FEATURES

SUPER XL BOWL
52 Hearts of Steel
An inspired performance by Hines Ward and big plays by lesser names carriedPittsburgh to its fifth NFL title
by Michael Silver

• The Steelers'defense made the right moves when it mattered most
by Paul Zimmerman

• Jerome Bettishad a rousing finale in front of fans from both his hometowns
by Peter King

BASEBALL
62 The Yankee Clippee
Now that he's jumped to New York and shaved, what will Johnny Damon do?
by Tom Verducci

PRO BASKETBALL
66 Everybody Loves Chris
No rookie has made more of an impact than Hornets point guard Chris Paul
by Chris Ballard

PRO HOCKEY
70 Miracle Man?
Coach Peter Laviolette has lifted underdog Carolina to the top of the NHL
by Michael Farber

DON KINGROAST
Let Us Now Raze Famous Men
As the famed boxing promoter is fond of saying, "Only in America"
By Jeff MacGregor PAGE 72

Departments

8 Leading Off

18 From theEditor

20 Letters

25 Air andSpace
I to XL, these V fans have seen every Super Bowl by Steve Rushin

28 Scorecard
• It's not a good time to be bad
• Recruits awash in text messages
• Stiff competition for Games on TV

41 Faces in theCrowd

45 Players

96 Life ofReilly
Bill Cowher has a ring--and he won't change a thing
by Rick Reilly

Inside ...

90 CollegeBasketball
• The Colonials ascend to the Top 10

92 CollegeFootball
• Ole Miss (!) bags a top class

94 The NBA
• SI's dream team for the worlds

Cover

PHOTOGRAPH BY BOBROSATO

INSET PHOTOS:David Bergman (King); Walter Iooss Jr. (Damon, left); Justin Lane/EPA (Damon,right)

SI Extra

To sign up forSPORTS ILLUSTRATED's free subscriber-only e-mail newsletter, go tosicustomerservice.com/siextra.

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

With snowboarderShaun White (right) a good bet to win a medal in the halfpipe in Turin, andseveral of his Olympic teammates also in top form, the U.S. begins its questthis week to surpass the record 34 medals it won four years ago in Salt LakeCity. Keep track of the medal race and follow the 16-day Winter Games atSI.com/olympics.

SI's annualSwimsuit issue hits newsstands on Feb. 14, featuring 26 models, including MollySims (left) and tennis star Maria Sharapova. For exclusive photos and modeldiaries, go to SI.com/swimsuit beginning Feb. 14.

Given that sevenof the Mavericks' next eight games are at home, SI.com's Marty Burns says now'sthe time for Dallas to make its move in the race for the best record in theWest. Read his notebook on Mondays at SI.com/nba.

Led by sophomoreRudy Gay (right), No. 1 Connecticut was 20-1 at week's end and 7-0 against Top25 teams. The Huskies, however, hit the road twice in the next week forshowdowns against No. 4 Villanova and No. 9 West Virginia. Get scores and newsheading into March Madness, plus insight and analysis from Seth Davis and GrantWahl, at SI.com/collegebasketball.

Named six times asNational Sportswriter of the Year, Frank Deford has a column every Wednesday atSI.com. Read what he has to say this week about Wilt Chamberlain's 100 points,Kobe Bryant's 81 and a not-so-popular high school coach who let one of hisplayers score 113.

PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (WARD) 52 RISIN'HINES
Greeted by Steelers fans (many wearing his number), wideout Hines Ward finishedoff a 43-yard TD catch that also finished off Seattle in Super BowlXL.
PHOTODAVID BERGMAN (KING) PHOTOMITCHELL LAYTON (MENSAH-BONSU) 90 POPSTOP
Pops Mensah-Bonsu, a 6'9" senior from London, has led deep and fleet GeorgeWashington to its highest ranking in 50 years.
THREE PHOTOSTODD BISSONETTE/AP (WHITE); RAPHAEL MAZZUCCO (SIMS); GREG NELSON (GAY)
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)