- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
| DIED |
At age 87, College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Pete Pihos (above). An All-America for Indiana at end and fullback—whose college career was interrupted by an Army stint in World War II—Pihos debuted in 1947 for the Eagles, who saw him as more of a split end. A year later, he helped Philadelphia win the first of two straight NFL titles with a 31-yard touchdown catch in the '49 championship game. A five-time All-Pro, he led the league in receptions in each of his last three seasons before retiring in '55. In 2004 Pihos's ex-wife tried to raise money to care for his Alzheimer's Disease and dementia by auctioning a football signed by Hall of Famers, but the high-bidder's checks bounced. The NFL and its players' union, among others, stepped in to provide financial aid.
| DIED |
At age 27 of undisclosed causes, former Canucks center Rick Rypien. The Alberta native, who this off-season signed with Winnipeg after spending six seasons with Vancouver, stood just 5'11", 190 pounds but had nonetheless earned a reputation for his willingness to fight, dropping his gloves 39 times in a 119-game career. In the last three seasons, however, Rypien (right) took two leaves of absence, most recently last October after he accosted an official and a fan; and the Jets' assistant G.M., Craig Heisinger, disclosed that Rypien had suffered depression for at least 10 years. On Aug. 15, a family member discovered Rypien's body at his home after he missed a team physical. Police have ruled the death "not suspicious."
| SHOT |
In the parking lot outside of Candlestick Park in San Francisco following a preseason game last Saturday between the 49ers and the Raiders, two as-of-yet-unidentified men. Police say that one of the victims, a 25-year-old male who was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with an obscene reference to the home team, was shot two to four times in the stomach before he drove to a gate to alert security, at which point he was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with life-threatening injuries. (He was upgraded to fair condition on Monday.) The second fan, a 20-year-old male, was shot in the parking lot and treated for superficial facial injuries. (A third man was reportedly assaulted and knocked unconscious mid-game in a restroom; he was also deemed in fair condition on Monday.) Following the game, authorities say they removed a male fan wearing a Raiders jersey whom they considered a suspect in the shootings, from a party bus.
| FLOORED |
When he was hit in the face by the head portion of a bobblehead figurine that had been thrown at him by a fan during a game against the Portland Timbers on Aug. 17, Sporting Kansas City goalie Jimmy Nielsen. The home keeper was struck in the 25th minute, shortly after a K.C. score, and lay on the pitch for four minutes before he was able to stand. (He resumed playing after his left cheek was stitched up.) Afterward, team officials say they were able to use hi-res security cameras to pinpoint two fans who had thrown that night's giveaway (which was made in the likeness of forward Omar Bravo) onto the field, and police arrested both suspects, one a former Kansas State walk-on quarterback. Asked about the mishap, Nielsen later joked, "First I thought I walked into the post. Then I realized I was a long way from the post."
| RETIRED |
Following 12 NHL seasons, including a Stanley Cup win with Colorado in 2001, former Avalanche, Flames, Sabres and Rangers center Chris Drury. The 35-year-old Trumbull, Conn., native, who broke into the league in 1998 (nine years after his five-hitter, at age 12, led Trumbull to victory at the '89 Little League World Series) with a Calder Trophy--winning campaign, hung up his skates last Friday after being hampered last season by hand and knee injuries. Drury ended his career ranked 30th among American scorers, with 615 points, and he stands fifth all time in playoff-game-winning goals, with 17.