Lineup

February 06, 2006

FEBRUARY 6,2006

VOLUME 104, NO.5

FEATURES

SUPER BOWLPREVIEW

40 The LoveBus

A fan and mediafavorite admired by his peers throughout the NFL, Steelers running back JeromeBettis seems destined to find a happy ending in Detroit

by MichaelSilver

42 Working Man'sHero

For 13 seasonsbeloved fullback Mack Strong has embodied the spirit of Seattle

by JeffriChadiha

45 Match Game

• The OffensesBoth teams prefer to run the ball, but the quarterback who makes the most playswill win by Peter King

• The DefensesExpect surprises, as two savvy coordinators strut their stuff on the big stageby Paul Zimmerman

• The keymatchups, mano a mano

• ComparingSteeltown with Rain City

NBA

50 Season overthe Brink

The Pacersfinally unloaded Ron Artest, but now they're in for an overhaul

by JackMcCallum

COLLEGEBASKETBALL

54 Double-DoubleTrouble

Twin sistersAshley and Courtney Paris have made Oklahoma a title contender

by KelliAnderson


OLYMPIC PREVIEW

62 Ready forTakeoff

A U.S. team richin talent aims to fly high

by BrianCazeneuve and Yi-Wyn Yen

72 5 MinuteGuide

A quick primer onthe host city of Turin

by BrianCazeneuve

74 Her Time HasCome

Sasha Cohen isthe new queen of U.S. skating

by E.M. Swift

78 TheMagnificent Eight

Russia hashockey's most intriguing team

by MichaelFarber

82 Bode's FlyingCircus

Bode Miller wenton a wild ride to fight the Olympic hype machine. SI was aboard

by Tim Layden

90 Who WillWin

A guide to everymedal in all 84 events

Departments

6 Leading Off

16 Letters

19 Air andSpace

The truthinessbehind Super Bowl viewership by Steve Rushin

20 Scorecard

• Bittersweettime for Tiger Woods

• Cameron Crazieshave new cause

30 Faces in theCrowd

32 Players

112 Life ofReilly

In sports,Seattle is the unenchanted Emerald City by Rick Reilly

Inside ...

103 The NHL

• The G.M. hasNew Jersey soaring

105 Tennis

• Lessons fromthe Australian Open

106 CollegeBasketball

• Big Ten ruleNo. 1: Win at home

109 The NBA

• The Sonics mullrelocating

Cover

PHOTOGRAPH BYSIMON BRUTY

INSET PHOTOS:David N. Berkwitz (2)

SI Extra

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ON THE WEB

GO TO SI.COM DAILY FOR SCORES, STATS AND BREAKINGNEWS

•Slowly but surely, Suns forward Shawn Marion (right)is building a Hall of Fame--worthy career, notes NBA insider Ian Thomsen. Atweek's end the 6'7" Marion, a two-time All-Star in his seventh year out ofUNLV, was averaging a career-best 21.5 points and ranked third in the leaguewith 11.9 rebounds a game. Get the lowdown on the Matrix at SI.com/nba.

•In his new book, To Hate Like This Is to Be HappyForever (HarperCollins, Feb. 28, $24.95), lifelong Tar Heels fan Will Blytheexamines the grudge match between Duke and North Carolina, which resumes inearnest with their Feb. 7 showdown in Chapel Hill. Go toSI.com/collegebasketball to read an excerpt of Blythe's behind-the-scenes lookat one of the most-heated rivalries in sports.

•With only one month left before March Madness, who'sthe leading candidate for player of the year? Duke guard J.J. Redick? Gonzagaforward Adam Morrison (right)? And which under-the-radar players are poised tobecome household names in the postseason? Find out the answers to thesequestions and more in the midseason report at SI.com/collegebasketball.

•Visit SI.com/nfl for all things Super Bowl, includinga photo gallery, Dr. Z's insight into the key plays of the game, Don Banks'sSnap Judgments and Peter King's analysis in Monday Morning Quarterback.

•Check out daily coverage of the Winter Games atSI.com/olympics, including photos, previews and Richard Deitsch's blog.

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PHOTOMICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/1DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPHY (STEELERS) 40
FREEWHEELING Bound for Detroit, Jerome (the Bus) Bettis exited the Pittsburghplayers' entrance last week with a little fanfare from Ben Roethlisberger (7)and Hines Ward.
PHOTOJONATHAN BROWNFIELD (COHEN)DAZZLING Sasha Cohen could help the U.S. exceed its medal haul from '02. TWO PHOTOSDAVID N. BERKWITZ (HELMETS) PHOTOCLIVE BRUNSKILL/GETTY IMAGES (MAURESMO) 105
MAURESMO-RIZING Playing seven matches of exquisite tennis in Australia, AmélieMauresmo of France won her first major title, at the age of 26.
PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (MARION) PHOTOCOURTESY OF HARPERCOLLINS (BOOK) PHOTOGREG NELSON (MORRISON)

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)