With the NBA and NHL playoffs in full steam, daily baseball games and much more in the world of sports, there’s a chance you couldn’t get to all of the great content on SI.com this week. Inside SI has you covered. Here’s a selection of some of the top Sports Illustrated stories and video productions from the past week.
SI announced 10 finalists for its inaugural College Athlete of the Year.
Richard Deitsch reviews Fox Sports 1’s new big hires and more in his weekly Media Circus column.
Jeff Pearlman reminisces about the USFL 30 years later
Ian Thompson says Steph Curry is the latest to establish himself as a star in the playoffs.
Lee Jenkins writes that Kevin Durant can only do so much for OKC.
Rob Mahoney lists five players who have disappointed in the playoffs so far. He also notes the biggest surprises of the playoffs so far.
Do the NBA Playoffs Underdogs stand a chance? Chris Mannix and Maggie Gray discuss the Warriors and Bulls (video).
Mannix discusses how the injuries of Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Amar’e Stoudemire have affected their respective teams (video).
Sara Kwak says the Isles vs. Penguins has been the most thrilling series so far.
Allan Muir says the Senators showed their superiority over the shorthanded Habs.
While this week’s SI cover man Sidney Crosby worked his magic in the Penguins’ Game 5 Win, Eli Bernstein says the play of both goalies proved to be the difference.
Stu Hackel on how the NHL may change their policy on head shots.
Tom Verducci says expensive free agents are once again failing to meet expectations.
Jay Jaffe says Matt Harvey is fastest-starting Mets ace ever.
Cliff Cocoran provides this week’s Awards Watch.
SI.com’s Tom Verducci takes a look at the increasing strikeout rate around the MLB and asks if the Braves’ power can overcome their swing-and-miss ways (video).
The Tigers top Joe Lemire’s power rankings.
Peter King notes differing draft strategies, who will control the ’14 draft and more in this week’s MMQB.
Jim Trotter writes on how the California workers comp bill will have a lasting effect on NFL players.
Don Banks asks if betters days are coming for minority hires in the NFL?
Chris Burke on each team’s most pressing question as minicamp looms.
Micahael Bamberger writes that TV saved Tiger Woods from withdrawing from the Masters.
Gary Van Sickle says McIlroy, Stricker and Scott make TPC Sawgrass look easy
Andy Staples takes a stab at his post spring top 25.
Holly Anderson hands out her Sixth annual Switzies, which celebrate the ‘best’ of the 2013 offseason.
Stewart Mandel on how Ohio State aims to break the SEC’s title streak in 2013.
Rick Pitino talks Kentucky Derby, Final Four and 2013-14′s prospects in a Q&A with Pete Thamel.
Luke Winn gives out his second annual data-based hoops awards.
Bruce Jenkins writes that Madrid red clay is a welcome sight after 2012 left all feeling blue
In his weekly mailbag, Jon Wertheim wonders if Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens can find peace.
Grant Wahl provides updates on Alex Morgan, Frank Lampard and various MLS nuggets in his Planet Futbol Column.
Jonathan Wilsion says David Moyes is a safe choice for Manchester United, but comes with risk.
Sid Lowe writes that Jose Mourinho’s separation from Real Madrid getting messy.
Floyd Mayweather tops Chris Mannix’s Pound-For-Pound Top 15.
Floyd Mayweather talks about his title fight victory over Robert Guerrero, and looks ahead towards the rest of his multi-fight contract (video).
Jeff Wagenheim discusses Anderson Silva’s punishment, Johny Hendricks’ beard, and more in his MMA mailbag.
Lars Anderson on what we learned on a rainy, dark day at Talladega.
Carl Estes provides this week’s power rankings.
The man with the golden name, Robert Tyre Jones IV, rarely plays golf and isn’t a member of Augusta National, but he’s devoted to keeping the memory alive and setting the record straight about his legendary grandfather. In this week’s SPORTS ILLUSTRATED GOLF PLUS, senior writer Michael Bamberger sits down with the grandson of the great Bobby Jones.
Bobby Jones is considered one of the best golfers of all time. He won 13 major championships in a seven-year span. In 1926, Jones won the British Open and the U.S. Open. In 1930, he won the Grand Slam. With Wall Street banker Clifford Roberts, Jones founded Augusta National and the Masters. Many viewed him as a true businessman.
