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December 29, 2003 Table Of Contents

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Here They Come

Scorecard Extra

Crowning Achievements The fall's dominant teams held form in the NCAA Division I championships

By Bill Syken

Year In Review

A Site to Behold With the opening of The Home Depot Center outside Los Angeles, MLS offered $150 million proof that it's a worthy player on the world stage

By Grant Wahl

Mia Hamm WOMEN'S WORLD CUP

Gravy For The Biscuit As a promising rivalry fizzled, and Funny Cide faltered in the Triple Crown, a Depression-era hero came charging from out of the past

By Tim Layden

A Real Gold-Getter Heading into the Olympic year, 18-year-old Michael Phelps lowered five world records and raised expectations to positively Spitzian levels

By Tim Layden

Farewell

2003 Year In Review

The Fellowship Of the Arm In pitching the upstart Marlins to a World Series win over the Yankees, 23-year-old Josh Beckett joined a timeline of mound immortals

By Tom Verducci

Florida Marlins WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS

It Had Zigs and Zags--and Zing With a double-overtime, rim-out humdinger last March, Arizona and Gonzaga reminded us--in a tough season--how magnetic their sport can be

By Grant Wahl

Syracuse NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

Heroes with Headsets In an age of ever-shifting personnel and pervasive parity, coaches such as Bill Parcells and Marvin Lewis have become the NFL's new franchise players

By Michael Silver

Tampa Bay Buccaneers SUPER BOWL XXXVII CHAMPIONS

A Crisis Brought Out His Best A campaign to find a cure for the disease that struck his caddie had an interesting side effect on Tom Watson: It made a new man out of him

By Michael Bamberger

Mike Weir MASTERS CHAMPION

A Rock For The Ages On a crossroads afternoon for NASCAR, old school fave Bill Elliott won the final fall race at Rockingham as Matt Kenseth clinched the 2003 crown

By Lars Anderson

Matt Kenseth NASCAR WINSTON CUP CHAMPION

When Great Isn't Good Enough

Minnesota's Kevin Garnett, the highest-paid player in the NBA, must constantly fight off the image of the Star Who Hasn't Measured Up

By Jack McCallum

San Antonio Spurs NBA CHAMPIONS

Say You Want a Revolution? Sousaphones and Song Girls notwithstanding, signs point to an imminent change--for better or worse--in the tradition-bound game

By Tim Layden

Ohio State NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

Noisy House On The Prairie Hard times for hockey? Not in Minnesota, where the madly loved Wild showed the rest of the NHL how to run a winning--and profitable--franchise

By Michael Farber

New Jersey Devils Stanley Cup Champions

Too Much Heart Driven by his ambition to reclaim the heavyweight belts, 41-year-old Evander Holyfield soldiered on, even at the risk of a tragic ending

By Richard Hoffer

"That Was As Good as It Gets" So said a certain bald superstar from Las Vegas about the play of the lavishly talented Roger Federer, who elevated the men's game in 2003

By L. Jon Wertheim

Serena Williams WIMBLEDON CHAMPION

Too True To Be Good All year our resident Santa has been making his list and checking it twice, and now he's found out who's been naughty...and who's been wildly--and ridiculously--off-base

By Steve Rushin

Playing Against the Clock WHAT POSSIBLE SENSE CAN A MAN MAKE OF BUSTED FINGERS AND ENDLESS SWIM MEETS AND FOUR CONFOUNDING, ATHLETIC CHILDREN AND RACCOONS IN THE GARAGE AND FEAR OF FOOTBALL AND THE YEARS SPINNING, SPINNING, SPINNING BY?

By Rick Telander

Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary

Sooner Surprise Who would have guessed that football-mad Oklahoma is also a GYMNASTICS HOTBED?

By Brian Cazeneuve

Feeding the Monster The former Sooners coach on his life with the OU football juggernaut

By Barry Switzer

The Poll Oklahomans weigh in on sports*

Compiled by Bill Syken

Who & Where

Compiled by Bill Syken

Greatest Moment

Compiled by Bill Syken

Numbers

Compiled by Bill Syken

Memorable Quote

Compiled by Bill Syken

Alltime Best For Oklahoma's top 50 homegrown sports figures, go to SI.com/50

Compiled by Bill Syken

Inside

Inside The Week In Sports

Inside College Football

All for One Humble St. John's brought an end to Mount Union's D-III dynasty

By Kelley King

Blue Heaven

By Kelley King

Inside The NFL

Job Action G.M. Rick McKay's jump to the rival Falcons turns him against his old club

By Peter King

Dr. Z's Forecast

By Paul Zimmerman

Dr. Z's All-Pro Team

By Paul Zimmerman

Teams Should Be Wooing Romeo Head-Coaching Candidate

By Peter King

Inside The NBA

Cavs Remix Trading blunder-prone Ricky Davis gives Cleveland a new, winning look

By Ian Thomsen

Scout's Take

By Ian Thomsen

Inside College Basketball

Simply Solid Well-drilled Stanford is in sync, and soon could be even better

By Kelli Anderson

Three Pointer

By Kelli Anderson

Inside The NHL

Golden Glow The U.S. has the talent to win its first World Junior Championship

By Andrea Woo

In The Crease

By Pierre McGuire

Getting Great Roommates Hockey Family Tradition

By Andrea Woo

Heaven On Earth

By Rick Reilly

Departments

Leading Off

Letters

Bottom's Up

Yule Be Amazed

By Steve Rushin

Some Pain, Some Gain An expert on race sees the sports world making progress in 2003

By Michael Eric Dyson Edited by Kostya Kennedy and Mark Bechtel

Forms Of Endearment Want to have sex with an athlete? Just sign here

Edited by Kostya Kennedy and Mark Bechtel

Go Figure

Edited by Kostya Kennedy and Mark Bechtel

For The Record

Edited by Kostya Kennedy and Mark Bechtel

Pass Perfect

By Paul Zimmerman Edited by Kostya Kennedy and Mark Bechtel

Sports Beat

Edited by Kostya Kennedy and Mark Bechtel

The Weeks Ahead What To Watch And Watch For

By Julia Morrill Edited by Kostya Kennedy and Mark Bechtel

Under Review

By Richard Deitsch Edited by Kostya Kennedy and Mark Bechtel

Faces In The Crowd

Edited by Kostya Kennedy and Mark Bechtel

Big Game Season

By Albert Chen Edited by Kostya Kennedy and Mark Bechtel