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Gameplan

Dec. 07, 2009
Dec. 07, 2009

Table of Contents
Dec. 7, 2009

LEADING OFF
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
SPORTSMAN of the YEAR
PRO FOOTBALL
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
URBAN MEYER
Departments

Gameplan

What smart fans should do this week

WATCH

This is an article from the Dec. 7, 2009 issue

SEC title game

Technically it's a conference championship, but it might be the de facto national title game: No. 1 Florida and No. 2 Alabama meet on Saturday (CBS). It's the fourth time the AP's top teams have met outside of bowl play since the BCS's birth in 1998. The last time? This game last year, when the Gators beat the No. 1 Tide.

WATCH

World Cup draw

We know which 32 teams will be in the 2010 Cup finals. On Friday we find out who plays whom. The field, split into eight four-team groups, will be set by random drawing in Cape Town, where the title match will be played next July. Not a soccer fan? There's still reason to tune in (Fox Soccer Channel): Native South African Charlize Theron will help host.

FOLLOW

Winter meetings

A checklist for those going to baseball's winter bazaar: checkbook (G.M.'s), cellphone (agents), sweater (everybody). The four-day meetings begin on Dec. 7 in Indianapolis, the farthest north they've been since 1966. (Poor Scott Boras: He may get richer but not tanner.) Track the deals on the MLB Network.

WATCH

Davis Cup final

Spain defends its title against the Czech Republic beginning on Friday in Barcelona (Tennis Channel). The Czechs haven't been in a final since 1980, but this might not be a Spanish cakewalk. Rafael Nadal, the defending champs' best player, is struggling; he was 0--3 at the ATP World Finals last week.

WATCH

Sports Jobs with Junior Seau

He's back with the Patriots, but the linebacker spent the off-season trying new careers for Versus, toiling at such thankless tasks as stadium construction worker and Dodgers batboy. (He also covered a college game for SI.com.) Judge his skills on Wednesday nights.

The Pop Culture Grid

View this article in the original magazine

Athletes in the mixNew Moon is ...Dish I'd cook for Martha StewartMy ____ needs fine tuningMost I've spent on furnitureI think I'm obsessed with ...
JOAKIM NOAH Bulls F-CNot for meSomething with Opus wineGuitar$2,000 on a Sleep Number bedCollege house parties
MATTHEW STAFFORD Lions QBA phase of the moon?Eggs and baconSinging skills$1,500 on a bedMexican food
HAMED HADDADI Grizzlies CMaheh Jadid (New Moon in Farsi)Ghormeh sabzi (rice, beans, meat and parsley stew)Hairstyle$2,000 on a TV standForeign romance novels
ANDRE WARD BoxerNothingEggs with feta cheese and chicken-apple sausageDancing$4,000 on a custom sectional sofaWinning

Inside the Grid

"I miss my college days a lot," says Noah, who won NCAA titles at Florida in 2006 and '07. To Haddadi the element of surprise is the best part of a romance novel. "They never end the way they are supposed to," he says. "Sometimes I can imagine myself as a character in them."

PHOTOBILL FRAKES (FOOTBALL PLAYER)PHOTOIMAGO/ZUMA PRESS (THERON)PHOTOLARRY GOREN/ICON SMI (BORAS)PHOTOSIMON BRUTY (NADAL)PHOTOICON SMI (SEAU)PHOTOUNIVERSAL/THE KOBAL COLLECTION (JOHN BELUSHI)PHOTOPETER KRAMER/AP (STEWART)PHOTOPAUL SAKUMA/AP (WARD)PHOTOGREG NELSON (HADDADI)PHOTOTODD ROSENBERG (STAFFORD)PHOTOAL TIELEMANS (NOAH)PHOTOSUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT/AP (POSTER)PHOTOGOODSHOOT/CORBIS (BED)