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Kentucky Football Night Of Horrors For Wildcats Who Bleed Mediocrity

Cynics will name 2007 an asterisk more or less 12 months. As in lovely darn s****y. Small surprise, then, that 250 ESPN editors, manufacturers, writers, pros and on-air abilities selected the Barry Bonds saga because the No. 1 tale of the previous three hundred and sixty five days. In a 12 months all the way through which Michael Vick (No. 2) ended up in America’s doghouse, an NBA ref (No. 5) used to be busted in a playing scandal and A-Rod (No. 10) beloved ’em, left ’em and beloved ’em back, how may just we no longer pay homage to the cleaning soap opera via the Bay? But at the same time as issues grew to become unpleasant, there have been myriad causes to thank our fortunate stars: Peyton and Tony (No. 3), Oden and Durant (No. 18), Adrian Peterson (No. 23), Appalachian State (No. 32). All those and lots of extra are celebrated over the following 39 pages. So if 2007 is crying out for additonal punctuation, we will pass with an exclamation level.

THIS YEAR, YOUR WAY

Don’t consider how we ranked the most important sports activities tales of the 12 months? Go to ESPN.com (seek: 100) to reorder the ESPN 100 your self. You’ll get to peer how your record stacks as much as SportsCountry’s and the way tough this complete rating trade actually is.

1 THE BEST AND WORST OF BARRY BONDS

What hasn’t been stated about No. 25? Still, we needed to say one thing insightful concerning the guy who handed Henry Aaron’s house run mark and were given indicted for perjury in the similar 12 months, so we undertook a extremely casual survey of his record-setting friends. That’s how we got here throughout John Cassidy, who holds the Guinness listing for quickest advent of a balloon canine: 6.5 seconds! Cassidy agreed no longer best to discuss Bonds however to blow him up for us as neatly.

“I’m very antisteroids, as being a balloon guy I have a natural aversion to anything that comes in a needle. I don’t think it’s fair to those who’ve done it honestly. I’ve been going back and forth with a clown in Germany for my balloon-making record, and I’d be pretty upset if I found out he was using something-though I’m not sure if that would help with balloon animals. But still “

-JOHN CASSIDY, BALLOON KING

2 MICHAEL VICK’S DOGFIGHTING DILEMMA

Now to be had: a canine’s final revenge doll, the Official Vick’s Dog Chew Toy (officialvick dogchewtoy.com, $14.99). A super likeness of the disgraced NFLer, who is serving 23 months for his misadventures in pit bull abuse, the toy isn’t just chewable, it is charitable, with a portion of gross sales going to animal-health outfits. As McGruff would possibly say, it is an effective way for canines to chew again.

3 SUPER (OFF-)SEASON

After their landmark Super Bowl XLI win, the Colts’ largest names-Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy-weren’t waiting to surrender the highlight. Some highs-and lows-from their victory excursion:

MANNING

LOW Attends a candy 16 birthday celebration in early March, reportedly for a $200K rate. His supervisor denies it used to be a candy 16, calling the development a company day out.

HIGH He hosts Saturday Night Live (under) on March 24. The display earns a 5.9 score and a fifteen proportion, each highs that TV season. Says SNL writer Lorne Michaels, “He’s a natural. He can come back anytime.”

DUNGY

LOW In March, Outsports.com protests Dungy’s look at a fund-raiser for the Indiana Family Institute, a Christian team that has spoken out in opposition to equivalent rights for homosexual {couples}.

HIGH His guide, Quiet Strength, turns into a New York Times best-seller on July 29 and has remained at the record for 5 months. Says Manning: “He gave me a copy. I’ve read it. It’s a special, special deal there.”

4 FLORIDA KEYS

No faculty had ever received soccer and basketball titles in the similar 12 months. Until the Gators. We requested two gamers from the ones identify teams-QB Chris Leak and ahead Corey Brewer-what they considered the alternative’s identify run.

Brewer. Ohio State used to be this sort of giant favourite within the BCS. But I used to be assured in Chris and our guys. We had the velocity; OSU had the entire hype.

Leak. After looking at them win in 2006, I actually believed they would win back. They had been identical to our team-lots of veteran guys who knew what they needed to do.

Brewer. Our groups made historical past. It’s going to be a protracted, very long time sooner than some other faculty does what Florida did.

Leak. It would possibly no longer occur back for 100 years.

5 COURT NONSENSE

The incident that created the longest shadow within the NBA this 12 months will creep into 2008: Ex-ref Tim Donaghy will face a 25-year jail time period when he is sentenced on Jan. 25 for having a bet on video games and sharing proprietary details about groups within the league. But we came across one pass judgement on who used to be ready-and oh, so willing-to dish some justice now.

“I’m known for my unusual sentencing anyway,” says Judge Extreme Akim, of the reality-TV display Eye for an Eye. “But in this case, I really don’t think a fine or jail is enough. I think you need to get Donaghy where it hurts.”

THIS IS THE BOOK JUDGE AKIM WOULD THROW IF HE COULD

1 Make Donaghy watch a continuing loop of Shaq’s films.

2 Demand he meditate with Phil Jackson to the chant “I will never gamble again.”

3 Make him watch each New York Knicks game-forever.

4 Force him to be Mark Cuban’s dance spouse in entrance of a sold-out area crowd.

5 Have him referee an NBA recreation whilst handcuffed to Pete Rose.

6 BORED GAME

It took George Mitchell nearly two years to resolve the secrets and techniques of baseball’s steroids technology (neatly, a few of them, anyway). But you’ll do it in a single afternoon with the Mitchell Report Play-At-Home Game!

RULES

1 Each participant should spend at least $20 million all the way through the sport, in ways in which defy clarification.

2 Players will have to undertaking to interview more than one lively MLBers. If that isn’t imaginable, repeated chats with Frank Thomas can be permitted.

3 Turns should incorporate ponderous statements of the most obvious which may be stated in a 3rd of the time used.

4 A flip shall no longer be regarded as whole with out as many questions being raised as are replied.

5 At least seven dozen skilled athletes should be humiliated sooner than the sport will also be concluded.

7 OVERTIME WIN

What actually took place at that Duke lacrosse group birthday celebration on March 13, 2006, would possibly by no means be recognized. But this a lot is bound: On April 11, after nearly 13 months of hypothesis and investigation-fueled via racial and sophistication stereotypes and prosecutorial ambition-North Carolina lawyer common Roy Cooper ended one of the debatable prison tales in contemporary historical past. “We believe these three individuals are innocent of these charges,” he stated at a packed press convention, mentioning “a tragic rush to accuse.”

8 SORRY TO SAY

After pleading accountable on Oct. 5 to fees of mendacity to federal investigators about steroid use, Marion Jones issued a tear-soaked apology to circle of relatives, buddies and enthusiasts. And whilst Jones misplaced her 5 Olympic medals, she smoked her festival within the Apology Games.

MARION JONES (2007) “It is with a great amount of shame that I stand before you and tell you I have betrayed your trust.”

TONYA HARDING (1994) “I ask only for your understanding and the opportunity to represent my country with the best figure-skating performance of my life.” –Pleading with the USOC for an Olympics slot after her ex-husband employed a goon to wreck rival skater Nancy Kerrigan’s knee with an iron bar.

MIKE TYSON (1997) “I apologize to the world, to my family and to the Nevada State Athletic Commission that has always treated me fairly, [and] to Judge Patricia Gifford, who knows that I am proud to be living up to the terms of my probation.” –Asking forgiveness after biting Evander Holyfield’s ear in a identify combat.

BODE MILLER (2006) “Because of the way I made those comments in the 60 Minutes interview, it caused a lot of confusion and pain for all those people, and obviously that’s not something I want to do.” –To circle of relatives and enthusiasts after claiming on TV that it is not simple to “ski when you’re wasted”.

9 PERFECT VILLAINS

Who says cheaters by no means prosper? Sometimes they are even unbeatable. In early September, the NFL busted Bill Belichick (inset) and the Pats for videotaping the defensive indicators of Jets coaches. For their position in Spygate-a “calculated and deliberate attempt to avoid long-standing rules,” within the phrases of commish Roger Goodell-the Pats had been ordered to forfeit their 2008 first-round pick out and 250 huge. Meanwhile, Belichick used to be hit with the biggest smackdown ($500K) in opposition to a trainer in league historical past. After the talk, even mild-mannered Tony Dungy stated, “It’s a sad day.”

Not only for the Pats, however for fighters, too. This group used to be already loaded with skill after obtaining Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Adalius Thomas. Now, pushed via their embarrassing public spanking, Belichick & Co. have scaled new heights. Through 14 video games, Tom Brady is having the best season for a QB in NFL historical past, throwing for no less than 3 touchdowns in all however 3 contests, and 0 selections in all however 5. With 19 ratings, Moss has Jerry Rice’s single-season receiving TD listing (22 in 1987) inside clutch.

All of this dominance has put the Patriots on the point of 16-0, their fourth Super Bowl title-and perhaps the NFL’s first-ever asterisk.

10 LIGHTNING ROD

How has public belief of Alex Rodriguez been altered via his giant season and contract shenanigans? For a solution, we grew to become to Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg, the co-hosts of ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike within the Morning. Because we simply knew they would have one thing to mention.

GREENY A-Rod had one of the most biggest seasons ever via a righthanded hitter. But what took place after the season used to be a humiliation. There used to be by no means a query about whether or not or no longer he’d get that cash, and but he and particularly Scott Boras treated the location about as poorly as they may have.

GOLIC All that stated, A-Rod will, within the not-too-distant long run, develop into the preferred guy in baseball as he approaches Barry Bonds’ house run listing. Hatred for Bonds may just no longer be upper, and A-Rod has situated himself as the one that will erase the unhealthy associations which might be related to the listing.

GREENY But best as soon as he begins getting shut. Until then, he will must earn again the enthusiasts’ recognize. The approach he acted this low season totally got rid of the goodwill generated via his monster season. If he begins off slowly in 2008, he will listen the boos at Yankee Stadium.

11 PARENTHOOD IMPROVES GOLF GAME*

Before June 18 beginning of Sam Alexis Woods. In 8 tournaments, Tiger Woods fails to wreck par 4 instances, finishes simply 35-under general, comes up brief on the Masters and U.S. Open, and wallet a meager (for him) $4,755,427.33 in prize cash.

