A man's body was recently discovered 225 feet below the surface of Lake Michigan, completely mummified 13 years after a dive went terribly wrong. The diver's body had been preserved by the cool temperature of the water, the pressure and the lack of oxygen. His diving gear was still on and his air tanks were attached.

In September 1999, Dirk Kann went diving in Whitefish Bay, Wis., with experienced diving pals Greg Olsen and Richard Boyd. The three set out to explore and photograph the Lakeland, a 2,425-ton steamer that sank in the lake in 1924. The steamer was carrying a load of cars, many of which are still intact. Together the trio had visited the sunken treasure more than 20 times.

Kann and Olsen went down to explore the ship while Boyd stayed back. During the dive, Olsen had a problem with his air tank, and the two had to head up to the surface. Kann's tank emptied on the way up, forcing the pair to share Olsen's. But it wasn't enough for both men, and Kann began to fade away. Olsen glanced down on his way up but eventually lost track of Kann. The Guttenberg, Iowa, native was 52 when he died.

Kann's body proved difficult to find because of the extreme depth of the shipwreck. According to the Daily Mail, at one point several years ago the body was hooked by a fisherman but subsequently released.

Finally, two divers in Whitefish Bay spotted the body last weekend and pulled it to shore.

"We made numerous attempts through the years to try to recover him with technological advancements. We used some of that to go down there, but his remains weren't found until Saturday," said Door County Sheriff Terry Vogel. "He still had his diving gear on, in fact."

Diver found in Lake Michigan identified

Kann's wife, Rose, told the Daily Mail that the family was relieved to hear that Dirk's body was found, but she was having trouble speaking about it. She said no memorial or service is planned.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

Full Story >>

Tags:
Diving

Joe Montana helped the 49ers win Super Bowls after the 1981 and 1984 seasons. But first-round playoff exits in 1985 and 1986 coupled with Montana's back surgery led to the team's acquisition of Steve Young from the Buccaneers in 1987. That created the greatest quarterback controversy in NFL history as it lasted until Montana was traded to the Chiefs before the 1993 season. The two men couldn't have been more different in background, personality, and playing style, and their competition created as much tension as it did greatness, forcing Montana to prove that he was still the game's best quarterback and Young to prove that he was a worthy successor. Adam Lazarus takes readers into the locker room and inside the huddle to deliver the real story behind the rivalry in Best Of Rivals. Here is an excerpt:

***

Montana and Young brought disparate skill sets and outlooks on playing the position of quarterback to the field. Methodically picking apart the opposing defense with deadly precision, while occasionally sidestepping -- not necessarily running away from -- the pass rush enabled Montana to bring a pair of Super Bowl trophies to San Francisco. Young, a left-handed passer who struggled mightily with accuracy in his first few seasons with the 49ers, was impatient in the pocket, eager to tuck the ball, employ his running back–like skills, and engage linebackers and defensive backs, rather than avoid them.

The difference in their athletic strengths and weakness, however, couldn't compare to the difference in their backgrounds and demeanors.

In every way imaginable, Montana epitomized his nickname, "Joe Cool."

On the football field, he was never rattled, whether in the face of a blitzing linebacker or a twenty-eight-point halftime deficit. And out of uniform, the bluecollar Catholic Western Pennsylvania product, was equally relaxed, as he drove one of his sports cars -- by the late 1980s Montana owned a Corvette, a BMW, a Mercedes-Benz 500 SEC, a Porsche 928, a Ferrari 308, and a Ferrari Testarossa -- off to go and have a beer with or play practical jokes on his buddies.

Young -- a Mormon from Connecticut who despite millions of dollars in the bank drove a beatup 1965 Oldsmobile Cutless until it died with more than 270,000 miles on the odometer -- displayed an unwavering intensity.

Teammate and Pro Bowl guard Guy McIntyre, later characterized Young as "nervous" in the huddle.

"I think a sense of urgency is a great way to describe him," said Brent Jones, Young's road-trip roommate. "There were even times when I would be like, ‘Relax, we're up by a couple touchdowns, have some fun, enjoy the moment.' And I think that that was not necessarily built into his mindset. ... One of the things we used to talk about was ... look around, take in the moment, appreciate your teammates, look at the coaches, look at the fans, they're cheering for you, be aware of that, because sometimes he was so siloed and so focused that he'd miss out on some of the more exciting things that were going on."

