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October 25, 2004 Table Of Contents

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SCORECARD

Storm Warning

Seattle won its first WNBA title and is poised to win more

By Richard Deitsch

Divine Madness

It's not the oldest rivalry, but Boston College--Notre Dame creates enough passion to make it one of the best

By Chris Mannix

Faces in the Crowd

LETTERS

LETTERS

AIR AND SPACE

Grave Concerns

By Steve Rushin

SI Players

BEN ROETHLISBERGER

Steelers Quarterback

By Ben Roethlisberger

WHO'S Hot WHO'S Not

SI PLAYERS POLL

Based on a survey of 354 players

Eight Is Enough

Broncos tackle Luther Elliss and his wife are raising a regular expansion franchise

By Lisa Altobelli

Before Every Game I ...

Kung Fu Fighter

How Seahawks DE Chike Okeafor prepares to face big linemen

By Amanda Cherrin

The Questions with Brock Marion

Lions Safety

Into the Black Hole

Where Jack London worked on The Call of the Wild, Al Davis found a home

Rain Man

Baseball Playoffs

The Hits Kept Coming

The Yankees and the Red Sox took their cuts at conventional October wisdom by slugging it out in a classic and contentious American League Championship Series

By Tom Verducci

Battle of the Big Bats

Showcasing their power, the Astros' Carlos Beltran and the Cardinals' Albert Pujols carried their teams by bashing home run after home run in a tight NLCS

By Daniel G. Habib

Putting in the Overtime

As the stakes get higher and runs grow increasingly important late in postseason games, teams are calling on their closers to pitch more than one inning

By Daniel G. Habib

PRO FOOTBALL

Twin Engines

A unique bond between coach Herman Edwards and quarterback Chad Pennington has helped propel the Jets to the best start in franchise history

By Michael Silver

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

The Real Thing

Braylon Edwards is the best wideout in the nation and the unquestioned leader of resurgent Michigan. But it took four years for his head to catch up to his talent

By Karl Taro Greenfeld

College Football

Again, the BCS Gets It Wrong

The new, improved Bowl Championship Series formula was supposed to solve the problems of last season. So why is Oklahoma--No. 2 in both polls--on the outside looking in this week?

By Kelley King

NBA Preview 2004-05

A NEW BEAST IN THE EAST

The arrival of Shaquille O'Neal in Miami shakes up two franchises, shifts the balance of power and puts a title within the Heat's grasp

By Jack McCallum

THROWBACKS: THE RUNNER

Relentless in his racing around the court and tireless in his ambition to improve his game, Richard Hamilton is an old-style scoring force

By Ian Thomsen

THROWBACKS: THE GRINDER

A basketball vagabond who considered a career change a year ago, Brian Cardinal now finds himself a wanted man

By L. Jon Wertheim

THROWBACKS: THE PLAYMAKER

Can you turn a flashy, slashing, scoring guard into a selfless, Stocktonesque team leader? Well, yes, says Carlos Arroyo

By Chris Ballard

RETURN OF THE STRAIGHT SHOOTERS

Stars from the glory days are riding herd in front offices. Can they get the young'uns to play the game right and revive the league?

By Jack McCallum

NBA Preview 2004-05: Scouting Reports

SCOUTING REPORTS

HOW WE RANK THEM

1 Detroit PISTONS

Wretched excess: The reigning champs reel in yet another versatile big man

By Ian Thomsen

2 Indiana PACERS

The pressure is on a quiet 7-footer to make some long-awaited noise

By L. Jon Wertheim

3 Miami Heat

(Cue the violins!) Could this be the beginning of a beautiful friendship?

By Jack McCallum

4 Philadelphia 76ERS

For the new coach, it's great to be home (and have a lineup full of scorers)

By Bill Syken

5 Cleveland CAVALIERS

The incoming power forward is out to refute his disagreeable reputation

By L. Jon Wertheim

6 New York KNICKS

Another scorer in the backcourt might be too much of a good thing

By Bill Syken

7 Orlando Magic

What does the club that had the worst record do next? Unload four starters

By L. John Wertheim

8 New Jersey NETS

With two stars gone and one on the mend, this team is in for a long season

By Chris Mannix

9 Boston CELTICS

A rebuilding team's fortunes will depend heavily on one rebuilt knee

By Ian Thomsen

10 Washington Wizards

By Bill Syken

11 Milwaukee BUCKS

On a team lacking veteran muscle and post-up scoring, enter the thin man

By Marty Burns

12 Toronto RAPTORS

A 290-pound rookie will help lighten a rising star's load in the frontcourt

By Chris Mannix

13 Chicago BULLS

The road back to the playoffs is long. Can MJ's new protégé pave the way?