After Sam Alexis Woods. In seven tourneys, Woods shoots a blended 79 below, wins the PGA Championship (his thirteenth profession primary) and earns $5,981,624.67. That’ll jump-start the previous school fund.

*If you are Tiger Woods

12 BOISE STATE’S BAG OF TRICKS

It’s exhausting to overlook the Statue of Liberty play that Boise State pulled off in its Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma. Or Ian Johnson’s game-winning, two-point conversion and on-field marriage proposal. But what about wideout Vinny Perretta’s fourth-down heave that arrange Johnson’s Statue of Liberty? That one will get lost-except via the oldsters in Idaho. Perretta, who’d by no means thrown a cross in a recreation sooner than, talks about lifestyles for the reason that Play That Set Up the Play Before the Proposal.

PERRETTA: “I still walk down the street in Boise and people ask me about it. And I can’t talk to my buddies back home in Carlsbad, Calif., without it coming up. But it’s not like I’m being asked to do Dancing With the Stars or anything. In fact, this is probably the biggest interview I’ve ever done about it. Then again, I didn’t propose to my girlfriend after the play, either. I’ve got a girlfriend, but I’m waiting until college is over and I’ve got a real job before I propose.”

13 THE 1 AND ONLY

“I guess Nadal is still No. 2, but it’s getting closer. No. 2, No. 3, doesn’t matter much; it’s No. 1 that matters. That’s how it goes.” -Roger Federer, after successful the U.S. Open final-his 3rd of 4 Slams, for the 3rd time in his career-despite demanding situations via archrival Rafael Nadal and new rival Novak Djokovic

14 BETTER RED THAN … IMUS

When surprise jock Don Imus referred to as the Rutgers ladies’s basketball group “nappy-headed hos” on April 4, protesters referred to as for his head. But after some contrition and a flourishing of the “If rappers can say it, why can’t I?” protection, he skated-unscathed via the FCC-to a go back to the airwaves on Dec. 3. The hip-hop group, regardless that, wasn’t about to let him slide. Some pattern contemporary verses

CHAMILLIONAIRE “EVENING NEWS”

Don Imus made feedback that made everyone overlook about him/ neatly, let’s simply blame hip-hop and act like that is the giant downside.

LITTLE BROTHER “SIRENS”

They tryin’ guilty this rap s- for all of our ills/like I will be able to stick you up with a mike/like I will be able to rape you with a verse or use a verb as a knife/like sooner than Kool Herc, the entirety used to be all proper/like y’all wasn’t calling black ladies hos sooner than “Rapper’s Delight.”

JAY-Z “IGNORANT S-“

I overlooked the section the place it stopped being about Imus/What do my lyrics were given to do with this s-?/Scarface the film did greater than Scarface the rapper to me/Still, that ain’t guilty for the entire s- that is took place to me.

16 SPURS OF THE MOMENT

Are San Antonio’s NBA champs, they of the 4 rings in 9 years, a dynasty? Some dynastic dudes of now and yore talk about.

Shaquille O’Neal, Lakers “Yeah, for the championships they’ve won this millennium. Of course, we won three in a row.”

Yogi Berra, Yankees “You don’t have to go back-to-back to be a dynasty. Four titles in nine years is good enough.”

Wayne Gretzky, Oilers “In a salary cap league in which free agents come and go, they’re at or near the top year after year. That’s pretty special.”

Tom Brady, Patriots “I have no idea; I don’t follow it a lot. I’m a Warriors fan, though, and they’re not much of a dynasty.”

17 CUP HALF-FULL

Winning as many as you lose is the wearing definition of mediocre-when every recreation you play has a winner and a loser. But in NASCAR, the place a unmarried race has one winner and 42 losers, a .500 season is absurd. Don’t inform that to the 4 Cup drivers at Hendrick Motorsports. Jimmie Johnson (10), Jeff Gordon (six), Kyle Busch (one) and Casey Mears (one) received precisely part of the 36 checkereds in 2007. “It’s hard for people to understand our concept here,” says Gordon’s staff leader, Steve Letarte. “We share everything. It’s a complete open book. If you don’t unite and fight all these other teams, then you’re going to fail separately.” Winning championships is Hendrick’s challenge each season. And with Johnson doing that during 2007, HMS has received seven of the previous 13 Cup titles. That’s proper: one higher than .500.

18 THE POWER OF 2

Texas frosh Kevin Durant gave us new Big 12 data (12) and one giant first (a freshman POY). In the top, all his numbers added as much as two: the second one pick out within the NBA draft. Makes you surprise concerning the stats of the 12 months’s different No. 2’s, huh?

MLB Mike Moustakas, SS, Royals 24 homers set California prep listing.

NFL Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions tenth in Heisman vote, tied for moment in TD catches (15).

NHL James van Riemsdyk, LW, Flyers Put off execs to sign up at New Hampshire, the place he is the second-leading scorer (15 features). “It’s tough to be dominant like Durant,” he says, “but I’m trying.”

19 HAZARDOUS WORK

Roger Goodell is fairly the multitasker. By disciplining wayward gamers, reserving global video games and tweaking the draft, the NFL commish treated a number of key problems with panache in 2007. But even he’s suffering with what to do about retired gamers and their crippling accidents.

Stories of broken-down retirees made information, and the NFL’s incapacity advantages program used to be wondered. Now ex-pros, who’re sour a couple of procedure that is awarded incapacity advantages to simply 317 out of greater than 9,000 retirees, are voicing their displeasure. Meanwhile, the linked factor of concussions become extra problematic. Elliot Pellman, head of the NFL’s concussion committee, resigned in February. And researchers analyzing the brains of 2 former NFLers-Andre Waters and Justin Strzelczyk-found irreversible harm from more than one blows to the pinnacle. The NFL answered via conserving a concussion summit in June. The effects: new pointers for treating gamers, corresponding to barring those that are knocked subconscious, just like the Dolphins’ Zach Thomas, from returning to video games. But what concerning the long-term results? Says NFL spokesman Greg Aiello: “We think this is a matter that warrants careful attention and research by doctors and scientists.” Not to say essentially the most robust multitasker in sports activities.

20 LEBRON TIME

Despite the ones SNL and ESPYs gigs, LeBron James’ signature efficiency of the season used to be a 48-points-in-50-minutes epic in a double-OT win within the Eastern Conference finals in Detroit, on May 31. LJ scored the Cavaliers’ last 25 features in Game 5, and 29 of the general 30. The incredible end…

FOURTH QUARTER

8:43 James subs for Larry Hughes

6:05 Jumper, 81-78

3:02 Driving layup, 83-88

2:49 Drew Gooden makes one FT, 84-88

2:17 Three-point FG, 87-88

0:31.4 Driving dunk, 89-88

0:9.5 Driving dunk, 91-91

FIRST OVERTIME

4:47 Makes two FTs, 93-91

3:31 Dunk, 95-95

2:54 Makes one in all two FTs, 96-96

1:17 Makes two FTs, 98-96

0:33.7 Jumper, 100-96

SECOND OVERTIME

4:31 Fadeaway jumper, 102-100

1:51 Jumper, 104-104

1:14 Three-point FG, 107-107

0:2.2 Driving layup, 109-107

HALL OF FAME INDUCTIONS IN 2007

FOOTBALL

Gene Hickerson

Michael Irvin

Bruce Matthews

Charlie Sanders

Thurman Thomas

Roger Wehrli

BASEBALL

Tony Gwynn

Cal Ripken Jr.

HOCKEY

Ron Francis

Jim Gregory

Al MacInnis

Mark Messier

Scott Stevens

BASKETBALL

Van Chancellor

Pedro Ferrandiz

Phil Jackson

Mirko Novosel

Mendy Rudolph

Roy Williams

Texas Western

21 CLEAN SWEEP

Let’s face it: After this 12 months, biking has develop into synonymous with doping. Not best used to be the Tour de France chief despatched packing, however 3 former champs had been outed as dopers. Hopefully, 2007 marks the top of a protracted and bumpy trip.

Eighteen Nineties Cyclists use caffeine, cocaine and ether-coated sugar cubes to support efficiency.

1924 The Pelissier brothers (the eldest, Henri, received the 1923 Tour) confess to the usage of chloroform, cocaine and horse ointment. How old fashioned.

1965 France outlaws stimulants in sports activities.

1967 English rider Tom Simpson collapses and dies from amphetamine use all the way through Tour.

1997 First Tour rider ever disqualified for doping: Uzbekistan’s Dshamolidin Abdushparov.

1998 Festina group is booted from Tour after banned ingredients are present in a group automobile. Six groups withdraw in protest. Winner Marco Pantani assessments sure a 12 months later.

2004 French guide claims Lance Armstrong doped.

2006 Spanish police bust large doping scheme.

2006 Floyd Landis wins Tour, then assessments sure.

2006 Armstrong’s teammates admit to EPO use.

February 2007 1997 Tour winner Jan Ullrich retires in wake of doping inquiry.

May 2007 1996 winner Bjarne Riis admits to doping.

July 2007 All hell breaks free: Astana group (Kazakhstan) withdraws from Tour after Alexandre Vinokourov will get banned blood transfusion. France’s Cofidis group exits when Cristian Moreni assessments sure for testosterone. Race chief Michael Rasmussen is yanked for lacking drug assessments. Spain’s Iban Mayo assessments sure for EPO.

September 2007 Following arbitration, Landis is located accountable of doping, stripped of 2006 Tour identify and banned from biking for 2 years.

22 THIS NEVER WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF BENNY AGBAYANI WERE AROUND

No group had ever coughed up a seven-game lead with 17 to play. Until the Mets this 12 months. Here’s the anatomy of a cave in, narrated via supervisor Willie Randolph.

SEPT. 12: W…LEAD: 7 “We’ve done what we need to do the past few weeks.”

SEPT. 14: L…LEAD: 5-1/2

SEPT. 15: L…LEAD: 4-1/2 “There’s nothing troubling about it.”

SEPT. 16: L…LEAD: 3-1/2 “We still control our own destiny.”

