| RETIRED |
After 21 years in the NHL, forward Mike Modano (above), the league's alltime points leader among U.S.-born players (1,374). Modano, 41, was picked first overall by the Minnesota North Stars in the 1988 draft. The franchise relocated to Dallas in 1993, and Modano played 16 seasons with the Stars before closing out his on-ice career with the Red Wings last season. He made his official announcement last Friday at a press conference in Dallas after signing a one-day contract with his longtime team so he could retire as a Star. Modano, the last remaining active NHLer to have played in the 1980s, had also been a part of three U.S. Olympic teams, bringing home a silver medal from the 2002 Salt Lake Games.
| RESIGNED |
On Sept. 22, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe, who reached a "mutual agreement" with the conference to vacate the position he had held since September 2007. The decision came after the conference lost Colorado and Nebraska last year to the Pac-12 and Big Ten, respectively, and three days before Texas A&M's long-anticipated move to the SEC became official. Former Big Eight commissioner Chuck Neinas will act as interim leader. In an effort to prevent more schools from leaving, the conference will institute a requirement that any team departing within the next six years deliver the majority of the revenue it receives from new TV contracts to the Big 12, making those schools unappealing candidates for another conference. Missouri and Oklahoma, who had previously explored possible moves, held press conferences last week to say they're staying put for now.
| DIED |
At age 40 of unknown causes, former NFL offensive tackle Orlando (Zeus) Brown, who was found in his Baltimore home last Friday. Brown (below) played nine years in the league, three with Cleveland and six with the Ravens. He signed with the Browns as an undrafted free agent in 1993 and followed the franchise to Baltimore in '96. Brown then signed with the reactivated Cleveland team in '99 but missed the following three seasons due to an eye injury. In a game against Jacksonville, Brown was hit in the eye with a weighted penalty flag thrown by an official. Hospitalized for six days with bleeding behind the eye, he sued the NFL for $200 million, eventually settling for $25 million. In 2003 he returned to Baltimore and played for the Ravens until he retired after the '05 season.
| DIAGNOSED |
With amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)—a neurodegenerative condition commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease—former Saints defensive back Steve Gleason. Gleason, 34, is most notable for his blocked punt during New Orleans's 23--3 win over the Falcons in 2006, the first post-Katrina game in the Superdome. Signed by the Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2000, Gleason retired in '08 after spending the previous season on injured reserve. He learned of his diagnosis in January but did not go public with the news until last weekend, the fifth anniversary of his famous play. The Saints made him an honorary captain for Sunday's 40--33 win against Houston. He is setting up an organization called Team Gleason to help ALS sufferers, whose average life expectancy after diagnosis is two to five years. Gleason earned his MBA from Tulane earlier this year, and he and his wife are expecting their first child in October.
| SET |
By Patrick Makau of Kenya, the world record for the marathon. The 26-year-old Makau (left) ran 2:03:38 to win Sunday's Berlin Marathon and slice 21 seconds from the record set in the same race in 2008 by Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia. Makau followed six pacemakers through halfway in 1:01:43, then, just before 17 miles, shook Gebrselassie—who at 38 was making his marathon comeback after a brief retirement—by veering back and forth across the road. Gebrselassie dropped out soon after, and Makau went on to secure the win and the mantle of 2012 Olympic favorite. "This is very special for the Kenyans, especially beating the Ethiopians," said Makau. "My manager is getting a lot of calls from Kenya, and I hear there were lots of people watching TV in bars and breaking bottles when they saw."