunatethat plenty of bats were available that frigid night at Pawtucket's McCoyStadium, as the players and the crowd (which dwindled from 1,740 to 19) weren'tsent home until 4:09 a.m. International League president Harold Cooper finallysuspended play after 32 innings--and a total of four "seventh-inning"stretches--with the score still tied at 2.
The game did notresume until the teams met again on June 23, and then it ended after only 18minutes: In the bottom of the 33rd a bases-loaded single by Pawtucket firstbaseman Dave Koza scored Barrett, who turned 23 that day. The game setprofessional baseball records that still stand: innings, at bats (219), pitches(882), strikeouts (60) and time (8:25). It also featured 25 future bigleaguers, including shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. of the Red Wings, and Boggs,Barrett, catcher Rich Gedman and pitchers Bruce Hurst and Bobby Ojeda of thePawSox.
A five-timeAmerican League batting champ and a Hall of Famer, Boggs retired in 2001 andserved as a part-time assistant coach at Tampa's Wharton High, which his son,Brett, attended before graduating last year. (Wade and his wife, Debbie, alsohave a 27-year-old daughter, Meagann, a crime scene investigator.) These daysBoggs, 48, bags big game as avidly as he once did base hits; in his Tampa househe has two trophy rooms, containing more than 150 mounted trophies. LastSeptember he made his third hunting trip to Africa and returned with a rhinoand an elephant.
Barrett was a.278 hitter in a 10-year career with the Red Sox and the San Diego Padres,which ended with his release by the latter team in June 1991. He managed forfour seasons in the minor leagues, then left baseball to develop real estate inLas Vegas and coach the Little League team of his youngest son, Kyle. Marriedand the father of three, Barrett, 48, counts the Energizer Bunny of games amonghis top baseball memories, along with Boston's 1986 postseason run (in which hetied a World Series record with 13 hits but struck out against the New YorkMets' Jesse Orosco to end the Series). "I don't think the [33-inning]record will ever get broken," he says. "Now they'd suspend the game atan appropriate time, and everyone would come back fresh."
On June 23,Boggs, Barrett and 18 of their former teammates gathered in Pawtucket tocelebrate the silver anniversary of the Longest Game. Barrett says he and Boggshaven't changed much in the last 25 years. Then he recalls that Boggs starredin Medical Hair Restoration ads. "Well," he says, laughing, "I'velost most of my hair. Wade's looking pretty good."
The Funny CideGUYS
Three years agosix high school buddies reigned over the sport of kings. They're still horsingaround
ONE MORNING inJune, J.P. Constance was rummaging through a hardware store near his hometownof Sackets Harbor, N.Y., when a voice trilled across the aisles. "How isFunny Cide doing?" asked a woman he had never seen before. Constance, 58,recalled the encounter with a laugh. "Thank goodness," he said. "Ithought the world had passed us by."
Three years agoConstance and five of his high school friends from Sackets Harbor had becomecelebrities as their gelding, Funny Cide, won the first two legs of the TripleCrown. They had decided over beers during a Memorial Day picnic in 1995 to makean initial investment of $5,000 each and take a crack at buying racehorses,calling themselves Sackatoga Stable (for Sackets Harbor and Saratoga Springs,the racing mecca where their leader, Jack Knowlton, had moved). Those everymanowners--there were eventually 10--and their stubborn chestnut's quest to becomethe 12th Triple Crown winner tapped into America's collective spirit in a waythat horse racing hadn't in decades.
Funny Cide'sowners arrived at Churchill Downs for the Derby in a rented school bus, callingit their "yellow stretch limo." They sang the Sackets Harbor alma materon the Pimlico backstretch after the Preakness. Then they and more than 100,000fans watched as Funny Cide narrowly lost the Belmont Stakes.
Then as now,Sackatoga Stable was about the joy of the game. "The thrill of alifetime," says Knowlton of Funny Cide's run. "And we missed the TripleCrown by five lengths."
Sweetest of all,the owners are still raucous, fun-loving interlopers. The Sackets Harbororiginals--Constance, Knowlton, Harold Cring, brothers Mark and Pete Phillips,and Larry Reinhardt--remain upstate New York homebodies.
They gather everyFriday night for drinks and tall tales, beckoned by a blast from Constance'scocktail trumpet. "Sometimes we talk about Funny Cide, sometimes wedon't," says Constance. "But when we do, the stories get better everyyear. Funny Cide changed our lives."
