It may not be the most unusual prize ever offered at a sports event, but the ghoulish award won by Elaine Fulps at a minor-league game in Texas the other day is one she might be willing to avoid. Or at least postpone.
Fulps won a $10,000 funeral at Tuesday night's Grand Prairie AirHogs game.
It's like the old joke about life insurance. You have to die to "collect."
Fans in Grand Prairie, a suburb of Dallas, got into the morbid spirit of the night. Finalists arrived dressed in black or looking like death. The finalists participated in a pallbearer's race, a mummy wrap and a eulogy delivery.
Fulps, who is 60, wears a neck brace due to the effect of nearly 20 surgeries.
"I almost croaked many times," Fulps said. "God still has me around for a reason. To win a funeral!"
The Oak Grove Memorial Gardens and Irving's Chapel of Roses Funeral Home teamed up to offer the prize, which lasts as long as the winner lives. Fulps said she'll choose a casket and plot as soon as she recovers.
"I'm going to pick a spot under a tree out of the Texas heat," she told the Dallas Morning News. "And let's hope it's a pet-free cemetery. I don't want to get watered on."
Cup history. Nicklas Lidstrom made hockey history when he became the first European captain to hoist the Stanley Cup.
Lidstrom, one of seven Red Wings regulars from Sweden, won his fourth Stanley Cup in five chances. Steve Yzerman was the Red Wings' captain for the team's previous Cup winners in the last 10 seasons.
Lidstrom broke Yzerman's team records this year by playing in his 16th straight postseason and his 197th playoff game. He later played in his 201st playoff game, surpassing Jari Kurri's NHL mark among European players.
The 38-year-old remains among the league's best - he led all defensemen during the regular season with 70 points and a plus-40 rating.
Chasing Michael. Michael Jordan's lawyers have asked a judge to permanently bar a western Pennsylvania woman from having contact with him.
Jordan's lawyers asked a Meadville judge to order a permanent no-contact order against Lisa Miceli. The Meadville woman claims Jordan fathered her 4-year-old son.
However, two paternity tests in 2005 proved Jordan was not the boy's father. Jordan then filed a lawsuit seeking to keep Miceli away from him.
Miceli was thrown out of the courtroom after speaking out several times during the hearing.
History lesson. While you were watching Brett Myers flirt with a no-hitter last night you probably didn't know that on June 5, 1915, the Phillies' Grover Cleveland Alexander came even closer.
Old Pete carried a no-hitter down to the final out, when Artie Butler punched a short single for St. Louis' first hit in a 3-0 loss. Alexander struck out Bob Bescher for the final out after Butler's hit.
Alexander went 31-10 that season and carried the Phils to their first pennant.
And on June 4, 2004, local hero Smarty Jones lost his Triple Crown bid and his perfect record when a 36-1 long shot named Birdstone ran him down near the finish of a thrilling Belmont Stakes.