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December 26, 2005 Table Of Contents

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Catching Up With

Damon Bailey, Guard

DECEMBER 13, 1993

By Bill Syken

Air and Space

A Pro's Guide to Heavy Spending

By Steve Rushin

SI Players: Life On and Off the Field

Steve Smith

PANTHERS WIDE RECEIVER

As told to Elizabeth Newman

Who's Hot / Who's Not

Edited by Kostya Kennedy

Buccaneer Bloodlines

By Lisa Altobelli

The Pop Culture Grid

Edited by Kostya Kennedy

THE QUESTIONS

WITH Al Harrington Hawks Forward

Edited by Kostya Kennedy

The Best of 2005

The Year in Sports 2005

Paulie Revered

First baseman Paul Konerko experienced a once-in-a-lifetime October, leading the White Sox to their first title in 88 years

By Tom Verducci

Barry and the Babe

By Tom Verducci

Class in Session

The Colts take on the personality of Tony Dungy, their poised and pioneering coach. That means no wasted breath

By Peter King

More Need for Speed

By Peter King

Wrap Star

Every team had a crack at lockdown defender Bruce Bowen; the Spurs signed him. That's why they're the champs

By Jack McCallum

Asking for the World

By Jack McCallum

March Magic

A spate of Did you see that? moments during an NCAA tournament weekend had cellphones ringing across the land

By Grant Wahl

Duke-UConn Redux

By Grant Wahl

United Mates

Displaying a newfound camaraderie, an inspired U.S. team gave Captain Jack a memorable Presidents Cup victory

By Alan Shipnuck

New Teen Queens

By Alan Shipnuck

Foreign Idea

Fans may have come to the U.S. Open hoping to see homegrown talent, but a pair of European stars opened their eyes

By L. Jon Wertheim

Let's Go to the Replay

By L. Jon Wertheim

Glory at Last

After deferring his retirement, U.S. shot putter Adam Nelson finally struck gold at the world championships

By Tim Layden

Foreboding for Bode

Extra Special

Look no further than the Harvard-Yale triple-overtime thriller for proof that the NCAA has gotten at least one thing right

By Austin Murphy

USC: Take Three

By Austin Murphy

Hot Tickets

Two dozen games crammed into 13 days? No problem. SI picks the winners and offers a viewer's guide to which matchups are worth watching

Force Majeure

In Lance Armstrong's seventh and final triumph in the Tour de France, the race was all but over as soon as he started

By Austin Murphy

Too Good Not to Win It

By Grant Wahl

The Year in Sports 2005

Crowd-Pleasers

The Liars Club

The congressional hearings on steroids in baseball, the bigger-than-sports story of the year, turned into a three-ring circus. And only the clown, Jose Canseco, may have told the truth

By S.L. Price

Gone But Not Forgotten

An array of influential figures from the sports world passed away in 2005, from subtle contributors to trailblazers to true giants in their fields

'Twas the Fight Before Christmas

A high-wire experiment in sports fiction, written in nine chapters, sequentially, by nine SI authors, wherein a fast-fading pugilist suddenly finds himself in the bout of his life. Read on....

By Jack McCallum

Best of the Worst 2005

Fifth Annual Too True To Be Good

For 12 long months, Steve Rushin rummaged the depths of sports to unearth these nuggets of surreal news from 2005

By Steve Rushin

Inside

Inside: The Week In Sports

The NFL

By Peter King

King's Corner

By Peter King

Dr. Z's Forecast: Skins Alive

By Paul Zimmerman

The NBA

By Ian Thomsen

Ian Thomsen's Fast Break

By Ian Thomsen

College Basketball

By Grant Wahl

College Football

By Austin Murphy

STEWART MANDEL'S Two-Minute Drill

By Stewart Mandel

The NHL

By Michael Farber

Pierre McGuire's In The Crease

By Pierre McGuire

Inner Demons

Freestyle skier Jeret (Speedy) Peterson has overcome personal hardships to become a gold medal favorite in Turin

By Brian Cazeneuve

Life of Reilly

A Matter Of Heart

By Rick Reilly

Departments

Keeping the Faith

With an upset of No. 1 Nebraska, Washington's true believers went from also-rans to national champs

By Jeffri Chadiha

Letters

Saints Elsewhere

Despite leading the NFL in evictions, distractions and uncertainty, the storm-blown New Orleans players are hanging together

By Michael Silver

Buzzer-Beatin' Gifts

Need sensible last-minute suggestions for that sports fan on your list? Good luck. What follows is something else entirely

Edited by Stephen Cannella

For the Record

Edited by Stephen Cannella

Close, but No Cigar

The U.S. bars Cuba, one of the world's best teams, from the World Baseball Classic

By Albert Chen

Born Too Late

One of the world's top figure skaters--Japan's Mao Asada--is too young for the Olympics

By Yi-Wyn Yen

Cracking Down

Prosecutors are rewriting the rules and getting aggressive in their pursuit of drug-using athletes

By Tim Layden

Q&A: Dale Murphy

The two-time NL MVP, 49, is the author of The Scouting Report, a how-to guide to negotiating life as a professional athlete

By Richard Deitsch

The Beat

By Adam Duerson

The Weeks Ahead

What to watch and watch for

By Chris Mannix

Faces in the Crowd

Edited by Stephen Cannella

Fantasy Watch

By David Sabino