Starting Lineup 1
of the Year
Eichel take on
Starting Lineup 2
/ Starting Lineup 3
With the 2015 NHL
Draft behind us, new
generational talent is
entering NHL lineups.
A guide of what to do
at the home of this
year’s Super Bowl,
Santa Clara, California.
With Al Golden out
of the Head Coach
position, who’s next to
coach the ‘Canes?
After a great
perforamnce in the
World Series, “The
Dark Knight” has won
Player of the Year.
Find out the top 5
cities to be a sports
4 6 8 10 12
Starting Lineup 4
/ Starting Lineup 5
Every decade or so, hockey fans get ex-
cited over a “generational talent” coming
into the N.H.L. Wayne Gretzky in 1978,
Mario Lemieux in 1984, Eric Lindros in
1992 and Sidney Crosby in 2005 were all
considered can’t-miss centers bound for
immediate greatness and eventually
the Hall of Fame.
This season there are two 18-year-old
centers who are being heralded as the
next great ones.
The Canadian Connor McDavid has daz-
zled in the junior ranks, most recently for
the Erie Otters. Sherry Bassin, the Otters’
owner, quoted the Hall of Famer Dale
Hawerchuk as saying of McDavid: “He
skates like Bobby Orr. He has the vision of
Wayne Gretzky. And he handles the puck
like Mario Lemieux.”
The Edmonton Oilers made him the top
pick in the 2015 N.H.L. draft. Taken just
behind him by the Buffalo Sabres was
the American Jack Eichel, who skated
last season for Boston University, where
he won the Hobey Baker Award as the
nation’s best college player.
Their new teams are in dire need of help.
The Oilers, who have had the No. 1 pick
in four of the past six drafts, have missed
the postseason for nine straight years, the
longest drought in the league. Buffalo
has missed the playoffs four straight years
and was the worst team in the N.H.L. the
past two seasons.
In a mouthwatering double feature on
Thursday night, both players will debut,
McDavid at St. Louis and Eichel at home
The final assessments of the two young
men’s careers are years away, but more
immediately, what can be expected from
Game 1 and their first season? A look at
the arrival of the other so-called genera-
tional talents may provide a clue.
Gretzky’s amazing junior form showed
he was ready for professional play by the
time he was 17.
“His talent does not lie in strength, size or
speed but in his handling of the puck and
in an extraordinary sense of the game’s
patterns and options,” The New York
Because Gretzky did not meet the N.H.L.’s
minimum age of 20, he signed with the
Indianapolis Racers of the old World
Hockey Association. His debut against the
Winnipeg Jets drew a large crowd, but
his play was inauspicious. He did score
soon after, and had three goals and three
assists in his first eight games with
But the Racers were in desperate financial
straits, and Gretzky was sold to the Oilers.
Edmonton had put up four straight losing
records, but with Gretzky scoring a team
leading 43 goals and 61 assists, the team
improved to 48-30-2 and made it to
the last W.H.A. finals before the league
merged with the N.H.L.
The Oilers made the playoffs in their first
four N.H.L. seasons, reaching the finals
in 1983 . It was in Gretzky’s fifth N.H.L.
season, 1983-84, that the team won the
first of what would be four Stanley Cups
in five years.
In 1984, Lemieux was taken No. 1 in the
N.H.L. draft by the Penguins. Pittsburgh
had been abysmal the previous season,
16-58-6, and had never won more than
one playoff series in its history.
Lemieux started fast; he scored on his
first shot as a professional at age 19, and
he led the team in goals and assists his
first year. The Penguins improved more
slowly. They did not make the playoffs
until Lemieux’s fifth year, and his first
title came in his seventh season, when
18-year-old Jaromir Jagr joined the team.
The Penguins won the Cup again the
Eric Lindros was every bit as hyped as
Gretzky or Lemieux as a junior, but N.H.L.
superstardom eluded him, largely be-
cause of concussions. Lindros was drafted
No. 1 by the Quebec Nordiques, but he
declined to play for them, saying he pre-
ferred a bigger city that was not Franco-
phone. He sat out what would have been
his first N.H.L. season, 1991-92.
