They’ve never met each other and made their millions playing different sports, but Hall of Fame basketball player David Robinson and Detroit Tiger right fielder Torii Hunter are now linked together in a very special way. In this week’s SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Staff writer Albert Chen (@albertcchen) describes how both fathers will be watching their talented sons, both of them wide receivers out of Texas high schools and prized prospects, play football together next season at Notre Dame.
Corey Robinson, an honor student (4.4 GPA, in the top 10 of his class) who also has a love for music and the hopes to become a doctor or lawyer never had much athletic ability growing up. He bloomed into an incredible and talented athlete at a late age just like his father, who has had reservations about his son playing on the gridiron:
“I’ve always thought football was crazy, to be honest,” David says. “A sport with a 100-percent injury rate for pro players?” (PAGE 54)
Similar to Corey Robinson, Torii Hunter Jr. was eager to make his own path and did so by excelling at both football and baseball. Torri Jr. will always have a passion for baseball and will continue playing next year at Notre Dame as well. Torri Jr. says:
“I wanted to make my own path…I just happen to be good at football” (PAGE 55)
Tori Sr. too has concerns about his son’s health with football. He says “Eventually he’ll have to make a choice. He went to Notre Dame to play football. But if he’s a first-round pick in baseball? Who Knows?” (PAGE 56)
Their fathers may have complicated feelings about their sons playing the dangerous game of football, but they also see how hard their boys have worked and how badly they want to establish their own identities.
He was Sgt. Nathan Noble, in charge of a squad of 12 infantry marines in Iraq. That was six years ago. Today, Noble, 29, is a field goal- kicking YouTube sensation and a potential walk on at the University of Wyoming. In this week’s Sports Illustrated, Justin Heckert examines how Noble is rediscovering his sense of purpose through football (PAGE 57).
After returning from three tours of duty and working a string of odd jobs, Noble found himself in his home, coaching Georgetown College soccer, attending the University of Kentucky and kicking footballs incredible distances in his free time. His life was respectable and normal until local news outlets began covering his extraordinary ability to send footballs sailing through the goal post from over 50 yards away— consistently. Soon, offers to walk on from elite football programs all over the country were flooding Noble’s door and it was clear his life was heading in a different direction. As more and more programs gained interest, Noble was forced to turn them away. He had previously decided to complete his last year in college at Wyoming.
“You have an uphill battle at one of those bigger schools,” said Devin Barclay, Noble’s friend who had retired from Major League Soccer at 22 and walked on at Ohio State as a placekicker in 2009. “But at Wyoming it’s probably a perfect fit; he could really have a chance to make an impact”.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has published a special collector’s issue commemorating the Alabama Crimson Tide’s third BCS national championship in the last four seasons. The 80-page magazine has arrived on newsstands and at area retailers—including Walmart, Publix, Kroger, Winn Dixie, Piggly Wiggly, Family Dollar, Dollar General, Sam’s Club, Costco, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Books A Million and Barnes & Noble—throughout the state of Alabama. The special edition, which will be sold at a price of $7.99, features star quarterback A.J McCarron, running back Eddie Lacy, and offensive lineman Barrett Jones on the cover with the billing ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE: A SPECIAL KIND OF DYNASTY.
Highlights for the commemorative edition include:
- Say It Aloud: This Is A Dynasty: Driven by a chance at history and feeding off a bond among teammates and fans, Alabama established itself as the team of the BCS era (page 10).
- The Season in Pictures: Despite a few bumps on the road to Miami, the Crimson Tide kept on rolling over the competition (page 12).
BCS Championship Game: From the opening drive to the last whistle, the Tide beat Notre Dame every which way, elevating the team, and Nick Saban in lore (page 40).
- The Heroes: Leadership comes in many forms—and both sides of the ball—as three of the Tide’s most crucial performers proved along the title path (page 54).
- All-Time Heroes: In 1961, Joe Namath met Coach Bryant for the first time. Alabama football, and the game itself, would never be the same (page 70).
As with all SPORTS ILLUSTRATED PRESENTS commemorative issues, this special collector’s edition is separate from the current weekly issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, which is dated Jan.14, 2013, and also features Alabama football on the cover.
