By the NFL, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning's request to wear Johnny Unitas-style shoes for Sunday's game against The Dolphins. Manning had wanted to wear black hightops as a tribute to the deceased leader of the Baltimore Colts. The NFL decreed that only players on the Baltimore Ravens could wear anything commemorating Unitas.
Heat center Alonzo Mourning, 32, whose doctors told him not to play the 2002-03 season because of his deteriorating kidney condition. In October 2000 Mourning was found to have focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, which affects the kidney's ability to remove waste from blood. Last year, with the disease in remission, he averaged 15.7 points in 75 games. There is no timetable for his return.
Mike Vernon, 39, after 19 seasons as an NHL goalie. Vernon led the Flames to the Stanley Cup in 1989 and, in '97, won the Conn Smythe Trophy while leading Detroit to the Cup. He also played for the Sharks and the Panthers, finishing with a 385-273-92 record and a 2.98 goals-against average.
? Gary Suter, 38, after 17 seasons as an NHL defenseman with three teams. A strong skater with a hard shot, Suter made four All-Star teams and was Vernon's Flames teammate in '89. He is perhaps most famous for crosschecking Mighty Ducks star Paul Kariya in the jaw in 1998, shelving Kariya for eight months with a concussion.
? Rams wideout Eric Crouch, 23, who 10 months ago won the Heisman Trophy as a fleet-footed quarterback for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. St. Louis selected Crouch in the third round of the draft and signed him to a three-year, $1.3 million contract, but after an injury-riddled preseason—which included a transition to a new position—Crouch lost his passion for football and gave back his $395,000 signing bonus. He is one of three Division I-A players to Throw for 4,000 yards (4,481) and run for 3,000 (3,434) in his career.