| DIED |
At 65 of cancer, former UCLA basketball guard Kenny Heitz. Playing alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor), Lucius Allen and Lynn Shackelford, Heitz's freshman squad won the first game played at Pauley Pavilion, 75--60, over the Bruins' two-time defending national champion varsity team. He was a frequent starter in each of the following three years, going 30--0, 29--1 and 29--1 for coach John Wooden on the first team in NCAA history to win three consecutive national titles, in '67, '68 and '69. Heitz (above far right, with Abdul-Jabbar, left) was an academic All-America as a senior and graduated summa cum laude. When the Bucks took him in the fifth round of the '69 draft he opted instead for Harvard Law School, which preceded nearly 40 years in commercial litigation and corporate law in Los Angeles.
| APOLOGIZED |
Last Friday for off-color remarks made earlier in the week on the online Thom and Jeff Show, Devils winger Cam Janssen. Janssen (below), an enforcer with 11 career points in 308 games, had compared the Kings—to whom the New Jersey lost the Stanley Cup in six games last month—with "fat broads you just regret [having sex with]" and made reference to targeting gay players. He also said that he hits with intent to injure. Janssen's comments are in conflict with both the NHL's stance on gays in sports and its focus on reducing head injuries. "I would like to apologize for my poor choice of language," he said in a statement on the Devils' website. "The tone of the interview was very casual and off-color, and I lost focus on what is and is not acceptable and professional. I am deeply sorry to anyone who was offended by my language." As of Monday, Janssen had not been punished by the Devils or the NHL.
July 23, 2012
| RELEGATED |
To the fourth tier of the Scottish Football League, the remnants of what for 140 years was known as Glasgow Rangers, a team that won 54 league championships, more than any other top-flight soccer team in the world. The original Rangers, formed in 1872, filed for bankruptcy in February following a tax dispute, and the team was bought up in liquidation a month ago. Last week, in a vote to determine the future of the revived outfit (which last season included U.S. nationals Carlos Bocanegra and Maurice Edu, neither of whom has decided whether he will stay on) 25 of 30 SFL clubs voted to place Rangers in the league's bottom tier, meaning that they will need three successive years of promotion to return to the Scottish Premier League. Among the concerns shared by the SFL and new ownership is that TV rights holders will lose interest in the league without the storied club playing at the top level.
| SUED |
By MGM, RB II Productions, which has been filming a sequel to the 1980 boxing classic Raging Bull, in an attempt to halt production of the movie. MGM, which based its original film on a 1970 memoir by Jake LaMotta, played onscreen by Robert De Niro (right), claims that LaMotta (now 91 years old and removed from business dealings) was contractually obligated to offer sequel rights to the original studio and that he did not do so. The suit further argues that Raging Bull II (which started filming in June with William Forsythe and Mojean Aria splitting the role of LaMotta) will be so bad that it will pose a threat to the original Martin Scorsese--directed film, which was nominated for eight Oscars, winning Best Actor (De Niro) and Best Film Editing. Notable in MGM's suit, which also asks for undetermined damages, is the studio's request that a judge halt filming entirely, not just stop distribution and release, which is a more common route in such filings.
| ABDUCTED |
By gunmen on Sunday, Ahmed Nabil al-Taher Al-Alam, chief of Libya's Olympics committee, which will be represented by five athletes at the London Games. According to witnesses, Al-Alam was pulled from his car in central Tripoli, near his committee's offices, and transferred into a waiting vehicle. Al-Alam's kidnapping comes in the midst of turmoil in Libya, where former dictator Mu'ammar Gadhafi was captured and killed in October and where competing militias are jockeying for control of the country while trying to sever any remaining ties to the old regime. Al-Alam is known to be friendly with the son of the deposed leader, Mohammed Gadhafi, who preceded him as head of the LOC. On Monday, Al-Alam's family had reported no contact with kidnappers. Libyan security officials are investigating.
| DIED |
At age 87, Norman Sas, inventor of electric football, that vibrating sheet of metal—accompanied by 22 tiny players and an easy-to-lose felt ball—that sent kids into gotta-have-it spasms before, inevitably, they grew tired of its unpredictability. Concocted in 1948, the game's pieces evolved from flat metal cutouts (left) to the realistic figurines that come with the game today. Whatever the decade, one mostly remembers those players rumbling and spinning—and spinning and spinning....
Value of soccer star Ronaldinho's sponsorship deal with Coke, which was voided last week after the Brazilian drank Pepsi at a press conference.
American women who will compete at the 2012 Olympic Games—eight more than the men, marking the first time that the U.S. will have a larger female than male contingent.
Weight of 47-year-old 6'8" sumo wrestler Emmanuel Yarborough, a former Morgan State offensive tackle who was named last week by Guinness World Records as the world's heaviest athlete.
Finish, out of 6,598 competitors at the World Series of Poker last weekend, by Canucks goalkeeper Roberto Luongo, the highest placing ever by a pro athlete. Luongo took home $19,227 in winnings.
Value of the five-year contract that Nets point guard Deron Williams signed last week using his finger on an iPad.
MLB PLAYERS POLL
What TV show gets watched the most in your clubhouse?
MLB NETWORK 14%
INTENTIONAL TALK 11%
EASTBOUND & DOWN 7%
FAMILY GUY 3%
Seinfeld, ESPN (unspecified show), Cash Cab, American Idol and MLB Hot Stove rounded out the Top 10.... Only 11 of the 28 shows that received more than one vote were sports-related.... Among programming in other sports, the NFL Network got the most votes (1.5%), followed by UFC (0.6%).... Non-Americans ranked MLB Network No. 1, while U.S.-born players preferred ESPN's SportsCenter.
BASED ON 272 MLB PLAYERS WHO RESPONDED TO SI'S SURVEY