Twenty five years after this banishment from baseball, Pete Rose former Major League Baseball player and manager, appears on this week’s national cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (3/10/14)—on newsstands NOW. Rose has been on the cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED 15 times since ’68; the last time he appeared on the cover was in ’04. The current issue features an exclusive excerpt from the new book, PETE ROSE: AN AMERICAN DILEMMA by Assistant Managing Editor Kostya Kennedy. The book, published by SI Books comes out Tuesday, March 11.
The all-time Major League leader in hits (2,456), games played, at-bats, and outs is no stranger to the spotlight of fans and critics. Rose has more base hits than anyone in history, yet he is not in the Hall of Fame. At a time when steroid users appear on the Hall of Fame ballot, now more than ever, the question “Does Pete Rose belong in the Hall of the Fame?” has developed into one of the most provoking in sports. “Of all the ways one might characterize the differences and similarities between Rose and those players known to have used performance enhancing drugs—the Hall of Shamers, as it were—it comes to this: Rose has been banished for the incalculable damage he might have done to the foundation of the game. Steroid users are reviled for the damage they actually did.” (Page 50)
The excerpt in this week’s issue looks at Rose today, three decades after he became the alltime hit king. Rose is still beloved by baseball fans and has no problem drawing crowds for his strict schedule of appearances and autograph sessions. Sparky Anderson, the Cincinnati manager through most of the 70’s who had issues with Roses’ lying about gambling said, “He played his heart out for me.” Years later, Anderson and Rose managed to mend the tear in their relationship before Anderson passed away in 2010. Rose still has plenty of detractors who will never be able to forgive him, but he has his supporters too. Barry Larkin, who went into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in July 2012 said in his induction speech, “I just want to thank Pete for the opportunity…His words of wisdom and his support and him talking to me all the time. Thank you, Pete Rose. I love you, man.” (Page 53)|SI Assistant Managing Editor, Kostya Kennedy
Johnathan Toews of the Canadian Olympic hockey team appears on the Canadian cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (3/3/14)—on newsstands NOW. This is Toews’ second SI cover, as he was featured last on the June 2, 2010 issue after winning the Stanley Cup with his NHL team, the Chicago Blackhawks. Now, the Canadian Olympic gold medal team that defeated team USA 1-0 in the semi finals and Sweden 3-0 in the Olympic final on Sunday is the new world powerhouse for men’s hockey.
As Canada’s prowess on the ice owned the tournament (the team never trailed in any of its six games and outscored opponents 17-3), there were other teams who were not performing at the level initially predicted. Russia epically failed while the U.S. was derailed by the Finns who went on to win the bronze medal. SI’s Michael Farber writes, “There was an extraordinary sight last Wednesday. Even though the Olympic cauldron was still roaring, the de facto closing ceremony had occurred hours earlier with Russia’s 3-1 quarterfinal loss to Finland. But it would have been rude for the hosts to start emptying ashtrays and doing the dishes in hopes that the guest would take the hint and leave. Russia tried. Television monitors in the media lounge at the figure skating arena had been wall- to- wall hockey, but with Russia out, journalists were treated to a replay of that morning’s biathlon.” (Page 36)
The defeated Russian men’s hockey team watched as the clock ticked down, some of them wildly trying to skate up and down the ice, others watching from the bench. In the postgame interviews captain Pavel Datsyuk said, “We have tried to be a team. We discussed this in training, in the rocker room….But when out on the ice, emotions gush, every player is trying to take over the game, holding on to the puck. We all tried, but…” (Page 36)|SI Senior Writer, Michael Farber
ONLY SOLD IN CANADA
American Nascar driver and winner of the 2014 Daytona 500 Dale Earnhardt Jr. appears on this week’s regional cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (3/3/14)—on newsstands NOW. Earnhardt has appeared on 9 covers; his last appearance was February 18th, 2008 in a NASCAR Preview Issue of the Daytona 500. Now, at 39 years-old, NASCAR’s most popular driver is gunning for a career-defining title with his newfound confidence on the track. The most recent win at Daytona marks an incredible accomplishment for Earnhardt, and serves as a warning sign for all future competitors. This is only the start of something big.
As all drivers were summoned back to their cars after a rain delay, Earnhardt returned to his number 88 Chevy with clear eyes and focus. The race restarted at Lap 39 where he quickly took the lead around the 2.5-mile tri-oval. Of Earnhardt’s storied performance SI’s Senior Writer Lars Anderson writes, “While four multicar wrecks left two dozen cars damaged, most of the sport’s big names ran up front throughout. Earnhardt teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon challenged late, as did Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski. Earnhardt covered every move, nailing his restarts to lead 54 of the last 70 laps, holding off Hamlin over the final two turns. It was by far the most spectacular single-race performance of Junior’s 15-year Cup career. On this long, wet night, he indeed drove like the Intimidator, and drew a roar like thunder from the grandstands as he reached out to snatch the checkered flag from the flagman.” (Page 42)
With memories of watching his father, the late Dale Earnhardt the seven-time NASCAR champion, Earnhardt win brings an extra sense of triumph. “I think of my dad when I’m here, but not the way people might imagine,” Dale Jr. said. “I feel good here now. I have good feelings about him. I think he’d be proud now.” Now after winning the Daytona 500 for a second time, he is ready to keep the momentum going in his upcoming races this season saying, “My confidence level has never been higher, and that’s critical for me,” he says. “We’re going to run our guts out every week.” (Page 44)|SI Senior Writer, Lars Anderson
U.S. gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin appears on this week’s national cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (3/3/14)—on newsstands NOW. A prodigy who earned the U.S’s first gold medal in the women’s slalom since 1972, Shiffrin offered a glimpse of the golden days to come. As the youngest-ever winner— male or female—of any Olympic slalom Shiffrin’s victory completed a strong second half of the Games for the U.S. Alpine racers.
