At age 56 of a heart attack, former Michigan and Denver Broncos running back Rob Lytle. Recruited to Ann Arbor from Fremont, Ohio, in '73—at the peak of the Woody Hayes--Bo Schembechler rivalry, when such a move was considered sacrilege—Lytle (above) became a bruising Wolverine. He won three Big Ten titles, the last in '76 when, as a senior, he rushed for 6.6 yards per carry, earned first-team All-America honors and finished third in the Heisman voting behind Pitt's Tony Dorsett and USC's Ricky Bell. Lytle left school as UM's alltime leading rusher (he's now No. 7) and was drafted in the second round by Denver, where he racked up 1,451 rushing yards and 12 TDs and for whom he scored the team's only touchdown in its Super Bowl XII loss to Dallas.
By the Indians' Shin-Soo Choo, the two years of military service mandated for all South Koreans before the age of 30, which is expected to be waived as a result of the national team's having won gold at the 2010 Asian Games in China. Choo, who has batted .297 with 59 home runs in six years in the majors, started in rightfield for South Korea in the final last Friday and went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and a stolen base, as his countrymen defeated Taiwan 9--3. South Korea's entire roster is now expected to be granted a reprieve from military service, meaning that Choo can return to Cleveland in 2011. "If I said I wasn't thinking about [avoiding] military service, I'd be lying," said Choo. "But that was not the main reason to join the national team."
November 29, 2010
With broken ribs, a broken collarbone and head trauma suffered in a car crash in Hawaii, where in 2007 he set an NCAA career record for touchdown passes (131, since surpassed), Colt Brennan. The 27-year-old Brennan, who finished third in the '07 Heisman voting and then showed promise with the Redskins in '08 before being set back by hip surgery, was on a highway in North Kona last Friday when the SUV in which he was a passenger crossed the centerline and collided head-on with another car. After being sedated because of shock, Brennan was eventually hospitalized (along with the two drivers, who both survived) and had been upgraded from serious to stable condition as of Monday, though he had not yet been able to talk. Brennan is not on an NFL roster; he was cut by Oakland in September.
For divorce from Spurs guard Tony Parker, actress Eva Longoria Parker. Last Wednesday, roughly 3½ years after the couple's high-profile nuptials took place across the street from the Louvre, Longoria filed papers (which included mention of a prenuptial agreement) in Los Angeles, citing irreconcilable differences. The specifics of those differences came to light later that day when it was reported that the Desperate Housewives star had discovered on Parker's phone hundreds of suggestive text messages from the wife of a former Spurs teammate, Brent Barry. (The Barrys are also divorcing.) On Friday, Parker, a three-time NBA All-Star, complicated the issue by filing separately for divorce in Texas, where the couple (above) also keeps a home, without mentioning a prenup.
At age 78 of complications from gall bladder surgery, five-time U.S. chess champion Larry Evans, a grandmaster whose tutelage led Bobby Fischer to the world title in 1972. Evans won his first U.S. championship in 1951, at age 19, and repeated in '52, '61, '68 and '80, but he left his greatest mark in the middle. In the lead-up to the '72 world final in Iceland, Evans played "second" to Fischer, helping him prepare with practice matches. But the two suffered a falling out before the final, in which Fischer upset Russia's Boris Spassky (regarded by many as the most important chess result ever), and Evans remained under the radar. Loath to compete outside of the U.S., Evans would become known more for his writings. He penned a popular syndicated chess column, and he wrote and edited more than 20 books. His most acclaimed contribution, appropriately, was a '69 book, written with Fischer, titled My 60 Memorable Games.
By the Minnesota Vikings, embattled head coach Brad Childress, who took his team to the brink of Super Bowl XLIV but was failing to replicate that success in 2010, despite having flown in the off-season to Hattiesburg, Miss., where he persuaded quarterback Brett Favre to play one more year with a reworked contract. Plucked from his offensive coordinator position in Philadelphia in '06, Childress twice took Minnesota to the playoffs, but things fell apart quickly in '10. The Vikings started 1--2, then traded for Randy Moss—a relationship that lasted four weeks. Moss's controversial release (Childress never consulted owner Zygi Wilf), coupled with a postgame press conference in which Childress criticized Favre, a practice confrontation with receiver Percy Harvin and last Sunday's 31--3 loss to Green Bay, eventually proved too much for management to take, and Childress was sent packing on Monday.
THEY SAID IT
Grizzlies guard, on his determination to sink the buzzer-beating jumper over LeBron James that beat the Heat 97--95 last Saturday:
"I don't care if James Naismith was guarding me—which would be scary because he's dead."