... the improbable playoff-bound football team from the California School for the Deaf, in Riverside? It lost its playoff game 41--27 to Malibu High.
... everybody's favorite high school cross-country runner, Ben Comen, who has cerebral palsy yet refuses help when he falls five or six times a race? Next September he'll run for Presbyterian College in South Carolina and study premed.
... the gay high school linebacker and team captain who outed himself to teammates during the season? Corey Johnson is working on a political campaign in New York State. "I think we'll see someone, a fairly big-name athlete, come out soon," Johnson speculates.
... the kid who was the No. 1--rated fifth-grader in American hoops? Well, Kendall (Butter) Marshall is now the nation's fifth-ranked seventh-grader, according to www.hoopscooponline.com, averaging more than 30 points a game for his middle school in Dumfries, Va.
... Casey Martin, who ruined golf when he won the right to play the PGA Tour with a cart because of a rare circulatory disorder in his right leg? Wait, that's what golf snobs said would happen. It never did. Martin's career, however, is coming to an end. Asked what's working well with his game lately, Martin replied, "My cart."
... the blind New York Islanders fan who was taken to her first Islanders game after 30 years as a radio fan? Miriam Stone has been to three games now, courtesy of the team, but she's mad as hell at the NHL owners. "They're nothin' without the players," she says.
... Dion Rich, the Super Bowl sneak-in artist? Turns out my column ended his career. Cops escorted him into the next two Super Bowls, thus saving the NFL the embarrassment. This year, in Jacksonville, they arrested him as he tried to enter the stadium with a counterfeit ticket. (Rich says he didn't know it was a fake.) He missed his first Super Bowl since 1969, sitting in jail.
... the Middlebury freshmen who "pick up Butch"? The tradition continues. Butch Varno, who is 58 and has cerebral palsy, has been picked up at home and taken to and from almost every varsity football and basketball game for 44 years. Next fall Butch will be taking advanced reading classes, so he's recruiting five female tutors from the student body.
You go, Butch. ?
? If you have a comment for Rick Reilly, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org