By the U.S.'s Lindsey Jacobellis (above), the snowboardcross gold medal at the Snowboard World Championships in Arosa, Switzerland, on Sunday. It was the second straight world title for Jacobellis, 21, the most successful snowboardcross rider—female or male—ever. It was also a measure of redemption for her embarrassing Olympic moment at the 2006 Games, when she fell while prematurely celebrating an apparent gold medal win and had to settle for the snowboardcross silver. "I'm glad people can look at me in this way as coming back strong," Jacobellis said on Sunday. "I'd like to be recognized for what I've accomplished rather than my mistake."
Indefinitely by Colorado State, four members of the women's basketball team who set off a chemical bomb outside a teammate's apartment as a prank. On Jan. 8 four freshmen—guards Kelly Jo Mullaney, Emily Neal and Brittney Stirling and center Raysha Ritter—detonated a homemade explosive in a plastic bottle outside the Fort Collins residence of sophomore forward Kelly Finley. The blast was small; there were no injuries or damage. "Four teammates were trying to play a prank on a teammate, and it went bad," a police spokesman said. "It was not meant in a malicious way." Still, the four players were charged with misdemeanor reckless endangerment and cannot practice during their ban.
To be malignant, the brain tumor that former Yankees outfielder and current television analyst Bobby Murcer had removed last month. The five-time All-Star and 1972 Gold Glove winner is scheduled to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Said Murcer, 60, "As we begin a new year, I find myself facing a new challenge—the biggest of my life so far."
By the 76ers, forward Chris Webber. Philadelphia traded for the five-time All-Star in February 2005, but for most of his tenure Webber, 33, was a poor fit for the team. After his production and playing time fell this season—he was averaging 11.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, both below his career averages, and had missed 17 games with injuries—he told the rebuilding Sixers that he wanted to play for a contender. The team bought out the remaining 1 1/2 years on Webber's contract (he was due to make $21 million this season and $22 million in 2007--08) for an undisclosed amount. On Monday he announced he would sign with the Pistons when he cleared waivers on Tuesday.
January 22, 2007
To the Blues in his NHL debut last Saturday, Kings goalie Yutaka Fukufuji (above), the league's first Japanese-born player. Fukufuji, 24, grew up on the northern island of Hokkaido, one of the few places in Japan where hockey is popular, and was drafted by Los Angeles in 2004. The Kings recalled him from the minors last Friday, and he played the third period the next night. Fukufuji stopped four shots but allowed a power-play goal that turned out to be the game-winner for the Blues. "I was so nervous," said Fukufuji. "But I was excited too."
By Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens, his publicist Kim Etheredge. In September, Etheredge made headlines when she placed a frantic call to 911 after finding T.O. unresponsive in what they both later called an allergic reaction to pain medication. The police report said that Etheredge told cops that Owens was depressed and that she thought he may have attempted to harm himself. At a later press conference, she condescendingly blurted, "Terrell has 25 million reasons why he should be alive," in reference to Owens's $25 million contract with the Cowboys. "It was a business decision," Owens said of the firing.
To Giants teammate Mark Sweeney for reportedly implicating him in a failed drug test, Barry Bonds. According to last Thursday's New York Daily News, Bonds tested positive for amphetamines and claimed he got the substance from Sweeney's locker. (Under baseball rules, a player is not suspended for a first positive amphetamines result; a second failure results in a 25 game ban.) Sweeney denied that he had any banned substance, and in a statement Bonds (right), who did not deny failing the test, exonerated the first baseman: "He is both my teammate and my friend.... He did not give me anything whatsoever and has nothing to do with this matter." As of Monday, Bonds and the Giants were still trying to finalize a preliminary agreement on a $16 million contract for this season.
Publicly for the first time since Hall of Fame voting results were announced on Jan. 9, Mark McGwire. The former slugger was named on just 23.5% of ballots in his first year of eligibility, far short of the 75% needed for induction. In an interview last Friday with the Daily Titan, the Cal State Fullerton student newspaper, at a charity event in Tustin, Calif., McGwire said, "I had an absolutely wonderful career that I am very proud of.... I'm not in control of what happens—I was in control of hitting the ball." McGwire has been reclusive since his 2005 appearance before Congress, when he refused to deny he had taken steroids.
At age 99, former amateur golf champion and New York Times sportswriter Maureen Orcutt. Orcutt won more than 65 major amateur tournaments and was runner-up for the U.S. amateur title in 1927 and '36. In 1937 she began covering golf and writing a "Women in Sports" column for the Times, where she worked—often as the only woman in the sports department—for 35 years. Throughout her life Orcutt played exhibitions, including one at Augusta during the 1920s when she was paired with Walter Hagen. "I would get a lady golfer," Hagen complained. Years later Orcutt recalled in the Times, "I didn't say anything.... But the next day I carried Hagen for nine holes and we won."
By Kobe Bryant, the top spot on the list of the best-selling NBA jerseys. Bryant, who switched to number 24 this season after wearing number 8 for the first 10 years of his career, had the most popular jersey in 2002--03, but his sales fell after he was accused of sexual assault in Colorado. (The charges were dropped in '04.) The Lakers guard overtook the Heat's Dwyane Wade as the NBA's most popular player in terms of jersey sales, a title Wade had held since May 2005. The Cavaliers' LeBron James ranks third.
635 Blocked shots the Rockets' Dikembe Mutombo needs to tie career NBA leader Hakeem Olajuwon; last week Mutombo, who has 3,195 blocks, passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for second place on the alltime list.
$0 Cost of food this season for fans in the rightfield pavilion at Dodger Stadium—the park's $35 all-you-can-eat seats, where unlimited hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, nachos and soft drinks will be included in the ticket price.
1,295 Games pitched by Tim (678) and Todd (617) Worrell, third most among major league brothers; Tim joined his brother in retirement last week after a 14-year career.
Who's Guilty Now?
A little old-fashioned Karma may be coming down on the prosecutor in the Duke rape case
IF THERE'S anything to be learned from the twists and turns in the Duke lacrosse rape case, it's that it's foolish to pass judgment on anyone before the legal process runs its course. Still, it's fair to say that the professional future of Durham County district attorney Mike Nifong does not look bright. Last Friday, three weeks after he dropped rape charges against the three players accused of assaulting an exotic dancer last March—and eight months after he was reelected—Nifong recused himself from the crumbling case and handed it over to the North Carolina attorney general. (The players still face kidnapping and sexual assault charges.) "He still believes in the case," Nifong's lawyer said. "He just believes his continued presence would hurt [the accuser]."
That's because Nifong, 56, who has been DA since 2005, is now on the defensive himself. Last month the North Carolina bar charged him with ethics violations, citing improper comments he made to reporters. Nifong may have also violated rules by failing to tell the defense last spring that DNA from four unidentified men was found on the accuser's body and underwear.
Nifong, who faces a May 11 hearing, could be disbarred, and the families of the indicted players could sue him. "Mr. Nifong, you've picked on the wrong families," Rae Evans, the mother of David Evans, one of the accused players, told 60 Minutes on Sunday. "And you will pay every day for the rest of your life."