32 Tastes Good
Plenty is lost in translation, but with his all-around game, Kosuke Fukudomehas won over fans like no Cub since Sammy
By Lee Jenkins
38 Down for theCount
If—or rather, when—the Suns are eliminated by San Antonio, their once fearedoffense will likely be dismantled
By Jack McCallum
44 East MeetsMidwest
A U.S. gymnast and her Chinese coach
By E.M. Swift
48 Spring Fever
Change is coming at four big programs
By Austin Murphy
52 Message in aBattle
Personal duels define the postseason
By Michael Farber
8 Leading Off
• Doping demotes Olympic track
• Ace our Larry Brown quiz
• Ronny Turiaf's mended heart
28 Faces in theCrowd
30 Just My Type byDan Patrick
• Ryan Leaf finds his Colts jersey
70 Point After
Drew Boylhart cuts through NFL draft b.s. by Selena Roberts
• A's off-season overhaul pays off
68 Horse Racing
• Can Colonel John win the Derby?
The Falcons tappedBC's Matt Ryan (left) as Michael Vick's replacement—the first step in therecovery of the franchise
BY PETER KING
• The Chiefs gotbig help for now and the future
Sports in RealTime • All the Time • All Free
The Value ofExperience
This week SI.com rolls out its 2008 Ballpark Rankings. Based on a nationwidesurvey of baseball fans, we assigned grades to all 30 major league stadiumsaccording to their affordability, food, team quality, history, tradition,atmosphere, fans' intelligence, hospitality, promotions, neighborhood andaccessibility. Which park offers the best experience? And which gives you theworst? Well, you'll have to check out the final results.
SEE SI.COM'SCOMPLETE BALLPARK RANKINGS AT SI.COM/BALLPARKS.
Inside the NFL
Who passed and who failed? Grading the 2008 draft.
Inside Horse Racing
Can Big Brown deliver? Analyzing a wide-open Kentucky Derby field.
A look at the hottest topics in NASCAR Nation this week.
College Football:Balance of Power
As spring practices wrap up across the nation, SI.com presents a preseasonpackage that includes:
> StewartMandel's Top 25 (Georgia, led by quarterback Matthew Stafford, is No. 1)
> AndyStaples's look at early enrollees who are already having an impact
> Gene Menez'sfirst Heisman Watch of the 2008 season
> See it allat SI.com/collegefootball2008.
FROM SPORTSILLUSTRATED APRIL 24, 1989
SI.com regularlydigs into the archives and presents a classic SPORTS ILLUSTRATED story. Thisweek it's Rick Telander's 1989 piece on Tony Mandarich, the former MichiganState offensive tackle and NFL draft prospect extraordinaire.
WITH HIS size,speed and attack-and-obliterate style of play, Mandarich has broken new groundfor offensive linemen, as well as for the game of football as we know it.Either that or he has set civilization back a thousand years. "He may bethe best offensive tackle ever," says Michigan State head coach GeorgePerles. "He's faster than any offensive lineman in pro football. There'sprobably nobody faster in the world at his weight. This is a different player.We'll never have another."
> Check outthe latest Classic Bonus at SI.com/classic.
PHOTOGRAPH BY AL TIELEMANS
INSET PHOTO: DavidBergman
For reprints of SIcovers visit SIcovers.com.
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ROBERT BECK (UCLA)
48 FOOTLOOSE UCLA players warmed up with some high kicks in the Rose Bowl last Saturday evening before the Bruins' annual spring game.
BOB ROSATO (RYAN)
WINSLOW TOWNSON (FENWAY)
FENWAY DIDN'T GET A MONSTER GRADE
GREGORY HEISLER (SI COVER)
TED MENZIES (ZIMMERMAN)
MEL LEVINE (BEECH)
BOB ROSATO (STAFFORD)