Alabama running back Eddie Lacy, the offensive MVP of Monday’s BCS title game, tramples over two Notre Dame defenders on the cover of the Jan. 14, 2013, issue of Sports Illustrated, on newsstands Wednesday. This is the 23rd time that Crimson Tide football has appeared on the cover, which includes 12 covers in the past four seasons. You can purchase this week’s cover here.
Alabama’s 42-14 dominating victory over Notre Dame earned the Crimson Tide their third BCS Title in four years, firmly securing Alabama’s place in history. Fans and players alike, including Alabama senior center Barrett Jones couldn’t help but speak of a dynasty. Jones spoke to senior writer Tim Layden (@SITimLayden) on the field after the game. He said: “There’s a SPORTS ILLUSTRATED cover hanging in my room because I’m on it—from 2010. It says, DYNASTY. CAN ANYONE STOP ALABAMA? I’ll never forget looking at that thing and wondering if we really could be a dynasty. Three out of four. I’m no dynasty expert, but that seems like a dynasty to me.”
Even more impressive is the run by Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who has now coached teams to national championships in four of the past 10 seasons. Only Paul “Bear” Bryant’s six titles at Alabama compare, yet Saban told Layden: “There is no continuum of success. History can’t help us win.”
BCS BOWL PREVIEW
Complete Guide to the Postseason on Newsstands Now
(NEW YORK – Dec. 19, 2012) – Sports Illustrated has published a special BCS Bowl Preview highlighting the entire college football postseason. The 76-page magazine has arrived on newsstands and at retailers this week (details below). The special edition, which will be sold at a price of $7.99, features two covers—a national cover with Notre Dame’s linebacker Manti Te’o and a regional cover with Alabama’s quarterback A.J. McCarron.
Highlights for the commemorative edition include:
- BCS Championship Game: Alabama vs. Notre Dame The storied programs chase glory and history. By Lars Anderson(page 8).
- Alabama’s Barrett Jones by Lars Anderson(page 12)
- Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o by Pete Thamel (page 14)
- Looking back at the classic 1973 Sugar Bowl with Notre Dame’s Dave Casper and ‘Bama’s Richard Tood (page 16)
- Fiesta Bowl: Kansas State vs. Oregon When it’s speed against power, who’ll score more? By Gary Gramling (page 12)
- Kansas State’s Collin Klein by Thomas Lake (page 20)
- Oregon’s Marcus Mariota by Gary Gramling (page 22)
- Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Northern Illinois Can a Cinderella prove itself against ferocious FSU? By Zac Ellis (page 24)
- Florida State’s Bjoern Werner by Zac Ellis (page 26)
- Northern Illinois’s Jordan Lynch by Stephanie Apstein (page 28)
- Rose Bowl: Stanford vs. Wisconsin The teams seem similar— in style, anyway. By George Dohrmann (page 30)
- Stanford’s Chase Thomas by George Dohrmann (page 32)
- Wisconsin’s Montee Ball by George Dohrmann (page 34)
- Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. Louisville Prodigal sons try to take down the Gators. By Andy Staples (page 38)
- Florida’s Jeff Driskel by Andy Staples (page 38)
- Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater by Gabriel Baumgartner (page 40)
- Beyond the BCS: Previewing the other 30 Bowls by Stewart Mandel (page 42)
As with all Sports Illustrated Presents commemorative issues, this special collector’s edition is separate from the current weekly issue of Sports Illustrated, which is dated Dec. 17, 2012.
The following retailers in Alabama will be carrying the issue: Walmart, Publix, Kroger, Winn Dixie, Piggly Wiggly, Sam’s Club, Costco, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Books A Million and Barnes & Noble.
The following retailers in the Indiana and Chicago area will also be carrying the issue: Walmart, Target, Kroger, Meijer, Jewel-Osco, Dominicks, Martins, Marsh, Barnes & Noble, CVS,Walgreens, Costco and Sam’s Club.
The national cover (Notre Dame) will also be available at the following retailers nationwide: Barnes & Noble, Costco, Hudson News, Paradies and HMS Host.