Dick Vitale: Good Samaritan For Slain Teenagers

Dick Vitale, it’s quite safe to say, has never had a problem with wearing his heart on his sleeve. Usually, this kind-hearted boisterousness comes through in his college basketball analysis; even if it’s “Dickie V’ed” up a bit (a lot), there’s always the understanding that he actually believes the words coming out of his mouth.

Dick Vitale Jazmine Thompson

But this is a new one, as near as we can tell. There was a sad story out of Bradenton, Florida, where Bayshore High School student and cheerleader Jazmine Thompson was shot and killed. The shooting took place after a young man opened fire on a car Thompson was riding in; Thompson, 18, had planned to attend college and become an attorney.

Vitale, a resident of nearby Lakewood Ranch, heard about the story and, despite having no personal connection to the family, has made arrangements to help pay for Thompson’s funeral.

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Pro Golfer’s RV Crash Kills Girlfriend, Brother, Dog

Only the older, more hardcore of golf fans have heard of Ken Green, and that’s okay; the 50-year-old pro has all of five wins in his PGA career, all of which were a long time ago. He’s with the PGA Champions Tour now, enjoying a renaissance of sorts; he’d recently placed as high as seventh in a tournament.

Ken Green

He could use another comeback, sadly, as a weekend RV accident has left him hospitalized in intensive care. Worse yet, also in the RV were his brother and caddy, William Green, his girlfriend Jeannie Hodgin, and his German Shepherd, Nip. None of them survived.

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NASCAR Crewman Gives Winnings To Injured Boy

This is a rather unique post: it’s a bit of a tear-jerker, but at the same time, it’s gross. It’s really gross. Like, if you’re about to eat or have eaten recently, just go here for a while. We’ll understand. If you’re ready to press on, then… buckle up.

Jeff Kerr wins
(Here’s the good news.)

Jeff Kerr, the jack man (hush) for Martin Truex Jr.’s car in NASCAR, recently won $10,000 by posting the best individual jack time (I said HUSH) at the pit crew competition for the Sprint Cup Series. Every penny of that $10,000 went not to Kerr, but rather the family of four-year-old Preston Loyd. When you hear why, you might be tempted to pony up a bit as well.

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$2 Million Lawsuit Falsely Clears Mizzou Of Blame

Back in 2005, the Missouri football team lost a freshman defensive end named Aaron O’Neal, who collapsed during a summer workout and died shortly thereafter. Only last month, nearly four years later, did the University of Missouri settle a lawsuit with O’Neal’s family, which awarded them $2 million.

Aaron O'Neal

But there’s plenty that’s fishy about the settlement, which is sort of to be expected when dealing with young men who die under athletic supervision. As the ASSOCIATED PRESS notes, the settlement is worded (and trust us, this is no accident) to absolve anyone involved of blame:

Missouri agreed in March to pay O’Neal’s parents, settling a 3 1/2-year-old suit before trial. The settlement includes language that attributes no fault to [head coach Gary] Pinkel, athletic director Mike Alden, sports medicine director Rex Sharp, strength and conditioning director Pat Ivey and 10 other current or past university employees.

That’s incredibly strange, when you consider the litany of decisions made by Missouri staff that likely directly led to O’Neal’s death. Read more…

Iraqi Soccer Player Shot And Killed During Match

Regardless of your thoughts on the war, anyone can admit that citizens of Iraq haven’t got much to be happy about these days. What they do have is soccer, even though the national team lives and trains outside the country for their own safety. For all the havoc and violence plaguing the country, when the whistle blows and the game starts, the problems stop.

Iraq soccer
(Iraqi soccer players, in happier times.)

Or they did, anyway; according to the BBC, a game was stopped today after a player was shot in the head during the run of play. Worse yet, this doesn’t appear to be the work of terrorists pursuing their own agenda or anything; the motivation behind the killing was far, far more trifling. Read more…

Mother of Eddy Curry’s Son Discovered Murdered

There aren’t any words that can adequately describe the horror that befell the family of the mother of Eddy Curry’s 3-year-old son. Nova Henry, just 24 years old, was found shot to death with her infant daughter Ava on Saturday. Curry is not believed to be involved in the killings; Henry’s uncle told reporters that she had a restraining order out against a “stalker boyfriend”. Clearly–and sadly–that wasn’t enough to stop him.

Eddy Curry

The most disturbing aspect of the killings, however, might actually be the murder that didn’t happen. Curry’s son was found unharmed at the apartment, and NBC CHICAGO reports that the child saw the slayings.

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Ex-Figure Skater Dies, Gives Birth Two Days Later

Did you know you’re going to cry today? It’s true. You’re going to read this story and see this picture and because there is even one sliver, one ounce of humanity in you, you will–at the very least–wipe your eyes about 7-10 times but never admit to it. But this is your early, but still prohibitive favorite for Saddest Sports Story of 2009: the story of a former champion figure skater who became a mother… two days after she died.

Aya Jayne Soliman

That’s Aya Jayne Soliman, all 2 pounds, 11.5 ounces of her, after spending just 26 weeks in mother Jayne Soliman’s womb. Soliman, then Jayne Campbell, was the top British free skater in 1989, and she worked her way to 7th in the entire world that year. But competitive skating gave way to coaching, which led her to Abu Dhabi. She would meet her eventual husband there, and the two moved back to England, where Jayne was enjoying a healthy pregnancy. Then, cruel, sudden, and unforeseeable tragedy struck: Read more…