Dr. Robert Tyre Jones IV, (a 55 year-old clinical psychologist) knows all about that man. He has studied the biographies and watched newsreels. But that’s not the man Dr. Jones knew. He hung with Bub. “I was Bobby, my father was Bob and my grandfather was Bub… People think of my grandfather as The Natural, as if it all came so easily to him, that he didn’t have to work at it. The truth is, he studied golf obsessively. On the course he was constantly processing a tremendous amount of data. He knew how far each club went. He was a mechanical engineer. He played like one,” says Dr. Jones (PAGE 64).
Dr. Jones tired years ago of hearing his grandfather described as a racist. “There are so many myths about him,” says Dr. Jones (PAGE 64). In a 2002 ESPN interview, Charles Barkley said he was “tired of CBS telling me what a great guy Bobby Jones was—he was a racist.” (PAGE 70) It is widely known that the Masters didn’t have a black player until Lee Elder qualified for the 1975 tournament and the club didn’t have a black member until the Shoal Creek episode forced the issue in 1990. Dr. Jones believes that his grandfather was not a racist.
In 1968, Bobby Jones wrote a letter to Charlie Sifford, a black golfer who did not meet any of the standard qualifications requirements for an invitation to the Masters. The letter said he would be invited if he met the requirements. “I for one would be particularly happy to see you realize this ambition,” says Bobby Jones (PAGE 70). Bamberger explains that it’s hard to imagine Jones wrote this sentence without actually meaning it.
Bamberger notes that there are published letters in which Jones displays elitist and snobbish traits, but none in which he exhibits anything like hatred based on race or religion or anything else. “I know he appreciated that Martin Luther King Jr. preached change through nonviolence…In Atlanta, at least, we had no violence,” says Dr. Jones (PAGE 70).
Bobby Jones is buried in Atlanta where visitors often leave golf balls—driving-range balls, Top-Flites and the occasional Pro-V1 at his tombstone. Dr. Jones will be back at Augusta next week, images of his grandfather and parents still vivid in his mind.
The Power of Play isthe headline for Sports Illustrated’s examination of Title IX’s legacy as we sit on the cusp of the 40 year anniversary of this historic law. This analysis is played out through the prism of nine stories that reflect the spirit of Title IX. Senior editor Trisha Blackmar oversaw the project which includes contributions from more than a dozen writers and photographers and lands on the cover of the May 7, 2012 issue of Sports Illustrated, on newsstands now.
The stories featured throughout the anniversary package include:
OLYMPIC MOVEMENT – KELLI ANDERSON
After disappointing finishes at the 1992 and ’96 Olympics, the success of the United States women’s basketball team at the ‘96 Atlanta Olympic Games led to increased visibility in other women’s sports. It helped spawn notoriety around the WNBA.
Former WNBA president Val Ackerman said, “The 1996 Olympic team was foundational. If it had been a flop, it probably would have deterred us. Instead it was reinforcing. That team attracted strong crowds and became a huge story.”
NAKED POWER – MICHAEL BAMBERGER
Senior writer Michael Bamberger revisits the spring of 1976 when Chris Ernst, the captain of Yale women’s rowing team, and 18 of her teammates marched into the office of Joni Barnett, the school’s director of women’s sports, stripped naked to expose large Title IX emblazoned across their chests and backs—all in protest of un equal treatment between the men’s and women’s teams.
That summer, Ernst and a Yale teammate, were on the first U.S. team at the first Olympics that including women’s rowing. Today, Yale’s rowing center is called Gilder Boathouse, named after Richard Gilder, who contributed $4 million for its construction. His daughter, Ginny, had marched into Barnett’s office with Ernst in ’76 and currently owns the WNBA’s Seattle Storm.
LET’S JUST PLAY BALL – MELISSA SEGURA (@MelissaSeguraSI)
Maria Pepe was just an 11-year-old girl from Hoboken who loved to play baseball with her friends in 1972. After playing three games for her little league team, Pepe was banned because the rules stated no girls could play. The National Organization for Women did not agree and they filed a mountain of lawsuits against Little League in New Jersey’s division on Maria’s behalf.
Their support of Maria and all girls who loved the game ultimately changed Little League bylaws forever, permitting your girls participation. This lawsuit has helped lead to the participation of about 10 million female Little Leaguers.
