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Jan. 12, 2009
Jan. 12, 2009

Table of Contents
Jan. 12, 2009

SI Players: LIFE ON AND OFF THE FIELD
NFL WILD-CARD WEEKEND
COLLEGE FOOTBALL
HOCKEY
COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Inside
Departments

Lineup

FEATURES

This is an article from the Jan. 12, 2009 issue

NFL WILD-CARD WEEKEND

30 Road to Redemption
San Diego, once left for dead, forges past Indianapolis
By Lee Jenkins

• Unflappable Ravens dispatch Miami
• Eagles don't look back, down Vikings
• James leads Cardinals over Falcons

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

42 Why Not Us?
USC and Utah won't be in the title game, proving that we need a playoff
By Phil Taylor

HOCKEY

48 Trouble with Sean
Dissing old girlfriends was only the last straw. Former Dallas Star Sean Avery is a pariah because he's a lousy teammate
By Michael Farber

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

52 Traveling Buddy Act
Reunited with a high school teammate and coach, guard James Harden has Arizona State thinking NCAA crown
By Luke Winn

THE COURAGE OF DETROIT

AND YET ...
They say your teams are a disgrace and your city is dying. They say you are the past and you will never win again. And yet you are from Detroit and there is strength in that
BY MITCH ALBOM
Page 56

Departments

6 Leading Off

12 Letters

14 Players
• Unknown coaches excel in NFL
• NBA poll: overrated teams
• Weird contract incentives
• Lizards dance with NFL stars
• MLB network airs to 50 million

24 Faces in the Crowd

28 Just My Type by Dan Patrick
• Trojans QB Mark Sanchez sounds off on turning pro and resembling Vince Chase

70 Point After by Selena Roberts
Like the aging Michael Jordan, Brett Favre was given a chance to fail—and failed big

Inside ...

66 The NFL
• Peter King's All-Pro Team

69 The NBA
• Young Hawks follow Bibby

COVERS

PHILADELPHIA
SAN DIEGO

SI is running three covers this week: the Eagles in the East and South and the Chargers in most of the West. Not pictured is a cover of the Cardinals' first home playoff win in 61 years.

PHOTOBOB ROSATO (LEWIS)30 JUST ONE LOOK Linebacker Ray Lewis's face reflected the intensity of the Ravens defense, which throttled the Dolphins in their AFC Wild Card game.PHOTOREBECCA COOK/REUTERS (BAG)TWO PHOTOS