Few more thanKnowlton's. The most prominent and most heavily invested of the originalSackatoga group, Knowlton, who also owns a health-care consulting firm, hasbecome an authoritative voice in the thoroughbred industry. Last August he wasappointed to a panel that will decide the future of racing in New YorkState.
Meanwhile, FunnyCide, now 6, continues to race. He's run 30 times in five years, winning nineraces and finishing second or third in 12 others. Following an injury-plagued2005, he broke an eight-race losing streak with a victory on April 30 atAqueduct, bringing his career earnings to more than $3.3 million--enough to payfor every Sackatoga training bill. "Nobody has written a check since theDerby," says Knowlton. Sackatoga has a pair of 2-year-olds in training,trying to find lightning again but thankful to have found it once.
One Year, TWOUNDEFEATED CHAMPIONS
A rugged centerhelped 32-0 Indiana, and a slick runner led 12-0 Pitt. That double hasn'thappened since
1976 - 30th Anniversary - 2006
WHEN INDIANA'Sreigning Mr. Basketball, Kent Benson, landed at the Lexington, Ky., airport in1973 for a recruiting visit with the Wildcats, 4,000 locals gave him the hardsell, waving signs that read "KENTucky." But Benson, perhaps impressedby the used-car-salesman plaid sport coats of Hoosiers coach Bob Knight,instead signed with Indiana, where the rugged 6'11" center went on toanchor the 1976 national champions, the last undefeated team in collegebasketball.
Thirty yearslater Benson, 51, is selling automobiles. But calling him a car salesman islike saying Emeril Lagasse is a short-order cook. The two-time All-America, whowas the first pick in the 1977 NBA draft, works as a "colorcommentator" for Kruse International, the largest vintage-car auctioncompany in the world. "As the car comes up to the auction block, I describeits amenities and the year, the make, the model and how many years ago it wasrestored," says Benson. He's also a partner in a telecommunicationscompany.
Benson, who stillexchanges letters with Knight and regularly attends games at Indiana's AssemblyHall, will soon be a Hoosier Daddy. In 2008 Ashley, 17, the youngest of hisfour daughters, will attend IU on a volleyball scholarship. Says Benson,"I'm having more fun watching my girls perform than I ever hadplaying."
HE WAS the rarerunning back who could change direction without losing speed. These days TonyDorsett is still putting that skill to good use. "I'm a jack-of-all-tradesnow," says the two-time All-America at Pitt who won a Super Bowl ring withthe Dallas Cowboys and was inducted into the college and pro football halls offame in 1994. He owns Tony Dorsett Food Products, which sells prepackaged mealsto the U.S. military and other institutions; is a part-owner of 1st TeamLending, a mortgage company in Dallas; and is a motivational speaker for RogerStaubach's sports-celebrity marketing company. And in addition to 32-year-oldson Anthony, a former NFL defensive back, he has three daughters--Jazmyn, 14,Madison, 7, and Mia, 3, who, he says, "keep me dang busy"--with hissecond wife, Janet.
Dorsett, 52, hasmarked Sept. 2 on his calendar. That's when, at halftime of Pitt's game againstVirginia, the 1976 Panthers will celebrate the 30th anniversary of theirundefeated run to the national title. Dorsett, who also won the Heisman Trophy,promises he'll clear his schedule. "I don't miss reunions, man," hesays. "I love going back."
America'sgreatest female distance swimmer is now kicking Down Under, and raising anAussie posse
AT THE 1984Summer Olympics, as she stood atop the medal podium with the first of her threegolds, there was no doubt that Tracy Caulkins was made in the U.S.A. Clad in ared-white-and-blue warmup suit, the Minnesota-born, Tennessee-raised andFlorida-schooled Caulkins covered her heart with her hand as the nationalanthem played, tears welling in her eyes.
Today Caulkins,regarded as the U.S.'s greatest swimmer--she set 63 national and five worldrecords--lives in Brisbane, Australia; is married to an Australian; has fourAustralian-born children; and, to the horror of her parents and siblings inTennessee, speaks with a thick Aussie accent. "But people [in Australia]think I have a Tennessee twang," she says. "I'm confused. I say,'G'day, y'all.'"
Her voyage DownUnder began at those '84 Games in L.A., where she met Australian swimmer MarkStockwell; after years of dating they married in '91. Now Tracy Stockwell, shetakes care of the couple's children--twins Maddison and William, 10, Emily, 7,and Annie, 3--and is president of Womensport Queensland, a nonprofit that aimsto aid girls and women in sports. She doesn't swim much. ("I get in and Ifeel good for about 200 meters," she says, "then I start to feel reallyuncoordinated.") Mark, a sprint champion who won two silvers and a bronzein '84, runs Stockwell Building and Development.
