Lineup

September 24, 2006

FEATURES

BASEBALL
37 A-Rod Agonistes
Even his fellow Yankees find Alex Rodriguez hard to motivate and harder tounderstand
by Tom Verducci

COLLEGEFOOTBALL
46 Shock Value
Michigan opened up its playbook and turned receiver Mario Manningham loose tostun Notre Dame
by Austin Murphy

PRO FOOTBALL
50 Tight Ends 2.0
At a re-engineered position that's now home to the most versatile athletes,there's none better than Antonio Gates
by Jeffri Chadiha

EXCLUSIVEEXCERPT

PRO FOOTBALL
54 The Blind Side
Through natural selection and intelligent design, the left tackle has evolvedinto a prized specimen
by Michael Lewis

Departments

6 Leading Off

12 Letters

15 Air andSpace
Life begins at 40—or so a retired hockey star tries to persuade the author
by Steve Rushin

16 Scorecard
A punter's act of desperation
The shooting at Duquesne

26 Faces in theCrowd

28 Players

80 Life ofReilly
In forcing them to clean up their !@#$%& language, BU confronts the curseof its fans
by Rick Reilly

Inside ...

66 The NFL
The maturation of Alex Smith

72 CollegeFootball
Jonathan Stewart carries Oregon

76 Motor Sports
Kevin Harvick leads RCR's revival

Cover

PHOTOGRAPH BY ROBTRINGALI

INSET PHOTO: SimonBruty

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>>BASEBALL

Florida's DanUggla (right) has already set the record for homers by a rookie second basemanand is the favorite to be named the NL Rookie of the Year. Go toSI.com/baseball to learn more about Uggla, and check out the rankings of thetop five bullpens among the AL and NL playoff contenders.

>>COLLEGES

After a season inwhich he threw 22 touchdown passes, Michigan State's Drew Stanton (left) knowshe can bolster his stock among NFL scouts with a strong senior year. Check outSI.com/nfl every week to get a rundown of who's making a run up the draftboards and who's slipping.

>>RYDERCUP

With the world'stop three players—Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk (below) and Phil Mickelson—can theU.S. shed its underdog label and break its seven-year Ryder Cup losing streak?Get predictions from SI.com's writers and tournament coverage atSI.com/golf.

>>REILLY'SRIFFS

What threesentences will you never hear at a Raiders game? Find out in this week's Riffsat SI.com.

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PHOTOJOEL ZWINK/WIREIMAGE.COM (WALLACE)54 TESTED TOUGH
By learning to protect the quarterback during the 49ers' title years, Steve Wallace became the NFL's highest paid lineman.
PHOTOJOHN IACONO (RODRIGUEZ) PHOTOJOHN AMIS/AP (VICK) 66FLIGHT PLAN
Given a new set of option plays, Falcons quarterback Michael Vick rushed for127 yards in a 14-3 win over the Buccaneers.
PHOTOBOB ROSATO (UGGLA) PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (STANTON) PHOTOROBERT BECK (FURYK)

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)