SEPT. 17: L…LEAD: 2-1/2 “We’ve got to find a way to get it going in the right direction. We will.”

SEPT. 18: L…LEAD: 1-1/2 “When we sip the champagne later, it’ll be that much sweeter.”

SEPT. 19: W…LEAD: 2-1/2

SEPT. 20: L…LEAD: 1-1/2 “We let one slip away tonight.”

SEPT. 21: W…LEAD: 1-1/2

SEPT. 22: W…LEAD: 1-1/2 “Sometimes when you get one win, it seems like three. That’s the way it feels right now.”

SEPT. 23: W…LEAD: 2-1/2 “We get a chance to go home and celebrate with our fans.”

SEPT. 24: L…LEAD: 2

SEPT. 25: L…LEAD: 2

SEPT. 26: L…LEAD: 1 “We all feel terrible for ourselves as a team right now that we can’t really close the deal. But we still have time. We’re not giving in.”

SEPT. 27: L…LEAD: 0 “Now we start over. It’s a new season. We start from scratch. We’re gonna win this. We are gonna win this.”

SEPT. 28: L…LEAD: -1 “If we could put our finger on it, we’d have stopped the bleeding a long time ago.”

SEPT. 29: W…LEAD: 0 “We’re still in it. I still believe in my guys.”

SEPT. 30: L…LEAD: -1 “This is just a tough life lesson in baseball.”

23 ROOKIE RUN

Adrian Peterson’s NFL-record 296 dashing yards in opposition to the Chargers on Nov. 4 tells best a part of the tale. The 6’1″, 217-pound rook piled up 253 yards after halftime. That total alone not only tops the previous best by a rookie for an entire game (251 by Mike Anderson in 2000), it ranks seventh overall for most rushing yards over a full 60 minutes. Or sixth, if you exclude Peterson’s full-game total. Now, about that first half …

MOST RUSHING YARDS IN A SINGLE GAME BY AN INDIVIDUAL PLAYER:

296 Adrian Peterson

Vikings vs. Chargers, 2007

295: Jamal Lewis, Ravens vs. Browns, 2003

278: Corey Dillon, Bengals vs. Broncos, 2000

275: Walter Payton, Bears vs. Vikings, 1977

273: O.J. Simpson, Bills vs. Lions, 1976

266: Shaun Alexander, Seahawks vs. Raiders, 2001

251: Mike Anderson, Broncos vs. Saints, 2000

24 STANDING PAT

After celebrating her seventh national title in April with her Lady Vols, Pat Summitt found herself just three titles away from John Wooden’s sacred D1 mark. Still young at 55, Summitt seems destined to whiz past the Wizard. But why stop there? If she continues at her pace of 28.7 wins a season, Summitt will overtake longtime NBA headman Lenny Wilkens to become the winningest hoops coach ever in 2020. Take that, Geno.

25 SOUTH BENT

In the most miserable season in Notre Dame history, perhaps the worst single moment came when Navy stuffed a Fighting Irish two-point try in the third OT. That tackle sealed Navy’s 46-44 win and ended the Midshipmen’s NCAA-record 43 straight losses to ND. During those 43 games, Notre Dame won by an average score of 36-12, including nine shutouts. But in the streak-buster, Navy scored 18 OT points, more than the team had scored in 33 of those 43 losses.

26 NOT FUNNY LEAGUE

The first order of business for new NFL commish Roger Goodell was to take control of a league beset with shootings, arrests and other turmoil. How has he done?

GOLIC Goodell has done a great job handling everything. He rules with an iron fist, and no one is arguing.

GREENY Playing in the NFL is a privilege, not a right, and Goodell is actually acting on that premise. He saw that the NFL had an image problem and has done everything in his power to mitigate it.

GOLIC Off-field problems used to be regarded as jokes. But he isn’t taking such things lightly, and it’s already having a positive impact.

GREENY I just hope he can remain consistent. It’s easy to make changes during your first years on the job. The challenge is in sustaining that energy.

27 BOSTON CREAM

Where were you when you learned that Kevin Garnett had joined the Boston Celtics? If you can’t recall, you’re not a member of the extended Celtics family, because every member of the Celtics family knows it as the day they woke up pretenders and went to bed contenders, the day they landed KG in a record seven-for-one deal with the Wolves.

So … where were you?

Coach Doc Rivers was on a Vegas golf course (with his GM, Danny Ainge, and Minnesota’s VP, Kevin McHale, and coach, Randy Wittman, no less) when it first hit him that his fantasy was about to become a reality. Later, when Rivers told a friend, “We’re going to get KG and stay Ray Allen and Paul Pierce,” the response was, “Get outta right here.”

Pierce was in LA when he got the call from Ainge. Days later, he went to an ESPYs party with buddy and former teammate Antoine Walker. “I informed Toine the deal used to be happening, and he used to be sizzling,” Pierce says with a laugh. “I stated, ‘Man, we are coming after Miami.’ “

Allen, who had been talking with and texting Ainge for days about the potential addition, said he was standing in front of his Connecticut condo when he got his call from Ainge. After he hung up, Allen walked calmly into his living room and said to his mom, “We were given an opportunity, we actually were given an opportunity.” Flo Allen wanted to know more. “We were given KG,” Ray finally told her.

“She jumped out of her pants,” her son says. Even if she had, it would have been only the second most amazing thing to happen that day.

28 ODEN’S FALL BREAK

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: Greg had microfracture surgery on his right knee on Sept. 13. Please excuse him from all physical contact for the remainder of the season. We realize he’ll be the first No. 1 lottery pick to miss his entire rookie year due to injury, but we want you to know that he will keep up with his lessons while he is away, and we expect him to be back better than ever next fall. Thank you for your understanding.

SINCERELY, KEVIN PRICHARD GM, PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS

P.S. FEEL FREE TO SEND [DERRICK] ROSES.

29 GOLD RUSH

What did Team USA swimming members say after Michael Phelps won seven golds and set four world records at worlds last spring?

A “I noticed issues I did not suppose had been imaginable.”

B “He can swim a lot sooner than he’s now. Much sooner.”

C “Eight occasions [in Beijing] is sensible. Nine is imaginable.”

D “He can win 9. I don’t have any doubt.”

E All of the above.

ANSWER: E

30 REFS GONE WILD

Tim Donaghy clearly earned the Worst Official of the Year award, but let’s take time to honor the other nominees:

Mike Lazo, high school basketball ref PERFORMANCE After Lazo called a second T on O.J. Mayo in a game between Huntington High and Capital High on Jan. 26, the prep star brushed against the ref, who threw a flop for the ages. Mayo drew a three-game suspension and Lazo was criticized for his dive.

Joey Crawford, NBA ref PERFORMANCE On April 15, Crawford got into it with Tim Duncan following a call against the Spurs. Crawford asked TD, “Do you wish to have to combat?” in a why-are-youlooking-at-me-like-that kind of way, not a let’s-take-it-outside kind of way. The league didn’t see it that way, suspending the 30-year ref for “wrong behavior.” He has since been reinstated.

Mike Winters, MLB ump PERFORMANCE When the Padres’ Milton Bradley asked if Winters had accused him of tossing his bat earlier in a Sept. 23 game, the ump fessed up before cursing out Bradley. Bradley, who had to be restrained by his coach, tore an ACL. Winters was suspended three days later.

Phil McKinnely, NFL official PERFORMANCE The Ravens weren’t happy about the calls made in their 27-24 loss to the Pats on Dec. 3. But what really drew their ire was McKinnely’s repeatedly calling cornerback Samari Rolle “boy.” Four Ravens were fined for their comments; McKinnely-who is black and admitted to using the term-got a warning.

31 DONOVAN’S 360

When the dust settled, Donnie Jones realized that he was more surprised by Billy Donovan’s decision to leave Florida than by the flip-flop that put the coach back in Gainesville. “I feel his emotions crushed him in any case,” says the longtime Gators assistant about Donovan’s aborted move to the Orlando Magic. “People he revered had been telling him to move, so he did. But when it got here right down to it, he went along with his middle as a substitute of his head.” Jones, who left the Gators after another title season for the lead job at Marshall, says he gave Donovan space, instead reaching out to Donovan’s likely successor, Virginia Commonwealth coach Anthony Grant. “I do know it is a difficult time for you, however I’m fascinated with you and know the precise factor will occur,” he texted to Grant. “You’re in an ideal scenario.” A few days later, that situation was the same one Grant had been in when the merry-go-round started.

33 THE YEAR OF THE MAMBA

So how did ’07 go for Kobe? Match the month to the accomplishment and see.

Lakers squeak into playoffs … Will Kobe be gone? Well, the handwriting isn’t on the wall yet, but 24 is rumored to be buying spray paint in bulk.

Refuses to talk about Lakers during Team USA stint. Hey, facing the Virgin Islands requires ultimate focus.

Trade talk wanes as team starts strong; Kobe maintains media silence about situation. Santa gets big list, though.

Earns All-Star MVP honors, later dubs Vlad Radmanovic “Halfpipe” after sub separates shoulder in snowboard spill. See-he is a team player.

Is youngest to reach 18,000 points. Word is, he has to match that in months ahead for Lakers to have chance at title.

LA signs Coby Karl … y’know, just in case.

“The Kobe Video” surfaces; star calls owner Jerry Buss an idiot and suggests Andrew Bynum be shipped out. Turns out, he just wants to direct.

Becomes second player to score 50-plus in four straight games. Pleas for help may be exaggerated.

“Trade me/do not industry me” radiothon begins. GM Mitch Kupchak listens/doesn’t listen.

Denies he’s looking at MJ’s pad in Chicago. Clearly, he’s looking at MJ’s old team in Chicago.

“Cleaning” locker is mistaken for “cleansing out” locker. Helicopters are commandeered to cover the event.

Leaves FIBA tourney with gold medal, 2008 Games spot and new BFFs LeBron and Melo. It’s always sad when camp ends.

SO, HOW’D YOU DO?

