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TABLE OF CONTENTS

December 30, 2002 Volume 96,

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Ted Williams Cover - Sports Illustrated December 30, 2002

December 30, 2002 | Terry McDonell/Managing Editor
How it was for us in 2002

December 30, 2002 | Peter King
Four the Hard WayBrett Favre should win yet another MVP because he's had less to work with than the Raiders' Rich Gannon

December 30, 2002 | Peter King
TRADING E-MAIL WITH...NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue

December 30, 2002 | Paul Zimmerman
Sometimes a quarterback, through sheer force of will, unites and rallies a team around him. The Titans' Steve McNair, battling injuries and playing with remarkable courage and intensity, did so...

December 30, 2002 | Seth Davis
Voluble freshman Dee Brown has the Illini off to a hot start

December 30, 2002 | Seth Davis
1. Mike Davis's meltdown was inexcusable. In charging onto the court to vehemently protest (incorrectly) a noncall against guard Bracey Wright and getting hit with two technicals when Indiana was...

December 30, 2002 | Tim Layden
For Ohio State to stand a chance in the Fiesta Bowl, three key defenders have to clamp down on the Canes

December 30, 2002 | Daniel G. Habib
Inexperienced Tony Granato takes over the Avalanche intent on bringing fun and fire back to Denver

December 30, 2002 | Pierre McGuire
When teams talk trade with the Rangers, the player they often ask for is defenseman Dale Purinton, formerly a one-dimensional pugilist who has greatly improved his all-around game. Part of the...

December 30, 2002 | Rick Reilly
For years "Miriam from Forest Hills" has been one of the great hockey callers in New York sports-talk radio. "Ya gotta beat that goaltender top shelf!" she'd insist. "Why don't these guys know that?"

December 30, 2002
When Columnist Steve Rushin travels the country, he reads the local papers and keeps an eye out for intriguing two-paragraph sports-related stories on, say, a man in Great Falls, Mont.,...

December 30, 2002
Lefthanded catcher Bruce McCall sees it as an honor and a privilege to travel back in time to 1952 if it means he can help the St. Louis Browns battle up Tom their last-place 1951 American League...

December 30, 2002 | Albert Chen
OCTOBER 18, 1976

December 30, 2002
Getting the PicturesKudos for running the Faces of the NFL (Dec. 9) portfolio. Walter Iooss Jr. is one of the greatest sports photographers of all time. Thank you, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, for...

December 30, 2002
LETTERS

December 30, 2002 | Steve Rushin
On Christmas Eve 30 years ago, the day of his team's playoff game against the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins receiver Paul Warfield woke in a panic in his clockless home and dialed Time &...

December 30, 2002
In case you didn't get holiday greetings from a pro athlete, or a team, or even a league, we went through our mailbag and picked some of our favorites to share

December 30, 2002 | Tim Layden
Marion Jones is working with her sport's most notorious steroid advocate

December 30, 2002 | Melissa Segura
SCOTT, LOUISIANA

December 30, 2002 | Tim Layden
21Straight Wednesday games the Nuggets have lost, dating to last season.

December 30, 2002
DiedOf prostate cancer before he could become the first to drive 500 mph in a wheel-driven car, Don Vesco, 63. Vesco (above) and his brother and chief mechanic, Rick, 56, were hoping to break that...

December 30, 2002 | Ian Thomsen
Sued

December 30, 2002 | Bill Scheft
Boy, you can tell it's the holiday season. I saw Pat Riley at the NBA Store, trying to exchange his XXL fine for a medium.

December 30, 2002 | Richard Deitsch
The 6'3" former pro volleyball player (and occasional model) will conduct interviews for USA Network's upcoming PGA Tour Sunday, a live weekly one-hour show that debuts on Jan. 12.

December 30, 2002
DECEMBER 27-JANUARY 9

December 30, 2002 | Richard Deitsch
Awards Time

December 30, 2002
Gold medal figure skater Sarah Hughes got an early Christmas present on Dec. 13 when she opened her e-mail and learned she'd been accepted into Harvard's class of '07. But though the school has...

December 30, 2002
Today show weatherman Al Roker has been named an honorary member of the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team.

December 30, 2002
EARL BOYKINSWarriors 5'5" guard, after the public-address system at the Arena in Oakland blared It's a Small World in honor of him: "Never play that again. It irritates me."

December 30, 2002
There is a place, boys and girls, where the sharks face off with the marlins, and the dolphins mix it up with the terrapins, and the devil rays are as good as everybody else. It's called the...

December 30, 2002 | John O'Keefe
He grew up in Africa and didn't play hoops until 14, but Romain Sato has come a long way at Xavier

December 30, 2002 | Michael Farber
Detroit's Dave Lewis has made a seamless transition replacing storied Scotty Bowman behind the bench

December 30, 2002 | Charles Hirshberg
Combining his favorite photos and memories, SI photographer Walter Iooss has created a work of art

December 30, 2002
Irony and humor underline arguments that religion made sports in America what it is today

December 30, 2002 | L. Jon Wertheim
Not blessed with big-time talent, Nuggets forward Ryan Bowen survives in the NBA on all-out desire

December 30, 2002
Rhi Jeffrey, DELRAY BEACH, FLA.SwimmingRhi, an Atlantic High junior, broke the oldest standing national high school swim record when she swam 1:45.49 in the 200-yard freestyle at the state 2A...

December 30, 2002
Year-End Quiz

December 30, 2002
HEAVY MEDALS: b. German athletes won 35 medals, including a competition-high 12 gold and 16 silver. The U.S. won 10 gold, 13 silver and 11 bronze. Norway won the third most (24), followed by...

December 30, 2002
After a thrilling Super Bowl (no, that's not an oxymoron) and an Olympic fix, this year of Angels and steroids, Ty and Tiger, Lance and Serena, Yao and Hootie, had only just begun

December 30, 2002
Please note that this is a double issue. The next SI will be dated January 13.

December 30, 2002
Find every SI cover subject—from Eddie Mathews to Joey Harrington—online in our new, searchable covers database at cnnsi.com/si_online/covers.

December 30, 2002
To sign up for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's free subscriber-only e-mail newsletter, go to http://sicustomerservice.com/siextra.

December 30, 2002
A cliché in sports is that there's always another game, but some losses stay with us forever. On these pages we remember the stars who passed on this year

December 30, 2002
With unerring insight and uncanny foresight, BRUCE MCCALL unveils the stories we're sure to see soon

December 30, 2002
Union DoozyMount Union's Dan Pugh goes over the pile for one of his four touchdowns in the Purple Raiders' 48-7 win over Trinity in the Division III championship game in Salem, Va., last Saturday....

December 30, 2002
A Dolphin flew, a tennis star morphed into Marilyn Monroe, and America gasped at a tiny Giant in jeopardy. Here, now, the year in startling images

December 30, 2002 | Steve Rushin
Beauty power, courage: Sure, those things have their place in the sports pages—usually way ahead of the bizarre, moronic and embarrassing stories our writer has been clipping all year

December 30, 2002
The NBA

December 30, 2002 | Jack McCallum
Swarming D's, among other things, have put the Lakers' season in peril

December 30, 2002 | Jack McCallum
How puny are the Cavaliers' crowds? During a recent game against the Sonics a fan in Gund Arena's upper deck yelled "Hey, Gary!" while Gary Payton shot free throws. After shooting, Payton looked...