By Roger Federer (above), the Swiss Indoors in his hometown of Basel, Switzerland, his fourth straight title and 11th of the year. The world's No. 1 player defeated Chile's Fernando Gonzalez in straight sets on Sunday for his first win at the Indoors, which he worked as a ball boy as a kid. He hasn't lost a match since being upset by Andy Murray in August and is the first player in the Open era to win at least 10 titles in three straight years. "It is indeed magnificent," he said. "Different countries, different titles, they all have a different meaning. Winning Basel, my home tournament, it's one of those moments I'll never forget."
Against the Rams on Sunday, Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman—even though he reportedly tested positive for the steroid nandrolone. The 2005 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, who had three sacks against St. Louis, faces a four-game suspension but is free to practice and play while he appeals the failed test. (The appeal will be heard on Nov. 7.) Merriman's lawyer, David Cornwell, said last week that a tainted dietary supplement triggered the failed test: "He did not go into the back alley somewhere and put a needle in his butt."
By Cowboys receivers coach Todd Haley, McDonald's, after Haley's wife, Christine, allegedly found a dead rat in a salad she bought at a franchise in Southlake, Texas. The suit states that Christine was eating with the family's au pair when they discovered the rodent, "whiskers, feet, open-mouth and all." Both women say they became sick. According to the suit, which seeks at least $1.7 million in damages, "The tremendous horror translates into continuing gastric distress."
To Rockets center Dikembe Mutombo for uttering a racial slur during a game, Magic season-ticket holder Hooman Hamzehloui. During a game in Orlando last Thursday, Hamzehloui called Mutombo a "monkey." Mutombo had to be restrained by teammates from going into the stands. In a letter to Mutombo, Hamzehloui, a real estate agent, apologized, saying he didn't realize the word was a racial insult. He also pledged $5,000 to a charity of Mutombo's choice and vowed not to attend another Magic game until Mutombo told him it was O.K. Mutombo said he has forgiven Hamzehloui, but on Monday the league banned him from all NBA games this season.
By Twins lefthander Francisco Liriano (above), his rehabilitation from the elbow injury that ended his season. Liriano, 23, was 12--3 with a 2.16 ERA as a rookie this year, but a strained ligament in his pitching arm put him on the disabled list for five weeks in midsummer and then forced him to stop pitching three weeks before Minnesota faced Oakland in the AL Division Series. He hoped the injury could be treated with rest and exercise, but he has made little progress. If he goes under the knife, Liriano could miss next season.
By the Knicks, forward Jalen Rose. The team reached an agreement to buy out the last year of his contract, which was worth $16.9 million. Rose, a 12-year vet who averaged 12.7 points per game for New York last year, started four preseason games but took only two shots.
By the United States, an invitation to play in the Copa America soccer tournament next summer in Venezuela. The Copa America determines the champion of South America, but it isn't unusual for teams from North America to be invited to the field, which is likely to include heavyweights Argentina and Brazil. The last time the U.S. played in the Copa was in 1995, when it finished fourth. "The tournament offers the dual advantage of quality opponents and a challenging environment that will provide long-term benefits for our team," U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said.
By Jack Nicklaus at halftime of Ohio State's win over Minnesota last Saturday, the i in the Buckeye band's Script Ohio routine. Nicklaus (left), who grew up in suburban Columbus and played for the Ohio State golf team from 1959 to '61, is the fifth non--band member to perform the honor, which has been a school tradition since 1935. (Others included Bob Hope and Woody Hayes. A sousaphone player is usually the dotter.) Nicklaus wore a black baseball cap with a red O logo, an homage to the one worn by his friend Hayes, the late Buckeyes coach. "I had to have my Woody hat," he said. "I was a big fan of Woody's. I was here when Woody dotted the i."
The PGA Tour's Chrysler Championship, by two juvenile burglary suspects who led police on a chase through the course. The youths, suspects in the robbery of a house near the Innisbrook Golf Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla., tried to blend in with the gallery during the second round of the Chrysler last Friday morning. When they were discovered without tournament badges, they ran from police into the woods, and at one point the chase interrupted the round of Brian Gay as he prepared to tee off on the 3rd hole. "The cops were racing up in a cart, running through the bushes and holding their gun," said Gay, who was leading the tournament at the time but finished tied for ninth. "We had to get out of the way." Only one of the suspects was caught.