This is an article from the Nov. 13, 2006 issue
A changing of thegunslinger? Jags QB Byron Leftwich said he was ready to play, but coach JackDel Rio said he'd go with Garrard (above). That led to a 37-point outburst(three TD passes) a second straight win and a victory for a cause: Garrard hasCrohn's disease and speaks out to raise awareness.
Argentina-bredInvasor raced to victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic (page 98); Brazil'sMarilson Gomes dos Santos stunned the pack at the New York City Marathon (2005champ Paul Tergat to The New York Times: "I didn't know exactly who hewas"); and--¬°Olé!--Brazilian Adriano Moraes (right) hung on to win the PBRchampionship.
Milwaukee's 2--1start included a home-opener trouncing of the Kings and a glimpse of a balancedoffense--"That's the beauty of the team," says guard Michael Redd--withnew import Charlie Villanueva.
Kenny Rogers (thepine tar guy, not the singer) won a Gold Glove. Kenny G (yes, the sax guy,right) was named the best golfer in the music biz by Golf Digest.
This gunslingerwill not be moved. Though twice-concussed and struggling--11 interceptionsbefore Sunday--Big Ben got the nod over able backup Charlie Batch. That led toa 31--20 loss and three more INTs. And an era is ending: Roethlisberger said hewon't ride his motorcycle anymore.
Host country gaveup 22 runs as Japan lost three straight to touring MLB All-Stars. And asheralded righty Daisuke Matsuzaka prepared to come to the U.S., backlash beganagainst the Scott Boras client--he's pitched a lot of innings for a smallishguy, some fret, and Japan League manager Bobby Valentine gave only a tepidendorsement.
Now 2--6 and aboutto play three games in 11 days (thanks, Pilgrims), Tampa Bay was shell-shockedby Sunday's home loss to the Saints. As Ronde Barber (right) said, "I'm ata loss, dude."
Dissed as a"coach who hasn't won a playoff game in nine years" (actually eight) onNBC's Studio 60 Tuna may not even get to the postseason after Sunday's cough-upto the Skins.
SI PLAYERS NFL POLL
If you could pick one player to build a team around,who would it be?
Peyton Manning, Colts QB 29%
Tom Brady, Patriots QB 16%
LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers RB 10%
Reggie Bush, Saints RB 8%
FAST FACTS Players were polled in preseason.... FalconsQB Michael Vick (4.9%) was fifth.... Bush, Titans' QB Vince Young (sixth, 4.3%)and Texans end Mario Williams (13th, 1.1%) were the rookies to get multiplevotes.... Two offensive linemen got more than a vote: Seahawk Walter Jones andRam Orlando Pace.... On Sunday, Manning's Colts beat Brady's Pats 27--20; Bradyis 6--2 against Manning.... Manning has started 136 straight games, Brady86.... The top four finishers play on teams that are a combined 26--6 thisseason.
[ Based on a survey of 361 NFL players ] • For anexpanded version of the poll, go to SI.com/players.