Finally the Nordiques worked out not one
trade, but two, agreeing to deal Lindros
both to the Rangers and the Flyers. An
arbitrator eventually ruled in
Lindros scored a goal in his debut at 19,
and was second on the team in goals
despite missing more than 20 games. The
Flyers were on a downward slide when
Lindros joined them, missing the playoffs
three straight years. After two more years
in the wilderness, they went on a run of
seven straight playoff years with Lindros,
though they did not win a title.
Lindros is largely considered a
disappointment, but in the end he stuck
around long enough to make the Flyers’
top 10 in goals and assists and was the
league points leader and most valuable
player in the lockout-shortened
Sidney Crosby was the consensus No.
1 pick in 2005 and was snapped up by
Pittsburgh. In his debut at 18, he had
an assist, though Devils fans chanted
“Parise’s better,” about their own rookie,
Zach Parise. Crosby went on to lead the
Penguins in goals and assists.
The Penguins missed three straight
playoffs, and they missed again in
Crosby’s rookie year. But by his third
season, when Evgeni Malkin joined the
team, Pittsburgh was playing in the
Stanley Cup finals, and the next year,
2008-9, the Penguins won the cup.
If McDavid and Eichel have the talent of
the superstars who came before them,
they are good bets to lead their teams in
the major offensive categories. But with
history as a guide, playoff appearances,
much less championships could be a few
centers who are
as the next
By VICTOR MATHER
Far Left (left page):
First draft pick, Con-
nor McDavid, with
second draft pick,
Right (left page):
First pick, McDavid,
during Oilers training
Right (this page):
Eichel after being
overall by the Buffalo
Starting Lineup 6
/ Starting Lineup 7
Top 5 Cities
Boston is one of the premier sports
cities in the country, and its
professional teams are in the midst
of an exceptional run of success.
A few factors prevent Boston from
netting a perfect score here, such as
its lack of premier college football
or basketball programs, the cost of
attending a game in the city and its
distance from Gillette Stadium. Bos-
ton is as close to the ideal sports city
as you can get. There are cities with
more teams, bigger stars, a forgiving
media and affordable games. But
there are fewplaces in the country
that excel in as many areas as does
Boston when it comes to sports.
As a sports town, Los Angeles has
something for just about everyone.
You can watch a game with beautiful
hillside views at the Rose Bowl and
Dodger Stadium or enjoy a first-class
indoor experience at Staples Center.
Football, basketball and baseball
have all taken their turns as
Southern California’s sport of choice,
with hockey quickly working its way
up the ladder.
If not for the NFL’s nearly two-decade
vacancy, L.A. would probably be the
premier city in America for athletics.
Even so, the City of Angels com-
pares quite favorably to America’s
other metropolises when it comes to
When it comes to Philly sports, there
is indeed more than meets the eye
(or more than the traditional
narrative about the rowdy fans).
Philadelphia is an amazing town if
you have a passion for sports.
In fact, if you don’t have a passion
for sports, you’re in the minority.
Because there’s nothing quite like
chomping down a cheesesteak or
roast pork sandwich while watching
the Iggles. And if you don’t think that
sounds like a great time, well, I only
have one thing to say to you:
Dallas-Fort Worth fans have been
treated in recent years to one local
big-league champion (the Mavericks)
another contender (the Rangers
reaching two World Series) and
access to other title-determining
events thanks to the presence of the
Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium.
During the seasons held from
2010-14, locals have been able to
watch the following in person with-
out leaving the area: a Super Bowl,
two World Series, an NBA Finals, a
Final Four and the upcoming
inaugural College Football Playoff
It’s good to be a fan in Big D.
5. St. Louis
The numbers might tell you that St.
Louis isn’t the best city that an Amer-
ican sports fan could call home. As
a sports fan who has called it home,
I can tell you that’s crazy. St. Louis
sports fans want for nothing.
Qualitatively, that’s my assessment.
