SI.com

January 19, 2009

Breaking News •Real-time Scores • Daily Analysis

CatchingFlacco

As the Steelersprepare to chase Ravens QB Joe Flacco for the third time this season, check outSI.com for full coverage of the NFL conference championships, including reportsfrom Don Banks and Lee Jenkins, and a breakdown of each game. Plus ...

• Photo galleriesof key players and top plays
• Peter King's picks for both games
• SI mobile's live scores and game tracker

FOR THE LATESTNEWS AND NOTES FROM AROUND THE NFL, GO TO SI.COM/NFL.

FEATUREDWRITERS

JOE POSNANSKI
Viewpoint
How the Cardinals went from mockery to potential NFC champs
SI.com/posnanski

PETER KING
Inside the NFL
Monday Morning Quarterback and the Tuesday Mailbag
SI.com/king

IAN THOMSEN
Inside the NBA
A bigger, stronger Kevin Durant is on the verge of stardom
SI.com/thomsen

NHL MIDSEASON

Ice Capped
Alex Ovechkin for MVP? As the NHL season crashes to the midway point, check outSI.com for its comprehensive midseason report, including analysis of thebiggest issues of the first half, Allan Muir's Awards Watch and MichaelFarber's predictions for the rest of the season.

> Check outSI.com's photo galleries at SI.com/photos.

SI VAULT
YOUR LINK TO SPORTS HISTORY

FROM SPORTSILLUSTRATED
DECEMBER 13, 1976

Despite injuriesand off-court controversy, Trail Blazers center Bill Walton emerged as theNBA's best all-around player, averaging 21 points per game and leading theleague in rebounds and blocked shots. SI writer Curry Kirkpatrick profiled thequirky star.

IT SEEMS onlyyesterday that Walton was wearing a ponytail, burning incense in airportterminals, answering questions from the FBI and leaving himself open to chargesof faking every sort of illness this side of schistosomiasis. But it was notjust yesterday, it was two long years ago. Ever since he began this season bynot only devastating all competition but also actually looking joyful again,the Portland center has been subjected to sundry psychological investigationsintended to explain "the new Bill Walton." But aside from shearing hisfiery orange locks and abandoning his exotic woodchopper getups, Walton says hehas not changed. He basks in the same counterculture lifestyle, believes in thesame political theories, eats the same cucumbers. What's so different?

> Check outthe latest classic SI story at SI.com/classic.

> for yourfavorite stories and covers, go to SI.com/vault.

Cover

PHOTOGRAPHS BYBILL FRAKES (CARDINALS, OBAMA); JOHN BIEVER (ROETHLISBERGER, STEELERS,TEBOW)

For reprints ofSI covers visit SIcovers.com.

SI Extra

To sign up forSPORTS ILLUSTRATED's free subscriber-only e-mail newsletter, go tosicustomerservice.com/siextra.

Please RecycleThis Magazine Remove Inserts or Samples Before Recycling

PHOTOAL TIELEMANS (FLACCO)UNFLAPPABLE? Joe's cool will be tested in Pittsburgh. PHOTOMEL LEVINE (KING) PHOTOMEL LEVINE (THOMSEN) PHOTOLOU CAPOZZOLA (OVECHKIN) PHOTOHANK DELESPINASSE (WALTON) PHOTO

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)