Though Brisbaneis home, Tracy and the kids have dual citizenship, and the family plans to soonlive in the U.S. for a stint of up to six months. "I've assimilated wellhere, made friends," she says. "This is a great place to be, but Ialways feel I am an American first."
After hisfairy-tale NFL career, Philly's other favorite underdog beat cancer for an evenhappier ending
VINCE PAPALE is astoryteller, so his position as an account executive and director of specialprojects for student-loan outfit Sallie Mae lets him relate his own history toyoung people looking to get ahead. It goes something like this: Scrappy kidfrom the Philadelphia projects overcomes long odds/naysayers/physicallimitations to hit it big in sports. (It's a popular theme in Philly, one thatearned another Italian underdog an Oscar.) Our hero, who tends bar andsubstitute teaches while working on a Master's degree, goes to an Eagles tryoutin 1976, at age 30, and makes the club as a kamikaze special-teamer andsometime wide receiver. He lasts three NFL seasons before injuries bring hisfantasy to an end. If his story were made into a movie, it might be calledInvincible.
In fact, it is.Disney's Invincible, starring Mark Wahlberg, hits theaters on Aug. 25. But forall the film gets right (Wahlberg nails Papale's three-point receiver's stanceand Boogie Nights coif), it leaves out the epilogue. Papale's playing careerended quietly when he separated both shoulders. After a gig as a Philadelphiasports reporter Papale served as director of fitness at U.S. Healthcare, wherehe met Janet Cantwell, a former gymnast who became his third wife. In 1999 itwas on to Sallie Mae.
One more twist inPapale's story: In 2001 he learned he had colon cancer, and doctors removed 18inches of his colon. "It didn't take me long to stop feeling sorry formyself," he says. "Two days [after the surgery] I walked about twomiles." As if that weren't enough to cheer about, the next year he receiveda call inquiring about the movie rights to his life. He won't reveal specificsof the deal but says it netted him "significantly more than I made with theEagles, that's for sure."
Papale, 60, livesin Cherry Hill, N.J., with Janet and their children, Gabriella, 12, andVincent, 9. He plans to take the whole family to the premiere of Invincible inAugust. "That might be a long limo ride though," he says with a laugh."I hear they're having it in Hollywood."
A Flurry of PUNCHLINES
When members ofthe greatest U.S. Olympic boxing team reunited, the jabbing was all in goodfun
THE 1976 U.S.Olympic boxing team was still mixing it up last week. The squad that won sevenmedals, including five golds, at the Montreal Games was about to be honored asthe finest Olympic boxing team ever assembled, and on the bus ride from theirhotel to the Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y., the fighters were throwingjabs at one another.
"LeoRandolph, don't talk with your mouth open," said Charles Mooney.
"And don'tlook at me if you see me," added Howard Davis.
Soon Randolph andDavis were reciting Abbott and Costello's "Who's on first?" bit, andthe mischievous Leon Spinks was flooring his old pals by asking them to behave."You see," said Sugar Ray Leonard, "nothing has changed."
Of course it had.Leonard and Spinks exemplify the group's diverse fortunes. Leonard, the lightwelterweight gold medalist, won pro titles in five weight classes. He makesspeeches to FORTUNE 500 executives and hosts the boxing reality show TheContender, coproduced by Sylvester Stallone, which is in its second season. OnMay 20 more than 300 people, including Kenny G and Eddie Murphy, helped Leonardcelebrate his 50th birthday in Los Angeles.
Spinks, the lightheavyweight gold medalist in Montreal, took the WBA heavyweight title fromMuhammad Ali in February 1978, in Spinks's eighth pro fight. Seven months laterAli took the belt back, and by the mid-'90s, after blowing through severalmillion dollars that he made as a fighter, Spinks was a greeter at Mike Ditka'srestaurant in Chicago. Today, still smiling toothlessly but afflicted withdementia, he lives in Columbus, Neb., where he is a janitor at a YMCA. HisOlympic medal was stolen, and one of his sons, Leon Calvin, was murdered in St.Louis in 1990. "Look at me," Spinks says. "Lies don't help me. So Ismile. I make friends. That ain't so bad."