12: MVP

10-11: All-Star

8-9: Starter

6-7: Bench

3-5: 12th man

0-2: Mongoose

ANSWERS: APR-AUG-DEC-FEB-JAN-JUL-JUN-MAR-MAY-NOV-OCT-SEP

34 HOLY TRINITY!

You had to see the play-more than once-to believe it. On Oct. 27, Division III Trinity beat Millsaps, 28-24, after scoring on a 15-lateral play that began with two seconds left. First Trinity QB Blake Barmore threw a 15-yard pass to WR Shawn Thompson and then, well, check out the diagram above for a breakdown of the all the fun.

35 BIG D-ISASTER

Sure, the Mavericks were 67-15, and yeah, they seemingly clinched a playoff berth by New Year’s. They were the first NBA team to have three winning streaks of at least 12 games in one season, matched the league’s best winning percentage (.817) in 10 years, made Avery Johnson the fastest coach to notch 100 wins and boasted the league’s MVP in Dirk Nowitzki. But none of that could quell the pre-playoff queasiness in Dallas that came with the knowledge that the Mavs’ first-round foe, the frenetic, 42-40 Warriors, who eked out a berth in their season finale, had swept them in the regular season. Sure enough, 11 days later, G-State was the first No. 8 to knock off a No. 1 in a best-of-seven series. And the mighty Mavs were sent packing. Or in Dirk’s case, backpacking.

36 SIN CITY?

Las Vegas put on a little show called the NBA All-Star Game in February, and when it was over more analysis centered on the number of arrests than on the number of shots made. Clearly, pundits raged, the NBA and its fans were out of control. Maybe. Then again, maybe big sporting events of all kinds just seem to bring out the worst in everyone.

MIAMI, MIAMI BEACH: Super Bowl, Feb. 1-4 690 arrests

DALLAS: NHL All-Star Game, Jan. 21-24 765 arrests

LAS VEGAS: NBA All-Star Game, Feb. 15-18 1,379 arrests

ATLANTA: NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four, March 30-April 2 1,462 arrests

37 $233,505 PITCHING IN

There were plenty of reasons to root for the Rockies, who won 21 of 22 games and earned their first trip to the World Series. But the best reason was that they voted a full playoff share to Amanda Coolbaugh. She’s the widow of Mike Coolbaugh, the Double-A Tulsa coach who was killed July 22 after being struck in the neck by a line drive. The $233,505 will come in handy as Amanda raises 5-year-old Joey, 4-year-old Jake and daughter Anne Michael, who was born Nov. 2, less than four months after her father died.

38 GAME … SET … FIXED

OCT. 9, 2007 “Everyone is aware of that it is going on.” -18th-ranked Andy Murray, on whispers that some tennis matches are fixed.

NOV. 10, 2007 “I requested my spouse what took place, and he or she stated it used to be simply humorous.” -No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko, after his wife was questioned about rumors he was involved in match-fixing.

DEC. 1, 2007 “It is a reduction for me that the season’s over as a result of I’ll be in Thailand, the place [the press] can not get at me.” -Davydenko, after being relegated to playing doubles for Team Russia’s Davis Cup team, which lost to the U.S.

39 POP QUIZ

Injuries shortened David Beckham’s maiden U.S. season, and fellow import Cuauhtemoc Blanco stole his thunder on the field. But Becks’ nine-figure signing is still the biggest coup in MLS history, because:

A) Fans bought more than 300,000 Galaxy jerseys, approximately seven times the number sold in 2006.

B) Beckham’s games drew nearly double the MLS average attendance and national TV ratings.

C) Nearly 80,000 fans paid to see Becks and the Galaxy play an off-season exhibition in Australia.

D) Even if Gisele balled like Ronaldinho, good luck finding a prettier Face of MLS than Beckham.

E) All of the above.

ANSWER: E.

40 DEATHS IN A FAMILY

The Bluffton (Ohio) University baseball team lost five players when its bus plummeted from an Atlanta freeway in March. John Betts, whose son, David, died in the crash, justified the team’s return to the field 28 days later: “No query, he would have stated, ‘Play on.’ ” The Beavers finished the season 5-19, a victory in itself.

41 SPEED BUMP

NASCAR’s most bitter family feud ended in June when Dale Earnhardt Jr. bolted Dale Earnhardt Inc. (run by stepmom Teresa) for Hendrick Motorsports. Junior has 17 career victories, but NASCAR watchers now want to know how he’ll do after jumping ship, er, car. The Mag dug through its race reports to see how past megamoves panned out.

Dale Earnhardt Sr.

THE MOVE Left legendary owner Bud Moore to drive for hunting pal and legendary also-ran Richard Childress in 1984.

BEFORE Three wins in two seasons, with points finishes of eighth and 12th.

AFTER 67 wins and six Cups in 17 seasons. RCR becomes a dynasty; Earnhardt becomes The Intimidator.

Richard Petty

THE MOVE The King bolts Petty Enterprises in 1984, turning down Hendrick to drive for music executive Mike Curb.

BEFORE 198 wins and seven Cups over 26 seasons with the family team.

AFTER Two wins in two years, but after No. 200, Petty never visits Victory Lane again.

Dale Jarrett

THE MOVE Joe Gibbs Racing’s original driver signs with Robert Yates Racing in 1995.

BEFORE Two wins in three years, including the 1993 Daytona 500.

AFTER 29 wins in 13 seasons, including two Daytona victories and RYR’s only Cup title in 1999.

Kurt Busch

THE MOVE Roush Racing’s original Young Gun jilted the team by moving to Penske in 2006 to replace retiree Rusty Wallace.

BEFORE 14 wins in five years and the 2004 Cup.

AFTER A rough start in 2006 (16th in points) was followed by a Chase berth in ’07. Could Penske’s first Cup be next?

42 MAN UP

In February, former NBA player John Amaechi divulged that he’s gay in his autobiography, Man in the Middle. In it, he also gave intolerant NBAers the benefit of the doubt, saying, “Homophobia is a ballplayer posture, corresponding to donning your ‘recreation face.’ ” Then Tim Hardaway weighed in. “I hate homosexual folks,” the ex-Warrior and Heat star said on Miami radio. “I don’t believe he will have to be within the locker room whilst we are within the locker room.” Hardaway apologized later that same day, but Amaechi had the last word, saying Hardaway created “an environment that hurts all folks, no longer simply homosexual folks.”

MOST-WATCHED U.S. TV EVENTS BY SPORT

1. Super Bowl XLI, CBS (Viewers: 93.2M)

2. BCS Championship game, FOX (28.8M)

3. NCAA Men’s Basketball title game, CBS (19.6M)

4. Daytona 500, FOX (17.5M)

5. World Series, FOX (17.1M average)

6. Kentucky Derby, NBC (13.7M)

7. The Masters, CBS (11.9M average)

8. NBA Finals, ABC (9.3M average)

9. Indianapolis 500, ABC (6.4M)

10. Stanley Cup Finals, NBC, Versus (1.8M average)

Source: Nielsen Media Research (reflects number of viewers during average minute of programing)

43 HARD RETURN

It took winning one Slam each in 2007, but on Sept. 10, Serena (Australian Open) and Venus (Wimbledon) Williams finally made a joint appearance on the WTA’s Top 10 list after an absence of more than 700 days.

44 MORE THAN MET THE EYE

On the weekend of June 23, WWE star Chris Benoit-famous in the ring for his diving head butts-killed his wife and 7-year-old son before hanging himself at his Georgia home. Police linked the murder-suicide to ‘roid rage, but that was hardly the only factor.

BENOIT STRANGLED WIFE, SMOTHERED SON

COPS EYE ‘ROID RAGE IN WRESTLER’S MURDER-SUICIDE

FEDS: CHRIS BENOIT OVERPRESCRIBED HORMONE

WRESTLER’S DIARY REVEALS GRIEF, DEPRESSION

DOCTOR: WRESTLER HAD “SHOCKING” BRAIN DAMAGE

BRAIN STUDY: CONCUSSIONS CAUSED BENOIT’S RAGE

45 LIVING THE DREAM

After seven years of underwhelming results, does the USA men’s hoops team, which won the FIBA Americas tourney, have what it takes to succeed on international hardwood?

GREENY It’s never been a question of whether USA Basketball has the most talent. It’s been about taking the international game seriously, which up until this year we hadn’t done. That allowed other teams to close the gap. But now that we’re back on track, we will dominate in Beijing.

GOLIC The success of the first Dream Team let us think we could just throw our best players out there and rout the competition. But what we’ve learned since then is that it’s not about the best players. It’s about a better understanding of the international game and building a team that’s best suited for that type of play. Our current roster might not be the 12 best in the league, but they are the 12 who make the most balanced team for Olympic-style basketball.

GREENY Of course, it should be noted that the rest of the world’s catching us in basketball isn’t a bad thing. Guys like Yao Ming, Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol, to name a small few, enrich the game, both in the NBA and in international play.

46 FINE MESS

Bill Belichick’s $500,000 fine for spying on the Jets? Cute. On the same day the Patriots coach got his pocket picked, Formula One showed the world what a real fine looks like. After catching McLaren swiping technical secrets from Ferrari, F1 levied a penalty of-wait for it-$100 million. Here’s how that dwarfs the largest all-time wrist slaps in other leagues:

F1 McLaren: $100 million for spying on Ferrari

NBA Wolves: $3.5 million for illegal deal for Joe Smith

NHL Blues: $1.5 million for tampering with player negotiations

NFL 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo: $1 million for involvement in gambling fraud case

MLB Yankees: $300,000 for public comments on “pine tar recreation”

NASCAR Five teams: $100,000 each, four for illegal cars and one for reckless driving

47 FALL GUY

Jake Brown suffered the worst slam in X Games history when he fell four stories during the skateboard big air contest. The 33-year-old Aussie’s shoes flew off when he hit the Skatelite, but he walked away with relatively minor injuries. We asked Jake and others to replay the crash (shown here in the first photo sequence of it published).

WHO Jake Brown, guy who didn’t die

FIRST TAKE “When I hit the quarterpipe, I used to be too a long way left. I attempted to carve my board again to the middle, however the g-forces made me wobble, and I ejected. [1] I knew I used to be in giant bother. I began working in midair [2] to verify my frame would keep upright. At the ultimate moment, I grew to become backward [3] as a result of I sought after as a lot of my frame as imaginable to hit the bottom. [4] I used to be knocked out [5], but if I got here to, I may just nonetheless stroll.”

