40 Coming of Age
The story of Dodgers catcher Russell Martin could be straight from a novel
By Michael Farber
46 The Beautiful Losers
An oral history of the Phillies, who are on the verge of a milestone for ineptitude
By Franz Lidz
52 Are They All Dirty?
New doping revelations have removed the sport's last vestiges of credibility
By Austin Murphy
58 Golden Boys
Remaining undefeated under new coach Bob Bradley, the U.S. won the Gold Cup, beating Mexico in a match that served as a midfielder's coming-out party
By Grant Wahl
TRACK AND FIELD
62 Speed to Burn
Sprinters Tyson Gay and Torri Edwards hit their strides at the U.S. championships, blazing to emphatic—and cathartic—victories
By Tim Layden
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
80 Gunnar Esiason
Boomer's son is playing three sports despite cystic fibrosis
BY L. JON WERTHEIM
84 Wining and Dining
An oenophile tackle rates vintages; the best BBQ joints; a Motown food mogul
92 Hakeem Olajuwon
The center has scored big as a Houston real estate magnate
BY ALEXANDER WOLFF
98 Marquette Basketball
A distinctive team photo recalls the rare coach of the '77 champs
BY JULIA MORRILL
100 The 1972 A's
Baseball's most entertaining—and forward-looking—club
BY PHIL TAYLOR
104 The Hanson Brothers
Thirty years after Slap Shot, they're still playing their parts
BY AUSTIN MURPHY
108 Picabo Street
The downhill skier is an advocate for children's rights
BY KELLI ANDERSON
112 Holmes & Cooney
The heavyweight opponents now trade playful jabs
BY RICHARD O'BRIEN
114 Mario Mendoza
Linked to big league futility, he's highly respected at home
BY ALEXANDER WOLFF
118 Lost and Found
From photography to flying-dog shows, these athletes have found new stages
130 Where Will They Be?
Young jocks likely to make their marks
Midway through the regular season, SI checks in with points leader and new father Jeff Gordon, honors the highs (and lows) of racing and surveys the sport's leading drivers
10 Leading Off
• First Person: NBA prospect Yi Jianlian
• Why can't teammates get along?
• A legendary rodeo cowboy dies
• Introducing the NHL's top pick
• An Angel pitches from the stretch
• Review: ESPN's The Bronx Is Burning
37 Faces in the Crowd
144 Life of Reilly
An L.A. sportswriter's tale of radical change: The old adventures of new Christine
by Rick Reilly
PHOTOGRAPH BY TODD KOROL
INSET PHOTO: Courtesy of Universal Studios Licensing LLP
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Title IX Turns 35
Where do we go from here?
> > A GALLERY OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN TITLE IX HISTORY AT SI.com/titleix.
THE EXPERTS WEIGH IN
> Striking a Balance
Get Congress to declare that football is legally in a different category. Football has no female analogue, and it is by far the costliest sport.
> Read more of this column at SI.com/deford.
> Room for Improvement
This is not a zero-sum game—men do not lose when women are treated equally. This is about adult leaders making sure our children share the sandbox.
> Read more of this column at SI.com/lopino.
> Common Sense Needed
The law sets a high standard—equal opportunity for women and men. And the only way we're going to know if we're meeting this standard is to ask.
> Read more of this column at SI.com/gavora.
> MOST VIEWED
1. Peyton Manning tops the QB rankings
2. Photos: NFL players seeking new deals
3. Chris Ekstrand's NBA mock draft
> OUR PICKS
1. Fantasy football player ratings
2. Video of Greg Oden and other draftees
3. Justin Gimelstob's blog from Wimbledon
> The Human Touch
What is interesting about the Kobe Bryant video rant is what it says about Bryant, celebrities and fans today. And in that regard, hard as it may be to do, we should praise Kobe.
> Read more of this column at SI.com/ballard.
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MICHAEL O'NEILL (ESIASONS)
CARRYING ON The Esiasons continue to work toward a cure for cystic fibrosis 14 years after Gunnar became a poster boy for the disease.
MICHAEL O'NEILL (ESIASONS COVER)
[See caption above]
SAM SHARPE (GORDON)
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES (YI)
J.P. WILSON/ICON SMI
BOB ROSATO (MANNING)
JOHN BIEVER (ODEN)
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (BRYANT)
MEL LEVINE (BALLARD)