How does it feel to land on the cover of Sports Illustrated?

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The cover of Sports Illustrated is where greatness is confirmed, arrivals are announced and achievements are celebrated. So what types of reactions do we get when our subjects find out that they’ve landed on the cover? In regards to this week’s Oct. 17 issue, Jimmie Johnson said: “It’s a great honor, a huge honor. I’m happy to see our sport getting the respect and awareness that it should among other sports.”

Johnson might also be one of the rare athletes not concerned with the SI jinx, even as he chases a sixth straight Sprint Cup title: I guess it’s out there for some other sports teams—but in my heart of hearts, there is no way the photo on a cover of a magazine is going to change the luck of a race team. If we lose a championship, it’s because of what happened on the race track—not because of a photo that was on a magazine.”

Here’s what some other recent cover subjects had to say:

  • Brad Pitt (Sept. 26, 2011): “I was just happy to do Sports Illustrated. To do something other than the fashion-y things, for something I respect, is much more fun.”
  • Dustin Pedroia (Aug. 15, 2011): “It’s exciting. It’s the finest athletes in the world…. I’ll probably get mine blown up. That’ll be pretty cool.”
  • Derrick Rose (April 18, 2011): “It’s definitely a big honor to be on the cover of that magazine. Everybody gets Sports Illustrated.”
  • Vince Wilfork (Jan. 10, 2011): “It was a complete surprise for us to find out about the cover. As a nose tackle, you don’t expect to have any glamor. This has been a great experience for us. Who knows if it will ever happen again? We never thought it would happen once so we are very thankful. SI has always been the sports magazine, and we are glad to be a part of it.”
  • Drew Brees (Feb. 15, 2011): “As a kid in athletics you have dreams about winning a championship, celebrating with your teammates and appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated. It was part of the idea of what winning meant when you were growing up, and to have appeared on the magazine’s cover is an honor and a memorable moment in my career. The cover from the Super Bowl issue was even more special for my family because I was able to share it with my son, Baylen.”

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