By Marty Burns

14 Atlanta Hawks

By Marty Burns

15 Charlotte Bobcats

There's hope for winning hearts and minds--but little for winning games

By L. Jon Wertheim

1 San Antonio SPURS

Is a sharpshooting journeyman the final piece they need to win it all?

By Ian Thomsen

2 Minnesota TIMBERWOLVES

A lack of depth at point guard won't be the rap on this title contender

By Andrew Lawrence

3 Sacramento Kings

Same old story: How will they overcome injuries and off-season losses?

By Chris Ballard

4 Houston ROCKETS

Starting afresh, the NBA's top scorer has a few points he wants to make

By Ian Thomsen

5 Los Angeles Lakers

A former Clipper gets a chance to see how the other half lives in L.A.

By Chris Ballard

6 Dallas Mavericks

A skilled big man joins the lineup, but a little man's exit creates a huge void

By Ian Thomsen

7 Denver NUGGETS

The new tough guy on the block will push this club back into the playoffs

By Chris Mannix

8 Utah JAZZ

A prize Turkish import will seem exotic because he's a center who can score

By Chris Ballard

9 Memphis GRIZZLIES

The embodiment of the team? An unsung forward who keeps getting better

10 Phoenix Suns

They could be on the rise, thanks to young legs and a wise old head

By Chris Ballard

11 Portland TRAIL BLAZERS

Not even a shot-swatting solid citizen at center can hold this gang together

By L. Jon Wertheim

12 Seattle SUPERSONICS

What do you learn from a year on the sideline? That your team needs help

By Andrew Lawrence

13 New Orleans HORNETS

The Big Cat has made big strides, but he'll have his paws full this season

14 Golden State Warriors

There's a fine new leader at point guard, but does he recall how to pass?

By Chris Ballard

15 Los Angeles Clippers

The second-year pivot shows promise--so he may not be long for L.A.

By Chris Ballard

Inside

Inside The Week In Sports

Inside College Football

Rock Steady

Since taking over as Florida State's quarterback, unheralded sophomore Wyatt Sexton has been unflappable

By Kelley King

Three and Out

By Stewart Mandel

A&M Back to Winning Ways

TEXAS TURNAROUND

By Kelley King

Phil Taylor's Sidelines

By Phil Taylor

Inside The NFL

What's This?

Redskins coach Joe Gibbs came back to a different NFL, a league in which the defenses are dictating the play

By Peter King

Johnson's a Prize Catch

TEXANS' RECEIVERS

By Josh Elliott

Who's Next Under Center?

CHICAGO'S QB WOES

By Peter King

McGahee Starts With a Bang

DISPATCHES

By Peter King

Dr. Z's Forecast

By Paul Zimmerman

LIFE OF REILLY

TV Poker's A Joker

By Rick Reilly

Departments

Coming to America

Yao Ming's life story (so far) shows him to be a nice guy who can only smile at the strange world he's entered

By Charles Hirshberg

Pull Up a Chair

After more than five decades as a coach, general manager and president of the Boston Celtics, Red Auerbach has a storehouse of entertaining tales to share

By Charles Hirshberg

Leading Off

The Gauchos Are Riding High

Led by the goalkeeping exploits of Dan Kennedy, UC Santa Barbara has become a national power

By Josh Elliott

Jock the Vote

Democrats and Republicans have been playing a hardball version of Who's the Bigger Sports Fan. But there's an excess of spin on their political pitches

By Stephen Cannella

USC's Biggest Fan

Larger-than-life Arena Football League commissioner David Baker won't let anything keep him from his son's college football games

By Arash Markazi

Back in the Saddle

The best years of his career lost to a 24-year ban, a fixer returns

By Bill Finley

Go Figure

For the Record

Great Grandfather

Ray Boone was the patriarch of baseball's most stellar family

The Show

By Bill Scheft

Q+A Greg Raymer

The 40-year-old former patent lawyer is the World Series of Poker champion and a spokesman for PokerStars.com.

By Richard Deitsch

The Beat

By Lisa Altobelli

The Week Ahead

What to watch and watch for

By Julia Morrill

Under Review

By Stephen Cannella

Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback

By Peter King

Stewart Mandel's Inside College Football

By Stewart Mandel

Lang Whitaker's The Links

By Lang Whitaker

The Poll Position