This is an article from the Dec. 28, 2009 issue
In dramatic fashion by Penn State, its record third consecutive NCAA women's volleyball championship. The Nittany Lions rallied after dropping the first two sets in the best-of-five title match against Texas last Saturday in Tampa. Megan Hodge (above) had a team-high 21 kills, including the final point, which touched off a massive celebration. Penn State ended the season with a 102-game winning streak, which is the second-longest in a team sport in NCAA history behind the Miami men's tennis team's 137-match run from 1957 through '64. "Not a lot of people have done stuff like that," Penn State coach Russ Rose said. "I got a cigar with my name on it tonight."
By a quick-thinking referee, a Swedish professional hockey player whose heart stopped during play. Midway through the first period of a game on Dec. 13, forward Niklas Lihagen of √ñrbero collapsed after some light contact with a Bofors opponent. Luckily, the referee, Wolmer Edqvist, is an ambulance driver by day. "I knew we had about four minutes to bring him back to life," Edqvist said. He performed CPR and was able to restart Lihagen's heart. The 26-year-old was taken to the hospital and was in stable condition.
By the NFL, a partnership with Boston University brain specialists who have been vocal in their criticism of the league's handling of concussions. As part of the partnership, the NFL will encourage players to sign up to donate their brains to the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, and the league also will contact the families of nearly 100 former players known to have Alzheimer's and dementia and ask that they consider brain donations as well. "It's huge that the NFL actively gets behind this research," said Dr. Robert Cantu, a co-director of the BU center.
To Everton for a 10-week spell, U.S. captain Landon Donovan (right). The Los Angeles Galaxy forward will spend the MLS off-season playing in England for the underachieving Toffees, who at week's end were in 15th place in the Premier League, and will return to the U.S. in time for the March start of the MLS season. Donovan, who has been named the national team's top player in six of the last eight years, will be making his third trip overseas; his previous stints, both in Germany, were unproductive. Donovan's Galaxy teammate David Beckham also will go out on loan, to AC Milan.
By Bob Knight in a speech at a fund-raiser, Kentucky coach John Calipari. Speaking at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, Knight, who retired from Texas Tech in 2008 after a 42-season coaching career studded with victories (902) but marred by tempestuousness, said, "We've gotten into a situation over the years where there is an integrity that is lacking in college sports, and in a way that's why I'm glad I'm not coaching now. As an example, we've got a coach at Kentucky that put two schools on probation, and he's still coaching. I really don't understand that." Both Memphis and UMass have had to vacate Final Four appearances made under Calipari, but the coach was not implicated by the NCAA in any wrongdoing. Calipari refused to be drawn into a war of words, saying, "I don't agree with what he says, but it doesn't change how I feel about him. I'm a big fan."
To the ring after a 10-month absence caused by a staph infection in his left hand, Kelly Pavlik. The WBC and WBO middleweight champ defended both belts with a fifth-round TKO of Miguel Espino in Youngstown, Ohio, last Saturday. "We're not going to have another layoff," Pavlik said. "The hand held up great. It's a little tender, but nothing ice can't fix." Pavlik will now turn his attention to top contender Paul Williams, whom he was supposed to fight in October but couldn't because of his injury.
The Rangers' planned trade for Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell, after Texas discovered that Lowell has a torn ligament in his right thumb. On Dec. 9 Boston and Texas agreed to swap Lowell, 35, and minor league catcher Max Ramirez, 25, with the Red Sox paying $9 million of the $12 million Lowell is due to make in 2010. But on Sunday, Texas reportedly backed out of the deal after Lowell had a physical. "At the end of the playoffs, in our exit physical, [Lowell] barely made mention of it," Red Sox assistant G.M. Ben Cherington told Sirius XM radio. "As a player you get used to being a little dinged up at the end of the season. I think that's how he felt."
By Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and his wife, Gisele B√ºndchen, their son: Benjamin Brady. Last Friday's announcement, which B√ºndchen made on her website, put an end to 10 days of speculation. The couple had a name picked, but B√ºndchen had a change of heart just before the baby was born on Dec. 8. "She makes all the decisions," Brady joked.
Yards rushing for the Browns' Jerome Harrison in Cleveland's 41--34 win over Kansas City on Sunday, the third-highest single-game total in NFL history.
Career 100-yard games for Harrison before Sunday.
Passing yards for Drew Brees of the Saints, who last Saturday became the second quarterback to have consecutive 4,000-yard seasons. (Peyton Manning is the other.)
Wins for the Clippers in their first 11 road games this season.
Wins for the Clippers on the road all of last season.
NBA coaches with 700 career victories after San Antonio's Gregg Popovich hit the mark last Saturday against Indiana.
NFL QBs who have passed for 500 yards and three TDs in a game without an interception: Y.A. Tittle (1962), Warren Moon (1990) and the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger, who did it in Sunday's win over the Packers.
THEY SAID IT
Former heavyweight champ, on why he never left his hometown of Easton, Pa.: "If I had to live in L.A. or New York, I would have to keep up with the Joneses. Living in Easton, they've got to keep up with the Holmeses."