Still, contrasting playing styles and even the contrasting personalities alone were not enough to create a quarterback controversy worthy of national interest. For that to happen, another element was necessary.

"People always think that we fought," Young said years later. "We never had a cross word, never had an argument, and I've always said to people that it went as well as it possibly could with two hypercompetitive people. But it wasn't easy; it was difficult, difficult for both of us."

"It's not that there was bad blood," Montana said in 2011. "I guess the only way you can explain it is if you go to work every day in an office ... you're not always best friends with the guy sitting next to you. You're friends, but you're not best friends. And while we were friends, we wouldn't hang out together. ... It had nothing to do with the game or the competition; it's just our personalities are different."

At the time, the way in which both Montana and Young spoke about the issue through the press only stirred up more friction.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

"I remember in training camp that year, Steve refused to call himself the second-string guy," Brent Jones remembered. "He even made a quote, and I'm sure this didn't go over well with Joe, but he said, ‘I'm 1-B.' So there's 1-A [Montana] and 1-B [Young]."

During that same training camp, Montana attempted to explain his relationship with Young as segregated: personally it was amicable; professionally, that was another matter.

"We're friends, Steve and I," Montana told Sports Illustrated's Ralph Wiley. "But out on the practice field, if he doesn't hate me as much as I hate him, then there's something wrong."

There was already an innate discord between the two -- an aging, battered legend trying to fend off the advances of a younger, stronger challenger -- so Montana's use of word "hate," or Young staking his claim to the starter's job, was provocative.

"[Joe] was so competitive -- and you know players will try to beat each other at Tiddlywinks -- it was such an affront to him," Young's agent, Leigh Steinberg remembered. "It really put a tension, suspicion, distrust, into that relationship between Steve and Joe from the start. Steve was like the younger brother who venerated Montana and loved Joe. Joe was a proud competitive incumbent who didn't want Steve there."

Even within the confines of the team's facilities, passive-aggressive warfare was employed. Both lobbied for more repetitions in practice, then complained to third-string quarterback John Paye while their competition ran the offense.

And when Paye wasn't either man's confidant, the media was.

That season, a member of the press was pulled aside by Montana, who said that Young had covertly erased portions of practice film in which Young threw a bad pass or made the wrong read. Within a week, Young pulled aside that same person to inform them that Montana was spreading false rumors about him erasing practice films to hide mistakes from the coaching staff.

"As a journalist, you're like, ‘Well, this is really great for people like me,'" the member of the press later recalled. "But are we in junior high, or what's the deal? ... I still can't really believe that those two guys, that accomplished, did that. But that was the atmosphere."

-- Excerpted by permission from Best Of Rivals by Adam Lazarus. Copyright (c) 2012 by Adam Lazarus. Published by Da Capo Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. The book is also on sale at Amazon. Follow Adam Lazarus on Twitter @lazarusa57.

Full Story >>

If you can't outswim Michael Phelps or outrun Usain Bolt, what's the next best way to get a gold medal? By buying one, of course. And while it can be difficult to determine the exact value of a gold medal, they usually average out to about $12,000.

That's exactly what the current bid is for a gold medal once belonging to NBA All-Star Walter Davis.

The Phoenix Suns' all-time leading scorer, Davis won his gold medal at the 1976 Olympics on a team that included Adrian Dantley, Scott May and current Los Angeles Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak. Dean Smith coached Davis on that team as well as during his college years at North Carolina.

The medal, which weighs 5.45 oz with a 60 mm. diameter and a thickness of .50 cm, is being auctioned by Grey Flannel Auctions along with a host of other NBA treasures. That includes Dr. J's All-Star Jersey from 1987 ($16,000), Robert Parish's 1984 NBA championship ring ($10,500) and Jerry West's game-worn and autographed Lakers jersey ($23,938).

And while 12 grand might seem a bit pricey for a gold medal which is actually a majority silver, it's much less expensive than actually winning a medal yourself.

(H/T to USA Today)

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

Full Story >>

The first World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) Championship match was anything but memorable.

Buddy Rogers came into the bout as the inaugural WWWF title holder, having been awarded the prize by Vince McMahon Sr. when the league broke away from the National Wrestling Alliance in January 1963. The fight took place in Madison Square Garden on May 17, 1963, and Bruno Sammartino defeated Rogers in under a minute via submission with a backbreaker.

