This is an article from the Dec. 12, 2005 issue
Relievers signing left and right (page 148); All-Stars changing teams (Paul Lo Duca, Rafael Furcal, left, Paul Byrd); free-agent catchers in demand (Ramon Hernandez, Bengie Molina); and names from Alfonso (Soriano) to Zito (Barry) on the block. And that was before the winter meetings really got swinging.
It didn't matter who was throwin' 'em, Chambers was catchin' 'em. Dolphins receiver hooked up with QBs Gus Frerotte and Sage Rosenfels for team records of 15 receptions and 238 yards as well as a last-ditch game-winning TD grab.
Sweet weekend, Dawgs! Saturday the footballers trounced LSU to win a trip to the Sugar Bowl. Sunday the women's hoopsters edged unbeaten Georgia Tech. Coach Andy Landers: "Anytime you beat Georgia Tech in anything, it's a great day for Georgia."
Carolina got its first win ever versus Michael Vick--"We took care of some demons," said safety Mike Minter (right)--and has won eight of nine games. Carefree players even have time to kvetch about QB Jake Delhomme's breath. "It stinks a lot," says receiver Steve Smith. "Seriously."
The Steel City
Big Ben hasn't saved the Steelers lately: They've lost three straight and are slipping out of the playoff hunt despite Roethlisberger's 386 passing yards on Sunday. On the ice Sid the Kid can't carry the Penguins, who are in last place despite Crosby's point-per-game scoring pace.
His streak of 121 games with a catch ended, and so might his Bills career. Moulds spent much of Sunday's loss on the sideline, and is due $7.2 million in '06. "If I'm here, I'm here," he told The Buffalo News. "If not, I'll be elsewhere."
Rough weekend, Hokies. Saturday the footballers were upset in ACC title game by Florida State. Sunday the unranked men's basketball team nearly dethroned No. 1 Duke before a 40-foot shot at the buzzer sank them. Hoops coach Seth Greenberg: "I feel for my kids."
Detroit fans used to boo QB Joey Harrington, but on Sunday they were calling for him, and jeering replacement Jeff Garcia, who kept misfiring in a loss to Minnesota. That makes the Lions 0-1 under new head coach Dick Jauron. Said receiver Roy Williams of the fans' ire, "This felt like a road game."
SI PLAYERS POLL
Which head coach is the best strategist?
Bill Belichick, Patriots 70%
Andy Reid (right) Eagles 7%
Mike Martz Rams 3%
Tony Dungy Colts 2%
Jon Gruden Buccaneers 2%
FAST FACTS: Poll taken before the start of the season.... Sportsman of the Year Tom Brady has said of Belichick, "He's got great attention to detail; he doesn't ever really let us get away with anything." ... Martz took a leave on Oct. 24 with a heart infection but said last week he'd like to return this season.
[ Based on a survey of 357 NFL players ]
For an expanded version of the poll go to SI.com/Players.