Yogi Berra Graces Cover of SI’s 12th Annual “Where Are They Now?” Issue
Charlie Sheen’s Behind-the-Scenes Behavior on the Set of Major League
Catching Up With: ’71 Pirates, NBA 7-Footers, Roger Bannister, Michelle Akers and Nine NFL Legends
The Top 40 Sports Songs of All Time (We’re Not Talking Stadium Anthems)
Yogi Berra graces the cover of Sports Illustrated’s 12th annual “Where Are They Now?” issue, dated July 4 and on newsstands now. It is the fifth cover for the Yankees great and his first since the April 2, 1984, issue.
MAJOR LEAGUE REVISITED – CHRIS NASHAWATY
Twenty-two years after the theatrical release of Major League, Chris Nashawaty—a senior writer at Entertainment Weekly—caught up with the cast and crew, who try to explain what makes it one of the most beloved sports movies ever. This included more than two hours spent with Charlie Sheen, who had some memorable things to say (page 90).
On adding extra zip to his fastball: “Let’s just say that I was enhancing my performance a little bit. It was the only time I ever did steroids. I did them for like six or eight weeks. You can print this, I don’t give a f—. My fastball went from 79 to like 85.”
On having women fly in to Milwaukee, where the movie was filmed: “It wasn’t as bad as on Young Guns [a year earlier]. We made that one in Santa Fe, and you would fly into Albuquerque and drive to Santa Fe on this two-lane highway. Literally, the girls that were leaving would pass the ones coming in. Major League was so physically demanding that you didn’t have a lot of time for that. You’re lying in bed and everything [hurts], and you’re thinking, I have to pitch tomorrow?! But there were certain days that we’d look at the schedule for the next day and be like, ‘Gentlemen, tonight we ride.’ ”
On what Major League means to him personally: “We had this party at my place a few months ago to watch Major League. It was awesome. The beard was there—Brian Wilson, from the Giants. We had Eddie Murray and Kenny Lofton. And I got David Ward to introduce the film. Colin Farrell showed up. And when my big strikeout at the end comes on, the place goes nuts like we’ve never even seen the movie before. I’m in between my two girlfriends, and I look over and there’s Colin Farrell giving me a thumbs-up. I reach behind me for a fist bump from Brian Wilson, who goes, ‘Winning!’ I’m telling you, David Ward created a baseball classic, and baseball is all that matters in the world. You know, I always wonder what I’m going to be in the middle of when I die. And I just hope it’s not in the middle of the greatest f—— pennant race ever.”
To read the full online version of A League of Its Own, click here.
On the Tablets: Five memorable scenes from the movie as well as a transcript from the full interview with Charlie Sheen.
YOGI BERRA WILL BE A LIVING LEGEND EVEN AFTER HE’S GONE – JOE POSNANSKI (@JPosnanski)
Yogi Berra is a Hall of Fame catcher, but his renown stems primarily from being one of the most quoted athletes of the last 100 years. Just about any famous collection of words gains prestige by being connected to his name, so much so that Yogi Berra even quips (page 62): “I never said most of the things I said.”
If his “Yogi-isms” are put aside, what remains is the fact that Berra was one of the most prolific winners in sports history. From 1957 through 1981, when New York baseball teams appeared in 13 World Series, Berra—as a player, coach or manager—appeared in every one of them. In all, Yogi has appeared in 21 World Series, more than any professional baseball team other than the Yankees.
To read the full online version of Yogi Berra Will Be a Living Legend Even After He’s Gone, click here.
On the Tablets: A video interview with Yogi Berra and a photographic slideshow of his career.
’71 PIRATES: A BOY AND HIS BUCS – AUSTIN MURPHY (@SI_AUSTINMURPHY)
As an 11-year-old, senior writer Austin Murphy worshipped his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates during their 1971 championship season. Forty years later, Murphy connected with many of his childhood heroes at a team reunion. As players recounted stories from their winning season—facing the dominant Orioles’ starting rotation in the World Series, fielding the first-ever starting lineup that consisted solely of black and Latino players—Murphy realized that the team’s success was rooted in its off-field camaraderie. Recalls starting pitcher Steve Blass (page 124): “It was just a very open atmosphere. And what it created was a room full of friends. You could say anything to anybody. And when we went out on the ball field, we were brothers.”
