| DIED | At age 72 of heart failure, former AFL and NFL defensive tackle Houston Antwine. An eighth-round steal out of Southern Illinois in 1961, he was promptly shipped by the Oilers to the Patriots, where he joined Jim Lee Hunt to form a fearsome tackle combination. Antwine (above) played 12 pro seasons, 11 of them in Boston (later New England, after the AFL-NFL merger), where he made the All-Star Game every year from '63 through '68. Named to the AFL All-Time Team in '70, he helped the Pats win their first division title, in '63, and had 39 sacks in 142 regular-season games for the red, white and blue.
| RETIRED | After a 16-year career that spanned four Winter Olympics, defenseman Angela Ruggiero, who IIHF president René Fasel once said "defined this era of women's hockey." After her senior season at Harvard, in 2004, Ruggiero (below) won the Patty Kazmaier Award as the nation's top player—that after being named a finalist in her first three seasons. By that point Ruggiero had already played in two Olympics, including the first women's tournament, in 1998, where at age 18 she was the youngest member of the gold medal team. She would represent Team USA in a record 256 games, scoring 67 goals with 141 assists and was twice selected as the Games' best defenseman. Although Ruggiero was arguably the leading defenseman in the history of the women's game, she was handicapped by the absence of bodychecking in her sport. When a reporter asked Ben Smith, then the U.S. Olympic coach, if he thought women's hockey would benefit from added contact, he replied, "Would you really want your daughter being hit by Angela?"
| DIED | At age 89, Bob Anderson, who competed for and coached Britain's Olympic fencing team in the 1950s and '60s, but who became better known as the man who wielded Darth Vader's lightsaber in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. A fencer in the Royal Marines before World War II, Anderson competed at the '52 Helsinki Games and coached his homeland's team until the late '70s, when he turned to screen work for good. In his first film, 1953's The Master of Ballantrae, he had instructed Errol Flynn in the art of the foil. He would later work on the two Star Wars pictures, filming fight scenes for actor David Prowse (Anderson's role was shrouded in secrecy until '83, when actor Mark Hamill spilled the beans), and serve as a stunt double and instructor on The Princess Bride, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the James Bond movies From Russia with Love and Die Another Day.
| DIED | At age 84, former outfielder Don Mueller. An exceptional placement hitter, Mueller (right) played 12 years in the majors, from 1948 through '59, 10 with the Giants. It was with them that he helped set up Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard Round the World, which gave New York the '51 NL pennant. With the Brooklyn Dodgers leading 4--1 in the bottom of the ninth in Game 3 of a three-game playoff, Mueller came to bat with a runner on first. Noticing that Dodgers first baseman Gil Hodges was guarding the bag, he slapped a single through the hole between first and second. He reached third on a double by Whitey Lockman but injured his ankle on the slide and was replaced by a pinch runner, Clint Hartung, leaving him to hear the cheers from a Polo Grounds trainer's table as Thomson's drive left the park. The Giants eventually lost the World Series in six games to the Yankees, but they swept the Indians in '54, aided by Mueller's .389 batting average.
January 9, 2012
| DIED | At age 59 of a heart attack, Sean Collins, the big wave pioneer behind the website Surfline.com, whose wave forecasts reach some 1.5 million boarders per week. A self-taught meteorologist, Collins, who was Surfline's president when he died, became involved with the company (then a telephone service) in 1984, scouring National Weather Service archives and receiving weather reports by fax from New Zealand. With help from a NASA scientist, who hacked information from weather buoys, and a Scripps Institute oceanographer, who modeled the way waves hit the ocean floor, Collins turned the outfit into the top authority on surf forecasting.
Cavs guard Kyrie Irving's shooting percentage (2 for 12) in his first game for Cleveland, on Dec. 26, the worst-shooting NBA debut by a No. 1 overall draft pick.
Children born in 2011 to Indianapolis quarterbacks: Peyton Manning's wife, Ashley, gave birth to twins in March, and Dan Orlovsky's wife, Tiffany, had triplets last week.
College bowl games played this season before one sold out, last Thursday's Champs Sports Bowl.
Points scored by Baylor last Thursday in its Alamo Bowl win over Washington (the Huskies put up 56), during which the teams combined for an FBS bowl--record 1,397 total yards.
Points put up by Baylor's basketball team one day earlier.
Combined passing yards by the Packers' Matt Flynn (480) and the Lions' Matthew Stafford (520) in Green Bay's 45--41 win on Sunday, a single-game record. Flynn, in his second career start, also set a Packers mark with six TDs.
| BENCHED | By the Bills after he lifted his jersey, post-TD, to reveal a T-shirt with happy new year!!!! markered across it, WR Stevie Johnson. Well-intentioned or not, Johnson should have known better—he was fined $5,000 in November for exposing a short-sleeved nod to Batman (why so serious?) and had these past offenders to learn from.
2007: Falcons WR Roddy White paid $10,000 for this FREE MIKE VICK shirt.
2011: Man City bad boy Mario Balotelli saw yellow for asking WHY ALWAYS ME?
2011: Barca's Lionel Messi was ‚Ç¨2,500 poorer after wishing his mom a happy birthday.
NHL PLAYERS POLL
Who is hockey's most underrated player?
Loui Eriksson, Stars LW 16%
Jamie Benn, Stars LW 6%
Joe Pavelski, Sharks RW 3%
Jordan Staal, Penguins C 3%
Chris Kelly, Bruins C 2%
Of the top five vote getters, only Eriksson has been named to an All-Star Game (2011).... No goalie received more than the lone votes garnered by the Canadiens' Peter Budaj, the Canucks' Cory Schneider, the Ducks' Jonas Hiller and the Hurricanes' Cam Ward.... In a similar poll on Facebook, SI readers named Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk (sixth in player polling) the most underrated, with 35% of the vote.
Based on 179 NHL players who responded to SI's survey