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December 27, 1999 | Volume 91, Issue 25

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 Cover - Sports Illustrated December 27, 1999

December 27, 1999
COVERING OURSELVESFrom January to December, from the Great One to each state's 50 greatest, from Peerless to a group of Sportswomen without peer, here are all the covers we saw fit to print in 1999.

December 27, 1999 | Frank Deford
Pioneer miler and Everest conqueror became, at midcentury, the last great heroes in an era of sea change in sport

December 27, 1999
THE NHL

December 27, 1999 | Kostya Kennedy
Herbal TherapyNew coach Herb Brooks is giving Pittsburgh a revitalizing treatment

December 27, 1999 | Kostya Kennedy
VINCENT DAMPHOUSSESHARKS CSince the Canadiens traded the 32-year-old to San Jose last March, he has been a force in the middle. With 33 points (10 goals and 23 assists) through Sunday, the 6'1",...

December 27, 1999 | Pierre McGuire
Don't be surprised if Oilers general manager Glen Sather ends up running the Rangers next season in place of Neil Smith. Wayne Gretzky, who retired from New York last April, has the ear of Rangers...

December 27, 1999 | Jackie MacMullan
Eyes Wide OpenWhy did Danny Ainge leave the Suns? He took a hard look at his life

December 27, 1999 | Jackie MacMullan
Agent Bill Duffy confirmed late last week that his biggest client, 7' 6" center Yao Ming of China, will play this April at the Nike Hoop Summit, a showcase for top high school seniors and...

December 27, 1999 | Peter King
Doug Flutie, ahead of his time in '89, finally fits an NFL mold

December 27, 1999 | Peter King
1. Despicable Act"This is society," Browns coach Chris Palmer sighed after Cleveland tackle Orlando Brown knocked down referee Jeff Triplette for inadvertently hitting him in the eye with his...

December 27, 1999 | Paul Zimmerman
Thirteen of the 15 games this week have playoff implications. I could handicap every one of them for you, but let's be sporting about this. How could I keep a straight face and pad the record with...

December 27, 1999 | Rick Reilly
You can take all your Tiny Tims and your Grinches and your Miracles on Whatever Street and stuff them in your stocking. The best Christmas story is about a boxer.

December 27, 1999
Maybe now people will stop mentioning Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf in the same sentence. Lord knows, neither of them deserves it.—DAVE SABAINI, Terre Haute, Ind.

December 27, 1999
Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer. They may be mailed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, New York,...

December 27, 1999 | Kelley King
August 16, 1954

December 27, 1999 | John Walters
Highlights

December 27, 1999 | John Walters
Enduring TV images of the 1990s. Best shots under pressure: Michael Jordan (take your pick), Justin Leonard ('99 Ryder Cup), Christian Laettner ('90 NCAA East final), Brandi Chastain ('99 Women's...

December 27, 1999 | John Walters
The past few weeks have not been kind to CBS play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough. On Oct. 25 his agent, Robert Fraley, was killed in the plane crash that also took the life of Payne Stewart. On...

December 27, 1999 | John Walters
By wielding the axe, a 77-year-old from Alabama has become a fantasy football phenom

December 27, 1999 | John Walters
"No, not a chance."

December 27, 1999 | Steve Rushin
For absurdity and senseless violence, the reel Oliver Stone can't match the real NFL

December 27, 1999 | Richard Hoffer
The new century will have perfect endings and empty stands

December 27, 1999 | Richard Hoffer
And he's back! Oh, what a move! Canned in 1997 after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge, Marv Albert will return as NBC's No. 1 man on NBA telecasts next season, a glorious...

December 27, 1999 | Richard Hoffer
10Days that Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez's son, Chad, will spend in jail for nuking a parrot.

December 27, 1999
Risky BusinessJimmy Johnson loses a gamble on two troubled Dolphins rookies

December 27, 1999
Xposed•Doug Henderson, a New York City court worker and former personal assistant to Jimmy Connors, was charged with stealing Malcolm X's bloodstained, bullet-riddled diary and selling it to a...

December 27, 1999
Lest you think that sports began in 1900, here are a few milestones from the first 900 years of the millennium.

December 27, 1999
Charles Schulz, who announced last week that he was retiring his comic strip Peanuts so he could devote himself to his battle against colon cancer, often used sports to make his daily point. In...

December 27, 1999
The Vail, Colo., ski resort has installed computer kiosks along its runs so skiers can check stock quotes and make trades.

December 27, 1999
STEVE BEUERLEINPanthers quarterback, on why he lined up behind a guard instead of center Frank Garcia: "I'm sick of Frank's butt."

December 27, 1999
Wendy Martin, LouisvilleField HockeyMartin, 45, coached Louisville Collegiate School to its second straight state title and its fourth in the last five years. While amassing a 345-57-27 record in...

December 27, 1999
Few sports have had as many ups and downs as trampolining, which will debut as an Olympic event at next year's Sydney Games. The first documented trampoline exhibition in the U.S. was given by...

December 27, 1999 | Michael Bamberger
Rae Carruth was a gifted but unassuming wide receiver for the Panther. Now he stands accused of ordering the murder of his pregnant girlfriend—a horrific crime that, like Carruth himself, remains...

December 27, 1999 | Leigh Montville
Kansas City's athletic tight end, , used some of his basketball skills to develop into one of the NFL's premier players at his position

December 27, 1999
Revisit the top stories of 1999 in our blowout year-in-review package. And check out sport-by-sport predictions for the new millennium from SI's experts on the beat.