You can have your Boston or New
York or Chicago—St. Louis wouldn’t
trade you the Cardinals for 15 NBA
teams, Michael Jordan in his prime
and the chance to host the next four
By Matt King
to Be a Sports Fan
Starting Lineup 8
/ Starting Lineup 9
By Katie Morell
On July 17, 2014, Santa Clara sprung into
the minds of football fans everywhere
when the home base for the San Fran-
cisco 49ers relocated to Levis® Stadium
from Candlestick Park. Today, visitors
are flocking to the city of just 120,000
residents (just 45 miles south of San
Francisco) not only to check out the state-
of-the-art stadium but also to enjoy the
many other attractions the destination
has to offer.
Here, we break down an ideal way to
spend a 50-hour getaway in Santa Clara.
9:00 a.m. – Start your day by waking up at
the Santa Clara Marriott, a hotel situated
just off US-101 and easily accessible to
everything the city has to offer. Make sure
everyone in your party has put on their
sunscreen. Bring a hat a few bottles of
water and bop over to Prolific Oven, a
bakery just a mile away at 3938 Rivermark
Plaza, for breakfast. Take a seat and enjoy
a few pastries (the almost twists are espe-
cially tasty), eggs and coffee.
10:00 a.m. – From Prolific Oven, take
Montague Expressway west, make a
right on Mission College Boulevard and
another right on Great America Parkway.
Less than 10 minutes after you had your
last swig of coffee, you and your family
will have arrived at California’s Great
America, one of the state’s most beloved
theme parks. Open late March through
early November, this spot is perfect for
Home of Super Bowl 50
visitors of all ages. Youngsters will enjoy
Planet Snoopy, a section dedicated to the
lovable animated dog with a multitude of
rides and even the opportunity to meet
Also within the sprawling complex is
Boomerang Bay, a water park with slides,
rides and a lazy river. Throughout the day,
families can enjoy live music in a variety
of venues and even a fireworks show (on
specific days in May, July and August).
Grab a bite to eat inside the park at one
of its many dining locations. (Consider
buying a dining plan to save some cash.)
5 p.m. – Wrangle up your group and drive
one mile south back to the Marriott. Your
group will likely be hungry, so settle into
Characters Sports Bar & Grill, located
right in the lobby. Characters offers the
perfect place to relax, drink a beer (there
are 14 on tap) and watch your favorite
sports team play on large televisions
before turning in for the night.
8:30 a.m. – Rally your troops a little earlier
today and drive over to Mission City Grill
on El Camino Real. This is a new local
breakfast favorite, so it is best to get
there early to guarantee seats for your
entire party. Don’t leave without trying
the French toast (ask for extra powdered
sugar) and omelets.
10:00 a.m. – Drive two miles east to Santa
Clara University for a walk around its
beautiful campus, complete with a pe-
destrian mall (don’t forget your camera).
Take in the architecture of the university,
which opened in 1851 and is known as
California’s oldest operating institution of
higher education. Duck into the deSaisset
Museum (open to the public Tuesday –
Sunday) relish exhibits (and free docent
tours) on the history of California.
12:00 p.m. – Follow the droves of stu-
dents heading off campus around lunch-
time. Chances are good that they are
walking to Ike’s Place, a local institution
known for its tasty sandwiches. You can’t
go wrong with your pick (notice the funny
names designated for each sandwich).
Need a suggestion? Try the Spiffy Tiffy
Sandwich—Halal chicken, mushrooms,
avocado, pesto, provolone and pepper
1:00 p.m. – Load into the car and drive
about five miles north to the Intel
Museum. Here, you can learn about the
history of the microchip, Intel and even
schedule a private tour.
3:30 p.m. – Please your entire group by
going to Levi’s Stadium, located two
miles north of the Intel Museum. The
stadium offers tours on days when events
aren’t taking place. Tours encompass the
field and rooftop and cost $25 for adults
and $20 for kids, seniors, military and
Santa Clara residents. For an even more
in-depth look at the stadium and the
history of the 49ers franchise, opt for a
tour bundle, which includes a guided visit
of the stadium and access to the 49ers
Museum. The museum has 11 galleries
that cover the team’s players and history.
