Publish date:

December 11, 2006 Table Of Contents

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SI Bonus Section: SI Fantasy Plus

Playoff Preview

You've worked too hard to blow it now. Time to hunker down and study key matchups, game-by-game and player-by-player, for three make-or-break weeks

Compiled by Gene Menez, David Sabino and Jason Steinthal

Start 'Em

WE LIKE THE MATCHUP

By David Sabino

Sit 'Em

DON'T LIKE THE MATCHUP

5 Minute Fantasy

By Adam Duerson

Boxing

Taking Care of Business

Super welterweight Oscar De La Hoya has applied his golden touch to land development, boxing promotion and newspaper publishing, but he's still set for another big payday in the ring

By Richard Hoffer

From the Editor

Stronger Than Fiction

The amazing story of Dwyane Wade

By Terry McDonell

Air and Space

Committing a Chortle Sin

By Chris Ballard

SI Players: Life On And Off The Field

STEVE MCNAIR

RAVENS QUARTERBACK

As told to Nunyo Demasio

Who's Hot / Who's Not

The Questions with Shaun Phillips

Chargers Linebacker

Highs and Lows

Hard lessons for Giants end Mathias Kiwanuka

By Mathias Kiwanuka

The Pop Culture Grid

Kicking with a Game on the Line

Staying Focused

Before he heads to USC, a fiery California QB tries to lead his team to the state title

By Arash Markazi

Home on the Prairie

Somalian runners get a new start in Minnesota

By Bill Syken

The List

Sportsman of the Year

Sportsman of the Year: Dwyane Wade

Is there an athlete with more positive energy than the 24-year-old guard? He pulled the Heat out of a deep playoff hole, helped put the shine back on a tarnished league and lifted his mom out of her own personal hell

By S.L. Price

Pro Football

Silver Star

In two months, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has gone from a buried backup to the NFL's best-rated passer and its brightest new light

By Tim Layden

Rocked and Reeling

While the Cowboys steam toward the postseason, their NFC East rivals, the Giants, are desperately trying to right their ship

By Nunyo Demasio

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Playoff, Please

Even before UCLA stunned USC, heightening the championship matchup debate, the BCS was as problematic as ever. SI offers an eight-team tournament with rebuttals to arguments against it

By Phil Taylor

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Court of Appeal

Putting his Olympic volleyball ambitions on hold, Arizona freshman Chase Budinger is focusing on hoops for the first time--and wowing the likes of Michael Jordan

By Grant Wahl

College Basketball

Sixth Sense

Flashy freshman guard Greivis Vasquez has an uncanny ability to come off the bench--and to the rescue--for surging Maryland

By Luke Winn

SKIING

Back on the Edge

Nine months after letting down the U.S. team at the Winter Olympics--and appearing not to care--Bode Miller is fit, fast and focused on winning World Cup races

By Tim Layden

HOCKEY

The Best We've Ever Had

No U.S.-born forward can match the career of Dallas center Mike Modano, who is doggedly leading the Stars even after being stripped of his captaincy

By Michael Farber

Inside

Inside: The Week In Sports

The NBA

By Ian Thomsen

Ian Thomsen's Fast Break

By Ian Thomsen

The NFL

By Jeffri Chadiha

JASON TAYLOR A Fight to The Finish

By Michael Silver

Peter King's Corner

By Peter King

Dr. Z's Forecast: Charging On

By Paul Zimmerman

College Basketball

By Kelli Anderson

The NHL

By Michael Farber

Pierre McGuire's In the Crease

By Pierre McGuire

Life of Reilly

Paging Dr. Barry

By Rick Reilly

Departments

Inside Cover Description

Don't Count Him Out

A new bio of Gene Tunney brings a fresh appreciation to the career of an often maligned champion

By Richard O'Brien

Like Father, Like Son

George and Coby Karl have shared a lot on and off the court, including having won a battle with cancer

By Chris Mannix

Leading Off

A Line in the Sand

Film cameras trailing, three ultramarathoners are running the Sahara, from one side of Africa to the other

By Bill Syken

Puck of the Irish

Under the leadership of a disciplinarian coach, once-woeful Notre Dame has become a national contender

By Rick Lipsey

Hall Monitor

Lefty O'Doul died in 1969, but that hasn't stopped one loyal fan from trying to get him into Cooperstown

By Ron Fimrite

Letters

Going, Going, Gone

Once Mark McGwire was a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame, but a steroids backlash, and his refusal to "talk about the past," have turned him into an outcast

By Tom Verducci

Snoop Dogs

High-tech spying is wrong, but baseball still has no rule against it

By Joshua Prager

For the Record

Sweat Shop

The windowless Kronk, home to Detroit's best and moistest fighters, has shut its doors

By Richard O'Brien

Q&A Andrea Jaeger

The No. 2 tennis player in the world in the 1980s became Sister Andrea, an Anglican Dominican nun, in September

By Richard Deitsch

Week Ahead

What to watch and watch for

By Chris Mannix

The Beat

By Adam Duerson

Faces in the Crowd