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TABLE OF CONTENTS

December 11, 2006 | Volume 105, Issue 23

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Dwyane Wade Cover - Sports Illustrated December 11, 2006

December 11, 2006
The NBA A flap over Ben Wallace's headband fires up the Bulls • Elton Brand isn't getting enough touches • David Lee: the Knicks' big bargain

December 11, 2006 | Ian Thomsen
Sweat Equity

December 11, 2006 | Ian Thomsen
On Clippers power forward Elton Brand (right), who at week's end was averaging a career-low 18.0 points:

December 11, 2006 | Ian Thomsen
HARD-HITTING PRACTICES

December 11, 2006 | Jeffri Chadiha
Hot Hand

December 11, 2006 | Michael Silver
Jason Taylor was alone in the hot tub in early November, trying to soak away the pain of a brutally disappointing 1--6 start, when the Dolphins' veteran defensive end finally lost his cool. What...

December 11, 2006 | Peter King
HOT READ

December 11, 2006 | Paul Zimmerman
IS IT MY imagination, or have division races gone the way of the dodo bird? There just don't seem to be any battles left at the top.

December 11, 2006 | Kelli Anderson
Early Statement

December 11, 2006 | Kelli Anderson
1 The sooner, the better for Greg Oden and Ohio State. Oden (right) came back a month earlier than projected after wrist surgery. If he stays healthy, the Buckeyes will be a favorite to win the...

December 11, 2006 | Michael Farber
A New Leafs

December 11, 2006 | Pierre McGuire
The Blue Jackets are raving about new coach Ken Hitchcock. Though at week's end Columbus was 2-3-0 under his direction, the players were rejuvenated by his professionalism behind the bench.......

December 11, 2006 | Rick Reilly
SOME THINGS in sports make no sense. The foul pole is fair. Olympic divers dive, shower, then dive again. Michael Irvin continues to be on TV.

December 11, 2006 | Rick Reilly
Exclusively on Verizon Wireless V CAST and SI.com.

December 11, 2006
Jayhawks Jinxed

December 11, 2006 | Terry McDonell
The amazing story of Dwyane Wade

December 11, 2006 | Chris Ballard
We are a nation of lonely football fans, bereft of mirth. Fortunately, the people on the NFL pregame shows understand this. From Howie and Terry to Cris and Jerome to Shannon and Boomer, they all...

December 11, 2006 | Tom Verducci
Once Mark McGwire was a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame, but a steroids backlash, and his refusal to "talk about the past," have turned him into an outcast

December 11, 2006 | Joshua Prager
High-tech spying is wrong, but baseball still has no rule against it

December 11, 2006
Won By California on a goal as time expired, its 12th NCAA men's water polo championship. With Cal leading USC 6--5 in the fourth quarter, goalie Mark Sheredy (above), the tournament's most...

December 11, 2006
You'd have thought that pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka was the last player left in Japan, given what the Red Sox bid ($51.1 million) last month just to talk to him. (D-Mat has yet to sign.) But plenty...

December 11, 2006
6,985 Career rushing yards by Pittsburg State's Germaine Race, making him the alltime Division II leader.

December 11, 2006
Unseeded UCSB completed its improbable run to the NCAA soccer championship

December 11, 2006 | Richard Deitsch
The No. 2 tennis player in the world in the 1980s became Sister Andrea, an Anglican Dominican nun, in September

December 11, 2006 | Richard O'Brien
The windowless Kronk, home to Detroit's best and moistest fighters, has shut its doors

December 11, 2006 | Chris Mannix
What to watch and watch for

December 11, 2006 | Adam Duerson
WHEN YOU'RE married to Jessica Simpson, you can afford to splurge on a major league team. When you're divorced from Ms. Simpson, as Nick Lachey is, a one-third stake in a Triple A team is more...

December 11, 2006 | Adam Duerson
Parents at Castro Valley (Calif.) High demanded that the girls' basketball team be chosen by a six-person panel instead of the coach.

December 11, 2006 | Adam Duerson
How do you stop a charging elephant? You take away his credit cards—or, if you're playing in the World Elephant Polo Association's annual tournament, you give him a hip check with your own...

December 11, 2006 | Adam Duerson
BAYARMAA TSOGTBAATAR, Mongolian beach volleyball player, on how she expects her country to fare at this week's Asian Games: "Beach volleyball in Mongolia is very difficult, because we don't have...

December 11, 2006
Morenike Atunrase SHREVEPORT, LA. > Basketball Atunrase, a junior forward at Texas A&M, shot 8 of 14 from the field and had 22 points (the sixth straight game in which she scored in double...

December 11, 2006 | As told to Nunyo Demasio
RAVENS QUARTERBACK

December 11, 2006
WHO'S Hot

December 11, 2006
Who is the most annoying player in the NFL?

