The SI Photo Blog on Tumblr: A new way to experience Sports Illustrated’s iconic photography

With the launch of the SI Photo Blog on Tumblr, Sports Illustrated is providing its fans with a new destination for 57 years worth of iconic, award-winning photography. It’s a treasure trove of thousands of photos dating back to the magazine’s birth in 1954; some of the photos are classic, some are funny and some are just plain weird. All of them will be managed and posted by SI.com special projects producer Andy Gray (@si_vault). So how did Andy develop this idea?

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do ever since I started a Twitter feed for the SI Vault,” he says. “Whenever I posted photos — especially quirky ones from the 70s and 80s — they got a ton of response. So I started thinking of what I could do to branch out.”

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Editor’s Letter from Terry McDonell: Deeper into Football Season

Note: This Editor’s Letter appears in the Oct. 3, 2011, issue of Sports Illustrated, on newsstands now.

Since Jeff Pearlman left Sports Illustrated in 2003, he has written five books, two of them New York Times best sellers. Among Pearlman’s great strengths are the thoroughness of his reporting and his ability to draw the most from his sources. For his latest work, Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton, which is excerpted beginning on page 70, he interviewed nearly 700 people over 2 1⁄2 years to draw a detailed and sometimes heartbreaking portrait of a complex hero. As a football player Payton was magical, and for fans in Chicago and beyond he defined ruggedness and commitment. But like all truly transcendent figures, the great Payton had many more layers than were apparent from his public image. The excerpt from Pearlman’s book looks at Payton’s life with empathy and an understanding of the difficulties he faced once he left the game.

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Recapping Beyond Sport United: Jon Wertheim on his interview with Luma Mufleh

Yesterday at Yankee Stadium, Sports Illustrated served as the official media sponsor for Beyond Sport United — a first-of-its-kind symposium focusing on how teams can effect social change in their communities. The event, which was supported by the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS and WNBA, brought together representatives of more than 75 professional teams from around the world, along with league officials, business and government figures and grassroots entrepreneurs to share information, ideas and positive practices.

As part of the agenda, senior writer Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) conducted an on-stage interview with Luma Mufleh, who was profiled by Gary Smith (Sports Illustrated, 6/23/2008) for her work as a youth soccer coach for young war refugees living outside of Atlanta. In addition to being blown away by Mufleh’s story — which has been chronicled in the New York Times and on CNN, The Today Show, ESPN and The Early Show — Wertheim learned a lot about how she is currently drawing attention to her cause.

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Walter Payton on national cover of Sports Illustrated; Phillies and Bills appear on regional covers

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Walter Payton appears on the national cover of this week’s Oct. 3, 2011, issue of Sports Illustrated, on newsstands now. In addition, Phillies pitchers Cliff Lee and Ryan Madson (available in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia) and Bills cornerback Drayton Florence (available in New York and New England) appear on regional covers.

Below is the last time each team appeared on the cover and how many appearances they’ve had overall:

  • Bears: Jan. 24, 2011 (Jay Cutler); 25th appearance
  • Phillies: July 18, 2011 (Carlos Ruiz); 26th appearance
  • Bills: Dec. 17, 2007 (Kevin Everett); 12th appearance

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SI Swimsuit models cross over into video game world in EA’s “Need For Speed The Run”

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has become one of the most powerful and visible franchises in publishing because of its ability to expand — expand its audience, expand the breadth of content offered and expand the number of channels through which it is delivered to consumers. Today, with the announcement of an ambitious partnership between SI and Electronic Arts, the Swimsuit franchise makes good on growing in all three of those areas.

As part of this partnership, 2011 SI Swimsuit cover model Irina Shayk and fellow Swimsuit model Chrissy Teigen play guest-starring roles in EA’s “Need for Speed The Run,” due out in November. This will bring together the worlds of fashion, video games, cars and beauty in a first-of-its-kind marketing partnership. As part of the partnership, Sports Illustrated and Electronic Arts are producing “The Making of Need for Speed The Run” DVD which will be included in a Sports Illustrated subscription offer whereby new subscribers will receive a six month All Access subscription to SI, Need for Speed The Run video game** and the DVD (for $49.95).

Read on for more after the break.

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