| DIED |
At age 85 of pneumonia complicated by emphysemia, professional bowling legend Don Carter, the face of the sport during its TV heyday in the 1950s and '60s, as well as a founding member and the first president of the PBA. After serving in the Navy in World War II, and spending a year as a pitcher and infielder with an affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, Carter (above) found work at a bowling alley, and his game took off. Despite his awkward habit of keeping his elbow bent on his backswing, he bowled five 800 series, 13 perfect games and won seven PBA titles. Carter was the first athlete in any sport to sign a $1 million endorsement deal, with ball maker Ebonite International in 1964. In '70 a Bowling Magazine poll named him the greatest bowler in history.
| DIED |
At age 81 of stomach cancer, college basketball coach Gene Bartow, best known as the man who succeeded John Wooden at UCLA. Bartow (below) first rose to prominence at Memphis State, where he coached the Tigers to the 1973 NCAA championship game against Wooden and the Bruins. (UCLA won 87--66.) He earned coach of the year honors that season and, after a short stint at Illinois, was hired to coach the Bruins in '75. In his first year in Westwood, Bartow led UCLA to the Final Four. The Missouri native spent one more season in Southern California before departing in '77 for Alabama-Birmingham, which at the time had no sports teams. As UAB's basketball coach and athletic director, Bartow took the Blazers to nine NCAA tournaments, going as far as the Elite Eight in 1982. He retired as coach in '96 and as AD in 2000. In 1997, UAB renamed its 8,500-seat multi-purpose arena in his honor.
| RECOVERING |
Following successful surgery on Jan. 3 to remove a benign brain tumor, two-time Olympic gold medalist Lee Evans. The 63-year-old won both the 400 meters and the 1,600 relay at the 1968 Mexico City games, where he famously wore a black beret as a nod to the Black Panthers, and where teammates Tommie Smith and John Carlos gave a black power salute on the medal stand after their first- and third-place finishes in the 200 meters. Evans has been living in Nigeria for the past four years, but was visiting his sister near San Francisco in December when he complained of severe head pain, and doctors discovered a nickel-sized tumor near his pituitary gland.
| DIED |
At age 80 of Lewy body dementia (the second-most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer's disease), former big league third baseman Andy Carey. A slick fielder, most notably for the Yankees from 1952 to 1960 (before stints with the Kansas City Athletics, the White Sox and the Dodgers), Carey was a regular for the New York clubs that won four of six World Series. In '54 he hit .302 in the Yankees' 103-win season, and he led the AL with 11 triples in '55. But in a lineup stacked with the likes of Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra, Carey was better known for his glove. In the '56 Series against the Dodgers, he twice helped preserve Don Larsen's perfect game, knocking down a second-inning smash by Jackie Robinson (allowing shortstop Gil McDougald to make the play) and snagging a low liner off the bat of Gil Hodges in the eighth.
| MARRIED |
To Russian lawyer Victor Voronov, American Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir. The 27-year-old Weir (above) claimed the U.S. national championship every year from 2004 to '06. He came out publicly last January, saying that he hoped his story would provide inspiration to others and prevent suicides among gay teens. Voronov is an old acquaintance of Weir's, and the two men reconnected over the summer. They were married on Dec. 30 in a civil ceremony in New York, one of six states to allow same-sex marriage.
| HOSPITALIZED |
With severe burns over nearly half his body after a house fire last Friday, Steelers running backs coach Kirby Wilson. Firefighters arrived at Wilson's Seven Fields, Pa., town house, about 30 minutes north of Pittsburgh, at 2:45 a.m. and saw flames emanating from the building. Wilson, 50, was eventually airlifted to the University of Pittsburgh's Mercy Hospital, where he was put in a medically induced coma. He missed the Steelers' wild-card loss to the Broncos on Sunday, but his injuries, while serious, are not considered to be life-threatening. It is believed that the fire started on the stove in his kitchen. No one else was in the house at the time of the incident.
Amount that Nelson Mandela's daughter Zindziswa was ordered in court to pay to boxing promoter Duane Moody after she allegedly reneged on a deal to stage a Manny Pacquiao--Floyd Mayweather bout at her father's 93rd birthday party.
Yards traveled by Everton keeper Tim Howard's wind-aided goal against Bolton, from just inside his own penalty area, on Jan. 4. Howard is the fourth EPL GK ever to score—and the second to lose a game in which he did so, as Bolton won 2--1.
Points put up by West Virginia in its 47-point whipping of Clemson in the Orange Bowl, topping by three the record set a week earlier by Baylor in the Alamo Bowl.
Players on the floor for Louisiana-Lafayette when they scored a late game-winning layup against Western Kentucky last Thursday. The refs are expected to be suspended by Sun Belt officials for failing to spot the violation.
Points scored by the Falcons in their 24--2 loss to the Giants on Sunday, the first time an NFL team has scored exactly two points in a playoff game.
| CAST |
In the title role of the Nashville Shakespeare Festival's production of Julius Caesar (Jan. 12--29), former NFL running back Eddie George, whose acting credits in 2012 also include a turn alongside Rob Lowe in the indie political drama Knife Fight. The image of George in a toga (left) suggests a few other plays in the Bard's canon that cry out for a star from the sports world.
The Taming of the Drew
Larry Merchant of Venice
NHL PLAYERS POLL
Who is hockey's most overrated player?
Dion Phaneuf, Leafs D 20%
Alex Ovechkin, Capitals LW 8%
Scott Gomez, Canadiens C 6%
Roberto Luongo, Canucks G 6%
Dany Heatley, Wild LW 4%
Each of the top eight vote-getters—including No. 6 Ilya Kovalchuk, No. 7 Vincent Lecavalier and No. 8 Jay Bouwmeester—has at least two All-Star appearances... . Lecavalier's $10 million salary is the second-highest in the NHL; his 26 points tie him for 81st. Ovechkin, whose $9 million is tied for fifth, has 33 points, tied for 39th... . In a similar poll on Facebook, SI readers named Ovechkin the most overrated, with 43% of the vote.
Based on 161 NHL players who responded to SI's survey
RICHARD MEEK (CARTER)
GEORGE LONG (BARTOW)
RICK MALKIN/COURTESY OF THE NASHVILLE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL (GEORGE)
PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONS BY SI IMAGING: HANNAH FOSLIEN/GETTY IMAGES (TEBOW), TEATRO DELLA SCALA/EPA/CORBIS (OTHELLO)
PEPSI MAX/GETTY IMAGES (DREW BREES), SUNSET BOULEVARD/CORBIS (TAMING OF THE SHREW)
CRAIG BLANKENHORN/HBO (LARRY MERCHANT), ELLIOTT FRANKS/WIREIMAGE (MERCHANT OF VENICE)
TODD ROSENBERG (CAM NEWTON), EVERETT COLLECTION (HAMLET)
GRAIG ABEL/NHLI/GETTY IMAGES (PHANEUF)
HEINZ KLUETMEIER (WEIR)