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SPORTS MEDIA

35 2006 in Review

36 The Year in Movies
With so many silly, slight and sentimental films, We Are Marshall stands out
by Alan Shipnuck

40 The Year in Books
Fresh insights on old heroes—and a steroids exposé that damned many stars
by Tom Verducci

42 The Year in TV
Changes on Sunday and Monday nights rocked the NFL's prime-time landscape
by Bill Syken

PRO FOOTBALL

46 Home Run
In Houston, Titans QB Vince Young got payback on a team that passed him up
by Jeffri Chadiha

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

52 As Good As Advertised
The smashing debut of Greg Oden has made Ohio State the team to beat
by Grant Wahl

BASEBALL

56 Name Your Price
Flush with cash, teams are lavishing huge salaries on some unlikely free agents
by Tom Verducci

TIKI BARBER

Media Giant?
by Karl Taro Greenfeld

New York's hardworking running back is about to hang up his cleats. But guess what? You'll be seeing even more of him once he's out of the game

Departments

6 Leading Off

12 Letters

15 Air and Space

Such a deal: Get 1,215 NBA games—and learn how to open a Grizzlies checking account
by Steve Rushin

16 Scorecard

The 76ers say goodbye to AI

A baseball prospect starts over

27 Faces in the Crowd

31 Players

78 Life of Reilly

Think that kids are killing brain cells on video games? Look at what e-athletes can bank
by Rick Reilly

Inside...

73 College Basketball

UCLA's blazing new point guard

74 The NFL

Jacksonville's rookie sensation

The Falcons are put on notice

77 The NHL

The Thrashers' two-way threat

Cover

PHOTOGRAPH BY JOHN BIEVER

INSET PHOTO: Simon Bruty

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> > NBA

For a team that started the season 3--6, the Suns sure did get their act together quickly; at week's end they had won 10 straight. See how far reigning MVP Steve Nash (right) and Phoenix have climbed up the NBA Power Rankings at SI.com/nba.

> > NFL

Given the turnaround that quarterback Drew Brees (left) is engineering in New Orleans and the record-breaking season LaDainian Tomlinson is having for San Diego, it's clear that both deserve MVP consideration. Does the prolific Brees have enough support to outpace TD leader LT? Should a defensive player also be on the MVP short list? Check out how Peter King ranks the top five candidates in Monday Morning Quarterback at SI.com/nfl, where you can also read Dr. Z's NFL Power Rankings.

> > COLLEGE FOOTBALL

At SI.com/collegefootball Stewart Mandel reserves the right to wait until Jan. 8 to pick the winner of the national title game between Ohio State and Florida, led by QB Chris Leak (right). But Mandel has no qualms about predicting the other bowl winners. According to his crystal ball, there will be three nail-biters on New Year's Day.

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