| DIED |
At age 69 of complications from heart surgery, Walt Hazzard (above), who as UCLA's senior point guard in 1964 earned the AP's Most Outstanding Player honors at the Final Four while helping coach John Wooden win his first NCAA championship. Hazzard, who converted to Islam and for a time was known as Mahdi Abdul-Rahman, played 10 NBA seasons, with the Lakers, SuperSonics, Hawks, Buffalo Braves and Warriors. With the Sonics in their inaugural 1967--68 season, he averaged a career-high 24.0 points and earned All-Star accolades. Hazzard returned to UCLA as men's basketball coach after his playing career, leading the Bruins to an NIT championship and a Pac-10 title in his four years there. He later worked as a Lakers scout and was a special consultant to the team at the time of his death.
| DIED |
At age 75 of a heart attack, U.S. Olympic hockey star Roger Christian, whose four-goal effort propelled the U.S. to a 9--4 win over Czechoslovakia in the 1960 Olympic gold medal game in Squaw Valley, Calif. An eventual inductee into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, in '89, Roger was joined on Team USA by his brother Billy, neither of whom ever played in the NHL. (Only two of their '60 teammates did.) Four years after gold, the duo formed the Christian Brothers hockey-stick manufacturing company, which they sold in 2002.
November 28, 2011
| DIAGNOSED |
With Parkinson's disease, Hall of Fame offensive tackle Forrest Gregg, who played 14 seasons with the Packers and one with the Cowboys and who nine times earned Pro Bowl distinction. Known as Iron Man because of his then record 188 consecutive games played, Gregg (below) is one of three NFL players to have won six NFL championships. He went on to coach the Browns, Bengals and Packers, reaching Super Bowl XVI with Cincinnati. Gregg began noticing symptoms—a softened voice, tremors and stooped posture—last February, and his neurologist, Parkinson's expert Rajeev Kumar, has suggested that the disease might be related to the number of concussions Gregg sustained as a player. There is no known cure for Parkinson's, which affects more than five million people worldwide. Gregg, who is active on the autograph and speech tour, says he hopes to educate others about the disease.
| DIED |
At age 24 after being stabbed in Rotterdam, Mariners outfielder Greg Halman (below), whose 22-year-old brother, Jason, was arrested early Monday as a suspect. Born and raised in the Netherlands before signing with Seattle in 2004, at age 16, Halman had traveled to Europe this month, alongside such stars as Prince Fielder, to participate in a series of MLB-sponsored clinics for children and was spending the off-season there. A September call-up in '10, he played 35 games for Seattle in '11, batting .230 with two home runs and five stolen bases. Previously he had played for the Dutch team that won gold at the '07 European Championship and placed seventh at the '09 World Baseball Classic. No charges have been filed yet in the case.
| SENTENCED |
Last Thursday to six years in prison for violating the terms of his probation for a drug-related offense last March, Packers defensive end Johnny Jolly. Jolly was charged with possession of codeine, a controlled substance, and tampering with evidence after he tried to conceal the substance from police. A sixth-round draft pick in 2006, Jolly started for the Packers in '08 and '09 but sat out the '10 title season when the NFL suspended him indefinitely for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. He had been arrested three times in three years for codeine-related offenses, most recently in October. That arrest violated the deal that erased an '08 charge and placed him on probation for the March offense. Jolly is expected to be eligible for parole in 14 months.
| DIED |
At age 71, seven months after surgery for a brain tumor, Ted Forstmann, who as chief of IMG Worldwide led the sports and media agency's move into collegiate athletics. In other spaces, both cyber and inky, Forstmann will be celebrated for his business career. He made billions for himself and his partners by investing in companies as diverse as Gulfstream Aerospace, Ziff-Davis Publishing and IMG. He'll be recognized for his high-profile dating (Elizabeth Hurley, Lady Di) and philanthropy (The Giving Pledge, Children's Scholarship Fund).
But those who knew him well, including Vijay Singh and Roger Federer, will recall, first and foremost, Forstmann's abiding love of sport. Forstmann played high-level junior tennis as a teenager, was a goalie on the Yale hockey team during the Eisenhower era and played fiercely competitive club golf at Shinnecock Hills on Long Island. He owned the film rights to the iconic baseball book The Boys of Summer, and his Fifth Avenue office was dotted with scorecards and framed, signed sporting photographs.
Ted Forstmann never forgot his boyhood urge to win, and it carried him through the whole of a remarkable life.
Spots atop the AP college football poll occupied by SEC teams (No. 1 LSU, No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Arkansas), a feat accomplished only once before, by the Big Eight's Nebraska, Oklahoma and Colorado in '71.
Years since a starting pitcher last won league MVP. On Monday, a quarter century after Boston's Roger Clemens took AL honors, the Tigers' Justin Verlander won the award, adding to a bounty that already included the '11 Cy Young.
Games missed by the Penguins' Sidney Crosby, due to concussionlike symptoms following head shots in successive games last January, before he returned to the ice on Monday against the Islanders.
Odds of losing 11 coin tosses in a row, as the Saints have done to start 2011—10 to begin games, plus one OT toss.
Career rushing yards by Glades Day RB Kelvin Taylor—the son of former Jaguars RB Fred Taylor—who last week broke Emmitt Smith's 25-year-old Florida high school career record and moved into second alltime nationally behind Sugar Land, Texas's Kenneth Hall (from 1950 to '53).
Last week, new logos for the Marlins, Orioles and, in London, an upstart baseball team called the, ahem, Rippers. Each new design brought headlines—though not all for the intended reasons.
Sales on MARLINS garb are up—but those colors! "What is their warm-up uni?" one message boarder asked. "The technicolor dreamcoat?"
Gone is the ORIOLES' ornithologically correct bird; back is the smirking cartoon, last used in '88. Have they forgotten that year's 0--21 start?
The RIPPERS are adamant: Their mascot may be named Jack, but he's unrelated to—and not inspired by—a certain 19th-century killer.