| DIED |
At 77 of kidney failure, former NFL receiver R.C. Owens, who popularized the term "alley-oop"—now used more often in basketball—for a play in which one person passes the ball to a leaping teammate. The 6'3" Owens (above), who played two years for the Baltimore Colts and one for the Giants after five with the 49ers, was an excellent jumper: He remains the career leading rebounder at the College of Idaho, and he nearly signed with the NBA's Minneapolis Lakers before deciding on football with the 49ers, who took him in the 14th round of the 1956 draft. It was in San Francisco that he helped make famous the term (which also became his nickname), beginning in a '57 game against the Lions when he leaped above two defensive backs and caught a game-winning 41-yard touchdown pass from Y.A. Tittle with 11 seconds left. After his playing days Owens spent two decades in the 49ers' front office and was active in charity work.
| DIED |
At 91 of undisclosed causes, celebrity artist LeRoy Neiman, who painted sports as well as what he called "the good life" in quick, colorful strokes, often in the pages of Playboy. Having dabbled in art as a child, when he tattooed primary school classmates using a pen at recess, Neiman (right) found the medium that would make him famous by chance in 1953 when he tried using house paints that had been discarded by a janitor. The free-flowing nature of the thinner paints allowed him to work quickly and with energy, and he took off. He was the official painter of five Olympics, and CBS equipped him with a computerized pen during Super Bowls XII and XIII so that his drawings could appear on screen as he worked. Despite his popularity, Neiman was panned critically—not that he claimed to care. "I get enough applause," he said in '95, "that I don't mind the negative things that get said and written about me."
July 2, 2012
| JUDGED |
By the WBO, that Manny Pacquiao should have won his welterweight title fight with Timothy Bradley on June 9. In a review of the controversial split decision that awarded the bout to Bradley, all five members of the international judging panel scored it in Pacquiao's favor, but the official result will stand. Pacquiao's contract in the Bradley fight included the option for an immediate rematch, and he said after the finding that he would prefer to exercise it rather than pursue having the decision overturned. "My supporters shouldn't worry," he added. "We're going to get that title." Bradley previously said that he too would like a rematch, but he has not yet commented on the recent judgment. Initially the fight was scored 115--113, 115--113, 113--115 in Bradley's favor; the second panel scored it 118--110, 117--111, 117--111, 116--112, 115--113 for Pacquiao.
| DIED |
At 69 of complications from dementia, former Steelers and Chargers guard Ralph Wenzel, who was one of the first players to report early-onset dementia that was believed to have been linked to on-field concussions. Wenzel, who was an 11th-rounder in 1966 out of San Jose State and who spent five years with Pittsburgh and two with San Diego, became the first person to ask the NFL for worker's compensation for injuries related to concussions suffered on the field when his wife, Eleanor Perfetto, filed a complaint on his behalf in April 2010. (The case, still pending, is expected to go to trial this year.) Wenzel—who Perfetto said sustained more concussions than he could count—began noticing symptoms of dementia in 1995, and he was moved to an assisted-living home in 2006 after losing the ability to communicate or care for himself. His family has donated his brain to Boston University, where researchers will test for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disease that may be associated with repeated head trauma.
| DIED |
At 81 of a heart attack, former SI senior writer and senior editor William Oscar Johnson. Having made his first foray into journalism with a comic strip that he drew at the University of Minnesota and that became syndicated in 225 college newspapers, Johnson arrived at SI in 1967 from TIME, where he'd written 20 cover stories. In his 22 years as an SI writer, Johnson reported from more than 40 countries, including China, 18 months after Nixon's visit, and Berlin, four days after the Wall fell. He wrote on everything from sailing to football, but he was at his best every four years at the Winter Olympics, six of which he covered for SI. He even played prognosticator, imagining in one '74 story where sports would be in the year 2000. ("A round of golf will be played in one spot, by means of a computer and TV screen.") Johnson, who also spent six years as a senior editor, retired in 1994.
Combined syllables in the first and last names of the four defenders who started for Greece in its 4--2 quarterfinal loss to Germany at Euro 2012.
Feet climbed over seven days, to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, by 31-year-old Spencer West, who used his arms to pull himself along, having lost both legs at age five due to a genetic spinal disorder.
Seconds shaved last week off Secretariat's official time at the 1973 Preakness, to 1:53, after film review found that the Triple Crown winner had broken the track record of 153 2/5, which was shared by three horses.
Career walk-off HRs by Phillies 1B Jim Thome, the latest last Saturday, breaking the MLB record shared by Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Frank Robinson and Babe Ruth.
Followers on Twitter for @EinAugenschmaus, a deaf woman who tweets the on-field discussions of Germany's players and coaches at Euro 2012, which she lip-reads.
| BEGUN |
In L.A., filming on a prequel-sequel to Martin Scorsese's 1980 boxing classic, Raging Bull. William Forsythe and 21-year-old Mojean Aria will split the role of Jake LaMotta—but they'll have a tough time topping Robert De Niro, who won an Oscar for the part. (Scorsese: also uninvolved.) In boxing, everybody loves a sequel. In sports movies, stats say, not so much.
($ = Box office; = Rottentomatoes.com)
Caddyshack II (1988)
Major League (1989)
Major League: Back to the Minors (1998)
Slap Shot (1977)
Slap Shot 3: The Junior League (2008)
NA: Direct to DVD