| DIED |
At age 74 of complications from a seizure, former heavyweight boxer Tom McNeeley. The highlight of the Michigan State football recruit's eight-year ring career came in 1961 when, riding a 23-bout unbeaten streak, he earned a shot at heavyweight champ Floyd Patterson. Although McNeeley (above, right) lost by KO in four rounds, the story was in the details: Officials had Patterson knocking McNeeley down eight times. The writers had it at nine or 10, but they "were being nice to me," McNeeley later said. "It was more like 12 or 13." McNeeley would go 37--14 with 28 knockouts before retiring in '66 to become Massachusetts boxing commissioner. In '95, McNeeley's son Peter, also a fighter, showed some of the family grit, getting up after two first-round knockdowns against Mike Tyson before his manager threw in the towel.
| ARRESTED |
And charged with felony possession of 1.5 grams of methamphetamine, former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield. The 42-year-old showed promise early in his career, winning five Cup races in the 1990s and 2000s, but he was released from two teams and, in '09, was suspended indefinitely after twice testing positive for methamphetamine. (Mayfield blames the positives on a combination of medications.) On Nov. 1, police raided his Cawtaba, N.C., home and discovered the drugs, some $100,000 in stolen property and an estimated 40 firearms. Mayfield was released on $3,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.
| PARKED |
By NASCAR, driver Kyle Busch. Last Friday at Texas Motor Speedway, Busch and Ron Hornaday Jr. repeatedly slammed into each other during a Camping World Truck Series race. In the closing laps Busch, irate, pushed Hornaday into the wall during a caution period—racing's ultimate act of aggression. NASCAR barred Busch from Saturday's Nationwide race and Sunday's Sprint Cup event, before which he was seated seventh in the Chase standings, and the suspension extinguished any chance he had at his first Cup title. After initially defending wrecking Hornaday, Busch posted an open letter on his website, stating, "I understand why I was taken out of the car... . NASCAR officials had to act."
| DIED |
At age 72 of complications from diabetes in his native Dominican Republic, outfielder Matty Alou. Over his 15-year career, Alou (left) snagged fly balls for six teams, but it was with his first, the Giants, that he delivered the pinch-hit single that won the pennant in a 1962 playoff with the Dodgers, and that he and brothers Felipe and Jesus famously formed an all-sibling outfield in '63—the only one in MLB history. Upon his trade to Pittsburgh, in '66, Matty refined his swing and won that year's batting title, improving .111 points to hit .342. Alou, a career .307 hitter, was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.
| DIED |
At age 61 of a thoracic aortic aneurysm last Thursday, less than a week after he threw out the first pitch at Game 7 of the World Series, former Cardinals ace Bob Forsch (right), who spent 15 seasons with St. Louis and went to three World Series, winning in 1982. Originally selected by the Cards in the 26th round of the '68 draft as a third baseman, Forsch converted to pitcher after two seasons in the minors and proved even better on the mound than he was at the plate (he won two NL Silver Slugger awards), throwing two no-hitters, a feat matched by only 21 pitchers since '19. Forsch and older brother Ken are the only pair of MLB brothers to have thrown no-no's.
| ANNOUNCED |
By welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., the date and site of the fighter's next bout: May 5, 2012, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The opponent? Adviser Leonard Ellerbe's statement, "We're looking to make the biggest fight possible," has fans convinced that a showdown with Manny Pacquiao is on at last. But stumbling blocks remain, including the choice of venue (Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum cites a $30 million offer to fight in Texas) and Mayweather's insistence on Olympic-style drug-testing by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Pacquiao (who faces Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday night on HBO pay-per-view) says he's fine with that. But Pacquiao begins every training camp in the Philippines, where USADA has no jurisdiction. In the end, the potential $180 million revenue pot should keep both sides at the table—and put Mayweather and Pacquiao in the ring in May.
Record distance, in yards, of the header scored last week—after three bounces—by Japanese second-division defender Ryujiro Ueda.
Career receiving yards by Hillcrest (Mo.) High senior WR Dorial Green-Beckham, who broke the 15-year-old national record with an 81-yard TD grab last week.
Soccer players, out of the 23 short-listed last week for FIFA's Ballon d'Or—the world player of the year award—who are on Barcelona.
Percent of Americans who think the NFL is too violent, according to a recent poll. Nearly 30% of women felt that way, versus 19% of men.
Pass attempts it took for Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger to reach 25,000 yards (on Sunday against the Ravens), the second fastest to that mark, after Kurt Warner.
Age of Joseph O'Brien when he became the youngest jockey to win a Breeders' Cup race, rallying St. Nicholas Abbey down the stretch at Churchill Downs last Saturday. At 5'11", O'Brien is soon expected to grow too tall to compete.
By a group of veteran Browns players upset with his erratic behavior in 2011, Cleveland running back Peyton Hillis. Hillis missed a charity children's Halloween event, skipped a game due to strep throat, ditched a rehab session to get married and has waged a public salary war with Browns brass. On Sunday he missed a third straight game with a hamstring injury. Curses! Or, perhaps, cursed? Hillis is the '11 Madden NFL cover man, a role often associated with subsequent injuries and poor play, both of which have marred Hillis's season:
*2011 stats through eight games
NFL PLAYERS POLL
Who has the best fashion sense off the field?
Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals WR 8%
Chad Ochocinco, Patriots WR 7%
Tom Brady, Patriots QB 6%
Terrell Owens, free-agent WR 5%
Ray Lewis, Ravens LB 4%
Brady has appeared on the cover of GQ five times (his wife, Gisele B√ºndchen, has appeared once too), and Jets QB Mark Sanchez, No. 12 in votes, has been on once... . Skill-position players dominated the voting, taking 15 of the top 20 spots... . Proving that there's really no accounting for taste, in a similar poll on the worst-dressed player, Ochocinco was again runner-up, behind Vikings DE Jared Allen... . In a Facebook poll SI readers voted Brady the best dressed and Colts QB Peyton Manning the worst.
Based on 250 NFL players who responded to SI's survey
HERB SCHARFMAN (MCNEELEY)
DAVID RICHARD/ICON SMI (HILLIS)
GUSTAVO CABALLERO/GETTY IMAGES FOR MAXIM (OCHOCINCO)
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS, LLC/GETTY IMAGES (FORSCH)