Sports Illustrated 1997I had a subscription to Sports Illustrated from about the middle of high school until I was deep into my 30s. It’s fair to say that reading that magazine every week as a teenager is the primary reason I’m such a big sports fan today. I remember devouring esoteric articles about cycling and tennis and horse racing as voraciously as I consumed the ones about college football and the Boston Red Sox. Unless you’re of a particular age, it’s very hard to describe the thrill of opening the mailbox each week filled with anticipation for who would be on the cover. I have stacks of my favorites squirreled away in the attic and garage to this day.

I am inundated with sports news around the clock now, like everyone else. ESPN and social media and email newsletters are constantly making sure I never miss a story, but there’s still something terribly sad about the slow, inexorable demise of what used to be the premier sports news outlet.

The Sports Illustrated Cover, a Faded Canvas That Once Defined Sports

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