At age 85, Hall of Fame end Dante Lavelli (above). A native of Hudson, Ohio,Lavelli played three games for Paul Brown at Ohio State in 1942 beforeenlisting in the Army. When Lavelli returned from Europe—after fighting in theBattle of the Bulge—he rejoined his old coach, then with the Cleveland Browns,playing four years in the All-America Football Conference and seven in the NFL.Nicknamed Gluefingers, Lavelli caught 386 passes for 6,488 yards in his careerand was enshrined in Canton in 1975. "If I had to throw the ball to get afirst down and I had to pick any receiver in history, it would be Dante,"Cleveland quarterback Otto Graham once said. "He had the best hands thegame has ever seen."
At age 100, Bill Werber, who had been the oldest living former major leagueplayer. Werber, who hit .271 in an 11-year career and led the American Leaguein steals three times, was a teammate of Babe Ruth's with the Yankees and ofJimmie Foxx's with the Philadelphia Athletics. Last year Werber criticizedtoday's players, calling them "a grubby-looking bunch ofcaterwaulers."
By Shane Mosley (below), the WBA world welterweight championship, his firsttitle in five years. The 37-year-old boxer beat the heavily favored AntonioMargarito (37--6) by TKO, wearing him down with body blows and dropping him inthe eighth round before finishing him off in the ninth. "Margarito's awarrior, he's going to win more belts," said Mosley (46--5). The bout wasMosley's first since he changed trainers, replacing his father, Jack, withNazim Richardson.
A lawsuit filed against the NFL by the widow of Vikings lineman Korey Stringerover his 2001 death (SI, July 29, 2002). Kelci Stringer sued after her335-pound husband died from heatstroke during training camp. She claimed thatthe league hadn't done enough to protect players from heat-related illnesses.Under the settlement, the NFL will support Stringer as she creates aheat-illness prevention program. No other terms were released.
February 2, 2009
With reckless homicide in the death of one of his players, David Jason Stinson,36, the football coach at Louisville's Pleasure Ridge Park High. Max Gilpin, a15-year-old lineman, collapsed after running drills during a practice lastAugust. Gilpin, a sophomore, had a temperature of 107° when he reached thehospital, where he died three days later. According to the parent of anotherplayer, Stinson told his players they would have to run sprints until one ofthem quit. Stinson, who played briefly for the New York Giants, will bereassigned pending the outcome of the trial. "The one thing people can'tforget in this whole situation is that I lost one of my boys that day,"Stinson said last Saturday. "That's a burden I will carry with me for therest of my life." Stinson, who pleaded not guilty on Monday, faces fiveyears in prison if convicted.
As a hoax, the existence of Masal Bugduv, purported to be a 16-year-oldMoldovan soccer prodigy. Last summer the website caughtoffside.com ran an itemabout young players being scouted by Arsenal. A commenter introduced Bugduv'sname into the discussion, and a subsequent commenter explained why informationabout Bugduv was hard to come by: "His name is misspelt everywhere too asit has some sort of an umlaut thingy that makes it difficult to find."Bugduv's story worked its way up the media food chain, being picked up by otherwebsites, respected magazines (the monthly When Saturday Comes called Bugduv"one bright spot" amid Moldova's strife) and, ultimately, the Times ofLondon, which on Jan. 12 listed Bugduv at No. 30 on its list of the sport's top50 rising stars. The hoax was uncovered by a blogger, Neil McDonnell, whobecame suspicious after discovering, among other things, that neither Masal norBugduv is a Moldovan name.
They Said It
On what went through her mind when a male streaker interrupted one of herdoubles matches at the Australian Open: "I just thought, My eyes, myinnocent eyes."
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
A British club soccer game was disrupted when a parrotbrought by a fan started imitating the referee's whistle.