SPIRITS OF ’72 – PHIL TAYLOR (@SI_PhilTaylor)
Olympic gold medalists Lisa Leslie (basketball), Mia Hamm (soccer) and Summer Sanders (swimming) turn 40 this year as well. Three of women’s sports biggest stars were born the same year that Title IX came into this world. They were each born at the perfect time to take advantage of opportunities the law helped create.
Said Leslie, “I’d like to think I’ve made a difference, been a role model for other women athletes. But Title IX has made the biggest difference of all.”
WINNING AT POLITICAL FOOTBALL – ALEXANDER WOLFF
In its early going, Title IX had plenty of powerful people looking to dismantle it, fearing Title IX would have a negative impact on revenue-producing sports such as football and basketball. Senior writer Alex Wolff spotlights some of the challenges mounted against Title IX beginning with the “Tower Amendment” spearheaded by Texas Republican Senator John Tower and University of Texas AD Darryl Royal.
WHEN BILLY BEAT BOBBY – JON WERTHEIM (@Jon_Wertheim)
When Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in the fall of 1973, in front of an estimated TV audience of nearly 50 million, it was about much more than tennis. This victory proved to be a chance for all women to be inspired and know that they could do anything.
Said King, “For me, it was life and death. Losing wasn’t an option.”
A CHANCE TO BE A CHAMPION – GEORGE DOHRMANN (@georgedohrmann)
Excluded from the NCAA until 1980, senior writer George Dohrmann looks at the impact of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) had on forwarding competition among female athletes. Approximately 1,000 schools joined the alternative model to the NCAA, which administered title games in 19 sports.
Cathy Rush, who won three AIAW titles and appeared in six straight final fours as basketball coach at Immaculata, said, “It changed the perspective of the players and the coaches. You had a reason to have a good team, to have good players.”
FATHER FIGURES – ALEXANDER WOLFF
A girl’s best friend in the fight for playing time was often her dad and no one exemplified this like Herb Dempsey. He recalls Bethel High’s 1982 3-6 football team getting a massive homecoming gala while his daughter’s start ranked volleyball team was barely even recognized by the school. He decided in that moment that he would spend his golden years advocating for gender equity in sports.
As Donna Lopiano, former CEO of Women’s Sports Foundation and an expert on Title says, the fathers really led the revolution on the ground. She said, “They understood how much sport gave children. Dad was the one who took his daughter into the backyard to play catch. Mom would have, but because she’d never had the chance to play, she didn’t understand how much it meant.”
TESTING THE WATERS – NANCY RAMSEY
Nancy Ramsey talks to Sharon Berg, a member of the first group of female athletes from a major program (University of Miami) to receive an athletic scholarship. She made the most of her opportunity by winning AIAW swimming titles in the 200 and 400 freestyle, as well as team national titles in her sophomore and junior years.
Said Berg, “I felt a responsibility to do real well because this was something new. It was the feeling of being a pioneer. You do it right.”
On the Tablet: Photo gallery of SI.com’s top 40 female athletes of the Title IX era and a podcast with Alexander Wolff on Title IX dad’s.
Also in this week’s Sports Illustrated: The Chargers’ inability to win in the east, Clemson football is dancing with joy and David Beckham’s future in Los AngelesPosted: October 26, 2011
You’ve seen our World Series cover featuring the Rangers and Cardinals, read JaMarcus Russell’s side of the story and found out who the NFL’s fastest player is according to our weekly Players Poll. Here is what else awaits readers in the Oct. 31 issue of Sports Illustrated, on newsstands today.
PILE ON THE CHARGERS – DAMON HACK (@si_damonhack)
The Chargers’ 27–21 loss to the Jets on Sunday was the latest misstep in their recent history, when they have looked like a Super Bowl contender only to travel east and lose. Since 2000 they are a meager 8–18 on the road against the teams now in the AFC East and AFC North, including 1–4 at New England, 0–4 at Pittsburgh and 0–2 at Baltimore. For starting quarterback Philip Rivers, Sunday’s loss was his 10th in 11 road starts against the AFC East or AFC North since 2007. All of which solidifies a sentiment that has shadowed San Diego teams of recent vintage: that they are supremely talented and chronic underachievers (page 38).
On the Tablets: This week on his NFL podcast, senior writer Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) interviews Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray and Colts vice chairman Bill Polian. Plus, the Week 8 edition of his “Last Word on the NFL.”