This is where the story gets interesting.

For some reason Sammartino never got the original belt from Rogers. Instead, a new one was made, and Sammartino wore that one for the eight years he spent atop the WWWF. So what happened to the first title belt? It had been a mystery, until this week.

Annie Barend, the widow of former WWWF wrestler Johnny Barend, was cleaning her attic in Avon, N.Y., recently when she found a belt wrapped in a bath towel. After some research, Barend discovered that she had stumbled upon Rogers' original belt.

How Johnny Barend ended up with the belt is still unclear, although there are some clues. Known as "Handsome Johnny Barend," he was a tag-team partner of Rogers. In fact, the two even defeated Sammartino in a tag-team match two months after the original title bout.

Barend verified the belt's authenticity with Dave Millican, a belt maker for the WWE. Millican recognized the belt immediately and was so enamored that he bought it from Barend.

"It makes you wonder what else is stashed away in people's attics. It really does," Millican told SLAM! Wrestling. "It makes you wonder what other historical belts, and not just belts, but pieces of wrestling history, are stashed away in attics that people don't even realize they have. Annie didn't even realize what she had -- and why would she?"

For photos of the belt, see here.

-- Follow Robbie Levin on Twitter @Levin_TPG.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

Full Story >>

Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky, who passed away Monday at 92, left quite a résumé in Boston. He was an All-Star infielder, manager and special assignment instructor as well as a Red Sox Hall of Famer. His No. 6 jersey is retired by the club.

But all of those accomplishments take a back seat to Pesky's most popular mark in Boston. He is the namesake of Pesky's Pole, the indented right field foul pole, at Fenway Park.

Which brings up the next question: How did a foul pole get nicknamed after a guy who hit just 17 career home runs?

To debunk the first batch of rumors, Pesky did not make a living off home runs down the right field line and he never hit a clutch postseason home run Carlton Fisk-style down the line. In fact, Pesky hit only six of his 17 career home runs at Fenway Park.

The name came courtesy of left-handed pitcher Mel Parnell, Pesky's Red Sox teammate from 1947-1952. As the story goes, Parnell was pitching a game in the late 1940s when Pesky hit a late-inning home run that hooked around the pole. The homer put the Red Sox ahead and helped Parnell get the victory. In the 1960s, while broadcasting Red Sox games for the team's radio and television affiliates, Parnell started to spread his nickname for the pole.

In a June 2, 2002, story in The Boston Globe, Pesky recalled Parnell's development of the name:

"It came from Mel Parnell when he was broadcasting a game with Ken Coleman and Ned Martin one night. Someone hit a home run down the line and right around the pole, and Mel started talking about a game I hit one right around the pole to win it. The game was around '49 or '50, and I hit one late that won it for us. It might have even hit the pole. I had only 17 home runs in my career. I thought I hit eight right near the pole, but they researched it and said I hit only six. Six is big for me. I hit about two a year. But Mel came up with the name 'Pesky Pole' in that broadcast years later, and it stuck."

Now, to debunk the second batch of rumors.

The baseball history books claim Pesky hit just one of his six Fenway home runs in a game started by Parnell. That long ball was a two-run blast in the first inning of a June 11, 1950, game against the Tigers. Vic Wertz of the Tigers hit a three-run home run in the 14th inning to give the Tigers a victory. Parnell left the ballpark with a no-decision.

Although the romanticized legend of Pesky's Pole is not completely accurate, the area where the right field wall meets the foul pole continues to be a Fenway Park attraction. On September 27, 2006, Pesky's 87th birthday, the pole was officially named Pesky's Pole in his honor.

A plaque was placed along the fence below the pole. Part of the inscription reads:

"A landmark of Fenway Park originally intended by Mel Parnell to kindly tease about the relatively short distance of his teammate's home runs. The significance of the name grew with the affection accorded by generations of fans over seven decades who were beneficiaries of his enduring kindness and admirers of his unwavering loyalty."

Parnell passed away of cancer in March at the age of 89. Although the world has lost the two most famous characters in the pole's rich history, their legacies live on both on the plaque and as part of Red Sox culture.

While the Green Monster may be the alpha male of the Fenway Park fences, Pesky's Pole is the McHale to the Monster's Bird. That's good enough for the people of Boston.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to read them first!

Full Story >>