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.
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).
... 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....
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"?
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.
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
|Athletes in the mix||A Kindle is ...||Favorite one-hit wonder||Celeb crush that is fading fast||Favorite holiday movie||Book I'm dying to read|
|SHAWN MARION Mavericks F||A baby light?||Lucy Pearl||Not Halle Berry||Bad Santa||Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man|
|TERRELL THOMAS Giants CB||Isn't that a dog cage?||Biz Markie||Beyoncé||Friday After Next||I'm not a fan of reading|
|AARON AFFLALO Nuggets G||A Christmas ornament||Kriss Kross||Janet Jackson||Home Alone||The Bible (again)|
|RYAN SMYTH Kings LW||An electronic book||Any Canadian band||Can't say. My wife is reading this||Fred Claus||Open|
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.