After a 16-year career, linebacker Junior Seau (above). In 1993, before his
fourth NFL season, Seau told SI, "I'm afraid of being average. I have a
real fear of being just another linebacker." His fears were unfounded.
Seau, 37, who spent the first 13 years of his career in San Diego, made 12 Pro
Bowls. He had size and speed (as part of his training regimen, he would race
his dogs, and usually beat them) and technique (Seau led the Chargers in
tackles eight times). He spent his last three seasons with the Dolphins, who
released him in March. "I look at today as a graduation," said Seau.
"I'm graduating to wherever I'm going to go next."
By former Hollywood talent agent Jamie Gold, 36, the 2006 World Series of Poker
Main Event. Gold, who once represented actors James Gandolfini and Felicity
Huffman, went all in with a pair of queens at the final table early last
Saturday morning, then goaded his opponent, Paul Wasicka, into calling with a
pair of 10s. Playing in his first WSOP, Gold won $12 million. He says the first
thing he'll do is hand over a large sum to his father, Robert Gold, 70, who
suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease. Says Gold, "If I could spend every penny
of this to see my dad live an extra day, I'd do it in a heartbeat."
From his team in the Russian Super League, Evgeni Malkin, one of the world's
most sought-after young hockey players. Malkin, 20, was drafted second overall
in the 2004 NHL draft by Pittsburgh, and the center has been compared to
Penguins owner Mario Lemieux. He is under contract with Metallurg Magnitogorsk
for next season, but Malkin has stated a desire to play in the NHL as soon as
possible. It is uncertain if his destination was Pittsburgh, but Metallurg
officials think that's where he was headed. "They all like to talk about
democracy, the American way, and then they shamelessly steal our best
players," Metallurg general director Gennady Velichkin told Reuters.
For life from Yankee Stadium, Scott Harper. In the eighth inning of a game
against the White Sox last summer, the 19-year-old jumped from the upper deck
into the net behind home plate because, police said, he wanted to see if the
net could hold his weight. (One of Harper's friends told the New York Daily
News at the time, "He likes to get attention.") Last week, Harper
pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment, and Judge Troy Webber barred him from
attending Yankees home games.
By Diana Taurasi (above), the WNBA single-game scoring record. The Mercury
guard had 47 points in Phoenix's 111--110 triple-overtime win over the Houston
Comets last Thursday. The old record of 46 was set by Katie Smith of the
Minnesota Lynx in 2001. Playing in new coach Paul Westhead's up-tempo system,
Taurasi, the WNBA's leading scorer, made eight of 16 three-pointers before
fouling out with 2:45 left in the second overtime. "It was a great
basketball performance," said Westhead. "Had she not fouled out it
could have been well into the 50s."
His job as a sales rep for Nestl�, aspiring kicker MacKenzie Hoambrecker. The
26-year-old candy peddler from Omaha, who kicked in the Arena Football League
last year, was signed by the Panthers to fill in while starter John Kasay
nursed a leg injury. (Hoambrecker was picked primarily because he, like Kasay,
is left-footed.) Nestl� gave him a week to chase his dream. When it was up,
Hoambrecker decided to stay in camp (where he makes $800 a week), even though
he knows he has little chance of making the team. Nestl� demanded his
resignation on Aug. 8. "It was a tough situation," Hoambrecker told the
Charlotte Observer. "It was a good entry-level job, but an opportunity like
this might be once in a lifetime."
By a Columbus, Ohio, judge to undergo a psychological evaluation, Maurice
Clarett (right). The former Ohio State running back was pulled over by Columbus
police early on the morning of Aug. 9. He had four guns (including an AK-47)
and a half-empty bottle of vodka in the car with him. Police hit Clarett with a
stun gun, but he was wearing a bulletproof vest, so it had no effect on him.
They then pepper sprayed him and charged him with carrying a concealed weapon.
Clarett was pulled over less than a mile from the home of a woman who was to
testify against him in a robbery case. That trial, which was to begin on
Monday, was postponed pending the evaluation. Clarett is being held on $6.1
For failing to obey police officers, racing legends Al Unser Sr., 67, and Bobby
Unser Sr., 72. The brothers, who have won the Indy 500 seven times between
them, were trying to drive onto property they own in Albuquerque to avoid a
standoff between a SWAT team and a carjacker. Deputies told them to stop, and
when they allegedly refused, they were arrested. Ironically, the standoff was
at the intersection of Central and Unser--a road named for the family. And the
brothers weren't together at the time. They were stopped individually and ran
into each other in jail. "It is a very bad thing that happened, for them,
for me, for my brother," said Al. "It is embarrassing on both
At age 39 of breast cancer, Heather Clarke, the wife of Irish golfer Darren
Clarke. A mainstay on the European Ryder Cup team, Clarke took a hiatus from
golf following the British Open to be with his wife, who was diagnosed in 2003.
"Heather's courage and bravery throughout the last two years ... has been
an inspiration," Clarke said in a statement released after Heather passed
away early on Sunday. Clarke has not said when he will resume playing.
By Titans mascot T-Rac, Saints quarterback Adrian McPherson. During halftime of
last Saturday night's exhibition game between Tennessee and New Orleans,
T-Rac--an edgy raccoon--was tooling around LP Field in Nashville in a golf cart
when he ran into the Saints' fourth-string QB. McPherson stayed down for a few
minutes and was looked at by a trainer. Coach Sean Payton said McPherson had a
bruise on his knee and did not play in the second half. "If that had been
me, I would still be lying there," said Saints receiver Joe Horn. "I
would have owned a percentage of that field." McPherson was expected to
practice on Monday.