Prices for the tour bundle range from
$30-$35 per person.
5:00 p.m. – Run back to the Marriott,
shower and change into your Sunday
6:30 p.m. – Then, circle around to where
you just came from—Levi’s Stadium—and
Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, will be hosting Super Bowl 50 come February 7th.
Califronia’s Great America is a theme park that hosts a variety of amusements for all ages, including a water park.
Ike’s Place is a local favorite located near Santa Clara
University Campus. They are best known not only for
their sandwixhes, but for the quirky names that come
get ready to enjoy a fine dining experi-
ence at Bourbon Steak, one of Michael
Mina’s restaurants. Enjoy world-class cus-
tomer service as you eat Ahi tuna tartar, a
romaine Caesar salad and the Maine lob-
ster pot pie (just my recommendation).
9:30 a.m. – Before heading home, con-
sider taking a jog or walk along the San
Tomas Aquino/Saratoga Creek Trail. It
isn’t far from the Marriott and offers a fun
and healthy way to end your trip in Santa
Starting Lineup 10
/ Starting Lineup 11
One day after Miami athletics director Blake James
suggested he would allow Al Golden to finish the
season, the school reversed course on Sunday
night and fired its football coach,
Golden leaves with a 32-25 record at the school
and a damning 17-18 mark in the Atlantic Coast
Conference. He replaced Randy Shannon, whose
record at Miami was 28-22 and a similarly
uninspiring 16-16 in the ACC.
This means that Miami, as a program, is basically
.500 in the ACC over the last decade. That’s
terrible. But it’s also indicative of a larger
How committed is this school to having a
championship-caliber football program?
Greg Schiano: The 49-year old has spent
two seasons in the TV booth after his
failed NFL tenure with Tampa Bay, waiting
for the right opportunity to get back in.
Like many others who tried the NFL, Schi-
ano’s act plays better in college, and he’s
a rare proven winner who would take this
job. Though he had just a 68-67 overall
record at Rutgers, it was one of the most
impressive program rebuilding jobs of
all-time and set the stage for the Scarlet
Knights to land in the Big Ten.
Rich Rodriguez: The word has been out
for a long time that Rodriguez ultimately
would prefer to land a job back in the
Eastern time zone. And though he’s made
Arizona very competitive very quickly
in the Pac 12, it just sort of feels like he
topped out last season when the Wildcats
won the South division and landed a spot
in the Fiesta Bowl. Rodriguez makes less
than $3 million and might be intrigued by
the idea of South Florida talent running
Tommy Tuberville: He took the Cincinnati
job right before the Big East fell apart,
citing the fact his wife is from the area.
But Tuberville has Miami ties, too, working
there as an assistant (and ultimately de-
fensive coordinator) during a glorious era
between 1986-93. Tuberville is a longtime
winner with an SEC championship on his
résumé and he’s recruited Florida well at
every subsequent stop.
Larry Fedora: This season’s turnaround
at North Carolina will help him if he’s
looking for an escape hatch from Chapel
Hill, where the African American Stud-
ies scandal still looms over the athletic
department. Fedora is a Texas guy but
coached at Florida between 2002-04 and
What’s Next for the
HURRICANES? has some Jimmy Johnson-style swagger
to him that might fit well with those who
embrace “The U.”
Doc Holliday: He’s 30-6 at Marshall the
last three seasons, runs a great offense
and has deep connections in South
Florida. A number of his best players at
Marshall were guys such as Rakeem Cato
from the Miami area who were overlooked
or had off-field issues but became stars on
Holliday’s watch. That kind of credibility
can’t be overlooked in a relationship-ori-
Mario Cristobal: The former Hurricanes
offensive tackle and assistant coach did
a very good job at Florida International,
getting them to bowl games in 2010 and
2011. His firing in 2012 by athletics direc-
tor Pete Garcia remains one of the biggest
mysteries of all time on the coaching car-
ousel. Cristobal has spent the past three
years as Alabama’s offensive line coach,
and given his background and program
connections, he might be the most sensi-
ble hire Miami could make.
