At age 28, major league pitcher Joe Kennedy (below). The cause of death has notbeen determined, but Kennedy's agent, Damon Lapa, said that the player's familyhad been told by doctors that he might have had an enlarged heart. Kennedy wasat his in-laws' house in Tampa when he collapsed early last Friday. In aseven-year career Kennedy, a 6'4" lefthander, was 43--61 with a 4.79 ERA.He played for three teams—the A's, Diamondbacks and Blue Jays—in 2007, going4--9.
After losing a majority decision to Ricardo Mayorga last Friday, FernandoVargas. "Absolutely, this is the end. This was my last fight," thetwo-time world champ said. The lead-up to the fight, for the WBC ContinentalAmericas super middleweight title, featured plenty of fireworks, including abrawl at their first news conference in July. And Friday's fight—one of thebest of the year—lived up to the hype. Mayorga twice dropped Vargas as the twopounded each other for long stretches. "I am not going to take anythingaway from Mayorga. He was the better man tonight," Vargas said.
By the IAAF, all of Marion Jones's results dating to Sept. 1, 2000, because ofher doping confession. Last month Jones, 32, admitted that she had usedperformance-enhancing drugs from Sept. 2000 to July 2001, a period during whichshe won five gold medals at the Sydney Olympics. The IAAF last week upheld hertwo-year ban, erased her from the track record books and said she should payback $700,000 in prize money she won since Sept. 2000. The IAAF alsorecommended that Jones's relay teammates be disqualified and lose their medalsfrom the 2000 Games.
By Real Madrid, an interest in New York Red Bulls striker Jozy Altidore(below). The 18-year-old from Livingston, N.J., scored nine goals in 22 MLSgames last year and made his debut with the U.S. national team on Nov. 17.Carlos Bucero, sporting director assistant for Real, which employs some of thebiggest names in the game, was reportedly in New York last week. "Jozy'shappy with where he's at in this stage of his career with the Red Bulls, butwe'll see what happens," said Altidore's agent, Richard Motzkin.
By Nebraska, embattled football coach Bill Callahan, whose four-year record was27--22. Under Callahan the Cornhuskers' once-proud defense became one of themost generous in the country. This year it surrendered at least 40 points sixtimes. Callahan also came under fire recently for making derogatory remarksabout former coach and current interim athletic director Tom Osborne (SI, Oct.29), who made the decision to fire Callahan.
As Texas A&M coach, Dennis Franchione. In five years his teams were 32--28.Calls for Franchione's job intensified earlier this year when it was revealedthat he had been selling an e-mail newsletter with inside information to bigboosters for $1,200 a year. On Monday the school hired Houston Texans offensivecoordinator and former Packers head coach Mike Sherman.
By 36-year-old retiree Pete Sampras in a year-end exhibition in Macau, RogerFederer, who won three of four grand slam events in 2007. The two played threematches in the Far East; Sampras, who won 14 Grand Slams before retiring in2003, said he hoped to be competitive and maybe take a set from Federer. He didbetter last Saturday, winning 7--6, 6--4. Federer—who won the first twoexhibitions, both in straight sets—was gracious in defeat. "I can go intovacation and really reflect on the year but also the exhibitions and lookforward to next year," said Federer. "It's going to be fantastic, so,no, I'm not too embarrassed [to lose]."
His improbable comeback from head and neck injuries that kept him out of theNFL for nearly two years, Chiefs running back Priest Holmes (left). In June,Holmes, 34, told the Chiefs that he wanted to play again after sitting out for22 months; last month he returned to the active lineup, making two starts inplace of the injured Larry Johnson and rushing for 137 yards on 46 carries infour games. But against the Colts on Nov. 18 he felt discomfort—he didn'tspecify what kind—and decided to retire rather than risk permanent injury orparalysis. He retires as Kansas City's alltime leading rusher, with 6,070yards.
They Said It
Islanders coach, after a 2--1 win last Saturday:
"My philosophy has always been if we score one more than them, we have agood chance of winning."
3 Interceptions Giants QB Eli Manning had returned forscores against the Vikings.
35 Years since a QB had that many returned for TDs inone game: It happened to Houston's Ed Baker, who was making his NFL debut forthe Oilers, on Dec. 17, 1972.
0 Games Baker played in the rest of his career.
32 TD passes this season by Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, anNCAA record for a freshman.
149 Points scored in Chadron State's triple OT 76--73win over Abilene Christian, the most in Division II playoff history.
$13.3 million Value of an insurance policy on worldchampion hurdler Liu Xiang's legs, donated by Chinese insurance company Ping Anas part of its sponsorship of the country's Olympic team.
36 Consecutive rushing TDs by the Chiefs' LarryJohnson, an NFL record for the longest streak by one player on a team, beforeKolby Smith ran for a score in a loss to the Raiders on Sunday.
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
Major League Baseball is auctioning off a bottle of bugspray from Game 2 of the ALDS.
TOM DIPACE (KENNEDY)
HOWARD C. SMIT/ISIPHOTOS.COM (ALTIDORE)
BOB ROSATO (PICTURE THIS)
PICTURE THIS NOV. 24 A Florida fan supports Tim Tebow (page 46) for the Heisman.
JOSH UMPHREY/GETTY IMAGES (HOLMES)
AMY SANCETTA/AP (CHAMBERLAIN)
JIM MCISAAC/GETTY IMAGES (NOLAN)