Harbaugh Brothers, Frank Gore, Ray Lewis and Joe Flacco Featured on Special Four-Cover Series of This Week’s Sports Illustrated
Stan Musial Tribute Series on Regional Covers of This Week’s Sports Illustrated
12 pages of Super Bowl coverage, including “10 Things We Think we Think” and Peter King’s pick of the ravens over the 49ers; Richard Hoffer says Stan Musial was the perfect Midwest hero; L. Jon Wertheim examines the party culture of the Australian Open; Alexander Wolff takes a look at what makes Aaron Craft so good at defense; L. Jon Wertheim sits down with UFC boss Dana White
(NEW YORK – Jan. 23, 2013) – Brothers Jim and John Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore; Ravens linebacker and emotional leader Ray Lewis, and Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco are featured on a special 4-cover spread of the Jan. 28, 2013 Sports Illustrated, on newsstands Wednesday.
The first three covers feature the headlines: “There Will Be Blood”, “There Will be Gore”, and “There Will be a Valiant Last Stand”. They lead up to the final cover, which predicts “There Will Be a Parade in Baltimore”. This is the 3rd time that both Lewis and Flacco have appeared on the cover and the 2nd time Gore has appeared on the cover.
This week’s Sports Illustrated includes12 pages of Super Bowl XLVII coverage, featuring “10 Things We Think We Think”. Highlights include:
- Senior writer Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) says that you must expect the unexpected from the unpredictable 49ers offense, as they have proven they can beat you in multiple ways (PAGE 40). However, King still picks the Ravens to defeat the 49ers, 27-23. King says: “I’ve doubted Flacco one too many times this winter, and I won’t make that mistake a third time (PAGE 49).”
- Ray Lewis and the reinvigorated Ravens defense will contest the 49ers explosive offensive attack writes senior writer Austin Murphy (@si_austinmurphy). Murphy says: “Galvanized by hardships earlier in the season and rallying around spiritual leader Lewis, they are headed to the Big Easy brimming with the confidence that comes from confounding the doubters three weeks in a row (PAGE 42).”
- They may share the same last name, but Jim and John Harbaugh have taken different journeys and approaches en route to leading their teams to the Super Bowl. Senior writer Michael Rosenberg (@Rosenberg_Mike) writes that while most Super Bowl storylines tend to overwhelm the game itself, this story—the HarBowl—is a worthy one will certainly live up to the hype. Rosenberg writes: “Two brothers, who were born 15 months apart and spent much of their childhoods sharing a room, will be coaching against one another on the biggest stage in American sports (PAGE 47).”
St. Louis Cardinals legend Stan Musial, who passed away last week at the age of 92, is also on a special four-cover regional series of the Jan. 28, 2013 issue of Sports Illustrated, on newsstands Wednesday. This is the first time Sports Illustrated has run an issue with four consecutive covers of the same person and is the second time Musial has been featured by himself on a Sports Illustrated cover. In 1957, Musial was Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year.
“When we heard the news of Stan Musial’s passing, we recognized an extraordinary opportunity,” said Sports Illustrated Managing Editor Christian Stone. “Across a series of four covers with vintage images and accompanying quotes, we were able to better tell the story of an uncontroversial sports legend beloved by fans in St. Louis and baseball fans around the world. Who better to be the first person to ever be featured in four consecutive covers of SI than Stan the Man?”
Playing in an era that saw fellow stars Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays and Ted Williams gain more notoriety thanks in part to playing in larger media markets and also for being known for off the field feats, Sports Illustrated senior writer Richard Hoffer takes us back to the consistent greatness and legacy of Stan the Man in this week’s Sports Illustrated (PAGE 23).
Musial’s stats were astounding: Lifetime .331 hitter with 3,630 hits, including a 16-season run of .300-plus seasons and a 9-season stretch of .330 plus. And while you may not think of him as a home run hitter, he did hit 475 of them. His teams also won—St. Louis took home three World Series titles during his tenure. Musial was viewed by many as the most feared hitter in the game.“Throw him four wide ones,” was Preacher Roe’s advice, “and pick him off first.”
“Throw it under the plate,” suggested Leo Durocher (PAGE 24).”
