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Oct. 24, 2005
Oct. 24, 2005

Table of Contents
Oct. 24, 2005

NBA Preview
SI Players: Life On and Off the Field
Baseball
Pro Football
Motor Sports
College Football
Departments

Lineup

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
OCTOBER 24, 2005
VOLUME 103, NO. 16

This is an article from the Oct. 24, 2005 issue

FEATURES

BASEBALL
38 Going the Distance

Thanks to four straight complete games, the White Sox are heading to the Series
by Tom Verducci
• Houston's on the brink of a pennant
• Charting the White Sox' dominance

PRO FOOTBALL
48 Lake Woebegone

A night of debauchery aboard two yachts is the latest scandal for the Vikings, a franchise that has become rudderless
by Michael Silver and George Dohrmann

MOTOR SPORTS
52 Tragedy, Teamwork
A year after the plane crash that killed his son and nine others, NASCAR owner Rick Hendrick has another title in his sights
by Lars Anderson

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
56 Fantastic Finishes
There were nail-biters galore last Saturday when No. 1 USC stunned Notre Dame with three seconds to play
by Austin Murphy
• Five other last-gasp showdowns

NBA PREVIEW 2005-06
It's Chemistry 101: combustible ingredients, unstable combinations and strange new formulas

64. Opposites Attract
In the infamously flammable Ron Artest, Pacers boss Larry Bird sees plenty of himself
by L. Jon Wertheim

78. Measure of Success
Moneyball has come to the NBA, as front offices find new stats to quantify a player's talent
by Chris Ballard

84. A Perfect Team
The Spurs have come up with a model roster. Here's another
by Ian Thomsen

86. 5 Minute Guide
What contenders need to have happen, what will happen and whom you'd want on your team
by Ian Thomsen

89. Scouting Reports
Breakdowns on all 30 teams, with lineups and scouts' takes

Departments
8 Leading Off
14 Letters
16 Contributors
19 Air and Space
As they have so often, the Vikings prove expert at mortifying Minnesotans by Steve Rushin
20 Scorecard
• SI writer's role in Wie's debut
• USA hoops bypasses NBA coaches
28 Faces in the Crowd
31 Players
148 The Life of Reilly
Ballroom dance student Matt Leinart's best move? Staying for his senior season at USC by Rick Reilly

Inside ...
142 The NFL
• Falcons' Vick just can't go slow
• Bledsoe's in a groove in Dallas

146 College Football
• The Red Raiders' air superiority
• New offense sputters in Florida

Cover
CLAY PATRICK MCBRIDE
INSET PHOTO: Kevork Djansezian/AP

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SI.COM
GO TO SI.COM DAILY FOR SCORES, STATS AND BREAKING NEWS

•What will San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson (left) do for an encore after rushing for a TD, catching a TD and tossing a TD pass in Sunday's 27-14 defeat of the Raiders? Find out what Peter King and Dr. Z have to say about the Chargers-Eagles showdown at SI.com/nfl.

•For the first time since Nellie Fox and the Go-Go Sox of 1959, Chicago's South Side squad is in the World Series, this time with Jon Garland (right) and a potent pitching staff trying to end the franchise's 88-year title drought. For a Fall Classic preview, the best photos in World Series history and Tom Verducci's postgame analysis, go to SI.com/baseball.

•He's made you laugh in his appearances on Saturday Night Live and Last Comic Standing; now read Jay Mohr's column every Wednesday at SI.com.

•Can anyone unseat Chelsea as the hottest soccer team on earth? Find out who might with Jonah Freedman's Power Rankings, while Grant Wahl makes his MLS playoff picks at SI.com/soccer.

•ATP pro Justin Gimelstob dishes on tennis's latest doping controversy, while Jon Wertheim answers readers' questions in his Tennis Mailbag at SI.com/tennis.

•His team leads the nation in scoring and passing yardage, but that will mean little to Cody Hodges (right) if the Red Raiders lose at No. 2 Texas on Saturday. Get previews of the top matchups, photo galleries and Stewart Mandel's Power Rankings at SI.com/collegefootball.

PHOTOCHUCK SOLOMON (ALCS)38 SOX HOP Second baseman Tadahito Iguchi grabbed a throw on Chone Figgins's steal, and Chicago grabbed the AL pennant from the Angels.PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (YAO)Yao MingPHOTOROBERT BENSON/WIREIMAGE.COM (WIE)20 ERRANT TOSS In her first event as a pro, 16-year-old Michelle Wie (with caddie Greg Johnston) was disqualified after making an illegal drop last Saturday, then signing an incorrect scorecard.PHOTOPETER READ MILLER (TOMLINSON)PHOTOJAMIE SABAU (GARLAND)PHOTOBOB ROSATO (HODGES)