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Game Plan

Jan. 19, 2009
Jan. 19, 2009

Table of Contents
Jan. 19, 2009

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THE AUDACITY OF HOOPS
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Game Plan

What smart fans should do this week

• PREPARE
For college hoops' best rivalry
Duke and UNC—ranked No. 3 and No. 5, respectively—don't meet until Feb. 11, but their fans can indulge their mutual disdain on DVD. The three-disc sets, Duke Beats North Carolina and North Carolina Beats Duke, are exactly what they sound like: celebrations of one side's dominance of the other. Each set contains three commercial-free broadcasts of epic games in the rivalry.

This is an article from the Jan. 19, 2009 issue

• WATCH
Friday Night Lights
Exhale, FNL fans. Following the Dillon High football team no longer requires a satellite dish. After wrapping up a run on DirecTV, the third season of the acclaimed but low-rated drama premieres on NBC this Friday. Episodes will be new to most viewers, but it's not too much of a spoiler to say an era is ending: By the end of the season Tim Riggins will have played his last high school game.

• FOLLOW
The Return of Lance
Is reclaiming the top spot in your sport like riding a bike? We'll find out at the Tour Down Under, where a certain Texas-born, seven-time Tour de France champ rides again after a 3 1/2-year retirement. The six-stage, 497-mile race starts in Adelaide, Australia, on Tuesday. The cycling world is a-Twitter: Armstrong has fed fans frequent updates on his training through the social networking site.

• COLLECT
Barack Obama trading cards
Topps commemorates the President's inauguration with a 90-card set highlighting moments in Obama's life. Some advice to young political junkies: Don't stick these cards in your bike spokes. During the primaries Topps slipped Obama and Hillary Clinton cards into packs of its 2008 baseball set. One featuring Obama's embossed signature went for $3,122 on eBay.

• WATCH
East-West Shrine Game
Yankees G.M. Brian Cashman, high jumper Nathan Leeper, Seinfeld's Lt. Bookman ... some people seem born to certain jobs. Add to the list Darius Passmore, a wideout at Marshall. Passmore will show off for NFL scouts at the annual college all-star game in Houston. If the West gets a lead and runs out the clock, its coach will become an aptonym too: Gene Stallings.

The Pop Culture Grid

View this article in the original magazine

How do sports stars fit in?Weirdest thing a fan ever said to youLast time you screamed at the TVI was a _____ in a former lifePerson I'd love to have interview meI'm dying to know what happened to...
SAM YOUNG Pitt hoops FDo you know who you are?When I played Monopoly on PS3EagleSI.com's Seth DavisMichael Jackson
JONATHAN TOEWS Blackhawks CThat a loved one had diedEvery day—at annoying adsComedianChicago sports anchor Paula FarrisWayne Gretzky (just kidding)
BEN WALLACE Cavs FYou have two tickets to the gun showThe last Cowboys-Eagles gameFootball playerOprahTupac (top)
MATT LINDLAND MMA fighterThat his wife wanted to get in bed with meEach time I watch the show InterventionPharoahDateline's Chris HansenJesus

INSIDE THE GRID

Amid reports that The King of Pop (above) is on the verge of bankruptcy, needs a lung transplant and could even be near death, Young is puzzled and concerned. And Wallace thinks there's something to the Internet chatter that—like the Jim Morrison myth—questions whether rapper Tupac Shakur was actually murdered in 1996. Muses Big Ben: "They say he's not really dead, so...."

PHOTOCOURTESY OF GENIUS PRODUCTS (DVD)PHOTOPAUL DRINKWATER/NBC/EVERETT COLLECTION (FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS)PHOTOSANTIAGO FERRERO/REUTERS (ARMSTRONG)PHOTOTHE TOPPS COMPANY, INC. (OBAMA CARD)PHOTOCHRIS HARRIS/THE HERALD-DISPATCH/AP (PASSMORE)PHOTOV. J. LOVERO (JACKSON)PHOTOAP (TUPAC)PHOTOMITCHELL LAYTON (YOUNG)PHOTOEA (MONOPOLY)PHOTOTOM GANNAM/AP (EAGLE)PHOTODAVID E. KLUTHO (TOEWS)PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (WALLACE)PHOTOJON KOPALOFF/FILMMAGIC/GETTY IMAGES (OPRAH)PHOTODARRYL DENNIS/ICON SMI (LINDLAND)PHOTOETHAN MILLER/GETTY IMAGES (PHAROAH)