By Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi (above left), that he will sit out the upcoming NFL season. In February, 10 days after helping New England defeat the Eagles in the Super Bowl and less than a week after his first Pro Bowl appearance, Bruschi, 32, suffered a mild stroke that left him with blurred vision and numbness in his right side. A month later he had surgery to repair a hole in his heart that was believed to have been the cause of the stroke, and in June he participated in meetings during the Patriots' minicamp. But last week the team's second-leading tackler said he needed more time. (Bruschi has reportedly been cleared to work out and has been doing so for much of the summer but has not yet sought medical clearance to return to the field.) "[Football] is something I'll always want to do," he said. "But I've got to think about my wife and my sons and just make sure things are right."
The start of Ronny Turiaf's NBA career, after it was discovered that the Lakers' second-round draft pick (left) needs open heart surgery to repair an enlarged aortic root, a potentially fatal condition. Turiaf, 22, a 6'10" forward who was the West Coast Conference Player of the Year with Gonzaga last season, was cleared by doctors for the French national team, for which he played the last three summers, and again by the medical staff at the NBA's predraft camp last month. (Doctors knew about the abnormality but said he could play.) But after further testing Lakers doctors determined there was a 75% chance Turiaf could experience a potentially fatal episode within four years. He was scheduled to undergo surgery on Tuesday and will miss the entire 2005--06 season at a minimum. (The Lakers will likely void his contract but have offered to pay his medical bills.) "I definitely will be back on the court," Turiaf said.
By a Las Vegas jewelry chain, WBC superlightweight champ Floyd Mayweather Jr., who allegedly has failed to pay a $124,000 bill. The owners of The Jewelers of Las Vegas say Mayweather, 28, has commissioned more than 20 custom pieces since 2003, including a personalized diamond-encrusted belt buckle and diamond-studded dog tags. Mayweather allegedly promised to settle his tab after three recent fights, including a knockout win over Arturo Gatti in the WBC title bout in June. Instead, he asked if he could return some of the pieces; the jewelers accepted the diamond-studded dog tags and said they'd give him store credit for the rest, but the bill would have to be paid.
At age 71, Hall of Fame offensive lineman Jim Parker (above), of congestive heart failure and kidney disease. Parker was an eight-time All-Pro who helped lead the Colts to two NFL titles in his 11-year career; in 1973 he became the first full-time offensive lineman enshrined in Canton. The Ohio State alum's most essential role with the Colts was protecting quarterback Johnny Unitas. "Look, if I break my arm, I can still play," Parker once said. "If [Unitas] breaks his, we're dead. So I got to feel like if anybody's arm gets broken, it had better be mine."
By the NHL, a host of rule changes that the league hopes will increase scoring and stir interest in the sport. After owners ratified a new labor agreement last Friday, instituting a $39 million per-team salary cap and ending a 310-day lockout, commissioner Gary Bettman announced that goalie pads will shrink, the center red line will be removed--clearing the way for long breakaway passes--and that deadlocked overtime games will be decided by shootout, ensuring that for the first time since the 1923--24 season every NHL game will have a winner.
In Mexico City on July 19, Ruben Omar Romano, coach of Cruz Azul, one of Mexico's top professional soccer teams. The native of Argentina was leaving the team's practice facility in his BMW when several armed men stopped him and forced him into a waiting vehicle. Romano's family reportedly received a note demanding a $500,000 ransom; they have asked police not to investigate the matter while they negotiate with the kidnappers--standard procedure in Mexico City, where at least 70 kidnappings have been reported this year.
After former Steelers radio announcer Myron Cope, a newly hatched gentoo penguin (left) at the Pittsburgh Zoo, which decided to honor the beloved broadcaster after his retirement last month. (The bird's sex is still unknown; if it turns out to be a girl, she'll be called Myra.) "I am thrilled to have this penguin named after me," said Cope, who spent 35 years in the Steelers' booth. "It's almost like being knighted."
By NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus, Maurice Hill, a four-year-old Chicago boy who had been pulled from the bottom of the pool at the Grand Floridian Hotel at Walt Disney World in Orlando. Rosenhaus, who represents more than 90 NFL players, was at the pool with his girlfriend when he heard people crying for help. He rushed over to find the boy unconscious, not breathing and without a pulse. A part-time lifeguard when he was a student at Miami, Rosenhaus administered CPR on Maurice until he began breathing again. (Trained medical personnel arrived and administered further treatment.) "When he spat out the water [and began breathing], I felt like I had given birth," said Rosenhaus. "I've had some great feelings in my career, but winning a battle and negotiating a great deal just doesn't compare to saving someone's life." Maurice was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday.
From a one-game suspension for tossing a tray of bubble gum onto the field, Lee Mazzilli. The Orioles' manager wasn't the first man to chuck something to show his displeasure with a call (in his case, a foul ball in a June 19 game). But as projectiles go, his choice was far from the most dangerous, which perhaps explains his lenient treatment. Last year Phillies reliever Billy Wagner got two games for throwing a stack of paper cups and attempting to heave a watercooler onto the field; Dodgers outfielder Milton Bradley got four games for tossing a bag of balls; and Boston's David Ortiz was given five games for throwing two bats. In 2003 Devil Rays pitcher Jeremi Gonzalez tossed a more nutritious snack--a bucket of sunflower seeds--onto the diamond and didn't receive a suspension.