WHO Travis Pastrana, motocross rider

VANTAGE POINT Top of the motocross roll-in, next to the quarterpipe

FIRST TAKE “When he landed his first trick, he used to be going approach sooner than skateboards will have to pass. In an speedy, he went from 15 toes under me to 30 toes over my head. When he hit, it seemed like an enormous water balloon hitting a hole object. I walked away, no longer short of to peer the faces of the individuals who knew and beloved him. It used to be the primary time in my lifestyles I used to be positive I’d noticed anyone die.”

WHO Greg Weatherall, photographer

VANTAGE POINT The media platform, level with the top of the quarterpipe

FIRST TAKE “At the height of his trick, time stood nonetheless. I assumed, Are we going to look at anyone die? Then I assumed perhaps he would not die however his legs would shatter like glass. Out of the nook of my eye, I may just see the alternative photographers working for defense. Not one in all them saved their digital camera on him.”

WHO Bob Burnquist, skateboarder

VANTAGE POINT Top of the roll-in, waiting to take his final run

FIRST TAKE “When I noticed Jake bail, I figured he would knee-slide and be all proper. When he saved falling, it used to be like witnessing a automobile ruin. When he hit, I collapsed at the flooring and cried and screamed. After he walked away, I considered letting him have the gold-he used to be main after his first run. But you do not simply let anyone win, and I could not let the development finish on this sort of heavy word. My legs had been shaking; I used to be scared and tired. I rolled in and landed what I attempted. I devoted my gold medal to him. I’m not anything with out the individuals who encourage me.”

48 POLITICAL FOOTBALL

How do you put into context what happened to Marty Schottenheimer? The Chargers coach led his team to an NFL-best 14-2 record last season and still lost his job. By comparison, consider the inglorious work done by some of our nation’s leaders, all of whom still hold public office. It’ll make you wish Marty were campaigning for a gig in Congress.

GOOD MARTY

Established a Chargers record by winning 14 regular-season games.

Led San Diego to a sweep of the Broncos and Raiders for the first time since 1965.

Beat the defending Super Bowl champion Steelers and Super Bowl runner-up Seahawks in the same season.

BAD POLS

U.S. senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct after an arrest for lewd conduct in an airport restroom. He is trying to withdraw his plea.

U.S. senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana) publicly apologized after being connected to a DC prostitution ring.

U.S. representative William Jefferson (D-Louisiana) was found with $90,000 in cash stashed in his freezer and was indicted on 16 corruption-related charges. If convicted, he faces up to 235 years in prison.

49 SWEET & SOUR

After a close call at third base in a June 2 loss to the Braves, Cuba manager and longtime hothead Lou Piniella threw a cap-chucking, dirt-kicking tantrum, which earned him a four-game suspension. “Won’t occur back,” he said. To help Sweet Lou reach his goal, we asked Geraldine Katovich, executive director of Chicago’s Anger Clinic, for advice.

DIVERT “When he is charging the umpire and shedding keep an eye on, he will have to divert himself and pass communicate to one in all his gamers as a substitute. He does not wish to discuss baseball: “Hey, how are things with your family?’After he’s calmed down, he can go to the umpire.”

DISENGAGE “When Lou’s kicking dirt on the umpires, he’s engaging in something we call ‘mischief.’ We teach people to disengage.”

UNWIND “If he focuses on releasing his muscles when he’s charging out there, he’s going to be relaxed by the time he gets to the umpire.”

SPELL-CHECK “If you write a letter, you move the anger outside of you. He could write how he wished things had turned out.”

All excellent tips. But taking into account that his listless membership went on a 26-12 post-tirade tear en path to the NL Central identify, perhaps Sweet Lou will have to simply be himself.

50 SECOND GEAR

On Sept. 1, Red Sox rookie Clay Buchholz, 23 years previous and beginning for simply the second one time within the majors, tossed the seventeenth no-hitter in group historical past. (For his efforts, he used to be despatched to the bull pen.) Buchholz used to be the 3rd pitcher since 1900 to toss a no-hitter in his first or moment delivery, consistent with the Elias Sports Bureau. Other execs did not fare so neatly of their moment look at the giant degree.

Barry Bonds, Pirates 5/30/86, vs. Dodgers: 0-for-5, BB, 3 K’s

Brett Favre, Falcons 11/10/91, vs. Redskins: 0-for-4, 0 yards, 2 INTs, 0 passer score

Tiger Woods, PGAS Tour 2/28/93, Nissan LA Open: shot 10-over 152 for 36 holds, overlooked reduce

Kevin Garnett, Timerwolves 11/5/95, vs. Grizzlies: 11 MINs, 0 PTs (0-for-2 FG), 3 REBs

Kobe Bryant, Lakers 11/5/96, vs. Knicks: 3 MINs, 1 PT (0-for-1 FG, 1-for-2 FT), 1 TO

Roger Federer, ATP 8/24/98, vs. Orlin Stanoytchev in Geneva: misplaced 6-4, 7-6 in first around

Tom Brady, Patriots 9/23/01, vs. Jets: 5-for-10, 46 yards, 62.9 passer score

Ghostzapper, 2004 Horse of the Year 12/26/02, Allowance Race, Santa Anita: squeezed firstly and completed fourth, 7-1/2 lengths again

WHEATIES COVERS IN 2007

Tim Duncan

Tony Gwynn

Bill Russell

Pat Summitt

Hunter Kemper

Florida Gators (brand)

Kentucky Wildcats (brand)

North Carolina Tar Heels (brand)

51 ROMO DROPS BALL (AND PICKS IT UP)

After letting a playoff recreation slip thru his palms in Seattle ultimate season, Tony Romo has rebounded in some way that may best be described as otherworldly. Yes, the Cowboys QB isn’t of our species. He is Romo sapiens and possesses those galactic characteristics:

PERIPHERAL HYPERVISION Helps Romo sapiens see the sphere (Witten, Owens, Crayton). Also is helping Romo sapiens play the sphere (Underwood, Spears, Simpson).

AUTO-ERASING MEMORY Allows Romo sapiens to expunge previous transgressions from his exhausting pressure nearly instantaneously. Works particularly neatly in chilly climates corresponding to Seattle and Buffalo.

GLANDLESS PALM Prevents Romo sapiens from perspiring, thereby bettering his talent to throw tight spirals, maintain lengthy snaps (in most cases) and signal $67.5 million contracts.

52 SNAP JUDGMENT

Kevin Harvick were given his photograph end in February when he beat Mark Martin to the road within the closest Daytona 500 for the reason that creation of digital timing, in 1993. The distinction? A trifling .02 of a moment. To put that during standpoint: It would take a Mark Martin fan 15 instances longer to blink away a tear (.3 of a moment).

53 AS THE TINY TERROR TURNS

Justine Henin (2007, ****) T2-all 5’5-12″, 125 pounds of her-survives senility (she turned 25 in June), divorce and family estrangement (and reconciliation), only to emerge with a new power game, two Grand Slam titles (French, U.S.) and a stranglehold on the No. 1 ranking. (HDTV; in French with English subtitles.)

54 SIGN LANGUAGE

After 12 years and 1,173 wins as the placid face of the Yankees, Joe Torre will be signing the Dodgers’ lineup card next season. It figures to be a tough gig, so for insight into the manager’s psyche, we went to LA-based handwriting analyst Susanne Shapiro.

“His legible script is uninterrupted via breaks between letters and flows in a herbal approach. Here is a targeted, mature guy, methodical and likely of himself. He follows thru with choices.”

“He does not even pick out up his pen when forming a t bar. Instead, he pulls it in the course of the backside of the t to connect to the o. This environment friendly connection is extremely strange and features to his talent to pay attention for lengthy sessions at a time.”

“Joe’s finishing strokes at the e level to anyone with robust convictions. But he is not more likely to proportion his innermost ideas and feelings with others, which would possibly go away folks questioning how he feels about them.”

55 NOT CRICKET

When Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer was found dead in a Jamaican hotel room after his team’s stunning World Cup loss, the investigation that followed sparked the kind of tabloid speculation usually reserved for Elvis or Tupac. The headlines: MURDERED? MATCH-FIX BOOKIES MAY HAVE POISONED LEGEND WOOLMER (MARCH 22); WOOLMER “MAY HAVE BEEN STRANGLED” (MARCH 22); WOOLMER BOOK TO LIFT LID ON CHEATS (APRIL 8); WOOLMER STRANGLED, INSISTS PATHOLOGIST (OCT. 26); CRICKET: CORONER ORDERS FURTHER TESTS TO SETTLE WOOLMER DISPUTE (NOV. 7)

56 IOU

Just before the 2006 season, Oklahoma’s BCS-contending football team was thrown for a loss by the suspensions of starting QB Rhett Bomar and guard J.D. Quinn. Both had been getting paid big bucks while working bogus car dealership jobs. This past July, the Sooners were rocked again by NCAA penalties for those transgressions”: forfeiture of all 8 wins in 2005 and the lack of two long run scholarships.

And what concerning the $15,000 blended Bomar and Quinn permitted for the ones comfortable gigs? The NCAA pressured them to pay off the cash sooner than it might repair their eligibility (Bomar is now at Sam Houston State, Quinn at Montana). But for the reason that NCAA has no keep an eye on over bowl payouts, OU saved the $2M it earned via enjoying in that season’s Holiday Bowl.

57 OCHO FOR OCHOA

In 2007, Lorena Ochoa received 8 tourneys and her first primary, the Women’s British Open. The key used to be consistency. Ochoa completed 66 of 8g rounds below par (74%) for 21 top-10 finishes in 25 begins. Her 422 Player of the Year features is just about double that of her closest competitor. Talk about lapping the sphere.

58 POP QUIZ

What used to be vital about Rags to Riches’win on the 2007 Belmont Stakes?

A) It ended jockey John Velazquez’s 20-race shedding streak in Triple Crown occasions.

B) It used to be the primary win via a filly within the Belmont since 1905.

C) It did not lend a hand any person pass over Barbaro much less.

D) All of the above.

