By commissioner Roger Goodell, effective in Week 3 of the NFL season, Eaglesquarterback Michael Vick (above). After Vick completed his prison term forrunning a dogfighting ring, Goodell ruled that Vick could sign with a team butwould be under suspension. Goodell said he'd consider Vick's reinstatement nolater than Week 6; last week, citing Vick's "real progress," Goodellcleared him to play earlier. "I was surprised, but I'm just blessed to havean opportunity," said Vick, who had 45 yards on 11-for-15 passing plus onerushing TD in his two preseason appearances.
And accused of choking a reality TV star acquaintance, Chargers linebackerShawne Merriman. Tila Tequila (whose real name is Tila Nguyen), who starred inMTV's A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, called police early Sunday and accusedMerriman of assaulting her. Merriman, 25, was taken into custody when Tequilasigned a citizen's arrest warrant charging him with battery and falseimprisonment, both of which are felonies. The alleged incident occurred asTequila was leaving the suburban San Diego residence of Merriman, who said in astatement that he was trying to prevent Tequila, 27, from driving because sheappeared intoxicated. Merriman, a two-time All-Pro who served a four-gamesuspension for testing positive for steroids, was freed on bail.
With inoperable cancer, Hall of Fame broadcaster Ernie Harwell, 91. Thelongtime voice of the Tigers, who retired in 2002 after 42 years with the team,told the Detroit Free Press that he has a tumor located in the area of his bileduct. Harwell has decided against any other form of treatment. The alwaysoptimistic Harwell said, "Whatever's in store, I'm ready for a newadventure. That's the way I look at it." Asked what he'd want written abouthim, Harwell told the Free Press, "I don't want to make it too sweetbecause I don't want to get diabetes as well as this other stuff."
At age 74 after a lengthy illness, Hall of Fame jockey Ismael (Milo) Valenzuela(right), whose bid for the 1958 Triple Crown ended when his mount, Tim Tam,broke down near the end of the Belmont. After winning the Kentucky Derby andthe Preakness, Tim Tam was a 3--20 favorite in the Belmont, and Valenzuela hadthe colt where he wanted him—1½ lengths off the lead—at the top of the stretch.Then Tim Tam took a bad step and fractured his right foreleg but stillstaggered home second. "I couldn't pull him up until the clubhouseturn," Valenzuela recalled last year. "Then I felt the tears start tocome." Valenzuela was credited with saving the horse's life by holding TimTam's leg off the ground until help arrived. (The horse lived until 1982.)Later in his career Valenzuela, who won more 2,500 races, was Kelso's regularrider for three of the gelding's five straight Horse of the Year campaigns inthe 1960s.
At age 43 in a one-car accident, John Stephens, the 1988 NFL Offensive Rookieof the Year. A surprise first-round pick by the Patriots out of NorthwesternState (La.), the 6'1", 220-pound running back bulled his way to 1,168 yardsin '88, then a team rookie rushing record. ("He would be a tremendouslinebacker," Pats coach Raymond Berry said at the time.) Stephens led NewEngland in rushing the next two seasons, then was moved to fullback in '91. Heretired two years later with 3,440 career yards. Stephens was killed when heapparently lost control of his pickup and crashed into some trees on a ruralhighway near Shreveport, La.
To six months in prison for income tax evasion, former major league pitcherJerry Koosman, 66. Two weeks after he was honored at Citi Field along with Metsteammates from the 1969 world champions, the lefty was handed his sentence inMadison, Wis. Koosman, who won 222 games in a 19-year career, didn't file taxreturns from 2002 through '04, defrauding the government of approximately$80,000. When he pleaded guilty in May, Koosman said he believed that thegovernment only had the authority to tax federal employees, corporate workersand District of Columbia residents. "Like most people in their 60s, I'vemade some bad decisions in my life," Koosman said.
After a 12-year NBA career, forward Bruce Bowen (below), a move that will be arelief to some of the league's top scorers. An eight-time member of the NBAAll-Defensive team, the 6'7" Bowen did the dirty work on three Spurschampionship teams of this decade. Bowen was unafraid to launch a bigthree-pointer (he shot a respectable 39.3% from behind the arc), but it was hisperimeter defense that got him noticed. In 2006 he was the last cut from theU.S. team for the world championships, despite the fact that Bowen was 35 andhad averaged only 7.5 points per game the previous season. An undrafted freeagent out of Cal State--Fullerton, Bowen kicked around the CBA and playedoverseas before making his NBA debut as a 25-year-old in 1996. "I hope mylegacy would be as someone that never was satisfied with just being where theywere," he said.
Pitches Pittsburgh's Ross Ohlendorf needed to strike out the side in theseventh inning against St. Louis last Saturday; he became the 40th pitcher todo so.
Value of the Cowboys, the highest of any NFL franchise according to the mostrecent valuations by Forbes.
Value of the Raiders, the lowest in the NFL.
Yankees with 20 or more homers, after Jorge Posada hit his 20th lastThursday.
Other teams with seven players who hit 20 homers: the 1996 Orioles, the 2000Blue Jays and the '05 Rangers.
Touchdown passes for Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs in a 31--27 loss to No. 6Ohio State last Saturday; the Midshipmen had only six all last season.
Vanderbilt freshmen—Zac Stacy and Warren Norman—who rushed for 100 yards intheir first game for the Commodores, a 45--0 win over Western Carolina; it wasthe first time two freshmen hit the 100-yard mark in the same game in schoolhistory.
THEY SAID IT
Red Sox G.M., in a text message to The Boston Globe, on the prospect of formerpitcher Curt Schilling (left) running for the Senate: "He would be good atfilibustering."
DAVID BERGMAN (VICK)
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (BOWEN)
AL TIELEMANS (SCHILLING)