The Lineup

September 19, 2004

PRO FOOTBALL

50 How's This to Start?

Michael Vick showed flashes of his old self and silenced skeptics as the Falcons held off the 49ers

by Michael Silver

•Daunte Culpepper's polish

•Duce Staley's happy home

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

58 Beware of the Bears

Exciting things are afoot in Berkeley, where high-scoring Cal is in the Pac-10 hunt

by Austin Murphy

BASEBALL

62 The Prodigy Arrives

Gifted Dodgers third baseman Adrian Beltre leads the bigs in homers and might be MVP

by Alan Shipnuck

MOTOR SPORTS

66 Two for the Road

Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson are the drivers to beat in a new 10-race showdown

by Lars Anderson

TENNIS

70 Swat Team

Roger Federer ruled the men and Svetlana Kuznetsova the women at the U.S. Open

by L. Jon Wertheim

POLO

74 The Ride of Their Lives

African-American kids in Philadelphia have found a refuge in the least likely sport

by Gary Smith

Departments

6 Leading Off

12 Contributors

14 Letters

16 Catching Up With ...

21 Air and Space

Now the Nutmeg State is growing football nuts by Steve Rushin

24 Scorecard

• Bernard Hopkins, the anti-Tyson

• Another Kobe bombshell

• Dante Bichette ... pitcher?

34 Faces in the Crowd

37 Players

96 The Life of Reilly

Giving Barry Bonds his--cough! gag! choke!--props by Rick Reilly

Inside ...

88 College Football

• Irish freshman stuns Michigan

90 Baseball

• A's Chavez solves lefty pitchers

• Who's up, who's down in majors

92 The NFL

• Can Deion play part time?

• Lions win on the road (really)

SI Extra

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COVER PHOTOGRAPH by Robert Beck

INSET PHOTOS: Jeffery A. Salter (James); Tom Ryder/AP (Gordon); Chris Gardner/AP (Johnson)

For a list of the top 25 college football weekend destinations, compiled by the staff of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED ON CAMPUS, go to si.com. Who's No. 1? Think orange.

COLOR PHOTOAL TIELEMANS SADDLEBALL Kareem Rosser takes the field for his inner-city polo team, Work to Ride (page 74).

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)