ANSWER: D

59 DUUUDES! DUCKS WIN THE CUP

For Jackson, Josh and Logan Niedermayer, the one factor cooler than chillin’ with Uncle Rob at the seaside is doing it along with his (and pa Scott’s) new BFF, Stanley.

60 SEAN TAYLOR 1983-2007

TWO REDSKINS ON THE LOSS OF A TEAMMATE

LONDON FLETCHER “He just loved to play. One memory I have of Sean is from a game against the Jets. We were in overtime, and our offense was about to score, and Sean asked me, ‘London, what are we going to do when we get back out there?’ I said, ‘Sean, our offense is about to score, and this game is going be over.’ But all Sean wanted to talk about was how we were going to play them when we got back on the field. He had confidence in our offense, but he just wanted to play some more. He just loved to play football. He could play football all night long. That’s just how he was.”

SANTANA MOSS “He was a kind person, one of the kindest people you’ve ever met. I felt like he was a good guy and people tried to make him seem like he was worse than he was. But they only did that because they didn’t know him, and it’s not right to talk about somebody if you don’t know them. Just because he didn’t open up to the media, you guys kind of took that and ran with it and made him out to be this bad guy because of his past and some of the stuff he had gotten into. But every guy on this team has had some run-ins in his past, so I just don’t think that was fair.”

61 THREE FOR ALL

THREE THROWS THAT MADE JAMARCUS RUSSELL THE NO. 1 PICK IN THE 2007 DRAFT

11/4/06, VS. TENNESSEE On 3rd and 20, Russell drills a 25-yard cross to WR Dwayne Bowe for a primary down.

11/18/06, VS. OLE MISS Russell launches a 42-yard cross off his again foot that splits two DBs and lands within the hands of WR Early Doucet.

1/3/07, VS. NOTRE DAME (SUGAR BOWL) Russell is flushed out of the pocket and hits WR Brandon LaFell 48 yards downfield for a TD.

62 FAST FACTS

At ultimate summer time’s monitor and subject worlds, in Japan, Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell raced 100 meters to settle without equal query in sports activities: Who is the arena’s quickest guy? Gay received that race, however two weeks later Powell smashed the arena listing with a time of 9.74 seconds. Now it is time to circle Aug. 16, 2008, in your calendar. That’s the date of the lads’s Olympic 100m monitor last, often referred to as Gay vs. Powell Redux. Fastest guy wins.

63 WHY THEY CALL HIM SUPER MARIO (And why the Pens had been the controversy of the NHL in 2007)

FROM THE DESK OF MARIO LEMIEUX, CHAIRMAN

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS 2007

– Get Sid the Kid a Hart

– Calder (Malkin? Staal?)

– Good-bye, Igloo!

– Still enjoying after Easter!

64 CHILD’S PLAY

Now that 14-year-old Ryan Boatright has verbally dedicated to USC hoops, is the recruiting procedure utterly bunk?

GOLIC I hate this pattern of comparing such younger gamers. Ranking youngsters in 7th grade? How are we able to know anything else about their possible at that age? But groups see different groups do it and really feel they’ve to do it too. It’s out of keep an eye on.

GREENY It in truth does not trouble me. Sure, the athletes ceaselessly can not maintain the upper ranges, however who suffers then? The trainer who made the error, that is who. If groups need to stay alongside of the Joneses, I’m effective with that consequence.

GOLIC But you wish to have your favourite groups to be excellent, and in the event that they start to unfold themselves skinny with ill-advised commitments, there is going to be a large number of holes in giant techniques.

GREENY It’s no longer a lot other than how the NBA was once, when youngsters got here instantly out of highschool. If groups need to take an opportunity like that, allow them to.

66 NEEDY KNICKS

It’s trendy to seek advice from the Knicks franchise as a teach ruin, however that isn’t correct. The Knicks are a teach ruin struck via an plane all the way through a twister, seconds sooner than falling below assault from a military of bears-all of which occur to be on fireplace. A 12 months in the past, the membership used to be already mired in bother, overstocked with quasi-identical taking pictures guards who shared a distaste for passing and protection. Who may have guessed the ones will be the excellent ol’ days? Since then, GM-coach Isiah Thomas and group brass have misplaced a sexual harassment go well with, and the gamers have misplaced their will to compete. (The Celtics beat them via 45 on nationwide TV.) When Thomas informed Stephon Marbury, the de facto face of the franchise, that he used to be going to take away him from the beginning lineup, Starbury retaliated via threatening to blackmail his boss. And maximum lately, Thomas and the Garden agreed to an $11.5M agreement of the go well with as a substitute of following thru on an attraction. This teach can’t be mounted. It must be destroyed. -CHUCK KLOSTERMAN

67 PGA MAJOR THRILLS

Three of this 12 months’s Big Four winners had been first-timers. The fourth? Been there, completed that.

1 MASTERS Keeping cool as others fade, Zach Johnson takes Green Jacket.

2 U.S. OPEN With Tiger on his tail, chain-smoking Argentine Angel Cabrera is grasp at Oakmont.

3 BRITISH OPEN After a close to Van de Velde at the 18th, Padraig Harrington survives playoff at Carnasty.

4 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP Tiger Woods begins Sunday with lead, wins fourth PGA and thirteenth primary with out breaking a sweat regardless of 103 warmth at Southern Hills.

68 BEST PERFORMANCE IN A CROSSOVER ROLE

Shaun White rewrote the definition of multi-platform famous person in 2007. Olympic and X Games snowboard golds? So 2006. This 12 months, the 21-year-old rider no longer best ruled skateboard vert on the Dew Tour, he additionally received his first skate vert gold at summer time X. And that used to be simply the warmup act for the snow athlete grew to become pop icon. White rotated the arena for AmEx, teamed with Ubisoft to increase his personal online game and designed the second one technology of his White Collection clothes line for Burton. Oh, and he charmed a couple of of Hef’s friends on The Girls Next Door. Not unhealthy.

69 POP QUIZ

On June 27, a listing seven pitchers age 40 or older had been set to start out. So what took place?

A) They went 3-1 with a 2.50 ERA.

B) In a rain-shortened Mets win, Tom Glavine pitched his first whole recreation since 2005.

C) The Tigers had been rained out, so Kenny Rogers received day after today.

D) Roger Clemens misplaced his bid for his 350th victory.

E) All of the above.

ANSWER: D

70 DARIO’S WILD RIDE

An Indy 500 win. Two high-flying flips. The IndyCar identify. Dario Franchitti has had one odds-defying 12 months. But his transfer to NASCAR with open-wheelers Patrick Carpentier, Sam Hornish Jr. and Jacques Villeneuve used to be a shocker. What had been the probabilities? Franchitti lays down the road.

Odds he’d win Indy 500 – 20 to one “We cut a tire and went to the back. I thought, Well, this’ll be difficult.”

Odds he’d turn his automobile – 5,000 to one “I’d never been on my head. I was surprised at how gentle it all was.”

Odds he’d turn back per week later – 10,000 to one “This one was big. My knees took the steering wheel off.”

Odds he’d win the IndyCar identify – 10 to one “We had to finish ahead of Scott Dixon in the last race. But I knew the car wasn’t quick enough. Then on the last lap, he ran out of fuel. We had a good night out.”

Odds he’d transfer to NASCAR in ’08 – 20 to one “I started looking because my big goal was to win the 500. Then [NASCAR team owner] Chip Ganassi called out of the blue and said, ‘Hey, I’ve got this idea ‘ “

Odds he’d transfer to NASCAR with 3 different open-wheel drivers – 1,000 to one “It’s because of Juan Montoya’s success. There are trends. It was young guys, then sprint car guys, now it’s us. If we’re successful, that’ll continue. If not, people will forget us quickly.”

MOST POPULAR YOUTUBE SPORTS CLIPS OF 2007*

1. Comedy Football (Total audience: 9,015,977) Search: Comedy Football

2. Freak Accident at Football Match! (5,471,297) Search: Freak Football

3. Shaq, LeBron, Dwight Howard All-Star Dance-Off (5,384,754) Search: Shaq Dance

4. 66-Inch Jump via Adrian Wilson (4,876,401) Search: Adrian Wilson

5. Rhain Davis the Whiz Kid Joins Manchester United (4,227,014) Search: Whiz Kid

*THROUGH DEC. 12

71 RUNNING MAN

Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie is the best distance runner who ever lived. Need evidence? In September he received the Berlin Marathon in 2:04:26, breaking Kenyan Paul Tergat’s international listing via 29 seconds. Highlights from his 15-year profession come with 26 international marks plus Olympic and international titles:

1996, 2000 Wins Olympic gold at 10,000 meters

1998 Breaks 5,000m WR for fourth time (12:39:36)

1998 Breaks 10,000m WR for 3rd time (26:22:75)

2006 20k WR (55:48)

2006 Half-marathon WR (58:55)

2007 WR for biggest distance coated in an hour (21,285 meters; 13 miles 397 yards)

2007 20,000m WR (56:25:98)

2007 Marathon WR (2:04:26)

72 NO CONTEST

Orioles pitching trainer Leo Mazzone had by no means noticed anything else love it. Chances are, none folks ever will back. On Aug. 22, the Rangers edged the O’s 30-3 in a statistician’s dream:

– Texas scored essentially the most runs for the reason that Chicago Colts beat the Louisville Colonels 36-7 in 1897.

– The Rangers hadn’t scored 30 runs of their earlier 9 video games blended; the Orioles hadn’t allowed 30 runs of their earlier 8 blended.

– Texas trailed 3-0, then scored 30 unanswered runs, together with 16 within the ultimate two innings.

– The Rangers’ No. 8 and No. 9 hitters, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ramon Vazquez, had 7 RBIs every.

– In a 27-run recreation, Rangers RHP Wes Littleton earned a save.

– Mazzone, as soon as MLB’s peak pitching guru, is now in search of paintings.

73 PRETTY BOY’S PRETTY BIG YEAR

For wins over Ricky Hatton and Oscar De La Hoya (left in photograph), Floyd Mayweather (proper) earned greater than $40 million in 2007 and become the primary non-heavyweight with 1M PPV buys in consecutive fights. Now he says he is retiring-again. We say, “Please don’t go.” Here’s why:

HE HITS …

According to Compubox, Mayweather landed a whopping 43% of his punches in his previous 5 fights. The level: He’s nonetheless essentially the most correct puncher on this planet.

