Of cancer at 76, Eddie Crook Jr., who won a gold medal as a teammate of Muhammad Ali's at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Crook (above, left, with Ali, center, and Skeeter McClure), who was the Army champ, won the middleweight gold medal in a narrow decision over Tadeusz Walasek of Poland. Walasek bloodied Crook's nose late in the final round, which swayed the crowd in his favor; Crook was booed when the decision was announced and as he received his medal. Crook, who was 31 at the time, decided not to turn pro. He served two tours in Vietnam and was awarded a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. At his funeral in Columbus, Ga., the Reverend Debora Grant said, "He was chosen to be a warrior, destined to be a soldier. And beloved, he fought ... for his country, for his family, for the gold and for his faith."
In Miami last Thursday night, Philadelphia Eagles end Jerome McDougle (right),by three men who were trying to rob him. The 2003 first-round pick from Miami was visiting a friend late at night when the men approached him as he sat in his Mercedes and stole his watch, then shot him in the stomach through the car door. (The assailants fled on foot and have not been apprehended.) McDougle, 27, was airlifted to a hospital, where he underwent exploratory surgery that revealed no serious injuries. He is listed in good condition. According to his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, McDougle is expected to make a complete recovery.
For defamation by golfer John Daly, The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. In March, Times-Union columnist Mike Freeman wrote that Daly had been "accused of smacking women around." Freeman was apparently referring to the night of Dec. 19, 1992, when police responded to a domestic disturbance call from Daly's house in Castle Rock, Colo., involving the golfer and his then wife, Bettye Fulford. He was charged with third-degree assault, a charge that was later dropped, and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was placed on probation. Daly said he was outraged by the Times-Union report and had received concerned calls from his sponsors. "I've never hit a woman in my life," Daly said on Sunday at the Buick Open. "The Colorado incident was disturbing the peace. I only destroyed the house." The paper said it stands by Freeman, who is also a defendant in the suit.
To the White Sox lineup after missing four games due to spider bites, Jermaine Dye. The rightfielder was bitten in his hotel room in Cleveland and had to go to the hospital for antibiotics. That led to teasing from his teammates, who compared him with another man who was bitten by an arachnid: Peter Parker. The ribbing intensified when Dye returned to the field and, in his first game back, on July 25, scaled the wall at Kauffman Stadium to rob Kansas City's Mike Sweeney of a home run (above). "[My teammates] were teasing me about Spider-man and all that crazy stuff," Dye said.
August 7, 2005
To the ring after a five-year absence, 46-year-old Thomas Hearns, who scored a technical knockout over journeyman John Long in a cruiserweight bout last Saturday night. The Hit Man (60-5-1, 47 KOs)--whose comeback was not endorsed by his former trainer, Emanuel Steward--was ahead on all three cards when Long (19-7-1) failed to answer the bell for the ninth round. "This is just a start," said the seven-time world champ, who last won a title in 1999. "I'm planning to fight a long time." Hearns's 26-year-old son, Ronald, a middleweight, ran his record to 7-0 with a first-round knockout on the undercard.
The swoosh from his tennis togs, by Andre Agassi. After 17 years as one of Nike's most visible athletes, Agassi began wearing Adidas last week. Terms were not disclosed, but Agassi's 10-year deal with Nike was worth $120 million. (With endorsements Agassi was the second-highest-paid U.S. athlete last year, earning $45.68 million ). Agassi joins his wife, Steffi Graf, in the Adidas stable. "There will be no more fighting in my house over what shoes my kids are going to wear," said Agassi (left), who seems comfortable in his new duds. The 35-year-old won his first tournament of the year, the Mercedes-Benz Cup in Los Angeles, on Sunday.
Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson. The 32-year-old, who spent his entire 11-year career with New England and twice led the team in tackles (1996 and '97), suffered approximately six concussions as a pro. After being troubled by memory loss, blurred vision and insomnia over the off-season, Johnson was "strongly urged to consider retirement" by his doctors, according to his agent, Jack Mills. "When I look at my wife and four kids, those are the most important things to me," said Johnson. The Patriots are now missing both starting inside linebackers from last season's NFL championship team; Tedy Bruschi, who suffered a stroke last February, will sit out the 2005 season.
From the $1 million Haskell Invitational on Aug. 7, due to a hairline fracture in his left front leg, Afleet Alex. The Preakness and Belmont winner will also miss the Travers Stakes on Aug. 27. Afleet Alex, who hasn't raced since winning the Belmont on June 12, underwent a 35-minute procedure to insert a screw into the broken bone. He is expected to be ready to race in the fall. "The book isn't over," said his trainer, Tim Ritchey. "There are still more chapters to be written to this story."
From an autograph show in suburban Chicago, O.J. Simpson. The ejection capped a less-than-memorable month for the Juice; on July 22 a judge ordered him to pay $25,000 in damages to DirecTV for pirating the company's signal at his home in Miami. Last Saturday he showed up at a memorabilia convention in Rosemont, Ill., but neither he nor the company who owned the booth he appeared in had cleared his visit. A spokesman for the convention said Simpson had been denied permission in the past. Simpson was escorted from the building without incident about an hour after he arrived.