Sports Illustrated.

    You may have heard, I’m partnering up with SI. This is really something else. I will get to write for the magazine on a weekly basis and the radio show/DP site will be part of SI too. We will relaunch the site early 08′ in conjunction with SI.

It made me think. I grew up with Sports Illustrated just like you did. I grabbed it out of the mailbox to see who made the cover…to see what the big feature was that week. It got me to thinking, which SI cover is your favorite…all time? You can go to their site to browse through them all.

One that stands out is the issue after Len Bias died.  Powerful, simple cover that’s burned in my mind.

So which is your favorite and why?



59 Responses

  1. For me, Sydney Moncrief on the cover in 1978 as he is going up for a two handed dunk. It made their 50 yrs of pictures best list, and it epitomizes passion, energy, and tenacity. The dunk, it came off of a steal. The hard work was done on defense. A great lesson. The real work is rarely noticed, only the product of hard work. It’s what made Sydney, as Larry Bird said, “The most difficult player for me to play against.”

  2. […] Sports Illustrated ( Brief commentary from Dan himself. […]

  3. I like the SI cover with Rick Riley handing you an SI jersey on it. Oh, right. A jersey and a football phone.


  4. Growing up during the MJ era I would have to say that probably the most powerful cover I can remember is from October 18, 1993. Jordan walking off the court and the words “Why?”

  5. For those of you who missed DP on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” enjoy:

    What the title of Dan’s next blog should be: “Is Dan Patrick Paul McCartney?” If not McCartney, then who?

  6. 1/18/82 – Dwight Clark, the catch

  7. “The Natural’ May 7, 1990. As a Seattle citizen, Ken Griffey was idolized. This cover explains it all. Still the sweetest swing I have ever seen.

  8. I really enjoyed getting the trading cards in SI for Kids back in the day.

    Also, you can never have enough commemorative items from your team winning it all. Blanket, Mini Helmet, Inflatable Chair, DVDs, Plaques, Autographs by the whole team, and yes, a football phone.

  9. Favorite SI cover?

    Cheryl Tiegs 1978

    Why? I enjoyed its exploration of how immersion in water could make opaque fabric translucent.

  10. 3/3/80 – Miracle on Ice

  11. Dan, next you’ll be telling us you re gonna be in the swimsuit issue.. favorite issue… Feb 2002, after the Bucs won the SuperBowl… most informative? I don’t remember the year, but the one they did on gambling, mainly in colleges.. really opened my eyes to how that could happen… and make me wonder if it doesn’t still happen.

  12. Magic Johnson in a tuxedo

  13. Congratulations!

    SI could learn a few things about things about web design from you, (I hope you maintain your site).

    Cheryl Tiegs 1978.

  14. Oh man, there are too many to name. When I was a kid I used to cut off the cover and plater them on the wall leading up to my bedroom in the attic. Once that was filled they began spilling over onto the walls, eventually the whole damn attic was covered in them. It was like a timeline of sports, dating back ten years. I don’t think people realize the importance of this publication, it’s not just a sports magazine, it’s iconic. Congratulations Dan, ESPN is one thing, but being a part of SI certifies you. It’s the classiest sports publication that exists, ESPN is like the college, the fraternity, SI is in whole nother league. Frank Deford, Jim Brosnan, Tom Verducci, Leigh Montville, Robert Creamer, Steve Wulf, Richard Hoffer, the list goes on. That is some lofty company, and hey Rick Reilly is supposedly leaving, so the magazine is only getting classier. He lost his touch when he decided it was more important to be a funny man than a writer. Writer of the year seven years in a row? You have to be kidding me.

  15. I don’t have a favorite cover, but there was a section devoted to athletes from across the nation, high school mostly. There would be a picture and little blurb about their accomplishments. I’m not sure if the magazine still has this section, but always loved it. Gonna have to renew my kids subscription! I’m off subject here, but whoever picks the music for your website knows what their doing. It’s always great! Good luck Dan!

  16. I’d have to say the issue with Joe Montana wearing his four rings talking about leaving for Kansas City. My first memory of watching football is him leading the 49ers to their third super bowl. When he left for KC, my loyalty as a fan follower him.

  17. Hey DP congrats on the new gig. As a kid I read SI every week. Favorite cover was the MJ hologram cover. When your a kid you like that kind of crap. Anyway bro good luck. I see your on in Raleigh, NC 99.9 fm. I’ll be listening. Watch out for the Tarheels- final 4 squad. H-bomb is a beast. Saw him the other day at Cliff’s Meat Market buying like 10 pounds of hamburger. Straight Nasty.


