FEATURES

BASEBALL

40 Coming of Age
The story of Dodgers catcher Russell Martin could be straight from a novel
By Michael Farber

46 The Beautiful Losers
An oral history of the Phillies, who are on the verge of a milestone for ineptitude
By Franz Lidz

CYCLING

52 Are They All Dirty?
New doping revelations have removed the sport's last vestiges of credibility
By Austin Murphy

SOCCER

58 Golden Boys
Remaining undefeated under new coach Bob Bradley, the U.S. won the Gold Cup, beating Mexico in a match that served as a midfielder's coming-out party
By Grant Wahl

TRACK AND FIELD

62 Speed to Burn
Sprinters Tyson Gay and Torri Edwards hit their strides at the U.S. championships, blazing to emphatic—and cathartic—victories
By Tim Layden

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

80 Gunnar Esiason
Boomer's son is playing three sports despite cystic fibrosis
BY L. JON WERTHEIM

84 Wining and Dining
An oenophile tackle rates vintages; the best BBQ joints; a Motown food mogul

92 Hakeem Olajuwon
The center has scored big as a Houston real estate magnate
BY ALEXANDER WOLFF

98 Marquette Basketball
A distinctive team photo recalls the rare coach of the '77 champs
BY JULIA MORRILL

100 The 1972 A's
Baseball's most entertaining—and forward-looking—club
BY PHIL TAYLOR

104 The Hanson Brothers
Thirty years after Slap Shot, they're still playing their parts
BY AUSTIN MURPHY

108 Picabo Street
The downhill skier is an advocate for children's rights
BY KELLI ANDERSON

112 Holmes & Cooney
The heavyweight opponents now trade playful jabs
BY RICHARD O'BRIEN

114 Mario Mendoza
Linked to big league futility, he's highly respected at home
BY ALEXANDER WOLFF

118 Lost and Found
From photography to flying-dog shows, these athletes have found new stages

130 Where Will They Be?
Young jocks likely to make their marks

NEXTEL CUP

MIDSEASON REPORT
NASCAR

Midway through the regular season, SI checks in with points leader and new father Jeff Gordon, honors the highs (and lows) of racing and surveys the sport's leading drivers
P. 64

Departments

10 Leading Off

18 Letters

20 Players
• First Person: NBA prospect Yi Jianlian
• Why can't teammates get along?
• A legendary rodeo cowboy dies
• Introducing the NHL's top pick
• An Angel pitches from the stretch
• Review: ESPN's The Bronx Is Burning

37 Faces in the Crowd

144 Life of Reilly
An L.A. sportswriter's tale of radical change: The old adventures of new Christine
by Rick Reilly

Cover
PHOTOGRAPH BY TODD KOROL

INSET PHOTO: Courtesy of Universal Studios Licensing LLP

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Title IX Turns 35
Where do we go from here?

> > A GALLERY OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN TITLE IX HISTORY AT SI.com/titleix.

THE EXPERTS WEIGH IN

FRANK DEFORD

> Striking a Balance
Get Congress to declare that football is legally in a different category. Football has no female analogue, and it is by far the costliest sport.

> Read more of this column at SI.com/deford.

DONNA LOPIANO

> Room for Improvement
This is not a zero-sum game—men do not lose when women are treated equally. This is about adult leaders making sure our children share the sandbox.

> Read more of this column at SI.com/lopino.

JESSICA GAVORA

> Common Sense Needed
The law sets a high standard—equal opportunity for women and men. And the only way we're going to know if we're meeting this standard is to ask.

> Read more of this column at SI.com/gavora.

TRAFFIC REPORT

> MOST VIEWED
1. Peyton Manning tops the QB rankings
2. Photos: NFL players seeking new deals
3. Chris Ekstrand's NBA mock draft

> OUR PICKS
1. Fantasy football player ratings
2. Video of Greg Oden and other draftees
3. Justin Gimelstob's blog from Wimbledon

CHRIS BALLARD

> The Human Touch
What is interesting about the Kobe Bryant video rant is what it says about Bryant, celebrities and fans today. And in that regard, hard as it may be to do, we should praise Kobe.

> Read more of this column at SI.com/ballard.

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PHOTOMICHAEL O'NEILL (ESIASONS)CARRYING ON The Esiasons continue to work toward a cure for cystic fibrosis 14 years after Gunnar became a poster boy for the disease.
PHOTOMICHAEL O'NEILL (ESIASONS COVER)[See caption above] PHOTOSAM SHARPE (GORDON) PHOTOFREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES (YI)Yi Jianlian TWO PHOTOSDAMIAN STROHMEYER PHOTOJ.P. WILSON/ICON SMI PHOTOANDY MEAD/WIREIMAGE.COM PHOTOBOB ROSATO (MANNING) PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (ODEN) PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (BRYANT) PHOTOMEL LEVINE (BALLARD)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)