Of an apparent heart attack at age 56, poker player Chip Reese (below). Thoughhe was a three-time World Series of Poker winner, Reese was better known forhis acumen in high-stakes cash games. (The great Doyle Brunson called him"arguably the greatest poker player who ever lived.") In 1974 hestopped in Vegas on his way to Stanford Law School. He turned $400 into $66,000and never made it to Stanford. In 1991 he became the youngest player inductedinto the Poker Hall of Fame.
At age 45, surfer Peter Davi. The 6'3", 240-pound big-wave man drowned atGhost Trees, a surf break off the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Monterey, Calif.Davi helped popularize the spot, and he also made a name for himself onHawaii's North Shore and at the treacherous Mavericks, a spot about 100 milesnorth of Monterey. "Everybody knew him," surfer Tyler Smith told theSan Francisco Chronicle. "He was kind of like the godfather."
In both elbows in an incident involving Jamaal Tinsley, Joey Qatato, theIndiana Pacers equipment manager. Qatato was with Tinsley in the player'sRolls-Royce outside an Indianapolis hotel around 3:30 a.m. on Sunday when thecar came under fire. Earlier, Tinsley had been in an altercation outside a clubwith several people who police said were giving him a hard time about hisexpensive cars. Tinsley was not injured in the shooting. Qatato, 48, wastreated and released; police are looking for the gunmen.
For 15 games each for violating baseball's drug policy, Baltimore outfielderJay Gibbons (below) and Royals outfielder Jose Guillen. Both were named inmedia reports as having received human growth hormone and steroids, but neitherplayer failed a drug test. Their punishments coincide with the more lenientpenalties in place at the time that their violations are believed to haveoccurred. Guillen, who signed a three-year, $36 million deal with Kansas Citythe day the suspension was announced, will file a grievance. Gibbons will notappeal. "I am deeply sorry for the mistakes that I have made," he said."I have no excuses and bear sole responsibility for my decisions."
As Florida State's "head coach in waiting" by school president T.K.Wetherell, Seminoles offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher. Wetherell alsoannounced that coach Bobby Bowden will be back for a 33rd year; Bowden saidhe'd keep his options open after this season. Under his new deal Fisher willreportedly receive a raise that will bring his salary up from $425,000 to$700,000. When Bowden, who has won more games (373) than any Division I coach,decides to step down, his job will go to the 42-year-old. "This gives mesome peace," said Fisher. "I'm content to wait for it."
To the Division I-AA championship game, Appalachian State. The Mountaineersmade waves in September when they upset then No. 5 Michigan. Since then, theyhave won 11 of 13 games, including a 55--35 win over Richmond in last Friday'ssemifinal. Their opponent in this Friday's final is Delaware, which got 243passing yards from QB Joe Flacco (above) against Southern Illinois. That mightbe a good omen for the Mountaineers. The Blue Hens' helmets are virtuallyidentical to Michigan's iconic headgear.
To a one-year contract with the Brewers that will pay him $10 million, relieverEric Gagne, 31. The 2003 NL Cy Young winner had a 6.75 ERA last season forBoston and was so bad down the stretch he was only used in blowouts in theplayoffs The Brewers lost closer Francisco Cordero to free agency, but G.M.Doug Melvin said Gagne wouldn't necessarily inherit the job. "We're justadding depth," he said.
To a one-year deal with the Rangers, Milton Bradley, 29. The temperamentaloutfielder saw his 2007 season end bizarrely. On Sept. 23 he accidentallystepped on the thumb of Padres teammate Mike Cameron, who was only able to playone more game. The next inning, Bradley—who hit 11 homers in just 144 atbats—tore his ACL when Padres manager Bud Black tried to restrain him fromarguing with umpire Mike Winters. San Diego wound up missing the playoffs byone game; Winters was suspended for five games for baiting Bradley.
33 Years since an NFL player had returned a punt and afumble for touchdowns in the same game before the Packers' Will Blackmon did soon Sunday.
34 Assists by Grinnell College guard David Arseneault,in a win over North Central University of Minnesota last Saturday, an NCAAall-divisions record.
$51.3 million Amount two-time Formula One champFernando Alonso will earn per season under the two-year contract he signed withRenault last week.
$608 million Value of the New York Knicks, the NBA'smost valuable franchise for the third year in a row in rankings by Forbesmagazine.
.357 The Knicks' winning percentage over the past threeyears.
12.5 million Households that watched the Patriots' Dec.3 Monday Night Football win over the Ravens, the largest audience ever for acable broadcast.
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
An online auction site in New Zealand is selling foodscraps—including a french fry and a half-eaten corncob—from meals David Beckhamhad while in the country.
They Said It
Russian tennis player, on the similarities between his homeland and theU.S.:
"We both owned Alaska at one point."
STEVE GRAYSON/WIREIMAGE (REESE)
MITCH STRINGER/CAL SPORT MEDIA (GIBBONS)
RICHARD LAUTENS/TORONTO STAR/THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP (PICTURE THIS)
PICTURETHIS DEC. 8 Speedo-clad Santa Clauses running for charity inToronto.
CLIVE BRUNSKILL/GETTY IMAGES (TURSUNOV)
KEVIN NOVAK/CAL SPORT MEDIA (FLACCO)