Competing in her first World Championship last February, Shiffrin became the youngest woman in 39 years to win an Alpine gold. A month later she won the slalom at the World Cup finals, before going on to secure the 2013 slalom season title. In five World Cup slalom races this season Shiffrin has won three times and finished second once. She traveled to Sochi as one of the favorites to win the gold in slalom and did just that. Of Shiffrin’s performance, SI’s Tim Layden writes, “When she pushed out as the last contending racer on the second run, she led Schild, whose videos she had studied while a high school student at Burke Mountain Academy in Vermont, by 1.34 seconds. Less than half a minute into the run she nearly went off course; her left ski lost its edge and flew into the air, forcing her to turn on her inside ski, a daunting move. But also one that she learned while doing the so-called Norwegian Drill at Burke. ‘She did that drill innumerable times,’ said Kirk Dwyer, her coach and headmaster at Burke, in a text message. ‘She also trained to see mistakes as opportunities.’” (Page 33)
After winning a gold medal at age 18, Shiffrin has set her heights bigger and better for her future. In fact, just a day after competing Shiffrin laid down a hefty goal for the next Olympics and the way women’s ski racing is viewed saying, “Right now I’m dreaming of the next Olympics and winning five gold medals, she said. When I’m done, I hope that I can look back and say that I changed the sport, that I pushed women’s ski racing to be faster and more athletic.” (Page 34) |SI Senior Writer, Tim Layden
THE FIRST MULTISPORT, LEAGUE-BUILT LIVE STREAMING VIDEO NETWORK
NEW YORK, NY (Feb. 20, 2014) – Today a first-of-its-kind network partnership involving multiple leagues and media properties was announced as 120 Sports, a live-streaming network created for the digital generation and the devices it uses most. In 120 Sports, today’s fans will have access to unauthenticated video programming through a new technology platform built to intuitively integrate video and data in ways fans haven’t experienced before. At launch, content partners will include 120 Sports equity investor Time Inc. (owner of Sports Illustrated), as well as the NHL, NBA, MLB.com, NASCAR and leading collegiate conferences via Campus Insiders (a joint venture between IMG College
and Chicago-based digital sports-media company Silver Chalice).
The groundbreaking enterprise, named 120 Sports for its concept of offering original sports programming in two-minute segments, will produce and distribute a 24-hour live linear network driven by a videocentric, 360-degree look across all sports. Set to debut later this spring, 120 Sports will feature original and hosted programming that will deliver timely, interactive narratives of the stories around sports, including game footage, analysis, conversation and social commentary from the players, newsmakers as well as voices of the fans.
“120 Sports is an innovative, addictive product that will give sports fans an amazing amount of always-on sports content and great technology so they can engage with news and highlights wherever they are,” said Todd Larsen, Time Inc. Executive Vice President. “The product will offer Sports Illustrated fans a terrific complement to our editorial coverage, and as a business partner Time Inc. will have a stake in an enterprise with tremendous promise.”
“We are always looking for new ways to serve our fans and provide them with the compelling digital content they crave,” said John Collins, Chief Operating Officer of the NHL, also an equity partner. “This partnership with 120 Sports will be a nice addition to our current programming lineup and a win for all sports fans.”
“This is the right time to collaborate across the infrastructure of sports properties as we take the collective assets of each partner directly to fans on their favorite devices,” said Bob Bowman, President & CEO, MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM). “Building a venture of this magnitude could only succeed with the right group of sports and news organizations and in the 120 Sports launch partners we have a product that will deliver on its promise to fans.”
The 120 Sports offering will originate through a state-of-the-art video and data product designed and optimized across all interactive media platforms, including: mobile, tablet, web, and connected devices. Created and powered by equity investor MLBAM’s technology infrastructure and mobile app development, the product will debut as free native applications for mobile and tablet devices as well as a web experience at 120Sports.com and other distribution outlets. A premium content offering will be introduced next year.
Silver Chalice, also an equity investor in 120 Sports, will oversee production and business operations. Production headquarters for 120 Sports and its talent will be based in Chicago at a custom-designed and built digital production facility on the campus of Harpo Studios. Silver Chalice and Sports Illustrated’s national sales organizations will lead all sales and marketing, while Sports Illustrated and Time Inc. will also provide operational and business development support.
To learn more about 120 Sports, visit http://www.120sports.com or follow us on Facebook
Additional partners, programming and talent for 120 Sports will be announced at a later date.
For more information please contact:
Scott Novak at firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-522-2687 Matthew Gould at Matthew.Gould@mlb.com, 212-485-8959 Nirva Milord at email@example.com, 212-789-2123
Emigdio Gamboa at firstname.lastname@example.org, 312-999-6789
From Time Inc. Executive VP Todd Larsen
I am pleased to share the news that Time Inc. has entered into a partnership to create 120 Sports, a groundbreaking digital-only sports-video programming network. Time Inc. will own a significant equity stake in the company, along with our partners at MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), the National Hockey League (NHL) and Silver Chalice (SC), a Chicago-based digital-video production company.