At some point about fifteen years ago I subscribed to Sports Illustrated. With the exception of a tragic few months during which most of my mail was trapped shuffling between coasts, I haven’t missed an issue. Generally I ignore all the commemorative editions and t-shirt and sweatshirt offers; I have enough t-shirts and sweatshirts to clothe most of the Sudan, and Lord knows I have far, far too many back issues that I refuse to trash. But when I saw this morning the inevitable Gators Championship Package I knew I was going to have to make a phone call.
My annual subscription automatically renewed at the end of December and the Championship DVD, hard-bound edition, and t-shirt is only available to new subscribers, so I was ready for a fight. To my surprise the helpful customer service rep at SI graciously helped me credit my existing subscription towards a “new” one so I could get the deal. I am going to go out on a limb and credit that to the fact that the call center I reached is located in Ocala, Florida.
I should note that it was only through sheer force of will that I resisted the temptation to purchase the Danny Wuerffel framed cover of the 1996 National Championship issue. I actually have this issue (and the several others from that season that featured articles and / or cover stories on the Gators) in my collection already. I also have the sports pages of the Gainesville Sun from each week of that season in a box somewhere at my mom’s house in Gainesville.