As the Capitals' backup goalie for last Friday's game against Ottawa, Brett Leonhardt (above), a producer for the team's website. It was no gimmick: Starter José Théodore hurt his hip in the morning skate, and minor leaguer Simeon Varlamov couldn't get to Washington for the start of the game. So the 6'7" Leonhardt, who played for two Division III schools, wore number 80 and sat on the end of the Caps' bench until Varlamov arrived. By the second period Leonhardt, 26, was back in his usual position in the Verizon Center press box. "It was just very surreal," he said. "It was a blur, went by real quick."
Its operations for the 2009 season, the Arena Football League. Owners of the 16 teams in the 22-year-old league voted to cancel the season in order to give owners time to come up with a more stable business model. The league is planning to resume play in 2010. "I think it's a historic day for the league," Cleveland Gladiators owner James Ferraro told The New York Times. "I think this league will be much, much stronger, and it will be here for a long time because of what happened."
Her final hole as a pro, Annika Sorenstam (below). The 10-time major winner played her final LPGA event last month at the ADT Championship and missed the cut (SI, Dec. 1). She wrapped up her European tour career with a seventh-place finish at the Dubai Ladies Masters, sinking an eight-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole. "I felt at peace," said Sorenstam, who is engaged to be married next month.
By the host of a suburban Detroit card show, an appearance by Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, after the Republican senator from Kentucky voted against the auto industry bailout. Bunning, who spent nine years with the Tigers, had been scheduled to sell autographs for up to $55. "Being a business owner in Michigan for over 30 years, I simply cannot support anyone who, in my opinion, votes against the economic well-being of our great state," James Koester, who owns the Gibraltar Trade Center, told The Detroit News.
Out of as much as $500 million, Mets owner Fred Wilpon. Last week Bernard Madoff's investment firm collapsed; federal authorities alleged it was nothing more than a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. Wilpon is a longtime friend of Madoff's, and he invested large sums of his own money and money from his investment firm, Sterling Equities, with Madoff, who has been charged with securities fraud. The Mets issued a statement saying the news would not affect the team's day-to-day operations, but Wilpon could come under pressure to raise money to reimburse Sterling investors.
As an extortion victim in an indictment against a man alleged to be the head of a prostitution ring, Al Unser Jr. According to the Albuquerque district attorney's office, the two-time Indy 500 champ was blackmailed by 47-year-old Bobby McMullin, who claimed to have a compromising videotape of Unser and threatened to release it unless he was paid $750,000. Prosecutor Mark Drebing said that the video was not related to the prostitution ring and that Unser was not accused of being a client. "I don't think Little Al did anything wrong," Drebing said. "For our purposes, he is listed as a victim. He was extorted."
By the Dallas Stars, Sean Avery. The embattled forward served a six-game suspension for making a crude remark about other players' dating his ex-girlfriends. Instead of reinstating Avery, who is in the first year of a four-year, $15.5 million contract, Dallas co--general manager Brett Hull announced that the 27-year-old would not return to the team. Hull did not say if Avery's contract would be bought out or if he would be traded. "I thought [Sean] could bring a little bit of a change in our locker room and on the ice," Hull said. "Obviously, it went overboard and didn't work out."
They Said It
Sunderland midfielder, on the English Premier League team's recent form: "We just have to get our heads down and continue to start winning games."
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
The Yankees asked the city of New York for $370 million in bonds for their new stadium the same week they signed CC Sabathia to a $161 million contract.
MITCHELL LAYTON/NHLI/GETTY IMAGES (LEONHARDT)
DAVID CANNON/GETTY IMAGES (SORENSTAM)
LEE SMITH/ACTION IMAGES/ICON SMI (EDWARDS)