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TABLE OF CONTENTS

December 08, 2008 | Volume 109, Issue 22

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Michael Phelps Cover - Sports Illustrated December 08, 2008

December 08, 2008 | LEE JENKINS
All eyes are on , a switch-hitting, slick-fielding, image-savvy superstar who—with an assist from überagent —has definitely arrived

December 08, 2008 | LEE JENKINS
BREAKING NEWS, REAL-TIME SCORES AND DAILY ANALYSIS.

December 08, 2008 | PABLO S. TORRE
When Filipino boxer takes on Oscar De La Hoya, he'll be fighting for more than an eight-figure purse. He'll be representing countrymen who adore him—and trying to win their votes

December 08, 2008 | PABLO S. TORRE
BREAKING NEWS, REAL-TIME SCORES AND DAILY ANALYSIS.

December 08, 2008 | MICHAEL FARBER
Quieter and less prolific than teammate , the Capitals' enigmatic Alexander Semin was the NHL's most overlooked talent—until he suddenly opened his mouth

December 08, 2008 | MICHAEL FARBER
BREAKING NEWS, REAL-TIME SCORES AND DAILY ANALYSIS.

December 08, 2008 | MICHAEL FARBER
Some lesser-known lights have been outshining their star teammates this season

December 08, 2008 | GARY SMITH
How do you finance a passion for stock car racing? As a movie and TV stuntman, of course

December 08, 2008
As the Chargers wallow through a dismal season, LaDainian Tomlinson ponders his role—and his future • NFC South showdown: Peter King picks the Bucs over the Panthers

December 08, 2008 | Jim Trotter
LaDainian Tomlinson has gotten lost in the Chargers' wayward offense—and wonders what it means for his future

December 08, 2008 | Peter King
The Bucs, thanks to pile-pushing defensive tackles Jovan Haye and Chris Hovan and cleanup man Barrett Ruud at middle 'backer, are giving up fewer yards per carry than the front-running Titans and...

December 08, 2008 | David Sabino
Which players will come through in the closing weeks? Count on a few unlikely producers over some big names

December 08, 2008 | David Sabino
• on the notion that () would be a good pickup after scoring his first TD of the season, against the Saints. Activated by the Bucs two weeks ago, he will see only spot duty behind .

December 08, 2008 | Kelli Anderson
Flaunting refined games, three big bangers have muscled their way into the early player of the year discussion

December 08, 2008 | Seth Davis
The Pac-10 is down. A year after reigning as the nation's best conference, the league has seen its top five teams all fail to win early-season tournaments.

December 08, 2008 | Chris Mannix
He's no Jason Kidd—and that's a good thing for the Nets, who have turned Devin Harris into an offensive force

December 08, 2008 | Chris Mannix

December 08, 2008 | Phil Taylor
IT'S GRATIFYING to Ken Mink that he has received hundreds of e-mails telling him what an inspiration he is to older people, not to mention younger ones. It's thrilling to him that he has been...

December 08, 2008

December 08, 2008 | Terry McDonell
Eunice Kennedy Shriver's Legacy

December 08, 2008
Henry R. Luce 1898--1967

December 08, 2008 | Joe Posnanski
Milorad Cavic is still coping with his one-hundredth-of-a-second loss

December 08, 2008

December 08, 2008

December 08, 2008
Not guilty to a criminal charge of handgun possession, . The Giants wide receiver accidentally shot himself in the leg in a New York nightclub early last Saturday morning, 36 hours before New...

December 08, 2008
Coach of the 2--10 Chiefs, on whether he's a candidate for the job at San Diego State:

December 08, 2008
Bengals receiver Chad Johnson was at a Cincinnati-area Best Buy at 5:25 a.m. on Black Friday to buy .

December 08, 2008 | Eben Harrell
Oh, snap: British playground baller dekes NBA dude

December 08, 2008 | Eben Harrell
Consecutive-game streak of Aston Villa's American goalkeeper Brad Friedel, the longest in Premier League history.

December 08, 2008 | Elizabeth McGarr
Cocky QB Benny Friedman was an innovator

December 08, 2008 | Arash Markazi
courtside at a Lakers game, actors and , India's version of and , visited practice, where gave them personalized jerseys. Dutta, the 2000 Miss Universe who's dated , then offered Bryant a role...