Davis, thelightweight gold medalist, who was 36-6-1 as a pro, is a boxing instructor inFlorida and the father of 11 children. Like Spinks, he says he was ripped offby advisers, but he is in better physical and financial shape than NeonLeon.
The fightersrecalled teammates who weren't there. John Tate, the heavyweight bronzemedalist in '76 and later the WBA heavyweight champ, was killed in a caraccident in 1998. Clint Jackson, the Olympian welterweight, has served morethan 16 years of a life sentence in Alabama for kidnapping. Davis has writtenthe parole board, promising to give Jackson a job if his teammate is released.The squad has always been close, said Mooney: "We looked out for eachother. We were family."
Spinks, though,thinks the team was unique for another reason: Light middleweight Chuck Walkerbecame a professional tap dancer. "Best dancer," Spinks said, "wasthe [only] white guy."
FEATHERWEIGHT; no medal
Lives in Puyallup, Wash., and works as a bookkeeper for the city of Seattle
LIGHT FLYWEIGHT; none
Won 14 of 21 pro fights; now drives a truck for Nabisco and lives in TempleHills, Md.
Head boxing coach for American Top Team gym in Coconut Creek, Fla.
Serving a life sentence in Union Springs, Ala., after a 1989 kidnappingconviction
LIGHT WELTERWEIGHT; gold
Motivational speaker and entrepreneur lives in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Retired after 22 years in U.S. Army, has a boxing academy in Rockville, Md.
A bus driver in Tacoma, Wash., was briefly the WBA junior featherweightchamp
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT; gold
Former heavyweight champ is now a custodial worker in Columbus, Neb.
Vice president, Butch Lewis Productions, in Wilmington, Del.
Former WBA heavyweight champ (1979--80) died in a car accident in 1998
LIGHT MIDDLEWEIGHT; none
Former pro tap dancer, now a film director and producer in Lake Conroe,Texas
After playing inthe NHL and building Sweden's '06 gold medal hockey team, why not try ...carpentry?
MATS NASLUNDhelped construct an Olympic champion as general manager of the Swedish hockeyteam at the 2006 Winter Games, but he has done some of his best building forthe Ahlgren Co. in H√∂llviken, about 15 minutes south of Malm√∂. Four days a weekN√§slund works as a carpenter, earning 140 kronor--about $19--an hourconstructing and refurbishing homes. "Some people think it's stupid, thinkthat I have 15 or 20 million in the bank," says N√§slund, 46, who joined theMontreal Canadiens in 1982 and embarked on a sterling nine-year NHL career inwhich he never earned more than $400,000 (Canadian). "But a lot of peoplethink it's good because it's humble."
N√§slund had beenout of hockey since 2001, when he lost his job as a Canadiens part-time scout,but Swedish Olympic coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson persuaded him to become thegeneral manager of the national team for Turin. N√§slund picked the Games' bestdefenseman, Kenny Jonsson, but mostly served as a sounding board forGustafsson. If Gustafsson becomes an NHL coach, N√§slund might be tempted tojoin him, but he can live without it. "I am very happy with my life,"he says. "I do what I want. I don't have big pressure as acarpenter."
The former Packerhas shifted gears, and now his career is on track rather than on thegridiron
GROWING UP inDetroit, Gilbert Brown and his younger brother Leroy couldn't wait until theirdad, an autoworker and weekend drag racer, left the house so they couldre-create his latest race. The two troublemakers would plop onto side-by-sidesofas that served as dueling race cars and improvise steering wheels usingtheir father's LPs. Now 35, Gilbert recalls what happened whenever his fathercaught the boys "messin' with James Brown or Sam Cooke." Time for awhuppin'.
Twenty-five yearslater--and two seasons removed from the NFL--Brown, who was the immovableobject at the center of the Green Bay Packers' defensive line for a decadebeginning in 1993, is a part owner and director of business development for theMilwaukee Mile, a 40,000-seat track that hosts NASCAR, IRL and Champ Car races.He recruits sponsors for the track and drums up interest in auto racingthroughout Wisconsin. Occasionally he will squeeze his famous frame--his listedplaying weight was 339 pounds--through the driver's window of a race car andtake a few laps. But he's happy to cruise at a leisurely clip while waving tothe fans. Says Brown, "I don't want to crash one of these beautifulmachines."
Micheal Ray RICHARDSON
Drugs derailed apotential Hall of Fame career, but the onetime NBA star found himselfoverseas
THE SHIP nolonger be sinking. Two decades years after Micheal Ray Richardson became thefirst player banned from the NBA for drug use--and 24 years after he famouslysummed up the late-season chances of his New York Knicks team by proclaiming"the ship be sinking"--the player known as Sugar has rightedhimself.
