Nice Sack Of Change
One of the longest-running grudge matches in pro football ended in January when the NFL's owners and players finally reached a collective bargaining agreement after five years of often rancorous haggling. In return for a salary cap that takes effect in 1994, the owners coughed up a vastly liberalized free-agency system, for which the players had been holding out. The unfettered free agent who raked in the most money the first year under the new system was defensive end Reggie White, who this season became the NFL's career leader in quarterback sacks. After getting the red-carpet treatment in visits with six teams, White left the Philadelphia Eagles for the Green Bay Packers, who made him the highest-paid defensive player in history. The four-year, $17 million contract represented an average increase of $2,625 million annually over White's "92 salary.
Byrd Takes Wing
Dennis Byrd rolled into the New York Jet training camp on Aug. 4, less than nine months after the defensive end had collided with a teammate, broken his neck and become partially paralyzed in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Early in his rehabilitation, Byrd had confided to friends that he would show up at camp, prop his feet up, sip an iced tea and give the players hell. And that's exactly what he did, breezing into practice behind the wheel of a golf cart. As a result of the swift and effective medical attention he received immediately following his injury, and through his own sheer will, Byrd has made a remarkable recovery. He now walks with a limp but has nearly full use of his arms and legs, and he insists he'll someday run for exercise again.
The Perfect Couple
On Feb. 3, shortly after 69-year-old Nini Hopper aced the 175-yard 9th hole at the Kearny (Ariz.) Golf Course, her husband, Lee, playing in another foursome behind hers, teed it up at the same hole and hit a shot that bounced a couple times and went in the cup. Later, when he learned of his wife's feat, Lee, 76, played it cool. "I asked her how her day was," Lee said. "She said, 'Oh, fine.' Then a little bit later, she said, I made a hole in one.' I asked her what hole, and she said, 'Nine.' I said, 'Good, you tied me.' It ruined her day."