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July 6, 2009 Table Of Contents

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LEADING OFF

LEADING OFF

Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS

The Next Step

The U.S. got a glimpse of the top at the Confederations Cup—now it must apply its lessons to 2010

By Grant Wahl

Serving Notice

Thanks to big bangers like Croatia's Ivo Karlovic, heavy hitting is in vogue again at the All England Club

By L. Jon Wertheim

Stride Right

Little-known Mike Rodgers has gone from selling shoes out of his car to national 100-meter champion

By Brian Cazeneuve

COACH ED THOMAS

'He Was the Rock That This Community Was Built On'

In Parkersburg, Iowa, it was a high school coach who led the townspeople out of the rubble of a tornado, showed them how to live a Christian life and brought honor to a football field he mowed himself. What they can't understand is why Ed Thomas was gunned down by a former player

By Lee Jenkins

BASEBALL

Swinging For the Border

Padres slugger Adrian Gonzalez honed his sweet stroke in a pair of cities on either side of the U.S.-Mexico line—one that he'd love to call home for the rest of his career and the other too dangerous even to visit

By Lee Jenkins

PRO BASKETBALL

Now a Few Words From... LeBron's New Bodyguard

Traded to the Cavaliers, Shaquille O'Neal talks about protecting the King, being happy for Kobe and how he'll change the matchup with the Magic

By Ian Thomsen

SOCCER

How Beckham Blew It

When he came to L.A. two years ago, David Beckham was supposed to lift soccer's profile in the U.S. and help the Galaxy vie for a title. Instead he failed as a leader, foundered on the field and alienated his most important teammate

By Grant Wahl

NASCAR MIDSEASON REPORT

It's All on the Line Now

With nine races to go before the field of 12 is set for NASCAR's title Chase, the pressure is on to earn a playoff berth—or the season is a bust. Any driver who still has a shot at the Sprint Cup better get running

By Lars Anderson

Room For One More?

A star in the Nationwide Series, Brad Keselowski is ready to toe the line with the big boys in Cup competition. But don't call him a phenom. He's 25, not 18, and he has paid his dues

By Mark Beech

Point After

Last Round With Tuffy

By Chris Ballard

Departments

Letters

Leveling the Playing Field

The case for congressional hearings into the BCS

By SENATOR Orrin Hatch

Who's Hot Who's Not

Bully Market

Broad Street gets a little tougher as Philly swaps for a rugged defenseman

By Michael Farber

For the Record

Back to School

NFL players prepare for life on camera

By Richard Deitsch

Fortunate Ones

SI's annual look at who's making what

By Jonah Freedman

Gameplan

What smart fans should do this week

Just My Type

By Dan Patrick

Faces in the Crowd

The Vault

Three Strikes

SI's lead baseball writer goes inside the game. This is just a taste of what you'll get online.

By Tom Verducci