CONTENTS

January 18, 1993

16
NFL PLAYOFFS

San Francisco slipped by Washington in the slop to set up a date with Dallas in the NFC title game
BY PAUL ZIMMERMAN

The Cowboys again became the pride of Dallas after whipping Philly in the other NFC game
BY RICK REILLY

Miami's stout defense stuffed San Diego to earn the Dolphins a spot in the AFC title match
BY ED HINTON

In a 24-3 victory over Pittsburgh, unheralded Bills kept Buffalo's Super Bowl hopes alive
BY PETER KING

28
TOO MUCH TO BEAR
With the firing of Mike Ditka, Chicago football fans lost the last link to their team's storied past
BY RICK TELANDER

32
RETURN OF THE KING
Wayne Gretzky, recovered from a back injury that threatened his NHL career, is back on the ice
BY RICHARD HOFFER

36
HOW BAD CAN IT GET?
Things are so bad in Dallas that the Mavericks may become the worst team in the NBA's history
BY JACK McCALLUM

42
TRAVELIN' MAN
Freewheeling Senior golfer Larry Laoretti is finally motoring along the road toward success
BY TIM CROTHERS

48
THE BIG LEAST
The Big East is no longer the powerhouse conference that it was during its heyday in the 1980s
BY ALEXANDER WOLFF

58
FIELD OF SCHEMES
In September the Little League World Series victory of a Philippine team dissolved in a sea of deceit
BY RICHARD HOFFER

DEPARTMENTS

4
TELEVISION

9
FACES IN THE CROWD

10
LETTERS

12
SCORECARD

52
COLLEGE BASKETBALL

54
PRO BASKETBALL

68
POINT AFTER

COVER PHOTOGRAPH BY PETER READ MILLER

PHOTOJAY MAISELDa Bear: The dismissal of Mike Dikta left many Chicagoans bemoaning the team's cruel treatment of him. Talking about cruel treatment, that's what Dikta the player, shown here in a 1964 photo, often handed out (page 28).

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)