By the Orlando Magic, the second annual Schaff Trophy—in recognition of the worst pro basketball team in Florida—to the Miami Heat. Although the teams split their two-game season series, Orlando out-scored Miami 210-202. The award, a three-foot-high bronze cup with a deflated basketball on top, is named after Heat general manager Lewis Schaffel, who said his team "wouldn't accept it, even if they deserved it."
By Debbie Lawrence, 29, at the Meadowlands Invitational, a world indoor best in the women's 1,500-meter walk with a time of 5:54.35. Lawrence, who smashed the old mark by 6.81 seconds, took up the sport with her husband, Don, in 1981 after a knee injury ended her career as a middle distance runner. Don placed third in the men's division of the same event (page 26).
Tampa Bay Buccaneer linebacker Broderick Thomas, 23, in the upper left arm and right chest, allegedly by Frank Taylor Jr., an Air Force staff sergeant, after an altercation outside of Rumors, a Tampa nightclub. Thomas's injuries are not considered serious. Last month, another Buc linebacker, Winston Moss, was charged with assault after pulling a gun on a waitress at the same club. "This is a frisky time of the year," says Buccaneer general manager Phil Krueger. "[At training camp] we'll see them every day and pull the reins in a little tighter."
To a four-year, $21.5 million contract extension by the Boston Red Sox, pitcher Roger Clemens, 28, making him the highest-paid player in baseball history. Clemens's package is worth $400,000 more than the then- record sum that Nelson Doubleday paid for the New York Mets in 1980.
February 18, 1991
As coach of the Cleveland Browns, Bill Belichick, 38, who spent the past 12 seasons as defensive assistant and special teams coach for the New York Giants. Belichick, a former center at Wesleyan in Middletown, Conn., becomes the 17th active coach without NFL playing experience. "Bill's forte was snapping the ball," says former Wesleyan assistant Herb Kenney, "but he was best at falling down after the snap in practice so the defense could block punts." Belichick isn't likely to teach that technique in Cleveland: The Browns led the league last season in having punts blocked (four).
Entertainer, philanthropist and onetime majority owner of the Miami Dolphins Danny Thomas, 79; of heart failure; in Los Angeles. Thomas, best known as the star of the television series Make Room for Daddy, owned the Dolphins during their inaugural season of 1966. In Miami's first game, running back Joe Auer returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown while a jubilant Thomas followed Auer down the sideline and then embraced him in the end zone. Recalls Miami Herald sports editor Ed Pope, "Considering Thomas was 54 at the time, his run was even more remarkable than Auer's."