For college hoops' best rivalry
Duke and UNC—ranked No. 3 and No. 5, respectively—don't meet until Feb. 11, but their fans can indulge their mutual disdain on DVD. The three-disc sets, Duke Beats North Carolina and North Carolina Beats Duke, are exactly what they sound like: celebrations of one side's dominance of the other. Each set contains three commercial-free broadcasts of epic games in the rivalry.
Friday Night Lights
Exhale, FNL fans. Following the Dillon High football team no longer requires a satellite dish. After wrapping up a run on DirecTV, the third season of the acclaimed but low-rated drama premieres on NBC this Friday. Episodes will be new to most viewers, but it's not too much of a spoiler to say an era is ending: By the end of the season Tim Riggins will have played his last high school game.
The Return of Lance
Is reclaiming the top spot in your sport like riding a bike? We'll find out at the Tour Down Under, where a certain Texas-born, seven-time Tour de France champ rides again after a 3 1/2-year retirement. The six-stage, 497-mile race starts in Adelaide, Australia, on Tuesday. The cycling world is a-Twitter: Armstrong has fed fans frequent updates on his training through the social networking site.
Barack Obama trading cards
Topps commemorates the President's inauguration with a 90-card set highlighting moments in Obama's life. Some advice to young political junkies: Don't stick these cards in your bike spokes. During the primaries Topps slipped Obama and Hillary Clinton cards into packs of its 2008 baseball set. One featuring Obama's embossed signature went for $3,122 on eBay.
East-West Shrine Game
Yankees G.M. Brian Cashman, high jumper Nathan Leeper, Seinfeld's Lt. Bookman ... some people seem born to certain jobs. Add to the list Darius Passmore, a wideout at Marshall. Passmore will show off for NFL scouts at the annual college all-star game in Houston. If the West gets a lead and runs out the clock, its coach will become an aptonym too: Gene Stallings.
The Pop Culture Grid
How do sports stars fit in?
Weirdest thing a fan ever said to you
Last time you screamed at the TV
I was a _____ in a former life
Person I'd love to have interview me
I'm dying to know what happened to...
SAM YOUNG Pitt hoops F
Do you know who you are?
When I played Monopoly on PS3
SI.com's Seth Davis
JONATHAN TOEWS Blackhawks C
That a loved one had died
Every day—at annoying ads
Chicago sports anchor Paula Farris
Wayne Gretzky (just kidding)
BEN WALLACE Cavs F
You have two tickets to the gun show
The last Cowboys-Eagles game
MATT LINDLAND MMA fighter
That his wife wanted to get in bed with me
Each time I watch the show Intervention
Dateline's Chris Hansen
INSIDE THE GRID
Amid reports that The King of Pop (above) is on the verge of bankruptcy, needs a lung transplant and could even be near death, Young is puzzled and concerned. And Wallace thinks there's something to the Internet chatter that—like the Jim Morrison myth—questions whether rapper Tupac Shakur was actually murdered in 1996. Muses Big Ben: "They say he's not really dead, so...."
COURTESY OF GENIUS PRODUCTS (DVD)
PAUL DRINKWATER/NBC/EVERETT COLLECTION (FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS)
SANTIAGO FERRERO/REUTERS (ARMSTRONG)
THE TOPPS COMPANY, INC. (OBAMA CARD)
CHRIS HARRIS/THE HERALD-DISPATCH/AP (PASSMORE)
V. J. LOVERO (JACKSON)
MITCHELL LAYTON (YOUNG)
TOM GANNAM/AP (EAGLE)
DAVID E. KLUTHO (TOEWS)
JOHN BIEVER (WALLACE)
JON KOPALOFF/FILMMAGIC/GETTY IMAGES (OPRAH)
DARRYL DENNIS/ICON SMI (LINDLAND)
ETHAN MILLER/GETTY IMAGES (PHAROAH)