Joe Posnanski is the NSSA 2011 National Sportswriter of the Year

On Monday, senior writer Joe Posnanski (@jposnanski) was named the 2011 National Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. This marks the second consecutive year that a Sports Illustrated writer has been honored, as Peter King was the 2010 recipient of the award.

Since arriving at Sports Illustrated in 2009, Posnanski has cemented his reputation as a prolific and highly-regarded storyteller. His “Curiously Long Posts” is one of the most widely-read blogs in sports and has earned him several accolades in the past year, including a National Headliner Award for Online-only Writing and a FOLIO Eddie Award for Best Online Column or Blog. Posnanski has also written memorable cover stories for the past two “Where Are They Now?” issues—on Hall of Famers Yogi Berra (2011) and Stan Musial (2010)—in addition to numerous columns for the magazine’s Scorecard and Point After. He has also been the regular back page columnist for GOLF Magazine since September.

Since the NSSA created the National Sportswriter Award in 1959, a Sports Illustrated writer has received the honor 20 times—the most of any organization. Congratulations to Joe!

Read the full story here.

Also in this week’s Sports Illustrated: Bill Cowher says he won’t be coaching anytime soon; the Lakers’ new coach is also a Dungeons & Dragons fanatic; inside the ugly ending to Cincinnati and Xavier’s Crosstown Shootout

You have read about Tim Tebow’s appearance on the cover of this week’s issue. Here’s what else readers can expect from the Dec. 19 issue, on newsstands now.


Bill Cowher’s demeanor—not to mention his jaw—is seemingly suited for a lifetime on the NFL sideline. Five years after retiring from the Steelers, Cowher is the first choice for any team with an opening, but he has no plans to coach again. In an interview with senior writer Joe Posnanski, Cowher recalls speaking with Bill Parcells before a 2003 game. In response to Parcells’s saying that coaching “is your life,” Cowher thought (page 82): That can’t be right. This is my life? This is all I’m ever going to be? There’s got to be more than this.”

Cowher has made a seamless transition into his new job as a talking head on CBS’s NFL game-day show. He is also very close with his daughters, Meagan and Lindsay, and involved in many ventures and charities. Cowher says: “I guess I’m not like others, who have regrets about not spending enough time with their families. I always spent a lot of time with family when I was coaching. I built my schedule around them. But it’s still different now. I am free to do things. You’re really not free to do things when you are a coach. You live inside a bubble. You spend every minute solving problems.”

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Four Sports Illustrated writers nominated for 2011 NSSA National Sportswriter of the Year

Recently, four of Sports Illustrated’s senior writers—Peter King, Joe Posnanski, Gary Smith and Tom Verducci—were named finalists for the 2011 National Sportswriter of the Year Award by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.

Since 1959, the NSSA has bestowed the National Sportswriter Award on the most illustrious names in the business. King was last year’s winner, marking the 20th time that a Sports Illustrated writer has received the honor—the most of any organization. SI’s list of winners includes:

  • Frank Deford (1982, 1984-88)
  • Peter Gammons (1989)
  • Rick Reilly (1991-92, 1994-96, 1999, 2001-2006)
  • Peter King (2010)

Voting is open to all members of the NSSA. Winners will be notified the week of January 9, and the list of winners will be released to the public no later than January 16. Congratulations to Peter, Joe, Gary and Tom, and best of luck.

Also in This Week’s Sports Illustrated: The Relationshp between Sports and 9/11 Ten Years Later, The Braves’ Historically Nasty Bullpen, An SI Writer Recalls Living with TCU Coach Gary Patterson and the Best Visitors’ Clubhouse in MLB

You’ve seen the LSU and Boise State covers for this week’s issue and read our list of the five college football games to keep an eye on this weekend. The Sept. 12 issue of Sports Illustrated also includes the following.


The games we watched played a substantial role in fostering a return to normalcy after 9/11. So what of sports’ role now? Do fans still use them to remember or to forget and escape? In looking back on the last decade, senior writer Tim Layden revisits two past profiles: the first on then-Patriots guard Joe Andruzzi and his three NYC firefighting brothers, the other on Pat Tillman while Tillman was still a star at Arizona State. Layden also looks at how the relationship between our healing and our games is not nearly as clear as it was ten years ago (page 34).

Says William (Spanky) Gibson, a 40-year-old catcher on the Wounded Warrior softball team that was profiled by senior writer Phil Taylor (@SI_PhilTaylor) in the July 4 issue: “What they do in those ballparks, it’s enough. Today’s society is so different. Everything is quick. Honor the veterans! Play the game! Go home! But here’s the kicker: Those fans are thinking about something for those few seconds. Nine-eleven or the war or servicemen. Then there will be another split second somewhere when it happens again. And those split seconds add up. And then they’ll see me getting gas somewhere, and they’ll come over and say ‘Thank you for your service.’ It happens all the time.”

To read the full online version of Ten Years, click here.

On the Tablets: A link to Layden’s story on the Andruzzi brothers, A Patriot’s Tale.

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Another Letter to Miami Asking Them to Drop Football, Why a 154-Game Season Would be Good for Baseball, Jim Harbaugh Channels the Spirit of Bill Walsh, The Day That Damned the Dodgers and More from the Aug. 29 Issue

You’ve seen the Brewers “living the high life” on this week’s cover. This week’s Aug. 29 issue also includes the following:

1. Time for Miami to Get Real: Sixteen years ago, senior writer Alexander Wolff asked then University of Miami president Tad Foote to dismantle a Hurricanes football program that had run amok and then some. Now, history has repeated itself. Read Wolff’s updated letter – this time addressed to Donna Shalala – addressing the Nevin Shapiro scandal by visiting Sports Illustrated’s official Facebook page. Click “Like” at the top of the page if you are not already a fan, then click “Fan’s Only” on the left-hand side of the page to read Wolff’s letter.

2. The 154-Game Solution: Senior writer Joe Posnanski argues that shortening the MLB season by eight games would not only shorten a season that seems endless as it is, it would also lend proper context to the home run records warped by the steroid era.

3. Jim Harbaugh: The new Niners coach is looking to the past and embracing the teachings of Bill Walsh – who, like Harbaugh, also made the jump from Palo Alto to the pros – hoping to achieve the same level of success as San Fran fans hope they’ve finally found a worthy successor.

4. The Day That Damned the Dodgers: When Giants fan Bryan Stow was beaten into a coma in the Dodger Stadium parking lot on Opening Day, it marked the latest black eye for a once-proud franchise. Senior writer Lee Jenkins finds out more about what the team – and the city of L.A. – have done in response.

5. 2011 U.S. Open Preview: Senior writer L. Jon Wertheim lists seven players to keep an eye on and takes a closer look at what makes the last tennis major of the year so profitable – and why U.S. tennis is in the dark ages in spite of that.

6. Which manager would major league players most like to play for? 291 players weighed in for this week’s MLB Players Poll.

Read on for more.

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