28 Are YouReady?
Certitude and dominance have replaced doubt and doom at Wrigley Field
By Gary Smith


40 AmericanRevolution
Led by captain Paul Azinger, the U.S. took back its first Ryder Cup since1999
By Alan Shipnuck


46 Class of theField
Three impressive wins have confirmed the Cowboys as the NFL's elite team
By Damon Hack


52 Up in theAir
Preseason No. 1 Georgia has been good but not great, and that's raisingquestions
By Phil Taylor


The southeast corner of the state was no hardball hotbed—until a pair of AAUprograms produced six current major league starters, including five first-rounddraft picks, in a span of eight years
By Lee Jenkins
Page 56


6 Leading Off

12 Letters

14 Players
• Merkle's miscue, a century later
• The Rooneys shop the Steelers
• Revisiting boxing's golden age

25 Faces in theCrowd

26 Just My Typeby Dan Patrick
• My patchwork field of dreams

70 Point After
• Stanford gives its season-ticket holders a money-back guarantee. Who's next?by Chris Ballard

Inside ...

66 CollegeFootball
• UConn's inexorable ground force

68 The NFL
• Buffalo thrives in tough times
• Fantasy: Texans RB rises

PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (RATLIFF)46 LAMBEAU LAMBADA Cowboys nosetackle Jay Ratliff shimmied and shouted after his sack on Sunday, one of five for Dallas in a 27--16 victory at Green Bay. PHOTOCOURTESY OF ALLAN ERBE (WRIGHT)WHIZ KID David Wright as a Blaster.