By Trail Blazers center Greg Oden (above), his left kneecap, an injury that is expected to end his season after 21 games. Oden was the top pick in the 2007 draft but sat out the entire '07--08 season after having microfracture surgery on his right knee. He missed 21 games last year with injuries to his right foot and left knee. Oden, 21, came into camp nearly 15 pounds lighter than last year and was averaging 11.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. "I thought he was [our] most consistent player this short season," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "It's just unfortunate for him because he worked so hard."
By Spain, the Davis Cup championship, the first time in 11 years there has been a repeat winner. Facing the Czech Republic, Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer won both of their singles matches and Feliciano López and Fernando Verdasco won the doubles match. Spain has now won 18 consecutive Davis Cup ties at home, a streak it will put on the line in its first-round match next March against a Switzerland team that is likely to include Roger Federer.
December 14, 2009
By Notre Dame, the opportunity to play in a bowl game. Last Friday—four days after coach Charlie Weis was fired—athletic director Jack Swarbrick announced that the Irish would skip a postseason game despite being eligible at 6--6. "The unique circumstances surrounding our program at the current time prevent us from making the commitment required to compete in a bowl game," Swarbrick said in a statement. Notre Dame played in the 2004 Insight Bowl after coach Tyrone Willingham was fired, but the Irish accepted that bid before Willingham was let go. And without Weis, Notre Dame would not have its offensive play caller on the sidelines.
To the Baseball Hall of Fame by the veterans committee on Monday, former manager Whitey Herzog and retired umpire Doug Harvey. Each man was one vote short of the required 16 in 2007, the last time the veterans committee voted. With a philosophy based on pitching, defense and speed, Herzog managed four major league teams, winning three division titles with Kansas City and three NL pennants with St. Louis. His 1982 Cardinals won the World Series with a league-low 67 home runs (the fewest by a world champ since 1942) and 200 stolen bases. Harvey worked in the National League for 31 years and is the ninth man in blue elected to the Hall.
After a career in which she won two Grand Slam tournaments and was ranked No. 1 for 39 weeks, Amelie Mauresmo, 30. Mauresmo first made waves at the Australian Open in 1999, both for her play (she reached the final as an unseeded 19-year-old) and her open acknowledgment that she is gay. The revelation sparked controversy, with Martina Hingis saying that the solidly built Mauresmo was "half a man; she's here with her girlfriend." Mauresmo struggled under the intense media scrutiny brought on by her announcement, but she gradually began to fulfill her promise. In 2004 she became the first French female to reach No. 1, and in 2006 she won the Australian Open and Wimbledon. "I don't want to train anymore," Mauresmo said last Wednesday. "When you grow older, it's more difficult to stay at the top."
Of leukemia at age 71, Foge Fazio, who coached Dan Marino at Pitt and later was a defensive coordinator for two NFL teams. The Panthers' defensive coordinator for three consecutive 11--1 seasons under Jackie Sherrill, Fazio was promoted to head coach at his alma mater in 1982 when Sherrill left for Texas A&M. His first team, featuring Marino, was ranked No. 1 in the preseason and started 7--0 but limped to a 9--3 finish. Fazio—whose given name was Serafino Dante Fazio but was called Foge because that was how he pronounced fudge as a child—was fired after four seasons with a 25-18-3 record, but he went on to have a lengthy career as an NFL assistant.
At age 69 of lung failure, Tim McKernan (left), who became one of the NFL's most recognizable fans after he started wearing an orange barrel to Broncos games. McKernan first dressed up in a barrel, cowboy boots, cowboy hat and little else in 1977, after betting his brother $10 he could get on TV. Despite occasionally serious health issues, McKernan, a former airline mechanic, missed only four games in 30 years before retiring the barrel in a ceremony at Invesco Field in 2007.
By two Chinese grandmasters, their third-round matches at the World Chess Cup in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia, after they showed up late because they were taking a cigarette break. One of the players, Wang Yue, expressed regret over the incident, especially the disqualification of his friend Li Chao, who only took up smoking to keep Wang company during the tournament. When asked if the incident might convince him to quit smoking, Wang said, "I don't think so. After such a shock, you only think to take a long smoke."
THEY SAID IT
Former middleweight champ, explaining why he never fought in Australia, where Roy Jones Jr. was knocked out by Danny Green last week: "Everybody knows what happens when you go over to Europe, and that's why I would never go over there."
Position on the Amazon sales list of John Gribbin's Get a Grip on Physics last Wednesday.
Position of the book on Thursday, the day after it appeared in a photo of the inside of Tiger Woods's Escalade released by the Florida Highway Patrol.
Consecutive-game streak of Brett Favre, who passed Jim Marshall as the NFL's iron man on Sunday.
Tony Romo's career record in games started before Dec. 1.
The Dallas quarterback's record in regular-season starts after Dec. 1, including Sunday's loss to the Giants.
Games the Browns went without scoring an opening-drive TD before Brady Quinn's scoring pass to Mohamed Massaquoi in Sunday's loss to San Diego.
Average margin of victory for the Suns in their 15 wins.
Average margin of defeat for the Suns in their six losses.