At age 85, Hall of Fame end
Dante Lavelli (above). A native of Hudson, Ohio, Lavelli played three games for Paul Brown at Ohio State in 1942 before enlisting in the Army. When Lavelli returned from Europe—after fighting in the Battle of the Bulge—he rejoined his old coach, then with the Cleveland Browns, playing four years in the All-America Football Conference and seven in the NFL. Nicknamed Gluefingers, Lavelli caught 386 passes for 6,488 yards in his career and was enshrined in Canton in 1975. "If I had to throw the ball to get a first down and I had to pick any receiver in history, it would be Dante," Cleveland quarterback Otto Graham once said. "He had the best hands the game has ever seen."
At age 100, Bill Werber, who had been the oldest living former major league player. Werber, who hit .271 in an 11-year career and led the American League in steals three times, was a teammate of Babe Ruth's with the Yankees and of Jimmie Foxx's with the Philadelphia Athletics. Last year Werber criticized today's players, calling them "a grubby-looking bunch of caterwaulers."
Shane Mosley (below), the WBA world welterweight championship, his first title in five years. The 37-year-old boxer beat the heavily favored Antonio Margarito (37--6) by TKO, wearing him down with body blows and dropping him in the eighth round before finishing him off in the ninth. " Margarito's a warrior, he's going to win more belts," said Mosley (46--5). The bout was Mosley's first since he changed trainers, replacing his father, Jack, with Nazim Richardson.
A lawsuit filed against the NFL by the widow of Vikings lineman Korey Stringer over his 2001 death (SI, July 29, 2002). Kelci Stringer sued after her 335-pound husband died from heatstroke during training camp. She claimed that the league hadn't done enough to protect players from heat-related illnesses. Under the settlement, the NFL will support Stringer as she creates a heat-illness prevention program. No other terms were released.
With reckless homicide in the death of one of his players, David Jason Stinson, 36, the football coach at Louisville's Pleasure Ridge Park High. Max Gilpin, a 15-year-old lineman, collapsed after running drills during a practice last August. Gilpin, a sophomore, had a temperature of 107� when he reached the hospital, where he died three days later. According to the parent of another player, Stinson told his players they would have to run sprints until one of them quit. Stinson, who played briefly for the New York Giants, will be reassigned pending the outcome of the trial. "The one thing people can't forget in this whole situation is that I lost one of my boys that day," Stinson said last Saturday. "That's a burden I will carry with me for the rest of my life." Stinson, who pleaded not guilty on Monday, faces five years in prison if convicted.
As a hoax, the existence of Masal Bugduv, purported to be a 16-year-old Moldovan soccer prodigy. Last summer the website caughtoffside.com ran an item about young players being scouted by Arsenal. A commenter introduced Bugduv's name into the discussion, and a subsequent commenter explained why information about Bugduv was hard to come by: "His name is misspelt everywhere too as it has some sort of an umlaut thingy that makes it difficult to find." Bugduv's story worked its way up the media food chain, being picked up by other websites, respected magazines (the monthly When Saturday Comes called Bugduv "one bright spot" amid Moldova's strife) and, ultimately, the Times of London, which on Jan. 12 listed Bugduv at No. 30 on its list of the sport's top 50 rising stars. The hoax was uncovered by a blogger, Neil McDonnell, who became suspicious after discovering, among other things, that neither Masal nor Bugduv is a Moldovan name.