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TABLE OF CONTENTS

January 22, 2007 | Volume 106, Issue 3

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Drew Brees Cover - Sports Illustrated January 22, 2007

January 22, 2007
The Year's Best On behalf of America's mothers, God bless LaDainian Tomlinson! My seven year-old has become an avid football fan and reader of SI. I am glad that he gets to watch one of the...

January 22, 2007 | Steve Rushin
WHEN THE Detroit Lions and their defensive coordinator parted ways this month over "philosophical differences," one couldn't help but wonder, Are philosophy professors ever fired for the same reason?

January 22, 2007 | Grant Wahl
If David Beckham can't sell soccer to Americans, no one can. But what kind of player will the MLS get for $250 million?

January 22, 2007
"The manner of David Beckham's departure from top-class football is in keeping with the latter part of his career: an air of disappointment and money-grabbing hangs over the affair," opined The...

January 22, 2007 | Frank Deford
IT IS UNLIKELY that any woman has ever played such a role in creating a male champion in any sport as did Gloria Connors, who died last week at 82. Her involvement began before the beginning. Even...

January 22, 2007
Won By the U.S.'s Lindsey Jacobellis (above), the snowboardcross gold medal at the Snowboard World Championships in Arosa, Switzerland, on Sunday. It was the second straight world title for...

January 22, 2007
635 Blocked shots the Rockets' Dikembe Mutombo needs to tie career NBA leader Hakeem Olajuwon; last week Mutombo, who has 3,195 blocks, passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for second place on the alltime list.

January 22, 2007
A little old-fashioned Karma may be coming down on the prosecutor in the Duke rape case

January 22, 2007 | Richard Deitsch
The five-time NBA All-Star and former Craftsman Truck Series team owner is a NASCAR analyst for ESPN/ABC

January 22, 2007
Pity the poor athlete who gets injured while celebrating. Or, maybe, don't

January 22, 2007 | Adam Duerson
VELVET REVOLVER'S Fall to Pieces sounds like a standard hard-rock love song, but when front man Scott Weiland sings it, Notre Dame's 13-year bowl game losing streak is probably in the back of his...

January 22, 2007 | Adam Duerson
A New Zealand bride and groom played 18 holes of miniature golf to decide who would give up their surname.

January 22, 2007 | Adam Duerson
Al Gore's movie was an eye-opener, but who thought global warming could get this ugly? With training runs at the Lauberhorn course in Switzerland canceled because temperatures hit the 50s, World...

January 22, 2007 | Adam Duerson
JIM PALMER, 61-year-old former pitcher, on his recent wedding proposal: "I didn't have any problem getting down on my knee, but I had a problem getting back up."

January 22, 2007 | Chris Mannix
What to watch and watch for

January 22, 2007 | David Epstein
Duquesne Hoops SCORECARD, SEPT. 25, 2006

January 22, 2007
Caroline Zhang IRVINE, CALIF. > Figure Skating Caroline, an eighth-grader at Brea Junior High, executed six triple jumps to win the gold medal in the ladies' individual event at the Junior Grand...

January 22, 2007 | As told to Ben Reiter
LAKERS FORWARD

January 22, 2007
Who's Hot Caldwells Little bro Andre snagged a TD pass in Florida's BCS win, then said he'll forgo NFL and return to seek "another championship." Big bro Reche (above)—who counseled Andre...

January 22, 2007
Which NFL city has the most attractive fans?

January 22, 2007
Saints Center

January 22, 2007
Suddenly a sophomore, with much to tackle

January 22, 2007
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

January 22, 2007 | Arash Markazi
WAYNE GRETZKY entered the NHL in 1979 as a phenom and set the standard for young stars (page 50). He retired two decades—and 12 SI covers—later as the Great One, a nine-time league MVP and the...

January 22, 2007 | Joshua Cooley
Girls like Nicole Woody are turning wrestling on its head

January 22, 2007 | Joshua Cooley
Mike Benefiel, 171, Montini Catholic (Lombard, Ill.) A three-time state champ, he has a chance to become Illinois's alltime wins leader.

January 22, 2007 | Franz Lidz
After years of trial and sorrow, world traveler Donte' Greene finds himself in a Melo place

January 22, 2007
TOTALLY 3DICULOUS Players at Huntington Beach (Calif.) Marina wear T-shirts that say 3DICULOUS, a slogan chosen by the coaching staff for the team's unorthodox style, which relies on quick...

January 22, 2007 | Franz Lidz
DONTE' GREENE was featured at Sunday's Future Stars Invitational, part of the four-day Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass. Greene had 23 points and 13 rebounds, but Towson Catholic lost to St....

