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Original Issue

Not Necessarily the Newsiest

Remembering the year's least monumental moments—the punch lines that made headlines

A Teachable Moment About Planning Ahead

Pittsburgh won the BBVA Compass Bowl in January, beating Kentucky 27--10. A few weeks earlier its coach Dave Wannstedt was forced out. New coach Mike Haywood spent New Year's Eve in jail on domestic violence charges, leading to his firing. And assistant Phil Bennett was acting head coach in the Bowl win—one day after he accepted an offer to coach Baylor.

Oh, Just Hittin' Some Balls.Wassup?

When a ringing phone interrupted match point of Caroline Wozniacki's Swedish Open meeting with Alizé Cornet in July, action stopped as fans scanned the stands for the guilty party. They didn't have to look far; the cell was ringing inside Cornet's bag.

Yesterday, All My Troubles Seemed So Far Away ...

Red Sox owner John Henry, in February, commenting on the $142 million, seven-year signing of leftfielder Carl Crawford: "We have a commitment to winning. He was the right player for us." Eight months later, after Crawford hit .255 with a .289 OBP, Henry again: "I was never in favor of signing him."

... Now It Looks As Though They're Here to Stay

U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati, in June: "Bob [Bradley] is our national team coach." Gulati, six weeks later: "We wish him the best in his future endeavors"—endeavors Bradley would be undertaking due to having been fired by Gulati.

In the Event of Ground Attacks, the Javelin Guys Would Be Ready

British defense secretary Philip Hammond suggested that surface-to-air missiles might be put in place to guard against potential terrorist air strikes during next year's London Olympics.

How to Get Back in Your Coach's Good Graces, Steps 1--4

After Leonard Young was kicked off Fresno Pacific's basketball team in November, the freshman went on a rampage: He allegedly tore up his own apartment; ran naked in the streets, pounding on windows of stores and cars; assaulted two women; and eventually commandeered a police car. Young was eventually controlled by three purposeful Taser zaps.

His Contributions to the Game Being Considered Somewhat Nebulous and All

A six-foot statue of Michael Jackson was unveiled outside the stadium of the English soccer team Fulham, drawing a less than enthusiastic response from club backers. Team owner Mohamed Al Fayed, a Jackson devotee, on encountering criticism of the monument, said, "If ... fans don't understand ... they can go to hell."

His Cup: Runnethed Over

Real Madrid waited 18 years to win back the Copa del Rey trophy and succeeded in April by beating Barcelona. Afterward, Madrid's Sergio Ramos, standing atop a bus that drove through city streets in celebration, allowed the silver cup to fall from his grasp, whereupon it was flattened under the bus's wheels.

Another High Note for Bills Fans

In an Ontario radio station's contest for tickets to a Bills-Redskins game in Toronto, five fans were selected to sort through a kiddie pool full of fresh buffalo dung for tickets hidden in the muck, which was emanating such a hellacious stench that the master of ceremonies was heard to gag repeatedly. One Bills follower continued searching after the tickets were found, presumably in the hope that organizers might have erred and put two sets of tickets into the mix.

Still Deploring Our Great Sport's Unfortunate Incidents of Violence

The NHL investigated a summer promotion in which the Islanders invited fans to a bar to watch a rebroadcast of the team's Feb. 11 game against the Penguins, which produced 346 penalty minutes, 15 fights, 23 game suspensions and $100,000 in fines.

That Jose Canseco Is One Great Guy—Er, I Mean, I Am....

Jose Canseco failed to show up for a paid Celebrity Boxing match in Florida, sending instead his twin brother, Ozzie, according to the bout's promoter, Damon Feldman. Said Feldman, "The guy I thought was Jose kept asking me to pay him in cash. I told him I had to pay him by check. We went back and forth." Finally Feldman got a text message from Jose's phone that read, "You have to pay him." "I was confused by why he wrote 'him,' " Feldman said. "Who would've thought he would've sent someone else?"