There is truth to Champ Bailey when he says, in describing Tim Tebow to senior writer Jim Trotter (@SI_JimTrotter) for this week’s cover story: “I don’t know what to compare it to. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Indeed, few young quarterbacks have led as many comebacks in such dramatic fashion. Yet Tebow is hardly the first second-year signal-caller to take the NFL by storm. The SI Digital Bonus for the Dec. 19 issue is a story on one of them: Dan Marino. Nearly 27 years ago to the day, the Dolphins’ “legend in the making” was profiled for SI by Rick Telander. Whether Tebow’s heroics will put him in a similar position—with a similar descriptor—is yet to be determined.
Hoop heads of the NBA and college game had reasons to celebrate this week, but they were divergent ones. This week’s tablet edition recognizes both levels of basketball bliss. With the NBA lockout coming to a close, senior writer Ian Thomsen (@SI_IanThomsen) recaps how everything was resolved and previews the start of the season in a podcast interview. On the college level, there was a different sort of milestone to celebrate: the 25th anniversary of the three-pointer. Senior writer Kelli Anderson’s feature story—appropriately titled “Trey Magnifique”—opens with a spread consisting of eight marquee moments in the history of the shot, seven of which include a hot spot with a link to a YouTube video.
Regardless of what people’s opinions are, Tim Tebow is firmly entrenched in the consciousness of NFL fans everywhere. If it feels like people have been debating his ability (or lack thereof) forever, it’s because they have, going back to Tebow’s days as a freshman phenom for the University of Florida. The tablet edition of this week’s issue features a photo gallery documenting key steps in Tebow’s career, starting with his trademark jump pass against LSU five years ago. In addition, senior writer Alan Shipnuck (@AlanShipnuck) discusses his profile on Denver’s signal-caller in a podcast interview.
Earlier this week, Advertising Age named Sports Illustrated’s tablet app the “Best Sports App” of 2011 as part of its Media Vanguard Awards. It is the second year in a row that Ad Age has recognized SI for “creating innovative, technology-driven means” of extending our franchise. Of our tablet app, Ad Age says: “There is simply no more dynamic, comprehensive whole-magazine app on the market.” It is outstanding recognition of the work being done by the entire team involved in producing Sports Illustrated across several digital extensions.
The Nov. 21 issue represents another multifaceted set of digital extras for the weekly magazine. It starts with the cover story, a special report titled “The Failure and Shame of Penn State.” Readers on the tablet can watch footage from the on-campus vigil that took place the night before the Nittany Lions’ Nov. 12 home game against Nebraska. In addition, senior writer Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim)—who co-wrote the story with senior writer David Epstein (@SIDavidEpstein)—spoke with Penn State students for a segment called “Penn State: A Campus Divided” and recounted his experiences in State College last week in a podcast interview with Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch).
Senior writer Jon Wertheim’s (@jon_wertheim) profile on former Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell has generated a lot of conversation this week. Two years after he last played a down, he remains the most maligned figure in football and is still widely considered “the biggest washout in NFL history,” as Wertheim writes. And yet his fall is nothing new in the history of the NFL; No. 1 overall picks have been turning into busts ever since there has been a draft. (The very first pick, Jay Berwanger in 1936, never played a down in the NFL.) With that in mind, the tablet edition of this week’s issue includes hotspots on six of the most notable washouts among No. 1 overall picks in the past 50 years.