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Gameplan

Dec. 21, 2009
Dec. 21, 2009

Table of Contents
Dec. 21, 2009

LEADING OFF
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
PUNTERS
THE YEAR IN MEDIA
Departments

Gameplan

What smart fans should do this week

WATCH

This is an article from the Dec. 21, 2009 issue

The NFL's unbeatens

Two more squads for the '72 Dolphins to sneer at! Members of that undefeated team were slow to warm to the 2007 Patriots, who went 16--0 but lost the Super Bowl. Now the Colts and Saints, both 13--0, are knocking on the door too, and both appear on the NFL Network this week. Indianapolis is at Jacksonville on Thursday, New Orleans hosts Dallas on Saturday.

FOLLOW

Duel in the Pool

It's just like the Ryder Cup, with bigger water hazards. Every two years top U.S. swimmers square off against an international team; this year they'll face European all-stars for the first time. Olympic gold medalists Michael Phelps, Rebecca Soni and Aaron Peirsol are expected for the two-day meet that begins on Friday in Manchester, England (airs on Dec. 27, NBC).

SETTLE

... in for bowl season

The New Mexico Bowl sounds like the latest addition to the Taco Bell menu, but it's the first game on college football's postseason schedule: Fresno State versus Wyoming on Saturday in Albuquerque. Later that night Central Florida and Rutgers meet in the St. Petersburg Bowl (both games on ESPN). Two down, only 32 bowls to go....

WATCH

With All Due Respect

Every December, do you say to yourself, "I'd love to get Charles Barkley's, Dennis Eckersley's and Kyle Petty's takes on the headlines of the year"? You're in luck. The Turner Sports analysts for the NBA, MLB and NASCAR discuss the stories of '09—sports and nonsports—in this roundtable (Sunday, HLN). How long will it take Sir Charles to say, "That Balloon Boy was turrble"?

VOTE

For NBA All-Stars

After a month of fan balloting there was a troubling trend in the results released last week: The Rockets' Tracy McGrady is on track to start at guard for the West, though he had yet to play a minute this season while recovering from knee surgery. (McGrady led the Suns' Steve Nash, in third place, by 9,410 votes.) Get it right, fans, lest you lose your voting privileges forever.

WATCH

Love the Beast

He's a Hollywood action hero now, but as a kid in Australia, Eric Bana dreamed of being a race car driver. He still has his first car, a doted-upon 1974 Ford XB Falcon Coup, and he explores a 25-year love affair between man and machine in this fun documentary (Friday, Speed Channel). Bana races, but the car's value is revealed as a bonding point for him and his mates.

The Pop Culture Grid

View this article in the original magazine

Athletes in the mixA Kindle is ...Favorite one-hit wonderCeleb crush that is fading fastFavorite holiday movieBook I'm dying to read
SHAWN MARION Mavericks FA baby light?Lucy PearlNot Halle BerryBad SantaAct Like A Lady, Think Like A Man
TERRELL THOMAS Giants CBIsn't that a dog cage?Biz MarkieBeyoncéFriday After NextI'm not a fan of reading
AARON AFFLALO Nuggets GA Christmas ornamentKriss KrossJanet JacksonHome AloneThe Bible (again)
RYAN SMYTH Kings LWAn electronic bookAny Canadian bandCan't say. My wife is reading thisFred ClausOpen

Inside the Grid

Whenever he needs a quick pick-me-up, Afflalo turns to the Bible: "It just makes you feel good." Smyth is intrigued by Andre Agassi's hot-selling memoir, in which the tennis star opens up about many of his personal struggles. "I'm really interested in all that he has to say," says Smyth.

PHOTOBOB ROSATO (SAINTS PLAYER)PHOTOHEINZ KLUETMEIER (PHELPS)PHOTOANDREW D. BERNSTEIN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (BARKLEY)PHOTOCHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA (ROCKETS)PHOTOPICK UP THE TRUCK PICTURES/PHOTOFEST (BEAST)PHOTOCARYN LEVY (AGASSI)PHOTO©20TH CENTURY FOX FILM CORP. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED./EVERETT COLLECTION (HOME ALONE)PHOTOTODD KOROL/REUTERS (SMYTH)PHOTOICON SMI (AFFLALO)PHOTODAVID BERGMAN (THOMAS)PHOTOGREG NELSON (MARION)PHOTOMARCUS BRANDT/DPA/LANDOV (KINDLE)PHOTOAMISTAD PRESS (BOOK)PHOTO