December 11, 2006
Chargers Linebacker

December 11, 2006 | Mathias Kiwanuka
Hard lessons for Giants end Mathias Kiwanuka

December 11, 2006
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy or pdf.]

December 11, 2006
JOSH BROWN SEAHAWKS

December 11, 2006 | Arash Markazi
Before he heads to USC, a fiery California QB tries to lead his team to the state title

December 11, 2006
EXIT STRATEGY

December 11, 2006
For more high school news and rankings from RISE and Dave Krider's Primetime Performer of the Week, go to SI.com/highschool.

December 11, 2006 | Bill Syken
Somalian runners get a new start in Minnesota

December 11, 2006 | Bill Syken
IN SOGGY conditions that led to a muddy pileup of more than 40 runners at the 1K mark of Oregon's Portland Meadows 5K course, the Coatesville (Pa.) High boys won the Nike Team Nationals last...

December 11, 2006 | S.L. PRICE
Is there an athlete with more positive energy than the 24-year-old guard? He pulled the Heat out of a deep playoff hole, helped put the shine back on a tarnished league and lifted his mom out of...

December 11, 2006 | Tim Layden
In two months, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has gone from a buried backup to the NFL's best-rated passer and its brightest new light

December 11, 2006 | Nunyo Demasio
While the Cowboys steam toward the postseason, their NFC East rivals, the Giants, are desperately trying to right their ship

December 11, 2006 | PHIL TAYLOR
Even before UCLA stunned USC, heightening the championship matchup debate, the BCS was as problematic as ever. SI offers an eight-team tournament with rebuttals to arguments against it

December 11, 2006
Code Blue

December 11, 2006 | GRANT WAHL
Putting his Olympic volleyball ambitions on hold, Arizona freshman Chase Budinger is focusing on hoops for the first time--and wowing the likes of Michael Jordan

December 11, 2006 | Luke Winn
Flashy freshman guard Greivis Vasquez has an uncanny ability to come off the bench--and to the rescue--for surging Maryland

December 11, 2006 | TIM LAYDEN
Nine months after letting down the U.S. team at the Winter Olympics--and appearing not to care--Bode Miller is fit, fast and focused on winning World Cup races

December 11, 2006 | MICHAEL FARBER
No U.S.-born forward can match the career of Dallas center Mike Modano, who is doggedly leading the Stars even after being stripped of his captaincy

December 11, 2006 | MICHAEL FARBER
In addition to Mike Modano at forward, here are SI's selections for an alltime first-team of U.S.-born stars

December 11, 2006 | David Sabino
WE LIKE THE MATCHUP

December 11, 2006
DON'T LIKE THE MATCHUP

December 11, 2006 | ADAM DUERSON
ADAM DUERSON MATCHUP OF THE WEEK

December 11, 2006 | ADAM DUERSON
Read Peter King's 10 Fantasy Things I Think I Think and analysis from David Sabino at SI.com/fantasy.

December 11, 2006 | Compiled by Gene Menez, David Sabino and Jason Steinthal
You've worked too hard to blow it now. Time to hunker down and study key matchups, game-by-game and player-by-player, for three make-or-break weeks

December 11, 2006 | Compiled by Gene Menez, David Sabino and Jason Steinthal
Get the latest NFL news, plus ratings for all fantasy football positions, at SI.com/fantasy.

December 11, 2006 | Rick Lipsey
Under the leadership of a disciplinarian coach, once-woeful Notre Dame has become a national contender

December 11, 2006 | Ron Fimrite
Lefty O'Doul died in 1969, but that hasn't stopped one loyal fan from trying to get him into Cooperstown

December 11, 2006 | RICHARD HOFFER
Super welterweight Oscar De La Hoya has applied his golden touch to land development, boxing promotion and newspaper publishing, but he's still set for another big payday in the ring

December 11, 2006 | RICHARD HOFFER
De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions represents some of today's top ring draws

December 11, 2006 | Richard O'Brien
A new bio of Gene Tunney brings a fresh appreciation to the career of an often maligned champion

December 11, 2006 | Richard O'Brien
ROCKY STORIES: TALES OF LOVE, HOPE, AND HAPPINESS AT AMERICA'S MOST FAMOUS STEPS by Michael Vitez; photographs by Tom Gralish Paul Dry Books, 129 pages, $22.95

December 11, 2006 | Chris Mannix
George and Coby Karl have shared a lot on and off the court, including having won a battle with cancer

December 11, 2006 | Chris Mannix
In addition to Coby Karl and Florida's well-known duo of Taurean Green and Al Horford, a number of other college players have NBA pedigrees. Here are the most productive at week's end.

December 11, 2006 | Bill Syken
Film cameras trailing, three ultramarathoners are running the Sahara, from one side of Africa to the other

December 11, 2006 | Bill Syken
Engle, who has run an ultramarathon in the Gobi Desert, and Lin and Zahab, both veterans of races in the Sahara, began in Senegal and will traverse six countries and about 4,000 miles in around...