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Jan. 28, 2008
Jan. 28, 2008

Table of Contents
Jan. 28, 2008

SI Players: LIFE ON AND OFF THE FIELD
NFL PLAYOFFS
PRO BASKETBALL
HOCKEY
COLLEGE BASKETBALL
PIGEON RACING
Point After
Departments

Lineup

FEATURES

This is an article from the Jan. 28, 2008 issue

NFL PLAYOFFS

30 And One forAll
Driving toward their common goal with an uncommon selflessness, the Patriotsdefeated the Chargers to stand one victory away from the perfect season
By Tim Layden

34 Destiny'sChill
In a stone-cold classic, fortune again favored the Giants, who beat Green Bayfor their third straight January road win
By Peter King
• Dr. Z's Forecast: Giant Upset

PRO BASKETBALL

40 Who's GotNext?
American Idol for 141 D-League prospects
By Ian Thomsen

HOCKEY

46 Mr. Perfect
Nicklas Lidstrom's game has no weakness
By Michael Farber

COLLEGEBASKETBALL

52 DownUnderdogs
A pair of Aussies have lifted also-rans
By Kelli Anderson

PIGEON RACING

THE BIRDS

And they're off,hundreds of pigeons, in a race across the desert. It's a tale of beer andhoming in Las Vegas
By Chris Ballard
Page 56

Departments

8 Leading Off

14 Letters

16 Players
• Remembering Bobby Fischer
• Bud Selig's reign to continue
• The wrath of West Virginia
• First Person: Bode Miller
• Inside the NFL's Super Bowl ads

29 Faces in theCrowd

76 Point After
Once, men slew mastodons. Now I stalk the aisles, looking to bag the latest inHD technology
by S.L. Price

Inside ...

72 CollegeBasketball
• Mississippi's freshman surprise

73 Tennis
• A gray old time Down Under

74 The NBA
• The ascent of a high-flying Hawk

Cover
PHOTOGRAPH BY PETER READ MILLER

INSET PHOTO:Damien Strohmeyer

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S TOP RECRUITS

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PATRICK JOHNSON, POMPANO BEACH, FLA.
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FEATUREDCOLUMNS

PETER KING

> A Tale ofTwo Coaches
The Patriots have bought into coach Bill Belichick's way of doing things, andthe Giants, now, have bought into the Tom Coughlin way.

> Read more ofthis column at SI.com/king.

JOHN DONOVAN

> StartingOver
Change is not unusual for the A's. In 2004 G.M. Billy Beane traded two of hisbest starters. Two years later Oakland won the AL West.

> Read more ofthis column at SI.com/donovan.

TRAFFIC REPORT

> MOSTVIEWED
1. Herschel Walker claims disorder
2. Father jailed for taping jersey on son
3. Photo Gallery: The Bad Luck Club

> OUR PICKS
1. Kevin Garnett's Celtics top NBA Power Rankings
2. Jon Wertheim on the Australian Open
3. Truth & Rumors

> Check'em allout at SI.com/traffic.

ANDREW PERLOFF'SBLOG

FanNation
No Comeback

> We've seenthe end of the rejuvenated Randy Moss. The New England wide receiver's playoffdrought will continue against the Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

> Weigh inwith your thoughts at fannation.com.

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PHOTOSIMON BRUTY (TYNES)34 THE BEST OF TYNES After twice missing on field goal tries in regulation, Lawrence Tynes (9) booted the Giants into the Super Bowl, hitting a 47-yarder in overtime to beat the Packers 23--20 on Sunday in Green Bay.PHOTOSIMON BRUTY (PIGEONS)PHOTOTOM LEE (JONES)PHOTOALICE KEENEY (GREEN)PHOTOJOHN ALBRIGHT /ICON SMI (JOHNSON)PHOTOREENA ROSE SIBAYAN/THE JERSEY JOURNAL (HILL)PHOTOMEL LEVINE (KING)PHOTORICH KANE/US PRESSWIRE (COUGHLIN)PHOTOTOM SZCZERBOWSKI/US PRESSWIRE (BEANE)PHOTOSCOTT CUNNINGHAM/GETTY IMAGES (WALKER)PHOTODAMIAN STROHMEYER (GARNETT)PHOTODAVID BERGMAN (MOSS)TWO PHOTOSILLUSTRATION