… AND DOESN’T GET HIT

In the ones 5 fights, fighters landed best 16% of all makes an attempt. That plus-minus score of plus-27% is tops on the earth. He could also be 30, however Mayweather is not slowing down.

HE’S BRINGING THE POWER

Mayweather’s win on features over De La Hoya inspired no person. But after Hatton sponsored him right into a nook with smothering aggression, Mayweather struck again, touchdown seven energy punches within the tenth around to attain a TKO, his first since 2005.

HE LINES UP THE STARS

Mayweather packs a room. Among the ones in attendance at his previous two fights: Jim Carrey, Denzel, J.Lo, Tiger Woods and Brad and Angelina. No different fighter comes on the subject of Pretty Boy’s drawing energy.

74 CHIEF EXPORTED

The University of Illinois in any case retired debatable mascot Chief Illiniwek on Feb. 22, after 81 years of performances at house basketball and soccer video games. In go back, the NCAA lifted sanctions that prohibited postseason occasions from going down in Champaign. The governing frame additionally allowed the varsity to stay its Fighting Illini nickname-a reference, faculty officers say, to the group’s preventing spirit.

75 JOINT VENTURE

When Gerald Henderson’s elbow met Tyler Hansbrough’s face past due ultimate season in any other Duke-UNC loss of life fit, it brought about a ruckus in Chapel Hill and past. It additionally put Henderson in this roster of guys who had been made well-known via their hinges:

Tommy John. Where would sore-armed 14-year-olds be with out ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction?

The Rock. Elbow to the face? Bah. Real males throw theirs crashing into anyone else’s sun plexus-then patent it because the People’s Elbow.

Ian “Collo” Collins. Yes, Australian laws soccer is more or less brutal, however by no means extra so than when Collins took his depraved shot at Neil Busse. Check it on YouTube, if you’ll abdomen it.

Vince Carter. Last nice slam-dunk champ received the All-Star match in 2000 with the assistance of a final-round honey dip that left them raving. The cherry-on-top elbow dangle outlined Vinsanity in its high.

Brian Butch. When the Badger giant dislocated his proper elbow in opposition to Ohio State ultimate February, it definitively proved the dude’s no Gumby.

Tito Ortiz. The UFC nice’s elbows could be the scariest of all of them. Ask Ken Shamrock.

76 RUN DOWN

What does it say concerning the state of baseball that the Diamondbacks made the playoffs with a detrimental run differential?

GREENY Numerous folks hate crediting Bud Selig, however you need to reward the paintings he is completed. Over the previous 10 years, the sport has accomplished a degree of aggressive stability that exists in few different sports activities.

GOLIC I could not care much less about runs scored and runs allowed. Look on the NFL: One 12 months you’ll be able to have 8-8 groups making the playoffs, and the following 12 months a 10-6 group would possibly not get in. It’s all cyclical. You have to understand what the D-backs, and golf equipment like them, have completed. Plenty of playoff groups operated with low budgets. It all comes right down to enjoying excellent ball.

77 BASEBAWL

Sunday, Aug. 26, 7 p.m., 120 min., ESPN ***

Orthopedists and patriots alike will need to song in to peer our hopes and desires lugged into combat via the undeveloped elbow ligaments of the 12-year-olds from Warner Robins, Ga. Batter’s-box impersonations would possibly come with Chipper Jones and Hideki Matsui. Hysterical preadolescent wailing assured.

78 KING OF QUEENS

Novak Djokovic blitzed the tennis brackets in 2007, achieving the semis on the French and at Wimbledon and the finals on the U.S. Open, the place he misplaced to Roger Federer. But overlook that the 20-year-old Serb went from No. 16 to No. 3 in 2007 or that he opened 2006 ranked a far off 78th. What grew to become Djokovic right into a tennis supernova used to be his on-court (and on-TV) mimicry of Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal on the Open. Federer used to be no longer inspired with the impressions (“He’s walking a tightrope”), however we predict imitation is the sincerest type of flattery.

79 SUPPLY AND DEMAND!

O.J. Simpson is dealing with trial (back) and the potential for lifestyles in jail (back). This time he is charged with kidnapping and armed theft on the Palace Station resort in Las Vegas ultimate September. The loot? O.J.-related sports activities memorabilia that Simpson claims have been stolen from him. That were given us pondering: Would Juice had been at an advantage clicking thru eBay? Here’s probably the most stuff he may have gotten his gloves on:

1 If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer PRICE: $15.50. Written via O.J., the guide main points how he would have murdered Brown and Goldman (wink, wink).

2 Free O.J. T-shirt PRICE: $14.95. Below a photograph of Simpson is that this line concerning the alleged memorabilia heist: “He was just getting his stuff back; it’s not like he killed anybody.”

3 O.J. Simpson Juice Extractor/Juicer PRICE : $19.99. This O.J.-endorsed kitchen equipment makes it simple to unfastened The Juice.

4 Time Magazine Cover PRICE: $9.99. This 1994 duvet options O.J.’s mug and the headline “An American Tragedy.” Still true after 13 years.

5 The Naked Gun DVD Gift Set PRICE: $13.95. O.J. in his ideal position ever, as Detective Nordberg. An entire trilogy of irony simply in time for Christmas.

80 ROOKIE MOVES

On April 28, 2007, 19-year-old Amobi Okoye become the NFL’s youngest-ever draftee. Here, the comfortable Texans DT stocks a few of his different firsts.

FIRST LOVE A film referred to as 7 Lucky Ninja Kids. I watched it such a lot my oldsters destroyed the tape.

FIRST SACK Junior 12 months at Robert E. Lee HS in Huntsville, Ala. I began just one recreation sophomore 12 months, and that used to be at the offensive line. After that first sack, lots extra got here.

FIRST KISS My first significant one used to be senior 12 months in highschool. We had been on the films, and proper in the course of a scene, I simply busted my transfer. It used to be easy.

FIRST REALLY BAD GRADE Freshman 12 months at Louisville, I were given a D in biology. I’m a math and science man, however with the calls for of soccer, I used to be suffering. I took it back and were given a B+.

FIRST RIDE My dad were given me a used ’97 Camry once I went to school. Two weeks later, I wrecked it. Worst section is, I’d simply gotten the home windows tinted.

81 WHO’S NO. 4?

Sure, Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals rang up an NBC prime-time lowball score of one.1, however the NHL’s daring offers with YouTube (leagueprovided recreation highlights) and Google (whole video games) imply that-on the Internet at least-the different Big Four sports activities are consuming hockey’s ice chips.

82 FIGHTING BACK

“It’s a blessing to be able to encourage and support other people. I help them believe they can battle. Friends of people who have cancer tell me they always say, ‘If Coach Yow can do that, you can do it.’ ” -NC State ladies’s basketball trainer Kay Yow, whose Jan. 25 go back following a two-month go away to combat Stage 4 breast most cancers propelled her Wolfpack to a 12-3 end, together with a win over then-No. 1 Duke within the semifinal of the ACC match.

83 MIND OVER MADNESS

Doubters have lengthy predicted the day motocross rider Travis Pastrana’s stunt neatly would run dry. Could he peak the 1999 Grand Canyon soar or the 2006 double backflip? Impossible. But this 12 months, Pastrana BASE-jumped into the Grand Canyon with a lady using tandem on his motorbike. And jumped from a airplane at 12,500 feet-without a parachute. Seems that the place Pastrana is worried, the sky is the prohibit. Or no longer.

84 TOP OF THE WORLDS

“To finally wear the red, white and blue was really emotional. I waited three years for it. When I picked up my American uniform in Osaka, I took it back to the hotel and tried it on. It looked so good.” -Kenyan-born Bernard Lagat, who received the 1,500m and 5,000m at monitor and subject worlds whilst competing as an American for the primary time. Lagat become a U.S. citizen in 2004 however needed to wait 3 years sooner than he may just compete for his new nation.

85 YANKEE KICKERS

Not way back, the one Americans enjoying football in a foreign country had been goalkeepers. (Even now, 20% of the EPL’s beginning goalies are made in the US.) But over the last a number of years, Americans had been getting vital run in any respect positions the world over. There are recently 58 Yanks, together with nearly all of nationwide teamers, kicking it in a few of Europe’s peak leagues. “To have Americans playing for big clubs against top players week in and week out is very important for our national team,” says U.S. trainer Bob Bradley. And the rely may just quickly develop: Rumor has it that Real Madrid is eyeing 18-year-old Red Bulls striker Jozy Altidore for a January switch.

86 UP-AND-DOWN CHUCK

UFC toughman Chuck Liddell fell from unbeatable gentle heavyweight champ and budding TV big name to the verge of retirement. Hop alongside for The Iceman’s rocky 2007 trip.

DEC. 30, 2006: Liddell beats Tito Ortiz to protect his gentle heavy identify.

MID-MARCH: Nevada State Athletic Commission forces Liddell to take a drug check. He passes.

APRIL 24: Punk’d via UFC prez Dana White.

APRIL 29: Confronts Drama in a car park on an episode of Entourage.

MAY 21: Appears at the duvet of The Mag.

MAY 26: Loses via first-round TKO to Rampage Jackson.

JUNE 13: Named Most Dangerous Man at Spike TV’s Guys’ Choice Awards.

JULY 30: Lip-synchs on Nickelback’s hit video for “Rock Star.”

SEPT. 22: Loses via determination to unheralded Keith Jardine.

DEC. 29: Slated to combat former PRIDE big name and sour rival Wanderlei Silva. A loss may just finish his profession.

87 A SHORT HISTORY OF GREATNESS

This 12 months, 15-year-old gymnast Shawn Johnson become simply the fourth U.S. girl ever to win the arena gymnastics all-around championship and helped the U.S. ladies win their moment international group identify. She’s additionally simply 56 inches tall. But good things have all the time are available in small programs:

YEAR 1929 HEIGHT 60.5 inches FEAT The shortest participant in NFL historical past, working again Jack Shapiro performs his best season for the NFL’s Staten Island Stapletons. He carries two times for seven yards.

