The Giants are NFC East champs, which means playoffs at the Meadowlands. The Nets juked their way to eight straight wins to take command in the NBA's Atlantic, and the Jets snagged a rare victory to close the season.
Just turned 21-year-old LeBron is scoring more than 30 points a game and the team had won seven of 10 games, manhandling the seemingly un-manhandle-able Pistons on New Year's Eve.
Portis and Mom
Clinton ran for two TDs and 112 yards in a big win over the Eagles. And his mom, Rhonnel Hearn, got hot in the stands: When a ticked off female Eagles fan spilled beer on her, the star's mama bopped her in the nose. Said Clinton, "That'll just teach you about messing with her."
January 9, 2006
After whupping league-leading Ottawa, NHL's East Coast birds had won eight of 12 to move above .500. And Ilya (Kovalchuk, league's No. 2 point-scorer) keeps racking 'em up.
While Chicago luxuriated in a first-round bye, others in dismal NFC North faced unsettling times. Mike Tice (Vikings) and Mike Sherman (Packers, right) got fired, and QB Joey Harrington turned in what will likely be the last of many disappointing games as a Lion.
Seven straight losses--two to the lowly Bobcats--dropped offensively rudderless team to bottom of the Central. Coach Scott Skiles: "I'm really embarrassed."
Falcons QB Michael (right) had zero--yep, zero--yards rushing in loss to Carolina. Then he went to Jacksonville, where he watched little brother Marcus show zero--yes, zero--class in stomping on the leg of Louisville's Elvis Dumervil en route to a Gator Bowl win.
Losing free agent outfielder Jeromy Burnitz--he balked at Baltimore's draconian physical-exam demands--continued a lackluster off-season for MLB's East Coast birds. And Miggy still wants out.
SI PLAYERS POLL
What is your alltime favorite football movie?
(1993) 23% [The Program]
(1993) 13% [Rudy]
(1999) 13% [Any Given Sunday]
(2000) 12% [Remember the Titans]
FAST FACTS: Thirty-four percent of players 24 and younger chose The Program, as opposed to just 8% of players 30 and over.... Nearly 23% of QBs picked Rudy.... The Longest Yard also got 12%, combining votes for the 1978 and 2004 releases of the movie.... Eighteen movies received at least one vote.
[ Based on a survey of 357 NFL players ] • For an expanded version of the poll, go to SI.com/Players.