44 Little BigHitter
Colts free safety Bob sanders plays with a ferocious physicality that belieshis size
By Damon Hack
Quarterback Matt Ryan has helped make Boston College a BCS contender
By Mark Beech
58 In Praise ofKarch
At 46, Karch Kiraly is retiring after defining both versions of his sport
By Kelli Anderson
64 The Talk of theCup
Chatty forward Abby Wambach has led the U.S. to the World Cup semifinals
By Mark Bechtel
Summer's over, butthe heat's just starting to rise for some of baseball's biggest stars as theyprepare to take the October stage. Their collective response: Bring it
66 RE-ARMED ANDDANGEROUS
Closer JonathanPapelbon gives the Red Sox a vital weapon in the postseason
By Tom Verducci
70 FACES OFOCTOBER
A photo gallery ofAlex Rodriguez and other difference makers
By Walter Iooss Jr.
8 Leading Off
• O. J. Simpson's enduring fame
• First Person: Morten Andersen
• A drag racing legend crashes
• Whither Barry Bonds?
• The shrinking running back
38 Faces in theCrowd
94 Best ofReilly
One way to pick up practical knowledge at Middlebury: Pick Up Butch by RickReilly
Inside . . .
82 The NFL
• Brett Favre has the Pack back
• A power rusher propels Wisconsin
88 High SchoolFootball
• The spread of the spread option
• Roush Fenway is resurgent
PHOTOGRAPH BY MIKE ZARRILLI/WIREIMAGE.COM
INSET PHOTO: BobRosato
COVERFLAP: JohnBiever (2)
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BOB ROSATO (SANDERS)
44 MIGHTY MITE As long as 5' 8" Bob Sanders (21) stays healthy, the Colts have a defense to be reckoned with.
WALTER IOOSS JR. (PAPELBON, RODRIGUEZ)
MELLEVINE (DR. Z AND DECKER; HEYMAN)
AL TIELEMANS (HEISMAN)
COURTESY OF DAN RUBENSTEIN (TAILGATING)
DAVID BERGMAN (NFL)
BERNARD PAPON/EPA (LANDIS)
GREG NELSON (THOMAS)
BRAD MANGIN (BONDS)