  18. I waited nearly 30-years for the Steelers Super Bowl victory cover in 2005. I would say that was my favorite.

  19. I just realized I have an SI cover framed in my office!

    July 31, 1989 – Greg Lemond – Tour de Force!

    I went on a ride a year ago with Greg and got it signed.

  20. 1971 Greg Pruitt and Johnny Roger, Oklahoma/Nebraska Game of the Century. Irresistable Oklahoma vs. Immovable Nebraska.

  21. 2002 Swimsuit Issue. Gratz on the partnership Dan!

  22. January 13, 1986; it was the proof that I was correct in thinking the press has an east coast bias. The Sooners ease their way into a championship and get a measly corner of the cover. Had Miami followed thru they would’ve got the entire cover. Other than Rick and potentially you the mag’s a true rag to us OU fans.

  23. Pete Rose and that ol Charlie Hustle dive..

  24. I thought the reason you left ESPN was to get away from stuff like this.

  25. The primal side of me will say Beyonce earlier this year. The sports side of me says the cover that said the running of bulls with Phil on the cover. Very insightful writing

  26. Much like you swimsuit issue afficionados, I like any cover that shows the GUYS out of the unis. One cover I remember is Emmitt Smith in shorts lying back on one of those floating chaise things in the middle of a pool…hands folded behind head….big ole’ smile.

    Perfect shot against that blue pool background…great photography.

    Congrats, Dan. I liked you scaling it down on a good ole’ radio show for a minute, but I KNEW all along this was a little too small for a guy like you. CONGRATS AGAIN!!

  27. The first issue I ever received in the mail was the Sportsman of the Year with Sugar Ray Leonard. I was only 10 years old but since then it has always seemed to me, that to get on the cover of SI, is something truly unique. And it probably not as important to young pro athletes today as it was 20-30 years ago,

  28. Cheryl tiegs, by far the best cover ever. especially for an adolescent male in the 1970’s.
    So Dan, you leave espn and your buddy Riley stabs you in the back and moves into your spot in the mag. Or, did you stab him in the back by taking his thunder from SI?

  29. That’s great news, congrats Dan! The image of Christy Brinkley on the 1980 SI Swimsuit issue is forever burned in my cerebral cortex!

  30. My favorite cover is May 5, 1986, which features Ernest Hemingway. I came across it in 1988, somewhere around my first rabbit hunting trip with my grandfather. The cover was unlike the other SI covers I had seen in that it did not feature photography. The Hemingway article was an excerpt from “The Garden of Eden” which was a terrible book as a whole but contained many captivating scenes and some beautiful writing. It was my first taste of Hemingway, and the story of a boy hunting elephant with his father and friend in the African bush resonated on a few levels. Re-reading the piece twenty years later EH’s words hit on different emotions now than when I was a boy, but it’s amazing how quickly the sight of that cover and cadence of the words takes me right back to the hardwood floor of my grandfather’s study, where an 8-year-old boy wearing “you’ll grow into them” hunting boots lays sprawled out with his nose in an old magazine.



  32. The championship cover with Clyde Drexler and Akeem Olajawon winning the NBA championship in Houston. I happen to be standing on the court next to them when they embrassed. It was something a Houston Rocket’s fan thought we would never see. To great players together that could have been drafted together.

  33. So, Let me get this straight, you leave ESPN for SI while Rick Rielly leaves SI for ESPN. You guys have a wager or something?

  34. Dan,
    Congrats on the partnership. You’re the best. Just a little bigger than good ol’ WTUE back in Dayton. I’ve got 3 covers.

    1. Phil’s 1 foot vertical after winning the ’04 Masters.
    2. The Dream Team cover in ’91.
    3. The now annual March Madness preview with all of the faces.

  35. Look Daniel…just because I said LAST NIGHT – before the Reily hiring at ESPN was announced – that you two (yourself & Riles) would look good on the cover of SI doesn’t mean you had to remove my comment from your blog. Getting testy, are we?

    Don’t sweat it, nobody at the WWL ever takes your place at the 1:00 pm slot on the airwaves….nobody. Reily is an accomplished writer, no question. Buy YOUR legacy remains secure my friend. You just need a better live radio platform. Nobody can hear you still.

