Publish date:

Lineup

Author:

THE BEST ISSUE

38 Matthew Stafford

A relentless commitment to improve drives the Detroit QB

BY MICHAEL ROSENBERG

• Sean McVay's surprising Rams

48 Julio Jones

The Falcons' receiver is already a legend in his own time

BY BEN BASKIN

56 Kristaps Porzingis

The Knicks' superstar has a rare collection of mad skills

BY BEN GOLLIVER

58 Yu Darvish

The Dodgers' ace is out to prove he's one of baseball's best

BY MIKE PIELLUCCI

66 Shaquem Griffin

The inspirational linebacker has one simple rule: no excuses

BY ANDY STAPLES

72 Best Blowouts

Why do FCS schools sacrifice players' bodies for big payouts?

BY MICHAEL MCKNIGHT

82 Bayou Bash

LSU's tailgaters throw a party that's second to none

BY ANDY STAPLES

84 The Incubators

How does a place produce so many of America's top athletes?

BY JEREMY FUCHS

88 P.R. Rivalry

Hollywood's top sports publicists kill for attention

BY L. JON WERTHEIM

94 Shaquille O'Neal

A quarter century after his NBA debut, the big man examines his place in the pantheon of the pivot

BY JACK MCCALLUM

100 Sports Equinox

How our intrepid reporter spent the day when four sports aligned

BY JACK DICKEY

102 Little Wrestlers

Should they give up on their dream or be in on the joke?

BY DAN GREENE

Departments

4 SI Digital

6 Editors' Letter

8 Leading Off

16 Inbox

18 Scorecard

34 Faces in The Crowd

112 Point After

Jack McCallum: A Thanksgiving tradition