Lineup

December 12, 2005

TOM BRADY
SPORTSMAN
of the YEAR 2005
His spirit has made him the ultimate teammate at the toughest times.
by Charles P. Pierce
page 76

Moments to Remember

Roger CLEMENS
After his mom died, the Astros' ace delivered by Tom Verducci
94

Danica PATRICK
A 23-year-old rookie made history at Indy by Kelli Anderson
96

Roger FEDERER
The Swiss wizard rallied in the U.S. Open final by S.L. Price
98

Lady BEARS
During a key timeout Baylor got a needed boost by Grant Wahl
100

Matt LEINART &
Reggie BUSH
USC's partnership prevailed at Notre Dame by Austin Murphy
102

Athletes & KATRINA
The disaster brought out the best in NFL players by Michael Silver
106

RUN
TO
DAYLIGHT
Competition has helped heal many Iraq war vets
BY S.L. PRICE
PAGE 112

Departments

11 From the Editor

18 Leading Off

24 Letters

31 Air and Space
Who cares which NHL player had the most stitches? I do by Steve Rushin

34 Scorecard
• Granddaddy of the end-zone dance

52 Faces in the Crowd

55 Players

152 Life of Reilly
Denver's O-line: a lifeline for running backs but death to p.r. by Rick Reilly

Inside ...

125 College Basketball
• Florida finds a playmaker

129 The NHL
• Sharks' attack gains needed bite

130 The NBA
• Elton Brand's MVP campaign

134 Boxing
• Old news for Bernard Hopkins

136 College Football
• Reggie Bush joins USC's elite

143 The NFL
• The new Nigerian nightmare

148 Baseball
• Is B.J. Ryan a bargain for Toronto?

150 Olympic Sports
• Bum knee doesn't slow Bode Miller

ON THE WEB SI.COM

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

**How difficult will the road be for Landon Donovan (right) and the U.S. at the 2006 World Cup? Follow the Dec. 9 draw for Germany at SI.com/soccer, with analysis from Grant Wahl and Gabriele Marcotti, and tournament predictions from Mark Bechtel.

**The Hot Stove League is barely a month old and the Mets have already given the highest average salary ever for a reliever (Billy Wagner's $43 million over four years), while the Dodgers have made Rafael Furcal the second-highest-paid shortstop in MLB (three years, $39 million). What other rich deals will go down this off-season, and where, oh where, will Manny Ramirez (bottom left) wind up? Get the latest news and analysis on signings and trades at SI.com/baseball.

**Despite the wide-open ice, the neutral-zone trap is still a part of the NHL. Read Darren Eliot's take on the trap at SI.com/nhl, along with Allan Muir's assessment of the U.S. junior team, which will be favored at this month's world tournament.

**Nathan Vasher (below) and his mates share the NFL lead in interceptions returned for touchdowns (three), and are a big reason that the Bears have their first eight-game winning streak since 1985. Can this team give the Windy City its first Super Bowl champ in 20 years? Follow Chicago's stretch run, with perspective from Peter King and Dr. Z, and see Don Banks's Closer Look at the Bears-Steelers showdown, at SI.com/nfl.

Cover

PHOTOGRAPH BY LYNN JOHNSON (Background by SI Imaging)

SI Extra

To sign up for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's free subscriber-only e-mail

newsletter, go to sicustomerservice.com/siextra.

PHOTODAMIAN STROHMEYER (BRADY) 76 TOM TERRIFIC
With a strong performance on Sunday in a 16--3 win over the Jets, Sportsman of the Year Tom Brady has the Patriots in the running for a fourth Super Bowl title.
PHOTOERIC ENGMAN/FAIRBANKS DAILY MINER/AP (PURPLE HEART) PHOTOELLEN OZIER/REUTERS (DUKE) 125 Far-Flung
Sean Dockery buried a 40-footer with less than a second left to lift top-ranked Duke to a 77-75 victory over Virginia Tech in Durham.
THREE PHOTOSDAVID BERGMAN (DONOVAN); CHUCK SOLOMON (RAMIREZ); DAVID E. KLUTHO (VASHER)

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)