Whetherpatrolling the sideline as head coach of the CBA's Albany Patroons or strollingthe countryside in the south of France, where he has a home with his Moroccanwife, Ilham, and their two young children, Richardson, 51, doesn't dwell onwhat might have been had drugs not derailed his career.
"Everybodyasks, 'Don't you feel bad?' and I say, 'Not at all,'" says Richardson abouthis tumultuous eight-year NBA career. "I feel blessed that I was able tocome back and live a normal life."
Taken fourth bythe Knicks out of Montana in the 1978 NBA draft, Richardson was dubbed "thenext Walt Frazier" by Knicks coach Willis Reed. In his second year the6'5" point guard became the third player to lead the league in assists andsteals in the same season. In '86, when he tested positive for cocaine for thethird time, NBA commissioner David Stern banned him, a decision Stern called"the hardest thing I've ever had to do as commissioner."
Richardson, whoplayed 14 seasons overseas and says he got clean in the late '80's, holds noill will toward Stern. "He didn't ban me. I banned myself," saysRichardson. "He has helped me get job opportunities."
Thoseopportunities included a community-relations job with the Denver Nuggets andappearances at Knicks summer camps. Would Richardson be interested in boardinganother sinking New York ship? "To get [back] to the big ranks is one of mydreams. It would be full circle."
With a new leaseon life, the former Charger has headed to the hills for some valuable familytime
PARK CITY wouldbe perfect. In the winter Rolf Benirschke and his wife, Mary, could teach theirfour children how to ski as part of their home-school curriculum. And therewould be no demands on Dad to make appearances that would take him away fromhis family. So last month the former Chargers kicker moved his family from theSan Diego area, his home since 1970, to Utah for a year, a sabbatical he callsa "pause in life."
No one can blameBenirschke, 51, for calling a timeout. But it's not so much for him; he's wellpast his battle with ulcerative colitis, which almost killed him in 1979, histhird year with the Chargers. (He kicked for seven more seasons.) And afteryears of fighting hepatitis C, which he contracted through a blood transfusion,he recently tested free of the virus.
This pause ismore for his children, three of whom are trying to overcome physical orpsychological disabilities. Kari, 13, has a mild case of cerebral palsy; shewalks with a limp but has a singing voice that reverberates. Erik, 14, andTimmy, 12--brothers from Russia who were adopted in 1998--suffer from reactiveattachment disorder, characterized by an inability to show affection for acaretaker or to interact with peers. "What started out as a selfish desireto add to our family," Benirschke says of the decision to adopt, "hasturned into a recognition of an obligation to save these kids' lives."
To do that Rolfand Mary decided to take their children, including healthy eight-year-old Ryan,to Park City for a more structured life. Rolf will continue to work as aspokesman and program director for ConvaTec, a company that supplies ostomyproducts, but he'll be focusing on the family. "We believe that the windowwhere we can really impact these kids is now," Benirschke says. "Wewill build memories, connections and family time and help these kids wrestlewith these demons."
Whether sculpting her signature 'dos or sprinting to gold, Torrence has alwayshad flair.
A fast-food franchisee in Cincinnati, Parker says "the good ol' boysnetwork" has kept him out of the Hall of Fame.
Talks and videos by Henderson have helped other addicts.
Greeted by Boggs, Barrett (top right) scored the game-winner 65 days after thefirst pitch.
Funny Cide, now 6, has earned $3.3 million for the Sackatoga Stable crew (fromleft): Cring, Reinhardt, Mark Phillips, Constance and PetePhillips.
Benson (54) excelled at moving foes--and now vintage cars--off theblock.
Dorsett (33), the owner of a prepackaged food business, bakes "a nice sweetpotato pie."
Mark and Tracy no longer rule the pool, but their active brood knows how tomake a splash.
Papale's story inspired Eagles fans--and a big-screen adaptation.
Leon Spinks (top left, and below in Montreal) yukked it up with (top row, fromcenter) Walker, Davis and Leonard, and (bottom row) Randolph, Curtis, Armstrongand Mooney.
Four days a week the former Canadien plies his trade at Swedish constructionsites.
Brown, an ex-nosetackle, is hands-on as part owner of the MilwaukeeMile.
Richardson wants to return to the NBA as an assistant coach.
Rolf and Mary think Park City is a good fit for their children.