To read the full online version of A Boy and His Bucs, click here.
On the Tablets: Photos from Pittsburgh’s memorable, seven-game win over Baltimore in the ’71 World Series.
NBA 7-FOOTERS: LARGER THAN REAL LIFE – Pablo S. Torre (@SIPabloTorre)
For the 7-foot set, professional basketball provides more than an occupation—it’s a near life imperative. Jokes Harry Stanback, whose 13-year-old son, Trevor, is already 6′ 8″ and is projected to exceed 7 feet: “There ain’t but two things you can do at 7 feet. One of them is play basketball. The other is clean elephant butts.” Reporter Pablo S. Torre caught up with several lofty former NBA players to talk about the challenges they’ve faced—including coping with foot and back problems, finding pants that fit and posing for pictures (page 108).
To read the full online version of Larger Than Real Life, click here.
On the Tablets: Video of Pablo S. Torre spending time with 7′ 4″ Mark Eaton near Eaton’s home in Utah.
In This Week’s SI: The Fall of Jim Tressel, Jason Kidd, Boston Bruins’ Stanley Cup Hopes, Braves Coach Luis Salazar’s Comeback and MorePosted: June 1, 2011
ON THE COVER: An Exclusive Investigation on the Fall of Jim Tressel
Jason Kidd: The Oldest Point Guard in Finals History Chases a Ring
Boston’s Quest to Recapture Its 1970’s Stanley Cup Glory
A Baseball Lifer’s Comeback From Losing His Left Eye
Candace Parker Is Finally Injury Free
A Sports Illustrated investigative report by senior writer George Dohrmann (@georgedohrmann) with staff writer David Epstein (@SIDavidEpstein) reveals a program rife with alleged NCAA rules violations. The new allegations are that the memorabilia-for-tattoos and cash violations stretch back to 2002, involve at least 28 players (22 more than had previously been reported) and that Buckeyes traded memorabilia for marijuana. Former OSU defensive end Robert Rose spoke on the record about his dealings and an anonymous source points to a much deeper relationship between Fine Line Ink and OSU players that involves tickets, cars and favors (page 40).
To read the full online version of The Fall of Jim Tressel, click here.
On the Tablets: A gallery of the 28 former and current players who Sports Illustrated has learned traded memorabilia, plus an audio podcast interview with George Dohrmann.
THE OLD MAN AND THE HEAT – LEE JENKINS (@SI_LeeJenkins)
At 38, Jason Kidd is the oldest starting point guard in NBA Finals history yet still leads all playoff participants in steals, ranks second in assists and is tied for third in three-pointers made. Most important, the pass-first Kidd is the key to the Mavericks ball movement, outside shooting and offensive unpredictability. Teammate Tyson Chandler says (page 50): “He’s the one who keeps us under control, who makes sure we keep our head. Sometimes Jason hits you in a place where you don’t think you can make a play but he knows you can.”
Dallas Mavericks President of Basketball Operations Donnie Nelson says: “We needed somebody to make Dirk’s job easier. That was Jason Kidd. He was the godsend for Dirk. He is the reason Dirk is fresher now.”
To read the full online version of The Old Man and the Heat, click here.
DEEP IN THE HEART OF THE CITY: LEIGH MONTVILLE
Four decades after the blue-collar Bruins stitched themselves into the fabric of Boston with Stanley Cup triumphs in 1970 and ’72, a new generation of players attempts to recapture that former glory. Simultaneously they’re finding out what it really means to be the home team. Recalling the Bruins’ Stanley Cup days in the early 1970’s, Derek Sanderson says (page 68): “You’d get everything for free. You’d go to a restaurant, eat for free. Go somewhere else, drink for free. Free clothes. You’d get gas. No problem. I never had a date the whole time I played in Boston. Not a date where you went to the girl’s house, picked her up. You just went to the bar. Come around midnight, you picked out who you wanted.”
To read the full online version of Deep in the Heart of the City, click here.
