50 How's This to Start?
Michael Vick showed flashes of his old self and silenced skeptics as the Falcons held off the 49ers
by Michael Silver
•Daunte Culpepper's polish
•Duce Staley's happy home
58 Beware of the Bears
Exciting things are afoot in Berkeley, where high-scoring Cal is in the Pac-10 hunt
by Austin Murphy
62 The Prodigy Arrives
Gifted Dodgers third baseman Adrian Beltre leads the bigs in homers and might be MVP
by Alan Shipnuck
66 Two for the Road
Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson are the drivers to beat in a new 10-race showdown
by Lars Anderson
70 Swat Team
Roger Federer ruled the men and Svetlana Kuznetsova the women at the U.S. Open
by L. Jon Wertheim
74 The Ride of Their Lives
African-American kids in Philadelphia have found a refuge in the least likely sport
by Gary Smith
6 Leading Off
16 Catching Up With ...
21 Air and Space
Now the Nutmeg State is growing football nuts by Steve Rushin
• Bernard Hopkins, the anti-Tyson
• Another Kobe bombshell
• Dante Bichette ... pitcher?
34 Faces in the Crowd
96 The Life of Reilly
Giving Barry Bonds his--cough! gag! choke!--props by Rick Reilly
88 College Football
• Irish freshman stuns Michigan
• A's Chavez solves lefty pitchers
• Who's up, who's down in majors
92 The NFL
• Can Deion play part time?
• Lions win on the road (really)
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COVER PHOTOGRAPH by Robert Beck
INSET PHOTOS: Jeffery A. Salter (James); Tom Ryder/AP (Gordon); Chris Gardner/AP (Johnson)
For a list of the top 25 college football weekend destinations, compiled by the staff of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED ON CAMPUS, go to si.com. Who's No. 1? Think orange.
Kareem Rosser takes the field for his inner-city polo team, Work to Ride (page 74).