Big day for the big man! Pittsburgh's 6'1" 325-pound nosetackle--a guycoach Bill Cowher calls "a rock in the middle of the defense"--had hisfirst sack of the season on Super Sunday, stunting a Seahawks drive. Now he'sheaded to Honolulu, a late addition to the Pro Bowl roster.
Oh, yes! That's 11 straight wins, a rise to the top of the West and arelentless defense ordered up by January's Coach of the Month Avery Johnson.Forward Josh Howard to The Dallas Morning News: "We've all bought intoAvery's system."
The RedHawks' hoopsters won three straight, the hockey team climbed to the No.1 national ranking, and it was a pretty fair weekend for a prized alum too:phys-ed major Ben Roethlisberger.
Where'd he come from? Not the injured Bulls forward but the Bruins' 31-year-oldrookie goalie--12 years ago he went 217th in the NHL draft. He has led Bostonon a 7-2-3 run, resurrecting playoff hopes, and has a gorgeous .941 savepercentage.
Out of the cold, into the fire for NBA forward Jalen Rose (right), shipped fromthe lowly Raptors to the lowlier Knicks; Pete Rose, banned from baseball forbetting on the game, showed up in Vegas over Super Bowl weekend; and it's ascary time to be a rose by any name--you're liable to get picked forValentine's Day.
Oy, vey! That's 17 losses in 19 games, the worst record in the NBA and anoffense sagging without injured Emeka Okafor (left). Coach Bernie Bickerstaffto The Charlotte Observer: "Effort and playing hard can only take you sofar."
Absent from a ceremony for past Super Bowl MVPs--reportedly because they wantedmore money--were Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana. (Both deny money was theissue). Tom Brady was there and, while doing the coin flip before all thoseSteelers fans, was roundly booed.
Where'd he go? Winner of the Hart Trophy in 2001-02, an All-Star in '03-04,Canadiens goalie has an ugly .881 save percentage and was benched after beingyanked in three of four starts. More worries: Replacement Cristobal Huet hasback-to-back shutouts.
SI PLAYERS NBA POLL
Who is the dirtiest player in the NBA?
Danny Fortson, Sonics F 27%
Bruce Bowen, Spurs F 16%
Reggie Evans, Sonics F 9%
Ron Artest, Kings F 9%
FAST FACTS: Despite playing in just 23 games (injury,and a strained relationship with coach Bob Hill) Fortson leads the NBA withthree ejections; he has seven technicals.... Artest and Brad Miller as well asPhoenix's Raja Bell and Kurt Thomas were the other pairs of teammates who eachgot at least three votes.... Last year Artest outpolled Fortson 33% to 22%....Bowen has made five NBA All-Defensive teams.... For ex-teammate Troy Murphy'stake on Fortson, see page 48.
[ Based on a survey of 248 NBA players ] • For anexpanded version of the poll, go to SI.com/Players.
CHUCK BURTON/AP (HAMPTON)
COURTESY OF MIAMI UNIVERSITY (LOGO)
MIKE ZARRILLI/WIREIMAGE.COM (THOMAS)
RUBBERBALL/GETTY IMAGES (ROSE)
JASON SZENES/EPA (JALEN ROSE)
DOUG BENC/GETTY IMAGES (OKAFOR)
SHAUN BEST/REUTERS (THéODORE)
MICHAEL PIMENTEL/ICON SMI (FORTSON)
JOHN SPRINGER/CORBIS (STOOGES)