Hoffer also notes how loyal Musial was: he spent 22 seasons with the Cardinals (and remained associated with the team up to his death); was married to his wife Lillian for 71 years; and served in the Navy, which briefly interrupted his playing career. He was the perfect Midwestern hero, always there, always cheerful and always ready to whip out his harmonica or tell a joke. Once asked the secret of his baseball longevity, he seemed to poke a little fun at his own stolid image. Musial once said: “Get eight hours of sleep regularly. Keep your weight down, run a mile a day. If you must smoke, try light cigars. They cut down on inhaling…Make it a point to bat .300 (PAGE 25).”
St. Louis has tried to repay its baseball figurehead with two statues, the first engraved with former commissioner Ford Frick’s words from Musial’s final game in 1963:
“Here stands baseball’s perfect warrior. Here stands baseball’s perfect knight (PAGE 26).”
Enter the Australian Open or the Uninhibited Open. With sombreros, body paint, costumes, flags and beer galore, one would think they had found themselves in the middle of a college football tailgate. However, this is grand slam tennis down under. In this week’s Sports Illustrated, senior writer L. Jon Wertheim explores the culture of the Australian Open and its stark contrast to how its northern hemisphere partners entertain its patrons. Somewhere between the Wimbledon garden party, the fashion forward French Open and the bustling U.S open, Aussies mom-and-pop tournament had transformed itself into a global party. Tournament Director Craig Tiley says:
“Look, go have a good time…Buy yourself a drink, sit out on a [public] beanbag. You want to shout for a player? Shout. You’re hot? Go stand in the mister (PAGE 58 ).”
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After a sophomore season in which he was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft is wreaking havoc once again on both sides of the court, averaging 1.8 steals and 8.7 points per game this season. In this week’s Sports Illustrated, senior writer Alexander Wolff examines how Craft’s intelligence, experience as a high school football player, and dedication to studying opponents on film makes him as valuable in his own way to Ohio State as shot blockers like Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton were to UCLA in another era. Ohio State head coach Thad Matta says Craft’s name would come up most often: “if you polled every coach in this league and asked who they’d want on defense if they’re up one with the other team running an isolation (PAGE 66).”
Craft, an academic All-American (3.9 GPA), is almost too good to be true: he’s the first one in and out of the gym every day, he writes bible verses on his sneakers, still dates his high school sweetheart, can solve a Rubik’s Cube in 55 seconds and neither tweets nor follows anyone’s feed. Through the eyes of the most creative and intelligent defensive player in the game, his assignment isn’t so much a player to guard, it’s a problem to solve.
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Dana White has propelled UFC from a once small-time sport to a mainstream force to be reckoned with. The UFC president has conquered the corporate octagon with the brash honesty that only he can make so endearing. White sat down with senior writer L. Jon Wertheim to talk about his explosive career and the future of UFC.
But as we look toward the future, has the growth of UFC led to an inevitable plateau? White could not disagree more: “Eight out of 13 main events fell through in 2012. If we could have pulled off the fights that were supposed to happen in 2012, we would have had an even better year. But eight of 13 main events fell out and we still had a kick-ass year. If that doesn’t show you that the UFC is here to stay, nothing will (PAGE 62).”
With growing popularity and fighters such as Anderson Silva, Jon Jones and Georges St-Pierre becoming household names, the anticipation of “super fights” have begun to gain momentum. Silva versus St-Pierre or Silva versus Jones are weighing heavy on the minds of UFC fans.
“They’re both likely to happen. The great thing about Anderson Silva is he falls right in the middle. He’s 185 [pounds], GSP is 170, Jones is 205. Silva is the best ever, and he’s right in the middle. He can fight both (PAGE 63). “
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THIS WEEK’S FACES IN THE CROWD
- Karlie and Katie Lou Samuelson (Fullerton, Calif./Master Dei High School) – Basketball
- Dalton Ishmael (North Baltimore, Ohio/North Baltimore High) – Wrestling
- Vanessa Zamarripa (O’Fallon, Ill./UCLA) – Gymnastics
- Logan Owen (Bremerton, Wash./Bremerton High) – Cycling
- Amanda Kessel (Madison, Wis./Minnesota) – Ice Hockey
- Allan Chaney (Baltimore/High Point University) — Basketball