January 22, 2007
For more high school news and rankings from RISE and Dave Krider's Primetime Performer of the Week, go to SI.com/highschool.

January 22, 2007 | Tim Layden
It's the unlikeliest NFL story in ages: Drew Brees and the Saints, recovery projects both, are one win away from the Super Bowl. That's what character and commitment can do

January 22, 2007 | Michael Silver
Even when he's far from perfect, Tom Brady finds a way to make the Patriots playoff winners

January 22, 2007 | Peter King
When the plan is to fluster Peyton Manning, he's an expert at turning the tables on a defense

January 22, 2007 | Jeffri Chadiha
Though vulnerable of late, the Bears' defense is confident it matches up well with the Saints

January 22, 2007 | Paul Zimmerman
NFC SAINTS AT BEARS

January 22, 2007 | MICHAEL FARBER
In his second season Sidney Crosby is setting himself apart from the rest of the league--and scoring at a pace close to none other than Wayne Gretzky's

January 22, 2007 | GRANT WAHL
With an infusion of homegrown talent and a new emphasis on smothering defense, the Pac-10 has become the nation's top conference

January 22, 2007 | GRANT WAHL
Full Bag

January 22, 2007
Tom Management Starting in his own end zone, quarterback Tom Brady (12) took charge of the Patriots in their AFC divisional playoff at San Diego on Sunday. Brady was shaky through three quarters...

January 22, 2007 | JACK MCCALLUM
If the league's winningest team is to take the final step to an NBA title, no player will be as crucial as forward Josh Howard, who has established himself as Dirk Nowitzki's righthand man

January 22, 2007 | JACK MCCALLUM
Player Rankings

January 22, 2007 | JACK MCCALLUM
JOSH HOWARD'S emergence as a scorer, rebounder and defender casts him in the clear role of Robin to Dirk Nowitzki's Batman on the Mavericks. Herewith, other players--all of whom are in the Hall of...

January 22, 2007 | KARL TARO GREENFELD
Newfound images document the time when Muhammad Ali, 65 this week, began to transform sports and popular culture

January 22, 2007 | KARL TARO GREENFELD
Prize Pictures

January 22, 2007
The NBA In the pitiful Atlantic Division the Nets finally start to look like winners • Free agent Chris Webber has enough left to help Detroit

January 22, 2007 | Ian Thomsen
In the Hunt

January 22, 2007 | Ian Thomsen
On Chris Webber (right), 33, whose contract was bought out by the 76ers and who said he would sign with the Pistons this week:

January 22, 2007 | Kelli Anderson
Home Cooking

January 22, 2007 | Kelli Anderson
1 The Big Ten and Big 12 are looking kind of small. The two leagues usually combine for at least 13 NCAA tournament bids, but this year they might not even get 10.

January 22, 2007 | Rick Reilly
SO WHAT? So the bullfighters who risk their lives over 100 times a weekend for the cowboys on the Professional Bull Riders tour are tougher than a hospital steak. And, yeah, they make an NFL...

January 22, 2007 | Rick Reilly
Watch exclusively on Verizon Wireless V CAST and SI.com.

January 22, 2007 | Jim Gorant
A fit Phil Mickelson joins his archrival in the course architect biz

January 22, 2007 | Jim Gorant
Enjoy the views on this 36-hole complex near Lake Tahoe

January 22, 2007 | Jim Murphy
WHO: Tadd Fujikawa

January 22, 2007 | GARY VAN SICKLE
Here are the fresh faces most likely to have a breakout year

January 22, 2007 | MICHAEL BAMBERGER
The Sony Open isn't the first Tour event of the season, but for rank-and-file pros like winner Paul (Sunshine) Goydos, the new year starts here

January 22, 2007
THERE'S A FRESH TAKE ON GOLF EVERY DAY AT SI.COM/GOLF.

January 22, 2007 | Chris Mannix
A drive-by victim last April, Julius Hodge is back in the NBA with Milwaukee—after some ups and downs

January 22, 2007 | Chris Mannix
Julius Hodge served time in the NBA Development League in order to get back to the NBA. Here are four intriguing D-League players who could travel the same path.

January 22, 2007 | Gene Menez
Even if you're just sharing pumpkin bread, SI writers know, hanging with NFL players is never dull

January 22, 2007 | Gene Menez
The members of SI's college football crew follow divergent paths during the off-season. Senior writer Austin Murphy, who chronicled Florida's ascent to the national championship in last week's...