After a 13-year career in which he led his teams to five playoff appearances, Steve McNair (above). One of only three quarterbacks to throw for 30,000 yards and run for 3,500 (Fran Tarkenton and Steve Young are the others), McNair absorbed countless hits but usually found a way to play through the pain. He led the Titans to the Super Bowl after the 1999 season and to the AFC Championship Game in 2003, when he was named NFL co-MVP with Peyton Manning. McNair was traded to the Ravens before the 2006 season and led Baltimore to a 13--3 record, but groin, back and shoulder injuries limited him to six games last season. "Mentally, I could go out and play," McNair said last Thursday, "but physically, I couldn't do it anymore."
By Lorena Ochoa, her LPGA winning streak to four events, with a three-stroke victory at the Ginn Open in Kissimmee, Fla., on Sunday. The only other women to win four in a row are Annika Sorenstam (2001), Kathy Whitworth (1969) and Mickey Wright (1962 and '63). "I survived," Ochoa said. "I didn't have my legs for the last two or three holes. I'm just glad I hung in there and was able to finish strong. For sure, I'm ready to take a break." Ochoa will sit out this week's Stanford Invitation Pro-Am.
The left front ankle of War Pass, an injury that will keep last year's 2-year-old champion colt out of the Kentucky Derby. Trainer Nick Zito said War Pass may have suffered the small break in the sesamoid bone during the Wood Memorial on April 5. (He finished second by half a length.) "It's a shame because he has all the ability in the world," said Zito, who has trained the winners of four Triple Crown races. "He's one of the best I've ever had." War Pass is not expected to race again for several months.
On three counts of attempted murder in the strip-club shooting that led to the suspension of Titans cornerback Pacman Jones, 29-year-old Arvin Kenti Edwards. In February 2007, during NBA All-Star weekend in Las Vegas, three people were shot at the Minxx club during a melee that began after Jones "made it rain" by showering strippers with bills. Last December, Jones, who was suspended by the NFL for the 2007 season, pleaded no contest to conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct and agreed to tell police what he knew about the shooting. His lawyer would not say if the information provided by Jones led directly to the arrest.
April 27, 2008
At age 81 of a heart attack, Joseph Cameron Alston (below), the only badminton player ever to be featured on the cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (March 7, 1955). A San Diego native, Alston won the 1956 world championship in addition to 12 national titles. While competing, Alston began an off-court career as an FBI agent. "He had that magnetic personality that people loved to be around, and he could always find a way to win," said Alston's son Tony, who also played badminton at the international level.
At age 45, John Marzano, a former major league catcher who later served as a Phillies radio analyst and as the host of a talk show on MLB.com. The cause of death was unclear, but Marzano apparently had fallen down the stairs in his home. The South Philadelphia native was a catcher on the silver-medal-winning 1984 U.S. Olympic team and was later selected in the first round by the Red Sox. In 10 seasons with Boston, Texas and Seattle, Marzano hit .241.
At age 91, Tommy Holmes, a two-time All-Star outfielder for the Boston Braves. Holmes had a career year in 1945, batting .352 with 28 homers—and at least one hit in 37 straight games from June 6 until July 12. That stood as the longest streak in modern NL history until Pete Rose hit in 44 straight games in 1978. Holmes, a career .302 hitter, died on April 14, Rose's 67th birthday.
They Said It
Spurs guard, to teammate Manu Ginóbili (below) after Ginóbili got his braces off:
"Sweet. Does that mean you're going to get your driver's permit next week?"
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
Some in the crowd of 57,000 booed when Boston was mentioned during the papal Mass at Yankee Stadium on Sunday.