By Shane Mosley, a junior middleweight bout with Fernando Vargas in Las Vegaslast Saturday. It was the first major victory in three years for the formerchamp, who won by TKO when the fight was stopped in the 10th round becauseVargas's left eye was grotesquely swollen. The 34-year-old Mosley (42-4) nowplans to drop back to the welterweight division, where he held the WBC beltfrom 2000 to '02. (A natural 147-pounder, he bulked up to 152 to face the153-pound Vargas.) "He tried to push me and shove me, and I was trying tokeep myself away because he was so heavy," said Mosley (above right)."That fight showed that I'm a very strong welterweight."
To negotiate contracts as if there will be no league salary cap in 2007, NFLplayer agents. Talks toward an extension of the collective bargaining agreementthat expires after the 2007 season stalled last week, and NFL PlayersAssociation head Gene Upshaw informed agents that it's unlikely there will be adeal by March 3, the start of the free agency period. Under the currentagreement, there will be no salary cap in 2007 if an extension isn't in placebefore then. (Negotiations have been held up by disagreement among owners onrevenue sharing and another between the league and the union on what percentageof revenue should go to player salaries.) Said Upshaw, who predicted salariescould rise by 30% without the cap, "Once we get to [March 3], I don't seeus getting a deal done anytime soon."
At age 78, former Los Angeles Times publisher Otis Chandler, from adegenerative brain disorder. Using the energy and daring he displayed as aworld-class athlete, Chandler, starting in 1960, transformed the Times from aprovincial daily into one of the country's leading papers; it won sevenPulitzer Prizes during his tenure, which ended with his retirement in 1980.Chandler was a track and field star at Stanford--he nearly made the 1952 U.S.Olympic team as a shot putter--and upon being named publisher of the Timessaid, "If someone were to hand me a shot put right now, I think I could putit 70 feet!" Chandler was also an accomplished surfer, hunter andmotorcycle racer. In 1980 the Christian Science Monitor wrote, "If OtisChandler hadn't existed, Ernest Hemingway would have created him."
At age 81, actor Don Knotts, of pulmonary and respiratory trouble. The wiryWest Virginia--born Knotts (above) was best known for his antics as DeputyBarney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show and landlord Ralph Furley on Three'sCompany. But in the 1976 film Gus he played the coach of a football team thatused its mule mascot to kick field goals. Three years later he was a boxingtrainer in The Prize Fighter.
To Astros minor leaguers in Kissimmee, Fla., on Monday, the semiretired RogerClemens. The 43-year-old former Astro, who hasn't said yet if he'll play thisseason, faced his son Koby, 19, who was drafted by Houston last June. Theresult? Koby hit a home run. "That was probably one of the harder fastballsI cut loose," the elder Clemens said. "He got my attention." Kobyalso got a taste of his dad's nasty side--he was brushed back in his next atbat. Afterward the seven-time Cy Young winner reiterated his stance on playinga 23rd season: He plans to pitch in the World Baseball Classic and then assess."I've been trying to [retire] for a couple of years now and it's notworking," he said.
By the NBA, guidelines for player physicals, after a spate of heart-relatedproblems in the last year. All players must now undergo echocardiograms, heartimaging exams that can detect defects missed by the electrocardiograms playersnow take. The change is meant to address a string of cardiac incidents: InOctober the death of Hawks center Jason Collier was traced to an enlargedheart. Former Timberwolves guard Fred Hoiberg and free-agent forward RobertTraylor are out for the year with heart ailments, and Lakers top draft pickRonny Turiaf missed most of the season. The NBA is the first pro league to makeechocardiograms mandatory.
By Cincinnati apparel company Bygone Sports, a trademark on the name WashingtonNationals, meaning the baseball franchise may change its identity to sellmerchandise with its logo. Bygone, which sells Nationals-themed T-shirts andcaps, applied for the trademark in 2002, when the Nationals were still theMontreal Expos, and received approval from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Officelast month. Major League Baseball tried to negotiate a deal with Bygone in2004, but last year MLB sued the company, which then countersued. "Bygoneis nothing more than the typical squatter who tries to take advantage ofsomeone else's reputation," Ethan Orlinsky, a lawyer for MLB, told TheWashington Post. The paper reported that the Washington club will change itsname if MLB loses the case. A trial is scheduled to begin on April 3.
As a superior alternative to sports beverages, chocolate milk. According to astudy published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and ExerciseMetabolism, athletes who drank chocolate milk after a workout were able toexercise more intensely in a second workout than those who drank commercialsports beverages. Said co-author Joel M. Stager, professor of kinesiology atIndiana, "Chocolate milk contains an optimal carbohydrate-to-protein ratio,which is critical for helping refuel tired muscles." In the study chocolatemilk performed better than a carbohydrate-replacement drink and similarly to afluid-replacement beverage.
For Greece (N.Y.) Athena High, team manager Jason McElwain (above), who playedfor the Trojans late in their home finale against Spencerport. McElwain, 17, asenior, is autistic, and coach Jim Johnson sent him in as a reward for hisyears of hard work for the team. Wise move: The 5'6" McElwain scored 20points and hit six of 10 three-pointers--in four minutes of playing time. Aftersinking a buzzer-beater he was mobbed by players and spectators. "I wasreally hotter than a pistol!" said McElwain, who didn't begin speakinguntil age five. This fall he'll study business management at Monroe CommunityCollege in Rochester.
Career victories for Gene Bess of Three Rivers Community College in PoplarBluff, Mo.; he's the first college basketball coach at any level to win 1,000games.
The Saints' record last season, the second-worst in the NFL.
Combined 2005 winning percentage of the 13 opponents New Orleans will face nextseason, tied for the second-toughest schedule in the league.
Increase in Kobe Bryant's scoring average from last season (27.6) to thisseason (35.1); among players who averaged 25 points, only Wilt Chamberlain (in1961-62) and Rick Barry (1966-67) had bigger jumps in consecutive seasons,according to STATS, Inc.