Every month I update a massive Sports Illustrated Wall calendar I created for my man cave. I have been reading SI since I was in middle school when my brother and I used to race to the mailbox on Thursdays to see who got to it first. I saved a number of issues from those year, but a parental purge of my bedroom closet lost those issues forever. My new cover collection starts in 1992. Roughly every month, I rebuild the calendar with specific issue covers from each date. It is a little bit like a trip back in time. It is also difficult work to make sure the calendar is not repetitive. Not surprisingly, a number of big names and certain teams tend to dominate the covers. You can’t throw a stick without hitting Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods or Tom Brady. Of course, regional covers also muck things up. I have lived in five specific different regions over the years so some years are dominated by either the Southwest or Mid-Atlantic. As an example, this week I received the SI cover with Golden State on it, when what I really wanted was the Pittsburgh Penguins cover. Luckily, my wife happened to be in Pa this week and she was able to snag me a copy
Number One: Given the Penguins second championship and my associated fandom, I wanted to give the Pens center billing this month. Given that they have five cups since 1992, this would be easy. Alas, I had only one cover with the Pens front and center. To be fair, I have two Lemeiux covers when the Stanley Cup had the dignity to end before summer started.There was one other June cover with the Penguins playing the Bruins. Worse there is the cover with Kobe Bryant on the cover and the post stamp alternative Penguins cover in the upper corner. I unfortunately do not have that Pens’ one – damn regional covers!
With that, some other covers that made the wall this month:
Number Two: Given Kevin Durant’s success this year, he made. Ironically, it was from his days with the thunder and included a “reign” reference in the title.
Numbers Three and Four: In memory of the late Frank Deford, I put up the Anna Kournakova cover because only Deford could write a sports article about her that was worth reading. Of course, I had to counter that cupcake with a Danica Patrick cover. Danica also leverages her looks, but she was grounding breaking as a female in motor sports.
Numbers Five and Six: I could litter my calendar with SI prediction covers that get it wrong, particularly Dr. Z’s old Super Bowl forecasts. However, I give credit when credit is due. Two old covers from June include one with a 16 year old Bryce Harper and even better, one with the Astros as the 2017 World Series Champs. Nostradamus indeed. (Or did I just jinx the Astros!)
Numbers Seven and Eight: SI also did a cover with saying Hockey’s Hot and the NBA’s Not. It got remade 20 years later. Yes, I had both covers and of course the made the wall. Although if filed by date, it would have had replace Sid the Kid, and well that wasn’t going to happen. So it was off to one of the blanks squares from the previous month.
Number Nine: In the “those were the days” box, a cover celebrating Tiger Woods and a historic U.S. open win.Number Nine: In the “those were the days” box, a cover celebrating Tiger Woods and a historic U.S. open win.
Number Ten: Lastly, with his pending retirement, Dale Earnhardt Jr. got a spot on the wall this month.
All covers, SI/ Time Warner copyrighted.