41 The UnitasFactor
Every young quarterback owes a debt to Johnny U, who took charge of a middlingteam and turned it into a champion
by Tom Callahan
50 The PerfectCatch
Hardworking Twins catcher Joe Mauer is the ideal hometown hero, and he's poisedto make history at his position
by Kelli Anderson
56 Ready for theWorlds
After two disastrous showings, Team USA is bringing hungrier players, a deeperroster and a savvier game plan to Japan
by Ian Thomsen
58 Question Number1
The Texans shocked the NFL by drafting Mario Williams first overall. Now he'sunder pressure to prove he's worth it
by Michael Silver
Once, Laird Hamilton was one of the few to ride a murderous wave. But then camethe bounty hunters and thrill-seekers
by Susan Casey
6 Leading Off
17 Air andSpace
The ump needs glasses! Though in the case of minor leaguer Max McLeary, asingle corrective lens would have sufficed by Steve Rushin
• Drug cheats:Enough is enough
• NFL's off-seasonarrest record
• The U.S.'sstellar striker retires
• A day for motorsports meltdowns
30 Faces in theCrowd
80 Life ofReilly
An Israeli fencer from the 1972 Olympics, traumatized by Black September,speaks at last about the night his life changed by Rick Reilly
• Trade deadlinewinners and losers
• Minnesota's nextpitching star
PHOTOGRAPH BYPETER GREGOIRE
INSET PHOTOS:Frank Gitschier (Unitas); Thomas B. Shea/WireImage.com (Williams); SamJones/Corbis Outline (Hamilton)
To sign up forSPORTS ILLUSTRATED's free subscriber-only e-mail newsletter, go tosicustomerservice.com/siextra.
ON THE WEBSI.COM
FREE SCORES, STATSAND BREAKING NEWS-- NO SIGN-UP REQUIRED
Why does JamieFoxx want Wayman Tisdale playing bass in his dream band? Does Reds righthanderBronson Arroyo have a voice to match his curveball? Find out at SI.com in aspecial report on the intriguing intersection of sports and music.
If you visitedSI.com last week, you already know that writer Jon Heyman anticipated severaltrades, including the Phillies' moving Bobby Abreu (left) and Cory Lidle to theYankees. Go to SI.com/baseball daily for Heyman's news and notes from aroundthe majors.
After committingfour turnovers in the AFC Championship Game, Jake Plummer (left) has to provehimself to Broncos fans all over again. With the arrival of Vanderbilt's JayCutler, will Denver still be Snake country? Find out in training camp reportsat SI.com/nfl.
The Red Sox have ahappy dilemma on their hands. Do they let All-Star pitcher Jonathan Papelbon(right) become the next Mariano Rivera or the next Roger Clemens? Read whatCurt Schilling thinks is the best role for the rookie at SI.com.
BOB ROSATO (WILLIAMS)
58 HOT SEAT Mario Williams endured a sweltering first week of camp in Houston, but the NFL's No. 1 pick will really feel the heat once the season starts.
SAM JONES/CORBIS OUTLINE (HAMILTON)
ROBERT BECK (ARROYO)
PITCH PERFECT? One of many pros who mix music and sports, Cincinnati aceBronson Arroyo has released an album, Covering the Bases.
JOHN IACONO (ABREU); DAMIAN STROHMEYER (PLUMMER, PAPELBON)