From Kobe to Maradona, a year of staggering losses in sports
Not long after came a seismic jolt, the helicopter crash of Kobe Bryant in the fog-shrouded California hills that reverberated across sports and across continents. Deep into the year, a bookend to Bryant, Diego Maradona died from a heart attack in Argentina weeks after brain surgery, the waves of grief rippling across soccer. The losses, of course, came against a backdrop of a pandemic, its number of fatalities rolled out daily on TV screens. Niekro won 318 games and pitched until he was 48, his knuckleball dancing and mystifying batters across the decades. Kurt Thomas in 1978 became the first U.S. male gymnast to win a world title but lost an Olympic shot in 1980 because of the boycott.
Nix, No. 8 Auburn pull away from No. 23 Kentucky, 29-13
Nix threw for 233 yards and three second-half touchdowns, including a pair to Williams, and No. 8 Auburn scored twice in the fourth quarter to pull away from No. 23 Kentucky for a 29-13 victory Saturday in the season opener. “Bo made a couple of really good throws for touchdowns,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. Auburn: Has to get better on third-down defense, giving up eight first downs on 10 Wildcats attempts in the first half.
Former Auburn football coach Pat Dye dies at 80
FILE - In this Dec. 6, 2005, file photo, former NCAA college football coach Pat Dye responds to a question during an interview in New York. Former Auburn coach Pat Dye, who took over a downtrodden football program in 1981 and turned it into a Southeastern Conference power, has died. Not only was he a phenomenal football coach, but an even better person, Ivey said. A native of Augusta, Georgia, Dye played football for Wally Butts at Georgia from 1958-60. I never played with a greater football player than Pat Dye, Tarkenton said.