December 08, 2008 | Joe Lemire
network advertising declines, the Super Bowl remains nearly immune. NBC has sold 59 of its 67 half-minute ads to Super Bowl XLIII—just slightly behind Fox's pace last year—for a record $3 million...

December 08, 2008
What smart fans should do this week

December 08, 2008
BRAND knocked back the tiny fish eggs with his agent, David Falk, and Brackett, who grew up in New Jersey, partook, reluctantly, of his father's wild game. "My dad used to hunt," he says. "He'd...

December 08, 2008 | As told to Sarah Kwak
Friday Night Lights

December 08, 2008
Conceicão, a senior forward at Tusculum, was named the 2008 South Atlantic Conference player of the year and the Daktronics Southeast Region player of the year after topping Division II with 60...

December 08, 2008
was not before, it is now official: The Pittsburgh Pirates are desperate for pitching. Baseball's most moribund franchise (the Bucs have had 16 straight losing seasons) had a team ERA of 5.08...

December 08, 2008 | Dan Patrick

December 08, 2008 | ALAN SHIPNUCK
He turned a pool in Beijing into the center of the universe, captivating millions with his exhilarating achievements. Now he's using his fame to get more kids swimming safely and to promote his...

December 08, 2008 | ALAN SHIPNUCK
BREAKING NEWS, REAL-TIME SCORES AND DAILY ANALYSIS.

December 08, 2008

December 08, 2008
Fifty-four years ago, in announcing the inaugural award, SI wrote that the annual honoree would be one who "gave to the quality of unprecedented performance the sense of unrepeatable performance."...

December 08, 2008
BREAKING NEWS, REAL-TIME SCORES AND DAILY ANALYSIS.

December 08, 2008 | JACK MCCALLUM
On the 40th anniversary of the first Special Olympics, SI presents its first Sportsman of the Year Legacy Award to the movement's founder, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who has used athletics to change...

December 08, 2008 | JACK MCCALLUM
Go to if you'd like to donate to Special Olympics or visit SI's past coverage of the movement.

December 08, 2008

December 08, 2008 | JACK MCCALLUM
Loretta Claiborne found an outlet in running and a voice speaking out for Special Olympics

December 08, 2008 | Elizabeth McGarr
(sequence at right)

December 08, 2008 | Elizabeth McGarr
No one sees the impact of Special Olympics quite the way that the athletes' No. 1 boosters do

December 08, 2008 | Elizabeth McGarr
(far right), (bottom row, middle)

December 08, 2008 | JACK MCCALLUM
The Farrelly brothers used their trademark humor for a unique look at Special Olympics

December 08, 2008 | Elizabeth McGarr
(top right) (bottom row)

December 08, 2008 | Elizabeth McGarr

December 08, 2008 | TIM LAYDEN
Spread the news: The methodical is powering through the NFL's toughest division thanks to an unwavering line that puts opponents on their backs and rules the locker room

December 08, 2008 | TIM LAYDEN
BREAKING NEWS, REAL-TIME SCORES AND DAILY ANALYSIS.

December 08, 2008 | Peter King
Which offensive lines besides the Giants' are dominating in 2008? Senior writer ranks the rest of the best

December 08, 2008 | AUSTIN MURPHY
The 112th meeting between and was one of a handful of showdowns last week in which heated rivals squared off with much more than bragging rights at stake

December 08, 2008 | AUSTIN MURPHY
BREAKING NEWS, REAL-TIME SCORES AND DAILY ANALYSIS.

December 08, 2008 | S.L. PRICE
Forget the clashes with coaches, the bad-boy labels and the stabbing—Boston's championship wiped all that away. But there's still something bothering the Celtics'

December 08, 2008 | S.L. PRICE
BREAKING NEWS, REAL-TIME SCORES AND DAILY ANALYSIS.

December 08, 2008 | THOMAS LAKE
One night in 1992, in a small town in Alabama, the North Jackson Chiefs won a game against seemingly insurmountable odds. Then came the crashes and the gunshots and one man's fateful choice