YEAR 1951 HEIGHT 43 inches FEAT Eddie Gaedel pinch-hits for the St. Louis Browns in opposition to the Detroit Tigers, turning into the shortest individual to play in an MLB recreation. He walks on 4 pitcher and is changed via a pinch-runner.

YEAR 1969 HEIGHT 63 inches FEAT Roy “Shrimp” Worters of the New York Americans turns into the shortest participant inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame.

88 ONE FOR THE ROAD

No Formula One racer has ever begun a profession warmer than Lewis Hamilton, who had 4 wins, six poles and 12 podiums (together with 9 instantly) as a rookie. But a unique quantity will stick to him: one. As in the only level that saved him from completing No. 1 general. As in the only monitor place he gave up, to eventual champ Kimi Raikkonnen in Turn 1 on the French GP, the primary time he’d ever been handed. As in the only race he failed to complete, the China GP, with one race to move. As within the collection of spots he expects to transport up in Season 2.

89 HIRE AND LOWER

Arkansas soccer enthusiasts spent two years banging the message forums to get Houston Nutt (under, proper) ousted. They stated they sought after a trainer who wasn’t all about himself, who would not alienate team of workers or gamers, who did not lie and who knew the dang passing recreation. At season’s finish, Nutt bolted for rival Ole Miss and Hog enthusiasts were given an NFL trainer who is all about himself, who bailed on his group with 3 video games left, who reportedly lied to his proprietor and who stated buh-bye to his Falcons assistants with, “Guys, I’ve resigned, I’m going to Arkansas. I’m sorry. I’ll be talking with you guys in the future.” Well, at the least Bobby Petrino (a long way left) is aware of the passing recreation.

TOP-SELLING SPORTS BOOKS OF 2007*

1. Tales From Q School: Inside Golf’s Fifth Major – John Feinstein (67,465)

2. Hate Mail From Cheerleaders – Rick Reilly (44,939)

3. The Hardcore Diaries – Mick Foley (43,236)

4. The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding – Arnold Schwarzenegger (24,989)

5. The Real All Americans – Sally Jenkins (24,978)

6. Baseball Prospectus 2008 – Steven Goldman and Christina Kahrl (22,607)

7. A Fighter’s Heart – Sam Sheridan (20,190)

8. Watching Baseball Smarter – Zack Hample (19,729)

9. The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever – Mark Frost (16,832)

10. Crazy ’08: How a Cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads and Magnates Created the Greatest Year in Baseball History – Cait Murphy (16,415)

* THROUGH DEC. 9

90 OLD SCHOOL

Mark Dodge, the 27-year-old army vet and Aggie ‘backer, idea he used to be previous. Then he met Mike Flynt, the 59-year-old linebacker who walked on at D3 Sul Ross State. We hooked the 2 up so they may proportion their tales.

DODGE “I don’t know how you’ve done it, man. I wake up Sundays after games and ask myself, Am I still doing this at my age?”

FLYNT “God’s blessed me that I’ve been able to stay in good shape for a lot of years. My kids and grandkids got to see me play. That’s priceless.”

DODGE “People talk to me about the NFL. But I’m done. Football’s been a great way for me to be myself and come to school. But it’s time to get on with my life.”

FLYNT “My biggest concern was how I’d be received. When I was in line getting my pads, some guy ran around yelling that the team had a 59-year-old.”

DODGE “I think the team was looking for an older leader. They seemed to enjoy having someone more mature to talk to. I get letters and e-mails all the time saying I’ve inspired people. It’s such an amazing feeling.”

FLYNT “That’s exactly the way I felt. It was like a bonus to do this and help other people in the process.”

91 TRUE OR FALSE: SUPERMAN WEARS TIM TEBOW PAJAMAS

On Dec. 8, Florida QB Tim Tebow become the primary sophomore to win the Heisman. Some of those feats had one thing to do along with his variety. Some are even true:

– On Sept. 1, Tebow throws for 300 yards and 3 TDs in his beginning debut, in opposition to Western Kentucky.

– On Sept. 3, he surfs the biggest wave of 2007, a 70-footer at Tahiti’s Teahupoo. (The wave, after all, started as a Tebow cannonball into the Atlantic on Sept. 2.)

– On Nov. 17, in opposition to Florida Atlantic, Tebow turns into the primary participant at a significant school to cross and rush for 20 TDs in a season.

– On Nov. 20, prepping for Gator Pro Am, he ratings an ideal around of golfing (18 aces) along with his putter.

– On Nov. 24, he ends the common season ranked moment within the country in passing potency (177.9).

92 CARDINAL SINS

After an unbelievable identify run in 2006, not anything went proper for the Cardinals in ’07. Five weeks after Tony La Russa’s March DUI arrest, pitcher Josh Hancock (No. 32) died in a drunk-driving twist of fate. Then, in August, utilityman Scott Spiezio went into rehab for substance abuse. St. Louis suffered its first shedding season since 1999, which price revered GM Walt Jocketty his task and refueled La Russa’s epic, ongoing feud with 3rd baseman Scott Rolen. When the executive signed a two-year extension in October, Rolen requested to be traded.

93 ALL THE WRONG MOVES

Instead of sticking with the lineup that were given the U.S. ladies to the World Cup semis, trainer Greg Ryan sat beginning keeper Hope Solo (a long way left, with midfielder Carli Lloyd) in want of getting older Briana Scurry, and the Yanks misplaced 4-0 to Brazil. Solo then blasted Ryan, who misplaced his task whilst the “Girls of Summer” misplaced a little in their squeaky-clean rep. But it used to be rarely the one unhealthy roster transfer of 2007:

RED SOX Traded from Texas, Eric Gagne gave up 26 hits and 9 walks in simply over 18 innings, and publish an ERA of 6.75.

DOLPHINS Ricky Williams’ NFL go back from exile ended after six carries, one fumble and a shoulder harm.

TRAIL BLAZERS While No. 2 draft pick out Kevin Durant averages 19.7 ppg for Seattle, No. 1 pick out Greg Oden is sitting out the 12 months with a knee harm.

MCDONALD’S Many places stopped the usage of artery-clogging (and scrumptious), partly hydrogenated soybean oil of their fryers in want of a trans-fat-free exchange. Can’t we at the least die glad?

94 ONE AND DONE?

Caltech males’s hoops were given its first NCAA win in 11 years. Cause for party?

GREENY As a Northwestern alum, I do know what it is love to be actually unhealthy. It does not impact simply the group; it permeates the entire faculty. I’m satisfied to listen to they are off the schneid.

GOLIC Man, they should’ve simply been actually unhealthy.

GREENY Perhaps they will have to delivery recruiting 14-year-olds. Build the dynasty of the next day to come.

GOLIC Or at the least put in combination a two-game win streak.

95 NO ARGUMENT

“Sportsmanship and easygoing methods are all right, but it is the prospect of a hot fight that brings out the crowds.” -Hall of Fame supervisor John McGraw, whose all-time listing of 131 ejections used to be eclipsed via Braves skipper Bobby Cox on Aug. 14.

96 CRAZY FOR THOSE SABRES

Maybe it used to be the 10-0 delivery. Or, the 113-point season, tops within the East. Or simply all that snow making other folks, neatly … nuts. Whatever, Sabremania gripped western New York State all 12 months. In April, the seven best-selling jerseys at NHL.com belonged to Sidney Crosby and 6 Sabres–sales had been up 497% for the year–and TV rankings tripled from 2002 to 2007. Too unhealthy this actuality display needed to finish: Buffalo used to be crushed via Ottawa 4-1 within the convention finals.

97 WHAT WOULD JOSH BECKETT DO?

Chunichi Dragons righthander Daisuke Yamai retired all 24 batters he confronted within the 5th and decisive recreation of the Japan Series, throwing simply 86 pitches thru 8 innings. Still, supervisor Hiromitsu Ochiai adopted regimen, yanking his starter in want of nearer Hitoki Iwase, who finished the 1-0 very best recreation over the Nippon Ham Fighters to clinch the Dragons’ first championship in 53 years. Afterward, Yamai had no quarrel with the verdict, announcing, “The victory was the most important thing, and it’s the Japan Series, so what can you say? I’m just happy we won.” Now that is an ace.

98 WIENER’S CIRCLE

On July 4, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut defeated Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi in Nathan’s sizzling canine consuming comp in Coney Island, N.Y., eating 66 franks (and buns) in 12 mins. If you are scoring…

SERVING SIZE: 66

CALORIES: 19,595.4

CALORIES FROM FAT: 10,814.76

TOTAL FAT: 1,201.86 g

SATURATED FAT: 454.08 g

TRANS FAT: 32.34 g

CHOLESTEROL: 2,270.4 mg

SODIUM: 45,676.62 mg

TOTAL CARBS: 1,582.68 g

DIETARY FIBER: 49.50 g

SUGAR: 264 g

PROTEIN: 718.08 g

99 CRYING GAME

MTV had successful with Life of Ryan, which chronicled the hopes and heartbreaks of three-time Dew Tour skate park champ Ryan Sheckler. But the display will have to had been referred to as Life of Cryin’. Shecks racked up seven sob periods all the way through the eight-episode season, little bro Kane teared up 3 times, and Mom and Dad every misted up two times. With Season 2 at the approach, the Sheckler shack used to be indubitably deluged with tears off digital camera as neatly. Tears of pleasure.

100 VICTORY DANCE

In November, Indy Car racer Helio Castroneves become the 3rd instantly jock–following within the fancy footsteps of Emmitt Smith (ultimate November) and Apolo Ohno (May)–to win the disco-ball trophy on Dancing with the Stars. So who higher to provide an explanation for why an athlete’s foot provides him an edge than Helio’s (and Apolo’s) spouse, international Latin champ Julianne Hough?

“Athletes do well because they have a good work ethic. And when they see they have a chance to win, they step it up. You can teach someone to dance, but you can’t teach drive. Apolo was used to working with strict coaches, but Helio is used to being in control. It was different for him to learn to trust. Dancing with him was definitely more challenging.”

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Kentucky’s Will Levis on what separates him from different QB’s in school soccer | First Take
Kentucky Wildcats QB Will Levis joins First Take to speak about his expansion since shifting from Penn State and stocks what separates him from different QB’s in school soccer.
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