| DIED |
At 92, former MLB shortstop Johnny Pesky, who spent 61 seasons with the Red Sox—eight as a player (he was an All-Star in 1946), three as a manager, six as a broadcaster and the rest as a minor league manager, major league coach or special instructor. Pesky (above), who lost the three years following his '42 rookie season to World War II, led the AL in hits three times and retired having batted .307 over 10 seasons. (He also played for the Tigers and the Washington Senators.) His most memorable moment, at least according to legend: One of Pesky's 17 career home runs wrapped around the rightfield foul pole, 302 feet from home plate, leading to the structure's becoming known as Pesky's Pole. In 2008 Boston retired Pesky's number 6 jersey.
| DIED |
At 59 when he drowned off the coast of Baby Beach, on the southeastern tip of Aruba, former NBA All-Star forward Dan Roundfield. A second-round NBA pick in 1975 out of Central Michigan (where he helped lead the program's transition from Division II to D-I) Roundfield (right) played one year in the ABA and then 11 in the NBA—with the Pacers, Hawks, Pistons and Washington Bullets—following the merger. A rebounding specialist, he made three straight All-Star appearances with the Hawks in the early '80s. Last week, according to police in Aruba, Roundfield (who worked after basketball for an environmental engineering company) was swept away when he tried to help his wife, Bernie, who was struggling in rough water beyond an area protected by a reef. A search party later found his body trapped among rocks. Bernie Roundfield was rescued by a snorkler.
August 20, 2012
| ANNOUNCED |
Last Thursday, that a new, yet-to-be-named professional women's soccer league is in the works, and that eight teams have agreed to participate. Representatives for the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars and New Jersey Sky Blue FC, all former Women's Professional Soccer clubs, said that they, along with at least five other teams, plan to open play in the spring of 2013. The announcement was made on the same afternoon that the U.S. women won their third straight Olympic gold medal (2--1 over Japan in the final) and mirrors similar attempts at starting women's leagues, each in the wake of excitement about the game: The Women's United Soccer Association was founded in 2000, in the aftermath of the U.S.'s 1999 World Cup title, and lasted just three seasons; and WPS kicked off months after the women won gold at the 2008 Beijing Games, before folding amid legal troubles this spring.
| DIED |
At 54 of liver cancer, former world heavyweight champion Michael Dokes. Dynamite, as he was known, first rose to fame in 1977, when he fought Muhammad Ali in an exhibition one year after winning the National Golden Gloves tournament. Dokes won the WBA title in 1982 from Mike Weaver but lost it nine months later to South African Gerrie Coetzee in a 10-round thriller—a fight that Dokes later told SI he lost because he had trained while high on cocaine and drunk on Jack Daniel's. Those vices haunted Dokes (right) for much of his life. Three years after he hung up his gloves he received a 10-year prison sentence for attempted murder, second-degree kidnapping and intent to commit sexual assault on his girlfriend at the time. He finished his career with a record of 53-6-2, including a 10-round loss to Evander Holyfield in '89 that Ring magazine called the heavyweight fight of the decade.
| ARRESTED |
And charged with simple domestic battery, Dolphins receiver Chad Johnson. According to a complaint affidavit, Johnson, 34, and his wife of five weeks, Evelyn Lozada, 36, began fighting last Saturday night when she found a receipt for a box of condoms in the trunk of their car. He "became upset and without permission grabbed her and head-butted her on the forehead, causing a laceration," the report says, and she ran to a neighbor's home, where she called 911. Lozada, a cast member on the reality TV show Basketball Wives (she was engaged until 2009 to former NBA All-Star Antoine Walker), was treated at a hospital. Johnson, who claims that Lozada head-butted him, posted bail and was released the following afternoon. A no-contact order has been issued against him—standard practice in domestic violence cases. He faces up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine if convicted. On Sunday the Dolphins cut Johnson, and on Monday VH1 canceled a planned reality show, called Ev & Ocho, about the couple.
| ANNOUNCED |
By Penn State, that the Nittany Lions' 2012 jerseys will include players' names on the back for the first time in 126 years. Said coach Bill O'Brien, "We want our fans to know and recognize these young men. They have stuck together during tough times." With sewn-on surnames, fans might more easily recognize players, as was the intention of White Sox owner Bill Veeck when he came up with the idea in 1960. For these other teams, however, it's not so simple.
The Yankees are the only MLB team not sporting players' last names on any jerseys—ironic, since they were the first club, in 1929, to permanently sew numbers onto their uniforms.
USC becomes the only FBS school never to have had names. The Trojans seemed likely to stay that way when AD Mike Garrett swore in 2009, "We'll never go with names." But he was axed in '10.
Last October, Mexican soccer's Jaguares de Chiapas became the first pro team to replace jersey names with Twitter handles, saying, "140 characters are enough to decide which side you're on."
NFL PLAYERS POLL
Would you want your team featured on HBO's Hard Knocks?
DON'T CARE 19%
SI conducted its poll last September, before the Dolphins (and QB David Garrard, above) were chosen for the current (seventh) iteration of the NFL reality show.... Young players seem to be more interested than veterans in the added exposure: 51% of those aged 21 to 24 said yes, compared with 44% of those 25 to 29 and 27% of those 30 and older.... The Aug. 7 premier was watched by 737,000 people, the second-largest debut audience for the show since 2002, behind the '10 season featuring the Jets.
BASED ON THE RESPONSES OF 335 NFL PLAYERS TO SI'S SURVEY
Weight difference, in pounds, between the AL's top two home run hitters, White Sox DH Adam Dunn (31 homers, 285 pounds) and Yankees CF Curtis Granderson (30, 195).
Dunn's (.203) and Granderson's (.240) combined batting average. If the season had ended on Sunday, either average would have been the lowest ever for a league's top slugger.
Winning time in the men's 400-meter hurdles in both the 2004 and '12 Summer Olympics. Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic repeated his gold medal effort in Athens by hitting the same mark in London on Aug. 6.
Value of the custom-made green-and-yellow Richard Mille Tourbillion watch worn by Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake in the semifinals and finals of the men's 100 meters in London on Aug. 5.
Consecutive years that Washington sophomore RB Deontae Cooper has torn an ACL during summer training—in his left knee in 2010 and '11, and in his right on Aug. 6.