By Akron, the 2010 men's soccer NCAA College Cup, with a 1--0 victory over top-ranked and previously unbeaten Louisville (20-1-3) on Sunday in Santa Barbara, Calif. A year removed from a crushing defeat in the '09 final, when they suffered their only loss of the season, to Virginia 3--2 on penalty kicks, the Zips (22-1-2) earned the school's first national title in any sport after sophomore midfielder Scott Caldwell buried a loose ball from 15 yards out to break a scoreless game in the 79th minute. It was the fifth goal of the postseason—and just the fifth of his career—for Caldwell (above, right), who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Offensive Player. In the waning minutes of the final, Akron's sophomore goalkeeper David Meves held off the Louisville attack, finishing the game with six saves and the shutout, his 11th of the season.
At auction to Texas mutual fund chairman David Booth and his wife, Suzanne, for $4.3 million, the "Naismith Rules of Basketball," marking the largest sum ever paid for a piece of sports memorabilia. The 119-year-old document, which lays out Dr. James Naismith's 13 principles of the game, has resided with Naismith's grandson Ian for more than a decade, but the family decided to sell last month and employed Sotheby's for the auction. (Proceeds will go to the Naismith foundation.) The new owners plan to donate the two-page typescript to the University of Kansas, David's alma mater and the school where Naismith coached for nine seasons. Mark McGwire's 70th-home-run ball from the 1998 MLB season, sold in '99 by the fan who caught it, held the previous auction record at just over $3 million.
December 20, 2010
At age 72, amateur-sports benefactor John E. du Pont, who donated millions to USA Wrestling before being convicted of third-degree murder in the 1996 shooting of Dave Schultz, a 1984 freestyle wrestling gold medalist. An heir to the fortune his family made from the eponymous chemical company, Du Pont led an opulent and eccentric lifestyle, pouring money into his passions, which included wrestling, swimming and track. On Foxcatcher Farm, his 800-acre estate west of Philadelphia, he built a $600,000 training facility and sponsored athletes who competed under Team Foxcatcher. But his passion turned violent on Jan. 26, 1996, when he killed Schultz, a close friend, for reasons that remain mysterious. A jury later found Du Pont guilty but mentally ill and sentenced him to 13 to 30 years at a western Pennsylvania prison, where he died last Thursday of what prison officials deemed natural causes.
During a storm that buried downtown Minneapolis under 17 inches of snow (the area's fifth-largest snowfall since 1891), the roof of the Metrodome. Stadium officials say that snow began leaking early on Sunday morning through several holes in the 16-story-high inflatable ceiling of the venue, where the Vikings were scheduled to play the New York Giants that afternoon. At 5 a.m. two of the one-sixteenth-of-an-inch-thick Teflon triangles that constitute the roof tore—the fourth time that has happened—and several tons of snow spilled onto the field (above). The NFL promptly rescheduled the Vikings' game for Monday evening at the domed Ford Field in Detroit. (That city had not hosted a Monday-night game since 2001.) While the damage to the Metrodome was substantial, stadium officials were hopeful that the roof could be fixed before the Vikings' next home game, against the Bears on Dec. 20.
From her attempted summit of Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro, Martina Navratilova, winner of 59 tennis Grand Slam events. The 54-year-old Navratilova, who retired in 2006 and underwent radiation treatment for breast cancer this past summer, was attempting the climb as part of a fund-raising effort for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. But four days and more than 14,000 feet into the planned six-day, 19,340-foot ascent, Navratilova was finding it difficult to breathe during routine tasks, and she abandoned the hike at the urging of a doctor. She was immediately airlifted to a hospital in neighboring Kenya—where she was later diagnosed with high-altitude pulmonary edema, the accumulation of fluid in the lungs—but not before leaving her climbing mates with a tennis racket, in hopes that they might hit a few balls at the top. "It was a peculiar thing for an athlete," Navratilova told reporters on Sunday. "I had to retire from my match when nothing was hurting. I just couldn't walk." Eighteen of the 27 climbers in Navratilova's party—which raised more than $80,000—summitted on Saturday.
When Brett Favre was placed on the Vikings' inactive list for Monday night's game against the New York Giants, the 20-year veteran's NFL-record streak of 297 consecutive regular-season starts. Despite getting an extra day to rest his throwing shoulder after weather forced a game planned for Sunday to be rescheduled and relocated to Detroit, Favre, 41, was not able to recover from a sprained sternoclavicular joint (sustained against the Bills on Dec. 5), and Monday marked the first time since Week 2 of the 1992 season that he did not take his team's first snap. (In October, Favre played through elbow tendinitis and broken bones in his left foot.) After Tarvaris Jackson started for the Vikings on Monday (his first start since 2008), the Colts' Peyton Manning moved atop the longest-active- starts list, with 205 games. To surpass Favre's NFL record, Manning would have to start every game for almost another six years.
At age 85, three-time Stanley Cup winner Vic Lynn, who played on each of the NHL's Original Six teams during his 11-year career. After short, forgettable stints with the Rangers, Red Wings and Canadiens in the mid-1940s, Lynn, a Saskatonian, was picked out of the minors by famed Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Conn Smythe on a tip from a referee who had seen potential in the swift-skating forward. With Teeder Kennedy and Howie Meeker, Lynn (who scored 90 of his 125 career points as a Leaf) rounded out the KLM Line, helping the Leafs to three straight Cups in the late '40s. He was traded to the Bruins in 1950, and eventually finished his NHL career as a Black Hawk. Lynn was later a staple in the minors, where he skated out his career in his hometown as a player and coach.
THEY SAID IT
Auburn quarterback, thanking his parents—including father Cecil Newton, who the NCAA determined tried to arrange, unbeknownst to Cam, a pay-for-play deal to send his son to Mississippi State—after winning the Heisman Trophy:
"My parents do a lot of things behind the scenes that go unnoticed."