This is an article from the Dec. 1, 2008 issue
Leodis, my man! Getting playing time due to injury, Buffalo's rookie cornerbacksnagged two interceptions (he returned one for a TD) and broke off a 46-yardkickoff return. This, a week after he brought one back for a TD on Monday NightFootball. On Sunday, "I felt like I was in college," said the man fromTroy.
Before his usual sea of traveling Englishmen, Manchester-born welterweightRicky Hatton (right) pounded Paulie Malignaggi in Las Vegas, winning by TKO.That left Hatton with a $2.5 million payday, a 45--1 record and the crowd'schorus of "There's only one Ricky Hatton" ringing in his ears.
A stomping of rival BYU (and an on-field mobbing by frenzied fans) closed a12--0 regular season for QB Brian Johnson (right) and the BCS-bowl-bound Utes.The Jazz's sweet music is this: a first-place perch in the NBA's NorthwestDivision.
Nice bite: San Jose started 17-3-1. Even with No. 1 goalie Evgeni Nabokov out,the Sharks were on pale fire, whipping off 38 shots a game (a lot of them bycaptain Patrick Marleau, right) and outscoring foes by a league-best 29 goals."A well-oiled machine," Capitals forward Matt Bradley called them.
The sorest loser. His production, dwindling since his 149 rushing yards in Week7, crashed to one carry for -1 yard in Tennessee's loss to the Jets—an outcomethat drew this three-part analysis: "I couldn't tell you whathappened," said White. "I wasn't paying attention. I didn't reallycare."
Another week, another Notre Dame disappointment—this time a dreary, last-minutehome loss to lousy Syracuse that inspired fans to wing snowballs at theirfallen heroes. Is the Charlie Weis experiment drawing to a close? Next weekNotre Dame is ripe for a pounding at USC.
One day these turnover-happy Grizzlies may grow, but for now, same old story:last place in the NBA's Southwest Division. And lest the hurt of April's FinalFour collapse fade for the NCAA's Tigers, they were dealt a fresh, albeit lesspainful, wound: being upset by Xavier in a tip-off tournament.
Not sharp. Five straight losses sank Buffalo to ninth in the East, a long fallafter a 6-0-2 start. Oft-injured center Tim Connolly's got a broken rib,alleged sniper Maxim Afinogenov got benched and goalies Ryan Miller and PatrickLalime are getting beat. Lalime to Buffalo's News: "It's hard totake."
SI PLAYERS NFL POLL
Which NFL team has the league's best playingsurface?
Cardinals (Univ. of Phoenix) ... 16%
Bucs (Raymond James Stadium)..13%
Seahawks (Qwest Field) .... 8%
Dolphins (Dolphins Stadium) ... 7%
Texans (Reliant Stadium) .... 7%
Players couldn't vote for their own team's stadium.... After Qwest Field, GreenBay's Lambeau Field (eighth, 5.2%) got the most support of any stadium that'sneither in a warm weather site nor domed.... The University of Phoenix stadiumhas the NFL's only retractable natural-grass field; it hosted the Super Bowllast February.... Raymond James Stadium will host this season's Super Bowl.
[Based on a survey of 320 NFL players] • For more onthe poll, and to comment on it, go to SI.com/players.