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2006: Sporting News Magazine – Good Guy

June 23, 2008

June 26, 2006 — Paul Attner’s Sporting Blog: Take time to read about
the Good Guys… My buddies on our radio network have spent much of
today discussing the misguided thinking of Phillies pitcher Brett
Myers, arrested over the weekend for allegedly striking his wife. I
obviously don’t have to search very hard to find reasons why it’s
important for Sporting News to keep telling you about the Good Guys in
pro sports.

Take a few minutes sometime soon and read about this year’s Good Guys,
both on our website and this week in the magazine. It will help you
understand that pro sports is not overrun by jerks, idiots and societal
misfits. They actually are in the vast minority.

Instead, read about the way the athletic world responded to the
aftermath of Katrina, the money teams and players donated, the time
they have put in, the commitment a lot of them have made to keep
helping. Read about Deuce McAllister and Peyton Manning and Chris
Duhon, our No. 1 Good Guys this year, and their impressive deeds to
help relieve the misery created by Katrina.

New Orleans and the Mississippi gulf coast region are a mess, and they
will both be messes for years to come. If you think otherwise, you are
badly mistaken. It will take lots more money and goodwill to make
things better, and the athletic world appears to understand the need
for it to remain firm in its on-going support.

Read also about athletes who helped in other community areas, guys like
Barry Zito of the A’s, who visited wounded military in D.C.-area
hospitals and realized the families of these patients needed help so
they could afford to stay with their loved ones for prolonged periods
of times. He since has raised lots of money to help many of these
families. It is an amazing program.

Read about the 175 or so athletes featured this year and I think you
will come away feeling better about the athletic world. It’s why
Sporting News has demonstrated such a wonderful commitment to bringing
you another side of sports.

WHAT IS A GOOD GUY? Being a Good Guy has nothing to do with athletic
performance and everything to do with charitableness. These are the
athletes in the sports we cover who open their hearts as well as their
wallets to serve the needy and unfortunate. This is the eighth year
Sporting News has selected the top Good Guys. Candidates are nominated
by their teams and leagues. Management and former players are not
considered. SN selects the winners.

YOUTH TIMES:
Players who are involved with educating and mentoring children and teens through programs and financial support:

Scholarships:

Padres Trevor Hoffman, Ryan Klesko and Woody Williams have funded 80
Padres Scholars combined, thanks to $200,000 from them and a match from
team ownership.

Hank Blalock of the Rangers gave a $10,000 scholarship to a local high
school student, and teammate Michael Young awarded 10 scholarships to
cancer survivors, including four at $2,500 each (along with a laptop)
and six at $1,000.

During his pro career, Keyshawn Johnson of the Panthers has accounted
for $500,000 in scholarships to finance the college education of 25
kids. LaDainian Tomlinson of the Chargers gives 15 $1,000 scholarships
annually in both San Diego and Waco, Texas.

Jalen Rose of the Knicks each year gives five $10,000 scholarships to Detroit high school seniors.

Mentoring:

Chauncey Billups of the Pistons teamed with Regis University basketball
coach Lonnie Porter to form the Porter-Billups Academy at Regis. With
the help of a $100,000 donation by Billups, the academy mentors 130
inner-city Denver youngsters during a three-week summer session.
Graduates are monitored in high school, and the academy covers costs of
those who eventually enroll at Regis (about $24,000 per student).

Marcus Camby of the Nuggets has a mentoring program in which high
schoolers help elementary school students weekly for two years. He has
given the first four graduates of the program $5,000 college
scholarships.

Ashley Lelie of the Broncos has started Big Catches for Kids, a program
that matches Denver receivers with little brothers for monthly
activities with the kids.

Educational:

Tony Clark of the Diamondbacks has an MVP program that provides the use
of a stadium suite to reward top local athletes and fourth- to
eighth-grade winners of an essay contest; Clark’s program also offers
tickets to needy groups and police and firemen and $16,000 in
scholarships to four worthy minority students.

Drew Gooden of the Cavaliers made possible the renovation of the Drew
Gooden Reading and Learning Center at the East End Neighborhood House
in Cleveland.

Keith Bulluck of the Titans partners with a computer training center to
provide eight weeks of training for 12 needy teens from a foster care
agency. He once was part of the foster care system.

Juwan Howard of the Rockets has a literacy challenge program within the
Chicago school system that involves 50,000 kids; the top 300 attend his
hoops camp for free and take classes on test-taking skills.

Mark Tauscher of the Packers, who had reading problems as a child,
reads to elementary-age kids every Tuesday and has started a literacy
improvement program within the Milwaukee public schools.

Nutritional:

Donnie Edwards of the Chargers has launched a youth health program in
the San Diego area; it creates fitness and nutrition efforts that
promote better eating habits for children and adults and more
participation in after-school activities. Youngsters get one hour of
nutrition education and two hours of organized physical activities per
week.

Click here to read full story and about other Sporting News Good Guys: GOOD GUYS.