52 Enter theKid
He may be a 19-year-old beanpole who lives with his mom, but Sonics rookieKevin Durant showed during his first week that he can handle the spotlight andscore like a veteran
By Jack McCallum
60 Talk, TalkJayhawk
The rest of the nation might be at a loss for words to explain Kansas's first9--0 start in 99 years, but not do-it-all cornerstone Aqib Talib, who'll tellyou all day long that he saw a big year coming
By Phil Taylor
66 A BluesRevival
Guided by the motto Whatever It Takes, a new management group has transformed arock-bottom team into a winner—and a hot ticket—in St. Louis, all within ayear's time
By Michael Farber
New England has a clear run at history after beating the Colts
By Lee Jenkins
• The secrets ofsuccess
• AFC, NFCForecasts
Five disparate personalities, five huge talents, one peerless unit: thePatriots' linebacking corps
By Tim Layden
• Dr. Z's All-ProNotebook
8 Leading Off
• Kelvin Sampson's house calls
• First person: Jon Kitna
• An Olympic hero dies
• Farewell to the Orange Bowl
33 Faces in theCrowd
86 Life ofReilly
The No Way That Just Happened moment, and other reasons to love sports by RickReilly
• A bitter victory at the marathon
• The clutch Cavaliers
• Dale Jr. shifts gears to '08
83 High SchoolFootball
• After the wildfires, games
PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHAEL O'NEILL
INSET PHOTOS:John W. McDonough (Durant)
Greg Nelson (Talib)
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NFL FAN VALUEEXPERIENCE
It's a scene thatplays out at NFL stadiums every fall. Thousands of fans gather around grillssizzling with everything from burgers to bratwurst. Coolers are overflowingwith beverages. Pickup football games break out on fields marked with anythingthat fans can put their hands on in the parking lots. It's all part of thecelebration that is professional football. And while every club sells the sameproduct—the NFL game-day experience—the manner in which they sell it differsfrom city to city. So what separates one venue from another?
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1. Martina Hingisretires amid cocaine scandal
2. Experts breakdown Pats-Colts game
3. Runner dies inmarathon trials
1. Kevin Duranttops first NBA Rookie Rankings of'07--08
2. MichaelFarber's On the Fly column
3. Daily HotClicks
THE 10 SPOTBLOG
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GREG NELSON (REESING)
60 RED, WHITE AND BLEW PAST NEBRASKA Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing threw for 354 yards and rushed for 10 in a 76--39 whipping of the Cornhuskers last Saturday that lifted the Jayhawks to 9--0 and No. 4 in the BCS rankings.
BOB ROSATO (NFL)
DAVE ZALUBOWSKI/AP (FANS)
WALTER BIERI/EPA (HINGIS)
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (DURANT)
KIRBY LEE/WIREIMAGE.COM (BORAS)