Roosevelt Brown, the Hall of Fame tackle whose blocking helped the New York Giants reach six NFL championship games, died Wednesday at the age of 71.

Brown died after collapsing in his garden in Mansfield Township, N.J., Police Chief Jim Humble said.

A 27th-round draft pick out of Morgan State in 1953, Brown started for 13 straight seasons at left tackle. He was chosen for the NFL's 75th anniversary team in 2000.

"Rosie is a Hall of Fame player, and I wouldn't be in the Hall of Fame if it weren't for him," former Giants halfback and flanker Frank Gifford said.

"Our two favorite plays were 48 pitchout and [Vince] Lombardi's 49 sweep, and Rosie was the key man in all of that," Gifford said.

Brown was voted to the all-NFL team for eight consecutive seasons and selected to nine Pro Bowls. . . .

Ralph Moody, a racing pioneer and Hall of Famer who won 93 races as a car owner on NASCAR's top circuit, died at age 86.

He died Wednesday at his home in North Carolina after a long illness.

* CYCLING: Lance Armstrong finished an unimpressive fifth in a time trial in the Dauphine Libere race -- a key mountain test before the Tour de France.

Testing a new, super-light bike, Armstrong crossed the line almost two minutes after Spain's Iban Mayo in the 13.4-mile time trial in Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux, France, and acknowledged he's not 100 percent just yet.

"I probably expected to go a little faster," Armstrong said. "I knew Mayo would be tough. Clearly he is riding super."

Armstrong is fifth place overall, 1 minute 57 seconds behind Mayo.

* DIVING: Laura Wilkinson will have to be content with trying to defend her individual gold medal at the Athens Olympics.

Wilkinson and Kimiko Soldati lost to Sara Hildebrand and Cassandra Cardinell in synchronized 10-meter platform at the U.S. diving trials in St. Peters, Mo.

The Wilkinson-Soldati team, formed just six months ago, earned the United States its Olympics spot with a fourth-place showing at the World Cup. But it's Hildebrand and Cardinell who will be representing the country in Athens.

On the men's side, Mark Ruiz clinched a return trip to the Olympics, teaming with Kyle Prandi to win the synchro platform.

* FENCING: The U.S. men's saber team won a World Cup event for the first time after upsetting No. 1 Russia and France and then beating Spain in the final at the New York Grand Prix. Former world No. 1 Keeth Smart finished off the improbable run by avoiding an attack from Jaime Marti and responding with a quick touch to the Spaniard's midsection to give the Americans a 45-36 win in the final at Hunter College.

* AUTO RACING: Dario Franchitti earned his first pole in the Indy Racing League series with a lap of 209.609 mph for Saturday's Bombardier 500 -- nearly 13 mph slower than the pole speed of last October at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

* LOCALLY: Mike Costigan of Hobbit's Glen was the medalist in the stroke play qualifying round of the 83rd Maryland State Golf Association men's amateur championship at Towson Golf and Country Club. Costigan shot a 2-under-par 70, one stroke better than Chris Connolly of Chevy Chase, Tim Elliott of Pine Ridge and Ed Lipski of Hillendale. The field of 123 was reduced to 32 for match play, which begins today. The 36-hole final is Sunday.

-- From News Services

and Staff Reports