Fourth, for next Sunday's Indianapolis 500, Danica Patrick, who will become the highest-starting woman in the race's 94-year history. Were it not for a single early mistake, Patrick could have landed on the pole. The 23-year-old from Roscoe, Ill., had been fastest in practice, but she got too low going into Turn 1 on her first qualifying lap on Sunday and her car bobbled. Patrick recovered, but her average speed on the lap was just 224.920 mph. (Starting positions are determined by a driver's four-lap average.) She then ran each of her final three laps faster than pole winner Tony Kanaan's average of 227.566 mph. Patrick, an IRL rookie who is 12th in points after four races, was livid with herself, staying in her garage stall for half an hour before facing the media. Under Indy's new qualifying format, Patrick could have withdrawn her time and taken another shot at the pole, but Bobby Rahal--who with David Letterman co-owns the cars of Patrick and last year's Indy 500 winner, Buddy Rice-- decided not to risk losing the position. "Bobby told me, 'I've won from where you are. Let's go.' I guess I shouldn't be mad," said Patrick. "I drive for an awesome team. We've got great cars, and we'll just go racing now."
After 22 years, Syracuse's streak of consecutive appearances in the NCAA lacrosse Final Four. On Sunday the Orangemen, who won nine national championships during the streak, lost to eighth-seeded Massachusetts in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The defeat followed an unusually trying regular season for the defending national champs--their first in a decade without a Powell brother in the lineup; Casey (1995-98), Ryan (1997-2000) and Mike (2001-04) were all four-time All-Americas and are the top three scorers in school history. Syracuse finished 7-5 and entered the tournament unseeded. Said coach John Desko: "We probably come out of a game like this with more of an appreciation of the past, the tradition and the wins."
By LeBron James, Aaron Goodwin, the agent who negotiated $135 million in endorsement deals for the Cavaliers' star. James, who hired Goodwin in 2003 after his senior season at St. Vincent--St. Mary High in Akron, reportedly plans to replace him with friend and high school teammate Maverick Carter, 23, a Nike consultant who is not licensed as an agent by the NBA players' union. Two other James buddies, road manager Randy Mims and Rich Paul--James and his three friends call themselves the Four Horsemen--are expected to round out his management team.
Of the WBA heavyweight title he won when he outpointed John Ruiz on April 30, James Toney (above, left), who tested positive for the steroid nandrolone after the fight. Toney, 36, was suspended for 90 days and fined $10,000 by the New York State Athletic Commission. The WBA belt is expected to be given to Ruiz, 33, who retired after his 12-round loss last month but rescinded that decision last week. Toney (69-4-2) denied taking illegal drugs--he offered the flabby, 233-pound physique he carried into the ring as proof--and blamed the positive test on medication he took over the winter to treat a torn biceps and triceps. "Being accused of taking performance-enhancing substances is an insult to me," he said. "I don't do drugs, period." Still, his trainer, Dan Goossen, said there would be no appeal. Toney, who's believed to be only the third professional boxer to fail a steroid test, was banned from fighting for the WBA title for two years.
May 22, 2005
By Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer, controlling interest in English Premier League soccer team Manchester United. Eighteen months ago the 76-year-old real estate tycoon began buying up shares in the publicly traded club, and on Monday he reached the 75% threshold he needed to take the organization private. The takeover was met with hostility from United fans, who fear that since the $1.5 billion deal relies heavily on borrowed money, Glazer will raise ticket prices and not spend money to acquire new players. Last Thursday 2,000 fans--many of whom vowed to boycott the club and its sponsors--turned up at Old Trafford to burn Glazer in effigy and chant, "Malcolm Glazer's going to die/How I'll kill him I don't know/ Cut him up from head to toe/All I know is Glazer's going to die."
As Royals manager on May 10, Tony Pe√±a, 47, after a loss to the Blue Jays that sent the team's record to 8-25. Pe√±a's abrupt resignation came a little over a season after he was named Manager of the Year--and less than 12 hours before he was due to appear in a Missouri court to testify in a divorce proceeding between a couple that lives in Pe√±a's suburban Kansas City neighborhood. The husband, Kelly Locke, 32, has accused Pe√±a of having an affair with his wife, Monica, 33. Pe√±a, who is married, has refused to comment on the case other than to say his resignation was unrelated. The Royals are 3-2 under interim manager Bob Schaefer.
As chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, former Bears kicker Bob Thomas. The Notre Dame graduate--he clinched the Fighting Irish's 1973 national championship with a game-winning field goal against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl--played 12 years in the NFL. During his 10 seasons with Chicago he attended night school and got a law degree from Loyola. In 1988, two years after he retired, he became a county judge in Illinois, and he was elected to the state's highest court 12 years later. Last week his fellow justices chose him to lead the Supreme Court for a three-year term beginning in September.