December 27, 1999 | Ivan Maisel
In a sweet matchup of two potent teams, Florida State figures to win its second national title of the decade, but Virginia Tech won't go without a fight

December 27, 1999 | Ivan Maisel
•Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 2Nebraska (11-1) vs. Tennessee (9-2)The Huskers and the Vols are kicking themselves all the way to Tempe trying to figure out why they aren't in New Orleans. Though Nebraska...

December 27, 1999 | Jeff Pearlman
Shooting outrageously from the lip, Braves closer bangs away at his favorite targets: the Mets, their fans, their city and just about everyone in it

December 27, 1999
There's a difference between loyalty to the home team—athletes imported to play for our local colleges and pro franchises—and the deep emotional bond we share with hometown heroes, the local...

December 27, 1999
THE 50 GREATEST SPORTS FIGURES OF THE CENTURY FROM EACH OF THE 50 STATES

December 27, 1999
1. Hank AaronAlltime home run king

December 27, 1999
1. Trajan LangdonPut state on national hoops map

December 27, 1999
1 Jim PalmerThree-time Cy Young winner

December 27, 1999
1 Paul (Bear) BryantFour states could claim him

December 27, 1999
1 Joe DiMaggio56 games...three-time MVP...

December 27, 1999
1 Jack DempseyHeavyweight champ, 1919 to '26

December 27, 1999
1 Bruce JennerWon decathlon at 1976 Olympics

December 27, 1999
1 Randy WhiteNine Pro Bowls with Cowboys

December 27, 1999
1 Deion SandersPrime Time

December 27, 1999
1 Ty CobbBaseball's best lifetime average (.366)

December 27, 1999
1 Duke KahanamokuGreatest Hawaiian swimmer

December 27, 1999
1 Jackie Joyner-KerseeWon six Olympic medals

December 27, 1999
1 John WoodenHoops great on floor and bench

December 27, 1999
1 Harmon Killebrew573 homers, fifth alltime

December 27, 1999
1 Dan GableIowa wrestling kingpin

December 27, 1999
1 Barry SandersNFL's No. 2 alltime rusher

December 27, 1999
1 Muhammad AliThe Greatest

December 27, 1999
1 Karl MaloneAll-NBA first-team 11 times

December 27, 1999
1 Joan Benoit SamuelsonWon Olympic marathon

December 27, 1999
1 Babe RuthLarger-than-life, on and off the field

December 27, 1999
1 Rocky MarcianoOnly unbeaten heavyweight

December 27, 1999
1 Joe LouisaLongest reign of any heavyweight champ

December 27, 1999
1 Bronko NagurskiGreat tackle, great fullback

December 27, 1999
1 Yogi BerraYankees catcher won 10 World Series

December 27, 1999
1 Dave McNallyFour-time 20-game winner

December 27, 1999
1 Walter PaytonSweetest NFL runner ever

December 27, 1999
1 Bob GibsonCardinals' two-time Cy Young winner

December 27, 1999
1 Greg MadduxFour-time Cy Young winner

December 27, 1999
1 Carlton Fisk10-time All-Star catcher

December 27, 1999
1 Carl LewisWon nine Olympic gold medals

December 27, 1999
1 Ralph KinerLed NL in homers from 1946 to '52

December 27, 1999
1 Michael JordanHis Airness

December 27, 1999
1 Roger Maris61 in '61, AL MVP in 1960 and '61

December 27, 1999
1 Jim BrownNo one better in football—or lacrosse

December 27, 1999
1 Danny Ainge14 seasons in NBA, three in majors

December 27, 1999
1 Wilt ChamberlainA force like no other

December 27, 1999
1 Jim ThorpeAmerica's greatest all-around athlete

December 27, 1999
1 Jesse OwensFour golds at Hitler's 1936 Games

December 27, 1999
1 Nap LajoieHit AL-record .422 in 1901

December 27, 1999
1 Joe FrazierHeavyweight champ from 1970 to '73

December 27, 1999
1 Billy MillsSet Olympic 10,000-meter mark in 1964

December 27, 1999
1 Wilma RudolphWon three sprint golds in 1960

December 27, 1999 | Bill Colson/Managing Editor
May be defenders searching for a way to keep Pete Maravich from scoring should have confused him with tire simplest of questions: Where are you from? The Pistol was born in Pennsylvania but moved...

December 27, 1999
1 Babe Didrikson ZahariasTop woman athlete

December 27, 1999
1 Merlin Olsen13-time All-Pro defensive tackle

December 27, 1999
1 Andrea Mead LawrenceTwice won skiing golds

December 27, 1999
1 Arthur AsheWon three Grand Slam tennis events

December 27, 1999
1 John StocktonNBA alltime assists, steals leader

December 27, 1999
1 Jerry WestLakers great as player and G.M.

December 27, 1999
1 Eric HeidenFive speed skating golds in 1980

December 27, 1999
1 Boyd DowlerLed Packers in receiving seven times

December 27, 1999
Having drawn up rosters of the top 50 sports figures from each state, we couldn't resist ranking the states themselves. Weighing the magnitude of talent at the top of each list and the depth of...

December 27, 1999 | Richard Hoffer
They astonished us by going where no athlete had gone before, boldly surmounting the hurdles, both literal and metaphorical