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WHO'S Hot WHO'S Not

Dec. 01, 2008
Dec. 01, 2008

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Dec. 1, 2008

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WHO'S Hot WHO'S Not

WHO'S Hot

This is an article from the Dec. 1, 2008 issue

Leodis McKelvin
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.

Fighting Brit
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.

Utah
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.

Sharks
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.

WHO'S Not

LenDale White
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."

Fighting Irish
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.

Memphis
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.

Sabres
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%

FAST FACTS
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.

PHOTOCHARLIE RIEDEL/AP (MCKELVIN)PHOTOGREG NELSON (WHITE)PHOTOJOHN GICHIGI/GETTY IMAGES (HATTON)PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (JOHNSON)PHOTOROBERT BECK (MARLEAU)PHOTOMICHAEL MONTES/WIREIMAGE.COM (BUCS MASCOT)PHOTOCHRIS MORRISON/US PRESSWIRE (CARDINALS MASCOT)