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Final Lap

Feb. 02, 2015
Feb. 02, 2015

Table of Contents
Feb. 2, 2015

SI NOW
INBOX
SUPER BOWL XLIX PREVIEW
  • Player discipline, comparisons with the '85 Bears, the trouble with Roger Goodell.... As the Seahawks line up for another run at the Lombardi Trophy, and on the same week that the commissioner gives his annual pre--Super Bowl address, the leader of the NFL's most fearsome secondary offers his own take on the state of the game

  • A MATCHUP OF TWO NO. 1 SEEDS HAS ODDSMAKERS STUMPED AND PUNDITS ON THE FENCE. HAWKS OR PATS? CONSIDER THREE ARGUMENTS FOR EACH TEAM.... AND FOR SI'S PICK, TURN THE PAGE

  • Our expert knows Russell Wilson can win a game by himself—it just won't be Super Bowl XLIX. Not against this New England D

  • All this debate about ball tinkering? It's over-inflated, says SI's under-the-center expert

  • DEFLATEGATE SOUNDS BIZARRE, BUT IT'S PART OF A HALLOWED SUPER BOWL WEEK TRADITION: THE FOOTBALL-FOCUS-SAPPING DISTRACTION

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
PRO BASKETBALL
  • MICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST HAS BEEN SCOUTED SINCE HE WAS SEVEN, BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN THINGS HAVE COME EASY FOR THE HORNETS' FORWARD. STEP BY STEP, HE HAS REBUILT BOTH HIS SHOT—AND HIS VOICE

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Final Lap

In 1993 most figured that Jeff Gordon, the brash, inexperienced California pretty boy with the Rainbow Warrior handle, would be run out of NASCAR, the Southern-fried sport then ruled by the King (Richard Petty) and the Intimidator (Dale Earnhardt Sr.). But it took 92 victories, four series titles and a 2014 season in which he finished a dominating sixth in the Chase before Gordon, 43, slowed down. Last Thursday he announced that this season, his 23rd, would be his last racing a full-time Sprint Cup schedule. Gordon will still compete on occasion (Off-road? Endurance?) and become more involved with Hendrick Motorsports, the team for which he has raced his entire career and in which he holds a stake. A career in broadcasting seems likely too. Wherever he goes, his legacy as the driver who single-handedly towed NASCAR into the modern age will follow.

This is an article from the Feb. 2, 2015 issue Original Layout

PHOTOSTEVE HELBER/AP (GORDON)