From the NBA for violating its substance-abuse policy, Hornets center ChrisAndersen (above). The league did not specify which drug was found in Andersen'ssystem, but under the collective bargaining agreement a player can be bannedafter one positive test only if it is a "drug of abuse," such asamphetamines, cocaine or heroin. (Andersen, 27, has no prior suspensions.)Andersen--who signed a four-year, $14 million extension last summer--has been afan favorite for his leaping ability, though he will be long remembered forneeding eight attempts to make his final slam at the 2005 dunk contest. Hecannot apply for reinstatement for two years. He is the first NBA player bannedfor drugs since 1999.
As the name of the newest MLS team, Houston 1836, a nod to the year in whichthe city was incorporated. But 1836 was also the year that Texas launched abloody war of secession from Mexico, a fact that has upset many HoustonLatinos, a community that the club, which played in San Jose for the past 10years, does not want to alienate. Rumbo de Houston, a Spanish-language paper,called the choice an "own goal." Team president (and former HoustonOilers quarterback) Oliver Luck told The New York Times, "We were aware ofthe possibility of the double entendre, but ... by no means was it intended asa slight."
Against Redskins safety Sean Taylor, two additional assault charges stemmingfrom an incident last summer in which he allegedly threatened three people witha gun in a confrontation over an all-terrain vehicle. Taylor, 22, waspreviously charged with one count of assault and one misdemeanor batterycharge. The new counts, which each carry a maximum of 15 years in prison, meanthat Taylor now faces up to 46 years. In the Redskins' playoff win over TampaBay last month, Taylor returned a fumble for a touchdown before being ejectedfor spitting at Buccaneers running back Michael Pittman. His trial is scheduledto begin in March.
Of sexual harassment by former Knicks senior vice president for marketing andbusiness operations Anucha Browne Sanders, team president Isiah Thomas (above).Browne Sanders (inset) was fired on Jan. 19 after five years on the job. Shesays that Thomas made unwanted sexual advances and abused her verbally, andthat when she complained, she was let go. Browne Sanders, a 43-year-old marriedmother of three, filed a lawsuit against the team last week; she reportedlyrefused a $250,000 settlement. Thomas, 44, denied the charges, saying, "Iwill not allow her or anybody, man or woman, to use me as a pawn for theirfinancial gain."
February 6, 2006
On charges of kidnapping and battery, former NBA player Isaiah Rider. The fifthpick in the 1993 draft, Rider, who last played in 2001, for the Nuggets,allegedly got into an argument with a female acquaintance in Marion (Calif.)County on Jan. 25 and drove off with her in his car against her will. Thewoman, who was not injured, began screaming and attracted the attention ofpolice. Rider, who averaged 16.8 points per game in his career, was to haveappeared in court on Tuesday.
From next month's World Baseball Classic, Barry Bonds. The Giants' slugger, 41,pulled out last week, raising concerns about the health of his right knee,which sidelined him for most of the 2005 season. (In 14 games he hit fivehomers, leaving him 47 short of Hank Aaron's career mark of 755.) "In theend I decided that I can't take any chances that might jeopardize myseason," Bonds wrote on his website in announcing the news.
By Steelers fans, two petitions to have beloved radio analyst Myron Cope comeout of retirement to call Super Bowl XL. Cope, who broadcast Pittsburgh gamesfor 35 years and invented the Terrible Towel, retired after the 2004 season.Two online petitions drew more than 2,400 signatures, but Cope, 77, who washospitalized recently with pneumonia, is unlikely to be able to attend thegame.
To begin her five-month prison sentence, Sherrie Miller Daly (below), the wifeof golfer John Daly. In November 2004 Miller Daly, who became Daly's fourthwife in 2001, pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge related to herinvolvement in a drug ring and gambling operation. She was ordered to report toprison in Lexington, Ky., on Jan. 25, just as Daly was preparing for the BuickInvitational in La Jolla, Calif., and the golfer wasn't happy with the shortnotice. "If I had known two or three weeks ago, I wouldn't be here,"Daly said. "It was very tacky on the prosecuting attorney's part. Usuallyyou get two or three weeks so we can at least prepare." Daly shot anopening-round 69 on Thursday en route to a 63rd-place finish.
At age 88 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease, hall of fame boxingwriter Jack Fiske, who covered the sport for the San Francisco Chronicle formore than 40 years. He'd chew on a toothpick as he watched a fight, thendictate his stories into a pay phone from notes scribbled onto a single sheetof paper. Fiske also wrote a column called Punching the Bag, in which hisphrases jabbed and hooked. "If he had to hurt somebody's feelings, hedidn't mind doing that," former trainer Emanuel Steward told the Chronicle."He told it like it was."
By the Allegheny (Pa.) County coroner, that the causeof death of former Steelers offensive lineman Terry Long (above) was suicideand not, as originally reported, football-related head trauma. Last Septemberthe coroner ruled that Long, who retired from the Steelers in 1991, died at age45 of meningitis, a swelling of the brain caused by chronic traumaticencephalopathy, or "punch-drunk syndrome." But the following monthtoxicology reports indicated that Long, who had attempted suicide earlier, hadingested antifreeze. His death certificate was revised, but the change was notmade public until the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported it last week.
Amount demanded from the Patriots by an identified fan for the ball Doug Flutieused to convert a dropkick--the first in the NFL in 64 years--on Jan. 1.
NFL cities--Cleveland and Indianapolis--that have neither hosted a Super Bowlnor had a team in the game.
Capacity of Oakland's McAfee Coliseum for the 2006 season; it supplanted FenwayPark as the smallest stadium in the majors when the A's decided not to sell10,000 seats in the third tier.
Percent of sales at TicketsNow in 2005, a national broker, that came from RedSox tickets; only tickets for the Broadway musical Wicked (4.4%) and U2's worldtour (3.1%) were more in demand.