Creator of 'Tank McNamara' dies

Jeff Millar, the wordsmith behind the long-running comic strip "Tank McNamara," which evolved into a biting satire of the sports world, died Nov. 30. He was 70.

The Texas native, who also was a longtime film critic and columnist for the Houston Chronicle, died at his Houston-area home after an almost four-year battle with bile-duct cancer, said his wife, Peg.

The daily, syndicated comic strip - with a hefty-jawed protagonist who matured from a bumbling ex-NFL player into a reflective TV sportscaster - runs in about 150 newspapers nationwide. The strip also engaged with its followers. Each year, readers sent in submissions to help pick Tank McNamara's "Sports Jerk of the Year." Two big-name winners of the less-than-flattering award: NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.

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