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December 15, 2014 Table Of Contents

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EDITOR'S LETTER

Sudden Sportsman

By Christian Stone

INBOX

INBOX

Sportsman of the Year

Pictures Of the Year

Madison Bumgarner

How does a man who'd rather be roping cattle than standing in the spotlight build the most brilliant World Series pitching résumé in history? A lethal fastball helps, and the Giants' ace finds inner strength by never straying too far from home

By Tom Verducci

PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

By Michael Bamberger

Tom Cruising

For the Patriots' QB, humming at 37, there's not much difference between 28 (the age at which he was named SI's Sportsman of the Year) and 45 (when he plans to still be picking apart NFL defenses). In fact, given the way Brady prepares, older might be better

By Greg Bishop

EVERYDAY SPORTSMEN

By Sarah Kwak

Cold Comfort

We are still a long way from a cure for ALS—or even finding what causes the brutal disease. But this year a group of patients and athletes brought us a little closer with the Ice Bucket Challenge

By Emily Kaplan

We Believe In Magic

Earvin Johnson has tirelessly invested in African-American communities and advocated for those affected by HIV/AIDS—and, despite his own diagnosis, the smile has never left his face

By Jack McCallum

Bruce Bochy Built This House

The Giants have won three titles in five seasons, the most dominant run since the Yankees of the late '90s. That steadiness and excellence starts in the manager's office

By Chris Ballard

The Decisions

Divisive issues immediately confronted Adam Silver; out of them he forged a long-lost unity

By Lee Jenkins

MOMENTS OF THE YEAR

By Ben Reiter

Perfect Mistake

The meeting between perennial power Kentucky and top-seeded Wichita State in the round of 32 was unfortunate—but the battle that resulted was unforgettable

By Luke Winn

The Mo'ne Effect

She became a cultural phenomenon at the Little League World Series, but the Mo'ne Davis story didn't end when summer did. It lives on in the spirits of the young people—boys and girls—whom she's inspired

By Albert Chen

Playing with Pride

A transgender coach celebrates the many athletes who came out in the last year

By Stephen Alexander

POINT AFTER

Sportsman-like

By Steve Rushin

Departments

SI.COM

THE FIRST FOUR

We're No. 4!

A visit to Ohio State coach Urban Meyer's living room on selection Sunday laid bare what is now the most gut-wrenching moment in sports

By Pete Thamel

How To Win

Craig Bohl won his third consecutive FCS national title when his North Dakota State team triumphed in that division's 24-team last year. That makes Bohl, now the coach of Wyoming, college football's leading expert on playoffs

As told to Pete Thamel

It's About Time Line

After 145 years, college football finally has a playoff. There has been plenty of racket en route to the bracket

HOT | NOT

Reversing the Curse

TWEETABLE REVIEWS

Four new releases in 140 characters or less

Track Addict

Roger Penske conquered the business world by following his first love: racing

By Andrew Lawrence

Faces in the Crowd

Edited By Alexandra Fenwick

Sports Illustrated HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE OF THE MONTH

Just My Type

By Interview by Dan Patrick

The Case for ... The Four-Team Playoff

By Jim Gorant