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Game Plan

What smart fans should do this week
Author:

• WATCH
BCS championship game
It's time for the Gators and the Sooners to settle things and for another bowl week tradition: guessing where the title-game coaches will work next season. Oklahoma's Bob Stoops has shot down rumors that he'll coach the Denver Broncos, who are owned by OU alum Pat Bowlen. Stoops and Florida's Urban Meyer, a veteran subject of NFL rumors, are gunning for their second titles.

• READ
The Billion Dollar Game
To most fans the Super Bowl is preceded by two weeks of hype. But in this illuminating book Allen St. John (Clapton's Guitar) chronicles a full year of buildup involving sponsor deals, party planning and Fox camera placements before last year's Giants-Patriots clash. It's an insider's look at a billion-dollar industry and a game that is much more than just a game.

• WATCH
Mercedes-Benz Championship
Finally, after a five-week off-season, the PGA Tour kicks off its 2009 schedule. Some of the PGA Tour, anyway. The world's top four players—Tiger Woods, Sergio García, Phil Mickelson and Padraig Harrington—are all sitting out the event in Maui. Defending champ Daniel Chopra will be there, though, along with 32 other Tour event winners from '08.

• WATCH
National Bowling Stadium Championship
Kegling may be an odd choice on an NFL playoff afternoon, but the venue for this PBA Tour event makes flipping to ESPN worthwhile. The National Bowling Stadium in Reno is the Taj Mahal of tenpins, with 78 tournament-quality lanes. And if guys in bowling shirts aren't enough, the 440-foot-wide video screen stretching above the lanes is the world's longest.

• HONOR
Hall of Fame Inductees
When Cooperstown's class of '09 gets picked on Monday, Rickey Henderson's phone is sure to ring; whether the alltime steals and runs leader, who's eligible for the first time, will answer is another question. There's more drama surrounding Jim Rice. Will the ex--Red Sox outfielder make it in his final year of eligibility? Last year he fell just 16 votes short of enshrinement.

The Pop Culture Grid

How do sports stars fit in?

New Year's resolution

_____ is really aging fast

Show that turns you into a couch potato

I'm dying for _____ to get back together

Celeb who should take it easy in 2009

CAROLINE WOZNIACKI Tennis Player

To not eat white bread

Brad Pitt

House

The Backstreet Boys

Lindsay Lohan

JEFF CARTER Flyers C

Eat at home a little more

My teammate Glen Metropolit

Prison Break

Britney Spears and Kevin Federline (top)

Britney Spears

MOLLIE FANKHAUSER LPGA

Get more tattoos

My caddie

MTV's Rob and Big

Rob and Big (left)

P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, Sean Combs

JON BEASON Panthers LB

Stop swearing

The Carolina Panthers

SportsCenter

Jake Delhomme and Muhsin Muhammad

The Dallas Cowboys

INSIDE THE GRID

Wozniacki made her choice just after Lohan created her headlines for reportedly fighting with girlfriend Samantha Ronson at a Miami club. Beason's pick, of course, is off the scene these days, which pleases the Panthers' top tackler. "All that off-the-field stuff and hearing about them in the media, I'm tired of it," he says of the T.O.-blighted crew. "They're like five-year-olds who say, 'I'm mad he didn't come to my birthday party!'"

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BILL FRAKES (MEYER)

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BOB ROSATO (STOOPS)

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JEFF GROSS/WIREIMAGE.COM (CHOPRA)

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CHUCK SOLOMON (HENDERSON)

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JAMES D. SMITH/ICON SMI (DALLAS COWBOYS)

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GETTY IMAGES (BEASON)

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AION ARTS (FRANKHAUSER)

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LOU CAPOZZOLA (CARTER)

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SIMON BRUTY (WOZNIACKI)

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PETER KRAMER/GETTY IMAGES (ROB AND BIG)

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JIVE RECORDS (CD)

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MATT SAYLES/AP (PITT)

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ERIC JAMISON/AP (SPEARS AND FEDERLINE)

TWO PHOTOS