  36. Any of the covers which featured the Raiders, but especially the ones with The Snake, Jim Plunkett and Howie Long.

  37. Trade talks break down, both parties opt for free agency and land their ‘Dream Job’

    Dan Patrick, formerly of ESPN, and Rick Reilly, soon to be formerly of Sports Illustrated (SI), have both landed their Dream Job’s. It just so happens that it is pretty much Each Other’s old job. Wouldn’t this had been easier,

  38. the SI issue that caused me to cancel my subscription occured in 1992 or 1993.
    I was waiting in anticipation for the newest issue. THe NFL season was winding down and several teams were still in the hunt for a playoff spot. I was eager to read all about it in SI.
    Instead I got a page and a half on the NFL and 14 FRIGGIN’ PAGES ON THE NOTRE DAME SWIM TEAM!!! There was an acident and several of the team were killed but come on SI. 14 pages????
    That was it for me. I haven’t been a subscriber since. I read it now and then but it is still pretty lame compared to what it used ot be. Besides, I can get 50 issues worth of information online through other, better sources.

    Dan you made a huge mistake. You should have stuck with ESPN.

  39. This is going to mark me as low-brow at best, hack at worst, but my favourite SI bit of all time was a sports quiz for women from about 1996 in which one of the multiple choice questions was (paraphrasing):

    An evening of passion includes:

    1) lace, candles and soft music
    2) chocolate sauce and mud wrestling
    3) leather and chains
    4) Chris Berman

    Four. Always four.

  40. Has anyone else noticed that SI just isn’t as good as it used to be? Maybe because it’s not the only game in town anymore for sports news.

  41. Pete Rose, 1989, banned from baseball.

  42. I’m a little upset with this decision. You say you are going to work for SI, but is’nt SI owned by CNN. Come on Dan, don’t sugar coat it. I think you are a little hypocritical. You have bashed CNN over and over and over, yet now you go to work for them, however indirectly it may be. Is this why you needed an alias. I have a new for you: Benedict Arnold.

  43. …..The grass may smell green, look freshly cut, get us all fired up about spring, etc, etc,….but the grass is still not greener on the other side. I thought Dan was all about radio. All about “it has defined me” and all of that. Now…he needs to be defined by SI? …And the Rickster needs a new love-in from the ESPN gang of shameless self-promoters like Steven A…Colin Cowherd….Chris Berman….and Stuart Scott?

    Give me a break.

    I was really hoping Dan Patrick would do something different and redefine himself away from the other a-holes in sports talk who refuse to. Stay with radio only Danny. It is who you are. SportsCentury was different. But you cannot go back to what won you an Emmy. You have to continue to do what no one else is doing.

    THAT….is what made you great. Not being what SI hopes you will become — another Reilly columnist.

  44. You can put any spin on it you want Dan. but you don’t “Partner up” with a coorporation. You work for one.
    After the “shock and awe” wears off you will become just another employee, granted an employee on the level of Peter King, but still an employee, exactly what you were at ESPN.

    I followed you to this site because I respected your decision to “take a chance.” Every person dreams of taking the oppertunity to quit their job and do something they really like. But you didn’t do it to “take a chance.” You had SI in your pack pocket before the decision to “take a chance” was made. Frankly, it sickens me.

    Signing off for the last time,

  45. April 1996 – KY “Return to Glory”

    So many in my lifetime with KY basketball on the cover. But not having won a title since my birth year (1978-4 months old), surviving the probation (’89-91′), Laettner’s shot (92′) growing up in Louisville and hearing about their trophies (’80, 86′) and taking it on the chin for years…

    …it was only fitting that my boys came through my senior year in high school so I could take the April 1996 cover in to school and brag for 18 years of futility.

  46. My favorite SI cover was in ’82 when the Brewers made the Series. Robin Yount was on the cover. I can still picture it today. Too bad that’s it for Brewer memories in my lifetime. Maybe next season a front cover with Prince bringing the “Crew” back to the Series will replace it.

  47. The best cover, even after I put it away for years, is from the 70’s (10/16/72), Wilt Chamberlain action shot grabbing the basketball like he was about totally crush and deflate it, a real power shot. As a kid then, it just blew me away, everyone wanted to be like Wilt. He was THE MAN (little did I know then he really was THE MAN, if you know what I mean – LOL)

    I kept a few of my favorite SI’s from the 70’s (including a very young Larry Bird at Indiana State), because they were memorable. I got one last look at them (and others) when I had to throw them in the debris pile after Hurricane Katrina here in New Orleans, as I was gutting my house.

    Still glad to see it on the SI Cover Collection website…

  48. December 2, 1985

    The Thinking Fan’s Vote for the 1985 Heisman Trophy.

    Joe Dudek, Plymouth State


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