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December 13, 2004 Table Of Contents

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SCORECARD

Still on the Fast Track

Unfazed by the celebrity that came with his two Olympic medals, Apolo Ohno is having his best season yet

By Brian Cazeneuve

Getting Off the Juice

Teams have player issues to deal with--besides steroids--as they head into this weekend's winter meetings

By Albert Chen

From the Bottom Up

Bears safety Mike Green was once best known as the last player drafted in 2000, but he's become a defensive star

By Marty Burns

Up to a Tall Challenge?

Some say 14-year-old high schooler Alix Klineman could turn out to be the best U.S. volleyball player ever

By Bill Syken

A First Step Toward Greatness

Freddy Adu proved worthy of the hype in his first pro season--and he promises even better things next year

By Grant Wahl

Lessons from the Sandlot

The author reveals how he and his teammates were formed in the crucible of Pop Warner play in the '50s

By Charles Hirshberg

Faces in the Crowd

Trivial Matters

By David Sabino

Sports Illustrated Bonus Section: Golf Plus

Inside Cover

Whatever Happened to David Gossett?

Battling his swing and beset by family issues, the kid who couldn't miss finds himself at a crossroads at age 25

By Alan Shipnuck

A Time To Remeber

Happy memories of one of the game's most popular players and sad news of another tragic plane crash made for a bittersweet Father-Son Challenge

By John Garrity

Moving On Up

Teen star Paula Creamer throws down the gauntlet with a jump to the LPGA

By Jim Gorant

Big Play With Mitchell Spearman

By Mitchell Spearman

Heard on the Range

By Jim Gorant

Golf Plus/SI.com Poll

Voting hours at si.com: 7 p.m. EST Sunday to 3 p.m. EST Monday

Sal Stats

By Sal Johnson

Ryder Redux

By Jim Gorant

2¢ WITH PAUL STANKOWSKI

By Paul Stankowski

Who Am I?

OUR TOUGH-AS-NAILS 2004 Q SCHOOL QUIZ

By Jim Gorant

CATCHING UP WITH

John Laskowski, Sixth Man

FEBRUARY 3, 1975

By Melissa Segura

Pro Basketball

Not By a Long Shot

Since its NBA advent 25 years ago, the three-pointer has won games and thrilled fans. But can it maintain its appeal amid rampant gunning by poor marksmen?

By Jack McCallum

Arc Enemies

By David Sabino

AIR AND SPACE

It's Now or Never

By Steve Rushin

TENNIS

The Star Maker

Philadelphia millionaire Tom Stafford wants his two children to be the best tennis players in the world, and he's sparing no expense in building their support system

By TOURE

SI Players: Life On and Off the Field

TIKI BARBER

Giants Running Back

By Josh Elliott

SI Players

WHO'S Hot/WHO'S Not

SI PLAYERS POLL

[Based on a survey of 354 players]

Mr. Ortiz Goes to Green Bay

By Melissa Segura

The Questions with Michael Haynes

Bears Defensive End

By Michael Haynes

The Three Faces of Roy

Don't hate the wrong guy for dating a Destiny's Child. Check out this guide

Before Every Game I ...

GO-TO GUYS

Deep in the Heart

Houston, you have a problem: Peyton Manning and his 44 TDs

By Adam Duerson

Womb Raider

Steroid Scandal

BALCO BLOWS UP

Leaked grand jury testimony that Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi used steroids and damning allegations by the infamous drug lab's founder raised new questions about baseball's ability to clean up its mess

By George Dohrmann

THE BLIND PURSUIT OF PERFECTION

Here's the real scandal: America has lost sight of deeper values in its obsession with self-improvement

By Richard Hoffer

END OF THE RUN?

Victor Conte's allegation that Marion Jones was a drug cheat could bring her down -- but she's ready to fight back

By Don Yaeger

College Football

A Perfect Trip

On a weekend that left some top teams bemoaning their BCS fate, unbeaten USC got past UCLA and earned a trip to the Orange Bowl for a showdown against Oklahoma

By Austin Murphy

Received Wisdom

An unheralded wideout corps led by record-setting senior Mark Clayton might be the Sooners' secret weapon

By Mark Beech

Bittersweet Sugar

Auburn's SEC title sends the Tigers to New Orleans--and leaves them to ponder why perfection wasn't good enough

By Stewart Mandel

How Do You Like Us Now?

Originally snubbed by the ACC, newcomer Virginia Tech overcame a host of setbacks to claim the conference title

By Kelley King

The Best of 2004

After a season rife with breakout performances, we cast our ballots for year-end awards--and offer some kudos of our own

By Kelley King

PRO BASKETBALL

Doing Fine Without You

Though saddened by their breakup, the former Mavs running mates are, surprisingly, playing even better apart

By Ian Thomsen

Pro Football

Stepping Out

Shedding their losers' image, the Chargers closed in on their first playoff appearance since 1995 with the defense saving a win over the Broncos

By Michael Silver

King's Corner: Playoff Homestretch Edition

By Peter King

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Small Wonder

Slam-dunking over the skeptics, Washington's 5'9" Nate Robinson has hoisted the Huskies with his irrepressible energy and mind-boggling play

By Kelli Anderson

Skiing

Mountain Man

With four wins in the season's first seven races, newly equipped Bode Miller is taking the World Cup by storm

By Tim Layden

SPORTS BUSINESS

Why Not Vegas?

Can a pro franchise thrive in the gambling capital of the U.S.? You bet. And major league baseball or the NBA may soon put one there

By Ian Thomsen

Inside

Inside

The Week in Sports

Inside The NFL

Going Places

Just like Nick Goings, the Panthers started the season in a hole; now the back and the team are up and running

By Jeffri Chadiha

Palmer Playing To Expectations

CINCY'S COMEBACK KID

A Speech To Forget

UNMOTIVATED BROWNS

By Jeffri Chadiha

King's Corner

By Jeffri Chadiha

Dr. Z's Forecast

By Paul Zimmerman

Inside The NBA

Get Carter

Portland couldn't swing a deal for the Raptors' underachieving Vince Carter, but some other team most likely will

By Ian Thomsen

Inside College Basketball

Movin' On Up

Newly licensed minister Roger Powell and fellow senior Luther Head are big reasons Illinois has ascended to No. 1

Inside Tennis

Reign of Spain

In the Davis Cup final on the slow clay of Seville, the U.S. bowed to Rafael Nadal and his fellow españoles

By L. Jon Wertheim

LIFE OF REILLY

No Doubt About It

By Rick Reilly

Departments

Leading Off

Letters

Irish Wake

By firing coach Ty Willingham last week, then failing to hire the man they wanted as his successor, Notre Dame demonstrated that the school of legend is no more

By Phil Taylor

Q+A Kurt Busch

The NASCAR Nextel Cup champ spent last week in New York, where he received his trophy--and his $5.3 million check

By Kurt Busch

Reborn Losers

The author of a new book on the Browns says the team was set up for failure

By Terry Pluto

Go Figure

Dale Bonding

A TV movie explores the relationship that fueled a NASCAR legend's desire

By Nancy Ramsey

For the Record

Don't Look Now

With its coach afraid to watch, Notre Dame won its second soccer title

The Beat

By Lisa Altobelli

The Show

By Bill Scheft

The Week Ahead

What to watch and watch for

By Julia Morrill

Baseball Winter Breakdown

The Poll Position