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Original Issue

Men of Steel at the Wheel

David Beckham's good deed evokes past acts of automotive altruism

Car trouble?

David Beckham is at your beck and call. Last week a photographer and his two children were stranded roadside in Ware, England, when the Galaxy midfielder stopped amid traffic and helped push their car to safety. Becks's save, though magnanimous, doesn't quite measure up to these five sporting Supermen, who have taken roadside assistance to another level:

May 15, 2005

After a fiery wreck in which two semis overturn, Georgia offensive linemen Russ Tanner and Dennis Roland spring into action. The duo dial 911, pull a baby and two adults through a passenger window and drag two more survivors from the flames, depositing them safely in a ditch.

Nov. 4, 2009

Hours after his Yankees finish off the Phillies in the World Series, manager Joe Girardi is driving home when he sees a mangled vehicle, the result of a collision with a retaining wall, off to one side. He pulls over, darts through traffic, flags down help and comforts the unhurt woman, who doesn't recognize her hero. "The guy wins a World Series, and what does he do? He stops to help," a responding officer says of Girardi, who explains he "[has] to get going" and dashes.

April 28, 2010

Fresh off of his team's having blown a 3--1 playoff advantage with a Game 7 loss to the Canadiens, Capitals center Brooks Laich is driving home when he spots a mother and daughter, decked out in Caps gear, standing by a car with a blown tire. Laich, dressed in a suit, spends 40 minutes fixing the flat, apologizes for the loss and shares a few hugs. "I figured my tire expertise outweighed [theirs]," he says.

Oct. 23, 2010

Pittsburgh men's basketball head coach Jamie Dixon, on his way home from practice, stops to aid a woman whose car swerved on an interstate, hit a wall and flipped. He rescues the driver by pulling her through the cracked windshield—gashing his hands in the process—and attempts to pull free a passenger before authorities take over. Says a bandaged Dixon afterward, "I did what anybody else, I think, in Pittsburgh would have done."

Jan. 22, 2011

Five East Gwillimbury (Ont.) Eagles minor league hockey players and their coach, all on their way home from a win, strike a deer with their car and are watching when another vehicle swerves to avoid the carcass, ending up in a ditch. The teammates dig barehanded to reach the auto, which is buried in snow, and extract five unharmed senior citizens (bonus Superman points). Police recommend the players for citizen commendations.