Frank Wilson: He has three titles at LSU in
running backs coach, recruiting coordina-
tor and associate head coach. Wilson, a
former Louisiana high school coach, is by
far Les Miles’ most trusted and valuable
assistant and will be a head coach soon.
Would Miami be a big leap for Wilson?
Maybe. But if the school wants to be a
player at the highest level of recruiting,
you have to at least look at someone
who’s been named the national recruiter
of the year by multiple publications and
has coached some of the most talented
and productive running backs in college
Tom Herman/Justin Fuente: We’ll group
these two together because their names
are going to be mentioned for every
job this year. It’s hard to see Fuente, a
serious football coach in the Gary Patter-
son mold who doesn’t have much time
for salesmanship, embracing the Miami
lifestyle. Herman recently complained to
the Houston media about empty seats at
home games. That’s going to be the same
problem any coach runs into at Miami.
Mark Richt: He’s a former Miami quarter-
back who may need a fresh start. That’s
about the only reason to throw his name
in the mix.
Lane Kiffin: They wouldn’t. Would they?
Golden coached the ‘Canes from 2011-2015
and leaves the team with a 32-25 record.
committed is this
school to having
Starting Lineup 12
/ Starting Lineup 13
Harvey“Comeback Player of the Year”
att Harvey’s season ended
in disappointment, walking
off the mound three outs
shy from a complete game
victory in Game 5 of the
World Series, only to see it all slip away.
But in his first year back from Tommy
John surgery, the cruel elbow procedure
that kept him out for all of 2014, Harvey
reclaimed his place among the elite
pitchers in baseball.
Harvey, the Mets’ 26-year-old ace, won
the National League Comeback Player of
the Year award on Thursday, a reward for
his 13-8 record and 2.71 ERA in 29 starts
in 2015. In the regular season, Harvey
threw 189 1/3 innings, allowing 156 hits
and striking out 188. His fastball traveled
at an average of around 95 mph, show-
ing no signs of decline from 2013, when
he burst onto the scene as a star in the
making before his injury.
His return to the Mets came with speed
bumps along the way. Early in Septem-
ber, his agent, Scott Boras, declared that
Harvey shouldn’t throw more than 180 in-
nings this year. Initially, Harvey appeared
willing to comply, transforming him from
hero to villain practically overnight with
Mets fans. Then, days before the Mets’
first game of the National League Division
Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers,
Harvey arrived late for a mandatory team
workout at Citi Field, again raising ques-
tions about his commitment.
In the postseason, however, Harvey
redeemed himself, taking the ball with
no reservations all the way through the
World Series, where the Mets fell to the
Kansas City Royals. Harvey started four
times in the playoffs, finishing the season
with 216 innings—the most ever for a
pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery.
(John Lackey threw 215 1/3 innings for
the Boston Red Sox in 2013.)
Starting Lineup 14
/ Starting Lineup 15
To compensate for his extra work, the
Mets plan to change Harvey’s spring
training regimen in 2016, giving him extra
time to rest before using him in Grape-
fruit League contests.
“Matt Harvey did an extraordinary job
for us this year,” general manager Sandy
Alderson said this week. “We had a cou-
ple of bumps along the way, but the fact
is, he pitched exceptionally well coming
off of his injury. He pitched exceptionally
deep into the season coming off of his
injury, and I think he demonstrated his
commitment to the team and his willing-
ness to really go the extra mile for the
organization and his teammates.”
No Met had ever won Comeback Player
of the Year, an award officially sanctioned
by Major League Baseball since 2005.
Texas Rangers designated hitter Prince
Fielder won in the American League,
beating Yankees designated hitter Alex
By Jared Diamond
his commitment to
the team and his
really go the extra
mile for the
Harvey gives the ball to coach Collins after
pitching almost the entire last game of the