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April 23, 2012
April 23, 2012

Table of Contents
April 23, 2012

LEADING OFF
GOLF PLUS
Sports Illustrated DIGITAL
THE MAIL
EDITOR'S LETTER
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
NFL DRAFT PREVIEW
  • ECHOES OF '98 ABOUND AS THE FOOTBALL WORLD WEIGHS THE MERITS OF THE QUARTERBACK PAIR CERTAIN TO BE TAKEN AT THE TOP ON APRIL 26. Like PEYTON MANNING AND RYAN LEAF 14 YEARS AGO, ANDREW LUCK AND ROBERT GRIFFIN III WILL BE FOREVER LINKED AS COSTARS IN A DRAFT THAT WILL SHAPE THE FATES OF TWO FRANCHISES

  • In drafting wide receivers, Calvin Johnson—towering, muscular and superbly athletic—is the new model. But where are the corners who can neutralize such a weapon?

BASEBALL
SPRING FOOTBALL
SOCCER
  • He's spent 15 years at the top of the game and is set to play in his record 300th straight Premier League match. Yes, Brad Friedel is the Cal Ripken of English football, and he's 100% American—except for that accent

Departments

HOT | NOT

HOT: L.A.'S FINEST

This is an article from the April 23, 2012 issue

Preseason hype focused on the Angels, but the Dodgers (9--1 through Monday with a +17 run differential) are ruling SoCal. Can we just name Matt Kemp MVP already? The slugger is hitting .487/.523/1.026 with six HRs, all league highs.

NOT: NOT FEELING MINNESOTA

The T-Wolves had a shot at the playoffs before a nine-game skid, much of it without Michael Beasley (toe). And the Twins have been almost identically awful: They're 2--7, and Baseball Prospectus gives them a 1.7% chance of making the postseason.

HOT: BOFFO BIFFLE

Points leader Greg Biffle won at Texas Motor Speedway last Saturday, passing Jimmie Johnson with 30 laps to go. Said Biffle of chasing down the five-time champ, "I knew [my] team would forgive me if I wrecked trying to beat him."

NOT: ROYAL MESS

The Kings have dropped seven of eight and saw their arena deal collapse. A Sacramento city official compared negotiating with team owners Gavin (below) and Joe Maloof to "dealing with the North Koreans—except they are less competent."

HOT: ANDES DANDIES

Want a World Cup 2014 favorite? Try Argentina. Last weekend Man City's Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez combined for five goals; Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain had one; and Lionel Messi (below) had his 41st of the year, tying the La Liga record.

PHOTOALBERT GEA/REUTERS (MESSI)PHOTOKYLE TERADA/US PRESSWIRE (MALOOF)PHOTODAN WOZNIAK/ZUMAPRESS.COM (BIFFLE)PHOTOTOM OLMSCHEID/AP (BEASLEY)PHOTOGARY A. VASQUEZ/US PRESSWIRE (KEMP)