Lineup

December 25, 2006

THE YEAR INSPORTS 2006

40 ELSEWHERE
Photos that illuminate 11 sports on five continents

THE BESTOF...

68 THE NFL
by Michael Silver

74 BASEBALL
by Tom Verducci

78 THE NBA
by Jack McCallum

82 COLLEGEFOOTBALL
by Phil Taylor

86 COLLEGEBASKETBALL
by Grant Wahl

90 TENNIS
by L. Jon Wertheim

92 GOLF
by Alan Shipnuck

94 THE NHL
by Michael Farber

96 THE REST
Other sports

101 TOO TRUE TOBE GOOD
by Steve Rushin

106 GAME OF THEYEAR
by Chris Ballard

118 FAREWELL
by Mark Bechtel

Departments

12 LeadingOff

18 Letters

21 Air andSpace
'Tis the NFL season: A Who's Who of stars has made every day Christmas for anailing teen
by Steve Rushin

22 Scorecard
Division II's answer to Bob Knight
SI's holiday gift guide
In appreciation of Lindsay Davenport

35 Faces in theCrowd

154 Life ofReilly
That Christmas letter telling [in mind-numbing detail] what a family [you couldcare less about] is up to
by Rick Reilly

Inside...

138 The NBA
The biggest loser in the New York brawl

140 Baseball
Did Toronto overpay Vernon Wells?

143 The NFL
End-of-the-year awards

148 CollegeBasketball
Jeff Bzdelik puts the buzz in Air Force

150 The NHL
A blue line blueprint for success

Cover
PHOTOGRAPH BY PETER READ MILLER

INSET PHOTO:Chuck Solomon

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NCAABASKETBALL
Arron Afflalo (left) and No. 1 UCLA could go undefeated, writes Grant Wahl atSI.com/collegebasketball.

NBA
Is LeBron James (left) overpaid or underpaid? Check out every player's salaryat SI.com/nba.

PRO FOOTBALL
Can Rex Grossman (left) lead the Bears to a Super Bowl? Get Peter King's answerat SI.com/nfl.

COLLEGEFOOTBALL
It's decision time for Adrian Peterson (right) and other juniors. Which onesshould go pro? Find out at SI.com.

NFL VIDEO
Get original video at SI.com, including Dr. Z and Brooklyn Decker (right) in ZSays/She Says.

2006RETIREMENTS
Andre Agassi (right) wasn't the only star to retire this year. See the top 25at SI.com/photo.

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PHOTO40 PHOTO106 PHOTO68 PHOTO118 PHOTOAL TIELEMANS (HENNE)PASSIN' IN PASADENA To learn more from Stewart Mandel about Rose Bowl QBs Chad Henne of Michigan (left) and John David Booty of USC before their Jan. 1 showdown, go to SI.com, which will have predictions and complete breakdowns for all 32 bowl matchups. PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (BOOTY)[See caption above] PHOTONICK UT/AP (AFFLALO) PHOTOBILL FRAKES (JAMES) PHOTOBILL FRAKES (GROSSMAN) PHOTOROBERT BECK (PETERSON) PHOTOMEL LEVINE (SHE/Z) PHOTOBOB MARTIN (AGASSI)

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)