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Leading Off

Jan. 12, 2015
Jan. 12, 2015

Table of Contents
Jan. 12, 2015

INBOX
NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
  • YES, ROB GRONKOWSKI IS STILL FIESTA, BUT AFTER TWO SEASONS MOSTLY LOST TO INJURIES, HE'S A MORE MATURE—AND EXTREMELY DEDICATED—FRAT-HOUSE HERO. HOP ON, NEW ENGLAND: ROB IS DRIVING THE PATRIOTS' BUS

  • JOHN ELWAY SEES LIFE AS A PENDULUM, A CONSTANT BALANCING OF ECSTASY AND ADVERSITY. WITH FOUR SUPER BOWL BLOWOUTS AND TWO TITLES ON HIS RÉSUMÉ, THE BRONCOS' FORMER QB AND CURRENT ARCHITECT IS SURE HE HAS ANOTHER LOMBARDI TROPHY COMING TO HIM—SO HE BUILT A TEAM DESIGNED TO GRAB ONE RIGHT NOW

GEORGE RAVELING
  • George Raveling, the pioneering African-American college basketball coach, crossed paths with Martin Luther King Jr. on a landmark day in 1963. He came away with one of the defining documents of the civil rights movement

Leading Off

PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY GREG NELSON FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATEDLion Down on The Job A passel of Cowboys special-teamers—Kyle Wilber (51), Cameron Lawrence (53), Jeff Heath (38) and C.J. Spillman (37)—delivered some muff justice to Lions return man Jeremy Ross as he fell on the ball after bobbling a second-quarter punt on Sunday in Arlington. At that point Detroit led the NFC wild-card matchup 14--0, but Dallas rallied for a 24--20 victory. Unbeaten on the road this season, the Cowboys will face the Packers in Green Bay on Sunday (page 15).PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY DONALD MIRALLE FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATEDHeadfirst Glide Oregon freshman receiver Charles Nelson (6) soared toward the end zone after taking a lateral last Thursday in the first quarter of the Rose Bowl. Florida State defensive back Nate Andrews (29) cut Nelson's flight short at the one-yard line, but two plays later the Ducks scored the first touchdown in the history of the College Football Playoff to go up 8--3. Thanks to a 27-point third quarter fueled by four Seminoles turnovers, Oregon went on to whip the defending champs 59--20 and will meet Ohio State on Monday for the national title (page 28).PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY BRIAN BABINEAU NHLI/GETTY IMAGESWith a Capital D It was no day at the park for Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) against Washington defender John Carlson and goalie Braden Holtby—even if it was New Year's Day at Nationals Park, where 42,832 fans turned out in 43¬∫ weather for the seventh NHL Winter Classic. With 12.9 seconds left, right wing Troy Brouwer netted a power-play goal against his old team to give the Capitals a 3--2 win.