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TABLE OF CONTENTS

December 31, 2012 | Volume 117, Issue 26

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Michael  Phelps Cover - Sports Illustrated December 31, 2012

December 31, 2012
SURVIVOR STORIES

December 31, 2012 | KEVIN KERR
The Mayans may have been wrong about 2012 being apocalyptic. But that's not to say that it didn't sometimes feel like things were going off the rails

December 31, 2012 | KEVIN KERR
Seven lawmakers in the Philippines introduced a resolution threatening to ban Justin Bieber from the country unless he apologizes for posting pictures on his Instagram account that mocked Manny...

December 31, 2012
A time capsule of things we'll miss

December 31, 2012
"Whatever day he returns will be Christmas, so I guess there's that."

December 31, 2012
HOT: DEVILISHLY GOOD

December 31, 2012 | Mark Bechtel
There's no greater stage for a college football player than a bowl game. Just ask BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy, who scored a pair of touchowns in last Thursday's Poinsettia Bowl. Impressive as that...

December 31, 2012 | MICHAEL ROSENBERG
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently floated the idea of expanding the playoffs. Hopefully the idea won't float for long and will sink to the bottom of the Sea of Bad Ideas, coming to rest...

December 31, 2012 | Edited by ALEXANDRA FENWICK
CHRISTY CAZZOLA

December 31, 2012 | Edited by ALEXANDRA FENWICK
After seven-year-old Connor Michalek, who suffers from brain cancer, made a plea on YouTube to meet his favorite pro wrestler, Daniel Bryan, the WWE star not only met him but let Connor put him in...

December 31, 2012
BOWLING, ANYONE?

December 31, 2012 | DAN PATRICK
BEST IN SHOW

December 31, 2012 | DAN PATRICK
SAY WHAT?

December 31, 2012 | STEVE RUSHIN
HOW DO YOU MEASURE A YEAR IN SPORTS? IN MIRACLE COMEBACKS, IN LAST-SECOND SHOTS, IN VICTORY LEAPS, IN MIND-BLOWING LAPS. ONCE AGAIN WE ASKED SI'S FACEBOOK FANS TO PICK THE YEAR'S MOST MEMORABLE...

December 31, 2012 | STEVE RUSHIN
For more year-end bests in each sport, plus a compendium of the 112 record-breaking, earth-shattering, mystifying and sublime moments of 2012, go to SI.com/mag

December 31, 2012 | Chris Nashawaty
SIX TEAMS, EIGHT HOURS, THREE OVERTIMES, 10 LEAD CHANGES AND 206 POINTS: HOW ONE EVENING IN NOVEMBER SHAPED THE BCS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHUP AND BECAME, EASILY, THE BEST DAY OF SPORTS IN 2012

December 31, 2012 | Ed Feng
WHO WILL WIN? OUR ANALYTICS EXPERT, AN ENGINEERING PH.D. FROM STANFORD AND THE BRAINS BEHIND THEPOWERRANK.COM, WENT INSIDE THE TENDENCIES OF BOTH CONTENDERS THIS SEASON TO CREATE A SIMULATION THAT...

December 31, 2012 | Albert Chen
FOR ONE MAGICAL APRIL AFTERNOON, PHILIP HUMBER WAS FLAWLESS. BUT THAT RANDOM SMILE FROM THE PITCHING GODS CAME WITH A HEAVY BURDEN: THE PRESSURE TO LIVE UP TO A STANDARD NO ONE CAN MEET

December 31, 2012 | Albert Chen
What was the best pitching performance of the year? Barstool debate is one way to decide—or you can use Game Score, a metric invented by Bill James. It starts with a base 50, then adds or...

December 31, 2012 | Albert Chen
For a gallery of all 21 pitchers who have thrown a perfect game in the modern era, download the SI digital edition, available free to subscribers at SI.com/activate

December 31, 2012 | Justin Heckert
GRINNELL'S JACK TAYLOR IS THE LATEST MEMBER OF A TINY FRATERNITY OF PLAYERS WHO SCORED AT LEAST 100 POINTS IN A COLLEGE OR NBA GAME. THE QUESTION IS, AT WHAT COST?

December 31, 2012 | Justin Heckert
For all the latest college basketball news and insight, check out Seth Davis's Fast Breaks on Mondays and Hoop Thoughts on Thursdays at SI.com/mag

December 31, 2012 | Mark Bechtel
A BOWLER AND SEVERAL BRAWLERS, COACHES AND A CARD SHARP, TWO SLUGGERS AND A TACKLE WHO SLUGGED A HORSE—LUMINARIES OF ALL SORTS PASSED AWAY IN 2012

December 31, 2012 | Mark Bechtel
Butch Bouchard, 92

December 31, 2012 | Mark Bechtel
Robert Creamer, 90

December 31, 2012 | GARY SMITH
Thirty-two years, one month and six days ago, I decided I was done living in 850-word boxes like this one. I'd grow claws, if that's what it took. I'd scratch my way out.