Lineup

November 12, 2007

FEATURES

PROBASKETBALL

52 Enter theKid
He may be a 19-year-old beanpole who lives with his mom, but Sonics rookieKevin Durant showed during his first week that he can handle the spotlight andscore like a veteran
By Jack McCallum

COLLEGEFOOTBALL

60 Talk, TalkJayhawk
The rest of the nation might be at a loss for words to explain Kansas's first9--0 start in 99 years, but not do-it-all cornerstone Aqib Talib, who'll tellyou all day long that he saw a big year coming
By Phil Taylor

HOCKEY

66 A BluesRevival
Guided by the motto Whatever It Takes, a new management group has transformed arock-bottom team into a winner—and a hot ticket—in St. Louis, all within ayear's time
By Michael Farber

NFL MIDSEASONREPORT

34 PatriotsExpress
New England has a clear run at history after beating the Colts
By Lee Jenkins

• The secrets ofsuccess

• AFC, NFCForecasts

42 The'Backerhood
Five disparate personalities, five huge talents, one peerless unit: thePatriots' linebacking corps
By Tim Layden

• Dr. Z's All-ProNotebook

Departments

8 Leading Off

17 Letters

19 Players
• Kelvin Sampson's house calls
• First person: Jon Kitna
• An Olympic hero dies
• Farewell to the Orange Bowl

33 Faces in theCrowd

86 Life ofReilly
The No Way That Just Happened moment, and other reasons to love sports by RickReilly

Inside...

74 OlympicSports
• A bitter victory at the marathon

78 CollegeFootball
• The clutch Cavaliers

80 NASCAR
• Dale Jr. shifts gears to '08

83 High SchoolFootball
• After the wildfires, games

Cover
PHOTOGRAPH BY MICHAEL O'NEILL

INSET PHOTOS:John W. McDonough (Durant)
Greg Nelson (Talib)

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NFL FAN VALUEEXPERIENCE

It's a scene thatplays out at NFL stadiums every fall. Thousands of fans gather around grillssizzling with everything from burgers to bratwurst. Coolers are overflowingwith beverages. Pickup football games break out on fields marked with anythingthat fans can put their hands on in the parking lots. It's all part of thecelebration that is professional football. And while every club sells the sameproduct—the NFL game-day experience—the manner in which they sell it differsfrom city to city. So what separates one venue from another?

That's whatSI.com spells out in rating the experience that each NFL team offers, based onsome 17,000 fans' opinions, in seven categories: tickets, accessibility,tailgating, caliber of team, stadium atmosphere, neighborhood, and food andsouvenirs.

SEE HOW EACH NFLTEAM STACKS UP AT SI.COM/FANVALUE.

TRAFFICREPORT

MOST VIEWED

1. Martina Hingisretires amid cocaine scandal

2. Experts breakdown Pats-Colts game

3. Runner dies inmarathon trials

OUR PICKS

1. Kevin Duranttops first NBA Rookie Rankings of'07--08

2. MichaelFarber's On the Fly column

3. Daily HotClicks

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PHOTOGREG NELSON (REESING)60 RED, WHITE AND BLEW PAST NEBRASKA Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing threw for 354 yards and rushed for 10 in a 76--39 whipping of the Cornhuskers last Saturday that lifted the Jayhawks to 9--0 and No. 4 in the BCS rankings. PHOTOBOB ROSATO (NFL) PHOTODAVE ZALUBOWSKI/AP (FANS) PHOTOWALTER BIERI/EPA (HINGIS) PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (DURANT) PHOTOKIRBY LEE/WIREIMAGE.COM (BORAS)

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)