VOLUME 104, NO.5
February 6, 2006
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
42 Working Man'sHero
For 13 seasonsbeloved fullback Mack Strong has embodied the spirit of Seattle
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
50 Season overthe Brink
The Pacersfinally unloaded Ron Artest, but now they're in for an overhaul
Twin sistersAshley and Courtney Paris have made Oklahoma a title contender
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
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
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
6 Leading Off
19 Air andSpace
The truthinessbehind Super Bowl viewership by Steve Rushin
• Bittersweettime for Tiger Woods
• Cameron Crazieshave new cause
30 Faces in theCrowd
112 Life ofReilly
In sports,Seattle is the unenchanted Emerald City by Rick Reilly
103 The NHL
• The G.M. hasNew Jersey soaring
• Lessons fromthe Australian Open
• Big Ten ruleNo. 1: Win at home
109 The NBA
• The Sonics mullrelocating
PHOTOGRAPH BYSIMON BRUTY
INSET PHOTOS:David N. Berkwitz (2)
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•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.
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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.
MAURESMO-RIZING Playing seven matches of exquisite tennis in Australia, AmélieMauresmo of France won her first major title, at the age of 26.