Leading Off

Junior gets sweet; Kahne, Bud hook up

This was a sweet moment for Dale Earnhardt Jr. NASCAR's most popular driver unveiled his line of candy bars, Dale Jr.'s Big Mo', at a candy expo Tuesday. Earnhardt's lips remained sealed like wrappers regarding the sponsor for his new car; he will make that announcement today in Dallas. Earnhardt played a major role in developing the chocolate bar with the R.M. Palmer Company, conducting numerous taste tests before settling on two flavors -- creamy caramel and peanut butter. Big Mo' is a play off Earnhardt's hometown of Mooresville, N.C., and a moniker he and his close friends have -- the Dirty Mo' Posse. Earnhardt's old sponsor, Budweiser, joined forces with driver Kasey Kahne. The sponsorship was announced at Gillett Evernham Motorspots in Statesville, N.C., where Kahne entered the event on the famed Budweiser Clydesdales.

McNabb: Black QBs face more criticism

Philadelphia Eagles star Donovan McNabb says black quarterbacks face greater scrutiny than their white counterparts. In an interview on HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" that was broadcast Tuesday, McNabb said black quarterbacks "have to do a little bit extra" because there are relatively few of them, adding "people didn't want us to play this position." McNabb said if he passes for 300 yards and his team wins by a touchdown, critics will say, "Oh, he could have made this throw here. We would have scored more points if he would have done this." Asked if white quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning and Carson Palmer are held to the same standards, McNabb replied: "Let me start by saying, I love those guys. But they don't get criticized as much as we do. They don't." McNabb is one of six black starting quarterbacks in the NFL.

Willie, who tempered racial golf flap, dies

Louis J. Willie Jr., a black businessman who helped defuse a racial dispute surrounding the 1990 PGA Championship by becoming an honorary member at the all-white Shoal Creek club, has died. He was 84. His death Sunday night was confirmed by Booker T. Washington Insurance, the company for whom Willie worked as an executive. He had Alzheimer's disease. Shoal Creek Country Club, in suburban Birmingham, was the site of the 1990 PGA Championship. Protests mounted after the club president said Shoal Creek would not be pressured into accepting blacks members. Willie helped quiet the situation by accepting an offer of honorary membership. Afterward, the Professional Golf Association and other golf groups said they would no longer hold tournaments at clubs that lacked minorities or women as members.