By Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie (above), his own marathon world record, with a
time of 2:03:59 in the Berlin Marathon on Sunday. The time was 27 seconds
better than the previous mark, which Gebrselassie, who skipped the Olympic
marathon because of his concerns about pollution in Beijing, set in Berlin last
year. Gebrselassie, 35, was unable to train for a week before the race because
of a calf injury. "Today I had some doubts ... but it was really very
good," said the Ethiopian, who has won Berlin three times. "Berlin is
my lucky city."
At age 90, former first baseman and two-time American League batting champion
Mickey Vernon. The seven-time All-Star played for five teams from 1939 to '60
(with two years off for service in World War II), spending most of his career
with the Washington Senators. He won batting crowns in 1946 and '53 with
Washington, and in 1961 he became the first manager of the expansion Senators
after the original franchise moved to Minnesota.
At age 72 after a battle with leukemia, former Giants cornerback Dick Lynch. As
a Notre Dame star Lynch famously scored on a late touchdown run to give the
Irish a 7--0 win over Oklahoma in 1957, ending the Sooners' 47-game winning
streak. He debuted in the NFL with the Redskins the following year and was
traded to the Giants, where he starred from 1959 through '66. Lynch was known
for his toughness and nose for the ball: He had 37 career interceptions and
twice led the league. After retiring, Lynch became the Giants' radio color
commentator, a job he held until last season.
To a 400-meter sprint by U.S. Olympic relay gold medalist Mary Wineberg,
Bengals receiver Chad Johnson. During the Beijing Games, Johnson, who won a
footrace with a horse last year, said he wanted to swim against Michael Phelps.
Last week, in an interview with FSN that was posted on YouTube, Wineberg made a
different challenge. "I really think I could give him a run for his
money," said Wineberg, who won gold in the 4 × 400-meter relay in Beijing.
"So I'm open to hearing back from him." As of Monday, Johnson had not
By the NFL and NBC on Sunday, that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will
perform during halftime of the Super Bowl. The halftime show, once little more
than a source of background music provided by marching bands, has become a
showcase for iconic popular-music acts: the Rolling Stones, U2, Janet Jackson
and Justin Timberlake, Prince and Tom Petty have played in recent years. The
Super Bowl will be played on Feb. 1 in Tampa.
At age 37 after 15 NFL seasons, Patriots receiver Troy Brown (below). An
eighth-round draft choice out of Marshall in 1993, the 5'10" Brown seemed
too small and slow to star in the NFL. But he holds the New England record for
career catches (557), played in the 2002 Pro Bowl and became a versatile
threat, returning kicks and punts and even filling in at cornerback in 2004
when the Patriots' secondary was depleted by injuries. (He made three
interceptions.) "You can't outrun Father Time," said Brown, who hadn't
played this season. "It's just kind of hard to let it go."
To a 15-year low, the major league home run rate. There was an average of 2.01
homers per game this season, down from 2.04 last year and the lowest rate since
the 1.78 in 1993. (The alltime high was 2.34 in 2000.) The homer drop was
accompanied by an overall dip in offensive stats, particularly in the American
League. Dustin Pedroia's 118 runs were the fewest by an AL leader since 1992,
and Alex Rodriguez's .573 slugging percentage was the lowest by an AL leader
since '89. "I think the steroid testing has something to do with it,"
said Angels outfielder Torii Hunter. "I'd say it's a small percentage, but
of course it's going to have an impact."