Best Sports Hero We Hated to See Leave (2007)

Byron Nelson

Sadly, this was a helluva race. And, no, smart-ass, Bill Parcells and Buck Showalter didn't even make the ballot. Wilford "Crazy Ray" Jones and his trademark whistling left us in March after 43 years entertaining at Cowboys games. Lamar Hunt died in December, capping a remarkable career in which, among countless other highlights, he birthed soccer in Dallas and coined the sorta familiar name "Super Bowl." But the real kick to the crotch came in September when Byron Nelson ascended to the 19th hole. Known as "Lord Byron" for his elegant swing and eloquent manner, Nelson had the greatest single season in the history of golf in 1945 and proceeded to brand his name on the biggest fund-raising tournament on the PGA Tour. The EDS Byron Nelson Classic has raised almost $100 million for charities. Here's hoping Byron's tournament doesn't die with him.


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