This is an article from the Feb. 22, 2010 issue
By a French judge, a warrant for the arrest of U.S. cyclist Floyd Landis (above), 34, in connection with a computer-hacking case. Landis made headlines in 2006 at the Tour de France, but his triumph was voided after a blood test revealed high testosterone levels. Landis alleged that the tests, conducted at Paris's Ch√¢tenay-Malabry lab, had been mishandled and erased, but antidoping officials shot down that claim, stripping Landis of his Tour title. On Monday, Judge Thomas Cassuto issued warrants for Landis and his longtime coach, Arnie Baker, both of whom are suspected of hacking files at Ch√¢tenay-Malabry in order to discredit its test. Landis, who previously denied hacking, had not commented on the warrant as of Monday.
More than a dozen people, many of whom broke arms and legs, when waves destroyed a viewing perch last Saturday at a surfing contest south of San Francisco. Enticed by forecasts predicting record waves, organizers of the Mavericks Surf Contest, the highest-paying event of its type, opted to hold this year's competition despite warnings that heavy winds could make swells unpredictable. Those fears were realized when two waves washed away the jetty, flinging dozens of people into the Pacific. "It's hard to explain how much water was moving around out there," said first-place finisher Chris Bertish. "I took the worst beating of my life."
By the BMW Oracle Racing team, the America's Cup. Powered by USA-17, its 90-foot trimaran, Oracle on Sunday brought the oldest active trophy in international sports back to the U.S. for the first time in 15 years. The American outfit won Race 2 in Valencia, Spain, by a five-minute, 29-second margin over the catamaran of reigning Cup champion Alinghi of Switzerland to sweep the best-of-three series. The 33rd edition of the race was especially hard fought—and that was before the boats even hit the water. Oracle's primary backer, Larry Ellison, had spent nearly two years battling in court, first for the right to challenge Alinghi and later to establish a protocol on boat construction, which in his case included a 223-foot wing sail that allowed his craft to travel at three times the speed of the wind.
Of cancer at age 90, Walter Fredrick Morrison, who invented the college quad staple that came to be known as the Frisbee. Morrison first fiddled with his idea as a 17-year-old, tossing the lid of a popcorn tin around at a picnic. He later marketed a plastic version called the Flyin-Saucer in 1948. (Instructions back then included the wordage: TO FLY, FLIP AWAY BACKHANDED.) In '57 Morrison struck a deal with the toy company Wham-O for his design, for which he would reap millions—a fair trade, one would think, for Wham-O's changing his product's name to Frisbee, which Morrison deemed "a horror."
To play football at Ohio State, Adam Griffin, 18. The back from St. Francis DeSales High in Columbus, Ohio, will be treading the same turf on which his father, Archie, ran to back-to-back Heisman trophies in 1974 and '75. Compact like his dad at 5'9" and 185 pounds, Adam (top, left) had been considered only a one- or two-star prospect despite having earned second-team All-State honors this fall. He was weighing offers from other schools when he dialed up Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel and asked for permission to walk on. Instead, Tressel offered him one of two scholarships that had freed up late in the signing period.
For April 9 at Arkansas's Oaklawn Park, the long-awaited showdown between 4-year-old filly Rachel Alexandra, winner of the 2009 Preakness and reigning horse of the year, and undefeated 7-year-old mare Zenyatta, champion of November's Breeders' Cup Classic. The two horses have never competed against each other, mostly because Zenyatta rarely leaves California's synthetic track surfaces (her lone trip: a win at Apple Blossom in '09), and Rachel's connections have refused to race her on anything but dirt. Enter Oaklawn president Charles Cella, who is dipping into his own fortune to increase this April's Apple Blossom purse from $500,000 to $5 million. "I see this as a sporting event rather than a commercial enterprise," he says, adding that ticket demands "melted down" his facility's phone system. "But I hope I'm proven wrong."
A Football League Championship match between Coventry City and Nottingham Forest, Amy Fearn, who became the first female head official in English soccer's second-highest division. On Feb. 9, Fearn, 31, left her line judge position to take the reins from that game's referee, Tony Bates, who had suffered a calf injury. Whereas female officials have become increasingly common in the big four North American sports, English soccer refereeing had long been an all-male preserve, making Fearn, an assistant of four years, somewhat of a lightning rod. In 2006 Luton Town manager Mike Newell was fined for referring to her as "tokenism for politically correct idiots." After Fearn's first game in charge ended without controversy, she declared, "Football should be about the players, not referees."
Distance in miles that the Canucks will travel (that's 20,737 kilometers north of the border) from GM Place on their current 14-game, 13-city, 42-day road trip. The longest away stint in NHL history was necessitated largely by the presence of the Winter Games in Vancouver.
Consecutive games of 25 points or more by third-year Thunder forward Kevin Durant entering the All-Star break. Only Allen Iverson (27 straight in 2000--01) and Michael Jordan (40 in both 1986--87 and '88) have longer streaks.
Height in feet of the new outfield wall at Citi Field after an eight-foot downsizing for 2010, as reported by the New York Daily News. Last season the Mets finished last in the majors with 95 home runs—49 in 81 home games, also an MLB low.
Weight in ounces of the Nike Hyper Elite uniforms that St. John's introduced in a 74--55 upset of Louisville last Thursday. The new duds, which seven other teams will wear this month, are 70% lighter than the Red Storm's normal uniforms.
THEY SAID IT
U.S. snowboardcross rider, when asked in Vancouver how it felt to be an Olympian:
"Try to imagine Pegasus mating with a unicorn and the creature that they birth. I somehow tame it and ride it into the sky in the clouds and sunshine and rainbows. That's what it feels like."