Lineup

December 22, 2008

FEATURES

PRO FOOTBALL

34 D As in Dominant
Pittsburgh and Balitmore met to decide the AFC North—and to settle the debate over which defense was the NFL's best
By Jim Trotter

BASEBALL

44 Vegas, Baby, Vegas
The winter meetings on the Strip delivered a $161 million jackpot, a signing at 4 a.m. and a 12-player trade
By Joe Posnanski

PRO BASKETBALL

52 Home Cookin'
Energized by his return to Denver, Chauncey Billups has the Nuggets on the brink of first place in the West
By Chris Mannix

HOCKEY

56 Now in Worcester
Claude Lemieux is 43 and hasn't taken an NHL shift in five years. But he thinks he'll be back after a stint in the AHL
By Michael Farber

THE YEAR IN REVIEW

Sports Media
Let the games begin, but know that they are just the beginning: It is only after we transform the players into print and pixels, see them in context, HD and 35mm, that the sports conversation truly starts
Page 60

Departments

8 Leading Off

16 Letters

18 Players
• Coaches who go home again
• The fickle Heisman race
• Athletes' strange winter injuries

28 Faces in the Crowd

33 Just My Type by Dan Patrick
• The overexposed tight end

82 Point After by Chris Ballard
• Oh, the valuable lessons to be had from reading the pros' prose

Inside ...

75 The NFL
• Carolina runs with its rookies
• King: The Giants will lose again

79 College Basketball
• Freshmen to keep an eye on
• Kansas needs perimeter punch

80 The NBA
• From the front office to the bench
• The Cavs' clamp-down defense

PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (STEELERS)34 SHOPTALK Steelers defenders made sure they had their signals straight on Sunday—and they usually did—in their bruising 13--9 win over the Ravens in Baltimore. PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONKAY NIETFELD/EPA (CAMERA); ERICK W. RASCO (BOOKS); COURTESY OF NINTENDO OF AMERICA (WII); ¬©SONY PICTURES CLASSICS/EVERETT COLLECTION (REDBELT); PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SI IMAGING; TIMOTHY CLARK/AFP/GETTY IMAGES (PHELPS); JENNIFER R. GRAD (TELEVISION)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)