His MMA debut, against an opponent roughly half his age, 47-year-old former NFL and USFL running back Herschel Walker (above). The Heisman Trophy winner in 1982 and an Olympic bobsledder in '92, Walker began training for his latest endeavor in November. Last Saturday he faced 26-year-old Greg (Dangerous) Nagy at a Sunrise, Fla., Strikeforce event. Despite an upright stance and unorthodox punch, Walker dominated with a barrage of late strikes and got the stop two minutes into the third round. Walker called his fight "the hardest thing I've ever done" and said that his trainers would determine if and when he'll fight again.
Of cancer last Friday at age 78, former All-Pro Philadelphia Eagles defensive back and sports broadcaster Tom Brookshier. A 10th-round draft pick out of Colorado in 1953, Brookshier had eight interceptions as a rookie before a two-year Air Force stint put his career on hiatus. When he returned, he became one of the mainstays of Philadelphia's last NFL title team, which won the 1960 championship game over Vince Lombardi's Packers 17--13. A broken leg the next year ended his career at age 30, but by '74 he was a football fixture again, this time as an analyst alongside play-by-play man Pat Summerall at CBS. They became running mates and one of the sport's fabled announcing teams, calling three Super Bowls before "Brookie" was replaced in '81 by John Madden.
The number of births in the Catalonia region of Spain in late January, nine months after F.C. Barcelona won La Liga and Champions League hardware within a 25-day span. According to a survey conducted by a local radio station, COMRadio, hospitals saw an almost 50% increase in children born last week. Locals have dubbed the babies "the Iniesta generation" after winger Andrés Iniesta, who scored a 93rd-minute goal to lift Barca to the Champions League final on May 27. "When we notice some sort of surge, we look for the reason," a staffer at the city's Quiron Clinic told the newspaper El Mundo, "and it's evident that the cause of the increase is the euphoria of Barca fans."
By the Calgary Flames to the Toronto Maple Leafs, defenseman Dion Phaneuf (right), a former first-team All-Star, in a seven-player blockbuster deal. In four-plus seasons in Calgary, Phaneuf, 24, demonstrated all the eye-catching attributes of an elite blueliner—a Hammer of Thor shot, seismic checks, swift skating—but deficiencies in decision-making and a middling outlet pass held him back. After securing Phaneuf on Sunday, Toronto sent winger Jason Blake and goaltender Vesa Toskala to Anaheim for goalie Jean-Sébastien Giguère, who backstopped the Ducks' 2007 Stanley Cup victory. In a 30-minute span the team traded six of the 20 players who had dressed the previous night.
By ESPN, freelance columnist Paul Shirley, for a Jan. 26 blog post in which he suggested that earthquake-afflicted Haitians "use a condom once in a while" and stop building "flimsy shack-towns." Shirley has played for 11 teams since 2001, including the Phoenix Suns, for whom he was riding the bench in '04 when he achieved celebrity status as one of the first to blog candidly about the life of a pro athlete. That earned Shirley his own column, "My So-Called Career," on ESPN.com; he also contributed to a site called flipcollective.com, which first posted his off-color thoughts on Haiti. Shirley wrote again last Thursday, stating, "My goal was to question the psychology of donating and the nature of responsibility.... Regardless of the outcry that followed, I think I did those things."