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Gameplan

Nov. 16, 2009
Nov. 16, 2009

Table of Contents
Nov. 16, 2009

LEADING OFF
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
NFL MIDSEASON REPORT
WORLD SERIES
FREDDIE ROACH
Departments

Gameplan

What smart fans should do this week

WATCH

This is an article from the Nov. 16, 2009 issue

Hawks at Celtics

Before the season had even started, forward Rasheed Wallace crowed that the Celtics could surpass the 1995--96 Bulls' NBA season record of 72 wins. So far, 'Sheed looks like a prophet. Boston got off to a 6--0 start, was 7--1 through Sunday and had the league's tightest D (84.4 points per game). Atlanta, off to a 5--2 start, comes to town on Friday (ESPN).

WATCH

Ravens vs. Browns

It's getting ugly in Cleveland: The Browns are 1--7, they fired their G.M. on Nov. 2, and the locals are fed up. Last week owner Randy Lerner met with two diehards who are organizing a fan protest at this Monday night game (ESPN). Want more tension? The Ravens, the original Browns franchise before it was moved, are always welcomed with open arms in Cleveland.

WATCH

Jersey's road warriors

The Devils will be seen this week on the NHL Network (Thursday, at the Penguins) and Versus (Nov. 16, at the Flyers), but the Travel Channel might want to buy up their rights. New Jersey won its first eight road games of the season, two short of the NHL record set by the Sabres in 2006. The Devils can tie the mark by beating these two Eastern Conference rivals.

WATCH

Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500

Jimmie Johnson had done his best to drain the drama out of the Chase for the Sprint Cup—until Sunday, when he crashed and finished 38th at Texas Motor Speedway. Johnson's points lead was cut to 73, but he can pretty much wrap up the Cup at the penultimate race, this week in Phoenix. He'd be the first NASCAR driver to win four straight titles.

CHECK OUT

SPORT: Iooss & Leifer

Two photojournalism giants—longtime SI shooters Walter Iooss Jr. and Neil Leifer—team up for a joint exhibition at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles. The exhibit, which opens Friday, showcases candid and posed portraits of Muhammad Ali, Serena Williams and dozens of other sports stars. Get info and see slides at annenbergspaceforphotography.org.

WATCH

England vs. Brazil

While other countries fight for the nine remaining World Cup spots (page 29), two soccer powerhouses with their berths secure play a friendly in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday (Fox Soccer Channel). David Beckham will skip the match, but England coach Fabio Capello is taking the game seriously: "[Brazil] will pose the sort of problems we will have to face at the World Cup."

The Pop Culture Grid

View this article in the original magazine

Athletes in the mixLady Gaga or MadonnaNumber of texts you sent today_____ is the bane of my existenceIf I could win an award it would be ...I really miss my ____ right now
MIKE WALLACE Steelers WRLady Gaga25Teammate Keenan LewisMVPGumbo
JAMES RILEY Sounders DMadonna5ComplainersNobel Peace PrizeMom's Korean food
JARED ALLEN Vikings DEMadonnaToday 20. Usually it's 50 to 100Rap musicNobel Peace PrizeBlanky
JOHN THORRINGTON Fire MNeither, they both scare me25LosingJeopardy championIn-N-Out Burger

Inside the Grid

Wallace, who's from New Orleans, isn't impressed with the version of Cajun stew he gets in Pittsburgh: "It's nothing like what I get at home." As for Allen, 27, he looks like a tough guy, but don't let the tattoos and two Pro Bowl trips fool you—he needs his security blanket. "I've had this one since I was 13," he says.

PHOTOGREG NELSON (WALLACE)PHOTOJASON MILLER/US PRESSWIRE (BROWNS FAN)PHOTOLOU CAPOZZOLA (GOALIE)PHOTONIGEL KINRADE/AUTOSTOCK (CAR)PHOTONEIL LEIFER (PHOTOGRAPHERS)PHOTOEFREM LUKATSKY/AP (SOCCER PLAYER)PHOTO1965 UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE INC./ABC/AP (LINUS)PHOTOLARRY CROWE/AP (GUMBO)PHOTOANDY CRIPE/CORVALLIS GAZETTE-TIMES/AP (NOBEL PEACE PRIZE MEDAL)PHOTOBRIAN SWEENEY/GETTY IMAGES (LADY GAGA)PHOTOCHUCK MYERS/MCT/LANDOV (THORRINGTON)PHOTOTOM DAHLIN (ALLEN)PHOTOCORKY TREWIN/MLS/GETTY IMAGES (RILEY)PHOTODAMIAN STROHMEYER (MIKE WALLACE)