36 A League ofIts Own
Big 12 quarterbacks are letting it fly
By Austin Murphy
• The elite eight passers in the conference


44 Trial byFire
The NFC East is dominant once more
By Damon Hack


48 Manny in La LaLand
Manny Ramirez has brought sizzle back to the city and put the Dodgers one stepcloser to a made-for-Hollywood ending
By Tom Verducci

53 Happily EverAfter?
Jason Bay has fit right in with the Red Sox
By Lee Jenkins


56 | Why GoodTeams Fight
Call it insurance or self-defense, but clubs are muscling up with a new breedof tough guy
By Michael Farber

64 | Hossa Playsa Hunch
Marian Hossa passed up $80 million to take one shot at a title
By Kostya Kennedy

69 | ScoutingReports
Analysis of all 30 teams and division MVPs


8 Leading Off

14 Letters

18 Players
• The economy's impact on sports
• A biopic of Ernie Davis

26 Faces in theCrowd

32 Just My Typeby Dan Patrick
• Barkley on baseball

92 Point After
• Advice for Al Davis: Just change, baby by Selena Roberts

Inside ...

84 CollegeFootball
• The Spartans' workhorse back

86 The NFL
• Strange travel plans for the Pats

• Jimmie Johnson's "win" at 'Dega

PHOTOAL TEILEMANS (WASHINGTON)44 AT ARM'S LENGTH Washington receiver Devin Thomas played keep-away with Eagles defenders in a typical NFC East rumble on Sunday in Philly. The Skins prevailed 23--17. PHOTOMARK J. TERRILL/AP (NHL)