After 18 big league seasons, during which he logged an MLB-record 601 saves, relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman (above). An 11th-round pick out of Arizona in 1989 by the Reds, who played him at shortstop for two years in the minors before giving him a crack at the mound, Hoffman got his first two major league saves with the Marlins in '93 and his last 47 with the Brewers from 2009 to '10. In between, he had 552 with the Padres, for whom he's expected to work in an undefined role next year. Considered by many a first-ballot Hall of Fame candidate, Hoffman (61--75 with a 2.87 ERA) had a renowned changeup, which paved the way to seven All-Star appearances. He finishes his career 42 saves ahead of the next player on the alltime list, the Yankees' Mariano Rivera.
In an altercation with Los Angeles police, former Middle Tennessee State cornerback Reggie Doucet, who played for the Blue Raiders in the 2006 Motor City Bowl. A native of Prunedale, Calif., who had given up football to work as a trainer and a model, Doucet, 25, was said to have argued with a cab driver over a fare last Friday; he then allegedly stripped naked and danced on cars before police responded to a "disturbing the peace" call around 3:30 a.m. According to witnesses, Doucet, who was believed to be intoxicated, evaded police; when officers got close, he allegedly punched two of them. Doucet attempted to take a pistol from one officer's holster; it was at that point that an officer shot Doucet in the head. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
In connection with the operation of a methamphetamine lab, Vikings quarterback Brett Favre's younger sister, Brandi. Police say Brandi and five other people were in a Diamondhead, Miss., condo when a Jan. 12 raid there turned up nine grams of meth (worth roughly $1,000) and another 10 grams cooking in a bathtub. Favre, 34, faces felony charges that could result in as much as $1 million in fines and up to 30 years in prison for each count; she was released a day later on $40,000 bond. (Favre's lawyer said he still had to "sort [the facts] out.") For the former Miss Teen Mississippi, the arrest was the latest in a string of run-ins with the law: She was charged with unlawful use of a weapon in a 1996 drive-by shooting (that charge was removed from her record after she participated in a diversion program), and she was arrested for stealing from a Biloxi department store in '99.
As director of public health and safety in Stamford, Conn., former major league manager and player Bobby Valentine. A lifelong resident of Stamford, where he owns Bobby V's, a popular sports restaurant, Valentine was a utility player for 10 years with five teams, then managed for 24 years for clubs including the Rangers, the Mets—whom he led to the 2000 World Series—and Japan's Chiba Lotte Marines. Reportedly a candidate for the Brewers' and Mets' managerial openings, he was hired in December as an announcer on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, a job he will keep. In his government job Valentine will coordinate communication between police, fire and emergency medical services, and will earn $10,000 annually, which he plans to donate to charity.
That he would not return to Auburn for his senior season, quarterback Cam Newton (above), whose Heisman- and BCS-championship-winning 2010 campaign was marred by eligibility issues because his father, Cecil, sought $180,000 from Mississippi State in a pay-to-play proposal. Last Thursday, three days after the Tigers beat Oregon 22--19 for Newton's second national title in two years (he led Blinn College in Texas to a junior college championship in '09), the 21-year-old junior transfer suggested that his father was still a part of his decision-making process, calling the choice "difficult for me and my family." A dual-threat option quarterback (2,854 yards passing, 1,473 rushing in '10) with passing-accuracy questions, Newton is projected to go in the mid--to-late first round in the NFL draft, April 28--30.
By Nasser Al Attiyah, the car class of the Dakar Rally, a 5,900-mile off-road race through Argentina and Chile. The Qatari driver, the rally's first Arab winner, beat his closest competitor in the two-week, 13-stage race by more than 49 minutes. Though Argentines would celebrate their own Alejandro Patronelli's win in the quad class, on Saturday, the nation also had to grapple with the dangers of the race after a 42-year-old farmworker, Marcelo Reales, died Thursday in a collision with Argentine driver Eduardo Amor. It was just the latest fatality in the history of the rally, which has had more than 50 deaths in the last 30 years. Though organizers of the event—which moved to South America in 2009 after originating in 1979 as a race from Paris to Dakar, Senegal—have taken steps to improve safety, such as mandating that racers slow down within town limits, it remains a largely lawless affair. Says France's Hubert Auriol, three-time Dakar champion and former director of the rally, "The organizers do everything they can to ensure security ... [but] everyone is master of his own fate."
THEY SAID IT
Buffalo linebacker, on the 2011 prospects of the Bills, who were 4--12 this season:
"They're probably four or five games away from being a 9--7 or 10--6 team, easily."
Final score in the Lakers' Jan. 11 win over the Cavs. L.A. fell one basket short of becoming the second NBA team to double up an opponent.
Technical fouls—all for arguing—called against the T-Wolves in a 10-second period by ref Ken Mauer, a St. Paul native, during a Wolves-Spurs game in Minneapolis last week.
Words spoken per minute by CBS's Kevin Harlan according to a study of NFL play-by-play men from Week 1. Fox's Kenny Albert was least talkative, at 55.4 words per minute.
Players from Akron's NCAA champion men's soccer team who were among the first eight taken in last Thursday's MLS draft.
Pounds put on in retirement by Zenyatta, who retired with a horse racing record of 19--1 in December and who is settling into her new role as a broodmare at Lane's End Farm in Versailles, Ky.
FSU's basketball record against No. 1--ranked opponents dating back to 2001--02, including three upsets of top-ranked Duke, whom they beat 66--61 on Jan. 12. The 'Noles are 21--57 against all other ranked foes in that time period.
LENNY IGNELZI/AP (HOFFMAN)
ROBERT BECK (NEWTON)
DAVID DUPREY/AP (MERRIMAN)