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December 22, 2008 Table Of Contents

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The Road Much Traveled

Fear not, fired coaches. There's a good chance you'll work in this town again

By Michael Farber


For the Record

Fortunate Sooner

Thanks to a little luck, the Heisman cometh to Sam Bradford

By Phil Taylor

Winter Blunderland

By Rebecca Shore

Southern Progress

A film explores Bear Bryant's role in integration

By Farrell Evans


By Arash Markazi

Stepping Out

By Joe Lemire

Game Plan

What smart fans should do this week

Jamie Gold

The 2006 World Series of Poker champ can be seen on NBC's Poker after Dark

As told to Arash Markazi

Faces in the Crowd

Just My Type

By Dan Patrick


D As in Dominant

Longtime defensive strong boys Pittsburgh and Baltimore met to decide the AFC North—and to settle the debate over which unit was the NFL's best this season. The answers are etched in steel

By Jim Trotter

The Dream Scheme

Dick LeBeau's revolutionary philosophy—pressure the passer, but keep zones covered—just gets better with age

By Peter King

Raven Maniacs

Baltimore coordinator Rex Ryan doesn't care about fancy pedigrees. He's looking for wild men who can hammer

By Peter King


Take Me Out to ... The Winter Meetings In Vegas, Baby, Vegas

Baseball's annual swap meet was a mere sideshow to the circus of showgirls, rodeo, slots and neon kitsch, but it ultimately delivered a $161 million jackpot, a 4 a.m. free-agent signing and a 12-player—12!—trade. (Plus the usual frenzy of rumors, half-truths, outright lies and the stem-winding stories from the old baseball men)

By Joe Posnanski


Home Cookin'

Energized by being reunited with family and friends, Denver native Chauncey Billups has guided the previously directionless Nuggets to the brink of first place in the West

By Chris Mannix


Claude Lemieux Comes to Worcester

He's 43. He hasn't taken an NHL shift in five years. But the former playoff force and erstwhile most hated man in hockey believes a few good turns in the AHL can lead to his own miracle on ice

By Michael Farber


The Year In 4th ANNUAL Sports Media

Totally Tubular

NBC's pioneering online Olympic coverage didn't dim the power of TV

By Kostya Kennedy

NFL: Comin' at Ya

By Adam Duerson

Game-day Faves

SI plays matchmaker with the best broadcasters of 2008

The Most ...

By Joe Lemire

Singing the Blues

The Giants dominated on bookshelves as well as on the field

By Stephen Cannella

Olympian Effort

Sports Illustrated Books

The Most...

Fixed Asset

The Wrestler is the sports movie of the year

By Adam Duerson

High Spirits

By Mark Bechtel

Risky Business

By Rebecca Shore

The Most...

Wii Generation

A virtual trainer led a video-game boom

By Stephen Cannella

Brainy Bloggers

Free Darko waxes wise on the NBA

By Mark Bechtel


Inside: The Week In Sports

Gaining Ground

With a revamped right side of the line and a pair of explosive backs, Carolina is making a run at the Super Bowl

By Damon Hack

Peter King's Pick of the Week

By Peter King

Rough Gems

Their games need polish, but a few freshmen have elevated their teams by fitting in rather than standing out

By Mark Beech

Seth Davis's Three-Pointer

By Seth Davis

Starting Over

Hoping to give their clubs a jolt, the Sixers and the Wizards turned to men with no recent coaching pedigree

By Chris Mannix

Point After

Learning from The Pros

By Chris Ballard


Leading Off