UCLA running back Maurice Drew wowed at the combine. (He got compared withPriest Holmes.) Chargers QB Drew Brees (right) may cash in as a free agent.Dodger J.D. Drew had his first child (Jack David), and Drew Lachey took homethe title on Dancing with the Stars.
Not one, but five Detroit pucksters played for the gold-medal-winning Swedes(page 46)--and three of 'em, Niklas Kronwall, Nicklas Lidstrom and HenrikZetterberg, had goals in the final. Nice touch: The Wings agreed to let theplayers miss Detroit's Feb. 28 game at San Jose so they could rejoice inStockholm.
The moguler went medal-less in Turin, but unlike some U.S. Olympians, comportedhimself with class. At the NFL combine in Indy he impressed scouts with speed(4.49) and was a must-meet for Matt Leinart and Vince Young. Said Bloom,"The guys all want to know what it's like to be in the Olympics."
Dawning of an era? Seven-footer arrived in Orlando with a fresh buzz cut, went1 for 1 from the field, and heard words he'd never heard in Detroit--fanschanting "We want Dar-ko!"
Bad vibes, and not just because of a potential name change (page 22). Staracquisition Alfonso Soriano is balking at a move to the outfield, and newpitcher Brian Lawrence (right) is out five months with a torn shoulder muscle.Said Lawrence, a former Padre, "I never felt any pain until the first day Ishowed up here."
Two weeks after Villanova beat UConn--and a day after guard Randy Foye calledhis Wildcats "the bullies in the Big East"--'Nova, and Allan Ray (left)suffered a smackdown at Storrs. Meanwhile, Kentucky's Wildcats got beaten downin Baton Rouge, falling to LSU.
Barry Bonds is making reporters sign a waiver before one-on-oneinterviews--because he's in a reality show. And departed White Sox sluggerFrank Thomas got payback for his diss of team owner Jerry Reinsdorf. ChisoxG.M. Kenny Williams on Thomas: "We don't miss him ... we don't miss thewhining ... good riddance."
Timberwolf tossed a ball into the stands, beaning a fan, and got ejected. Worsefor T-Wolf fans: KG's crew had lost 10 of 15 and seem headed to another year ofno playoffs.
SI PLAYERS POLL
Would you welcome an openly gay teammate?
Yes ... 61.5%
No ... 34.8%
Don't Know ... 3.7%
Yes ... 59.6%
No ... 38.6%
Don't Know ... 1.8%
Yes ... 56.9%
No ... 39.6%
Don't Know ... 3.5%
Yes ... 79.9%
No ... 18.0%
Don't Know ... 2.1%
FAST FACTS: Polls conducted within the last 10months.... Brokeback Mountain, about gay cowboys, is up for Best Picture atSunday's Academy Awards.... Former NFL defensive tackle Esera Tuaolo, who cameout three years after retiring in 1999, released a memoir, Alone in theTrenches, last month.... Fewer than half of NFL rookies (41%) and of NBArookies (48%) responded "yes." ... Among baseball players, 67.8% ofthose who said they would rather play for the Red Sox than for the Yankees alsosaid they would welcome a gay teammate. Of those who picked the Yankees, only54.2% said "yes."
[Based on a survey of: MLB--450 players; NBA--248players; NFL--357 players; NHL--346 players]
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (BREES)
HARAZ N. GHANBARI/AP (NATIONALS)
RED WINGS ILLUSTRATION BY SI ART: COURTESY OF NHL (RED WINGS LOGO); DAMIAN STROHMEYER (GOLD MEDAL)
AL TIELEMANS (RAY)
JIM ROGASH/WIREIMAGE.COM (BLOOM)
BILL FRAKES (GARNETT)
FOCUS FEATURES/PHOTOFEST (BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN)