The Eagle eats well (Our Dinner with Hollis, SI PLAYERS, Dec. 20) and he's livin' large. Back from a dislocated left elbow and playing in the postseason for first time since 2000, the 330-pound DT was stompin' around after dropping T.J. Duckett for loss and sacking Michael Vick in goal line stand that sent Philly on its way to Jacksonville.
Basketballers snagged two sweet wins on the road--Tracy McGrady got 27 in return to Orlando; a buzzer-beater sank New York--and Yao Ming is standing tall as the leading vote-getter for next month's All-Star Game. That other Houston Rocket, Roger Clemens (left), isn't just getting older, he's getting richer: The 42-year-old ace inked a record $18 million deal with his hometown 'Stros.
Believing in a Hoya Power
John Thompson III, Georgetown's first-year coach, may be resurrecting Dad's glory days. After upset of Notre Dame, the Hoyas, 13--15 last year, were 12--5 and without quit. Senior Darrel Owens to the Washington Post: "[Thompson] always gives you confidence...he works his magic."
O, say can they sing! In Philly, 11-year-old Timmy Kelly, who's blind, delivered the National Anthem before the NFC title game. ("I feel ecstatic," said Timmy, right). Hours later Tiffany Evans, 12, a Star Search winner, belted it out in Pittsburgh.
Tony suburb is the home of the unbeaten Boston College men's basketball and one place that just can't lose in Super Bowl XXXIX: Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and Patriots owner Robert Kraft both grew up there.
After denying whispers that he's dating publicity-friendly golfer Natalie Gulbis, the Offensive Rookie of the Year had his second straight subpar playoff game. This time he tossed three interceptions (if not for some dropped balls, it might have been five) to lose for the first time since August 2003--when he was a junior at Miami (Ohio).
Recent headlines? Forward Qyntel Woods was cut after pleading guilty to misdemeanor animal abuse, and former Jail Blazer Scottie Pippen is suing his lawyer for malpractice. The Rose Garden crowds are thin (one sellout all year), and so are prospects for the injury-plagued team that's off to its worst start in 29 years. Coach Maurice Cheeks has responded by banning popcorn from the locker room.
Purdue coach Gene Keady, who'll retire at season's end after 25 years, has his team at 0--6 in the Big Ten and 4--12 overall after losing to Iowa last Saturday. Keady, 68, to the Dayton Daily News: "We're having a season of hell.... I haven't been in a hole this deep in my career."
As last week's storm rolled in, visions of Ice Bowls were dancing in our heads. Alas, by kickoff the fields were cold but clean, and there was not a flake to be found in the Pennsylvania sky.
Trade rumors swirled around Vikings Randy Moss (who was all but invisible in season-ending loss Jan. 16) and T-wolves guard Latrell Sprewell (right, just two points Jan. 21 vs. Sonics).