On the Tablets: A gallery of great moments from the Bruins’ Stanley Cup wins in 1970 and ’72.
LUIS SALAZAR: SIGHT TO BEHOLD – L. JON WERTHEIM (@jon_wertheim)
Nearly three months ago a foul ball struck Braves’ coach Luis Salazar in the face, costing him his left eye. He has returned to the dugout to manage the Braves Class A affiliate in the Carolina League while gaining a whole new perspective on the game. As he describes it (page 62): “In a way, I see more now than I did with two eyes. I see friends, teammates I haven’t spoken to in 25 years. I notice more around the ballpark. It’s maybe crazy to say, but in some ways it’s been a blessing.”
To read the full online version of Sight to Behold, click here.
CANDACE PARKER: SPARKS ARE GONNA FLY – ANDREW LAWRENCE (@SI_DrewLawrence)
Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker plays all five positions and can light it up and throw it down. Most important, she is finally injury free—a tantalizing storyline as the WNBA tips off its 15th season. After she shut herself down for 2010 while dealing with injuries and caring for her daughter Lailaa, the 25-year-old Parker regained a sense of fundamentals. As she recalls (page 56): “Before I could just jump over people to get a rebound or get a shot off by out-athleticizing people. But at that moment, I couldn’t do that. I actually had to box out. I actually had to use a jab step to set up my move. I had to be more effective and efficient and that’s helped my game.”
To read the full online version of Sparks Are Gonna Fly, click here.
SI PLAYERS MLB POLL (page 17)
Who is the most overrated player in baseball?
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees 3B….18%
Joba Chamberlain, Yankees RP….12%
Derek Jeter, Yankees SS….7%
Jayson Werth, Nationals OF….4%
Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox RP….4%
[Based on 185 MLB players who responded to SI’s survey]
FAST FACTS: A-Rod and Chamberlain filled the top two slots in the same poll last year but in reverse order. . . . Yankees OF Nick Swisher also received 4% of the vote. . . . Of the top 14 active vote-getters, all but three play in Boston, Chicago or New York. . . . Combined, the five players above have made the All-Star Game in 57% of their seasons.
Facebook Fan Picks
David Ortiz, Red Sox DH….17%
SCORECARD ESSAY: BAND OF BROTHERS – MICHAEL FARBER
Facing cancer, senior hockey writer Michael Farber ponders the complete work of Lance Armstrong. Farber points out how Armstrong’s dedication towards raising money and awareness for cancer research sets him apart from Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and other star athletes who currently face doping allegations. In spite of his own controversies Armstrong remains an inspiration to millions of people fighting cancer—including one of Sports Illustrated’s own (page 16).
To read the full online version of Band of Brothers, click here.
POINT AFTER: MIXED MESSAGES – PHIL TAYLOR (@SI_PhilTaylor)
While many athletes have made statements against gay bashing, they cannot take away the chilling effect of a player—including recent examples Kobe Bryant and Joakim Noah—casually tossing out a single humiliating word. Austin Hendrix, a cross-country runner at Eastern Michigan who told his team two years ago that he was gay, says (page 76): “The problem is that words like those have become so intertwined with everyday vocabulary that it can be difficult to tell if they are being said out of hate or just out of habit.”
To read the full online version of Mixed Messages, click here.
SCORECARD/FROM THE ONION: PILOT BLIGHT
With news that the Mavs’ Shawn Marion is taping a reality show pilot, The Ladies of My Life, about his mom and three sisters, the TV experts at the Onion dug up six sporty reality pitches that (thankfully) will never make it to air (page 18):
- In his prank show, I Hurl’d, Bobby Hurley tricks unsuspecting people into talking with him about Duke basketball.
- Tim Duncan looks through every government work form in Duncan My Taxes and explains how to properly fill each one out on a state-by-state basis.
- Pete Sampras passes on his tennis knowledge in If You Hold Your Racket Even a Millimeter Off, It Will Affect Your Backhand Dramatically.
- How many food items can one man use to show the advantages of a good pulling guard to his grandkids? You’ll find out on It’s a Madden Madden Madden Madden World!
- I Am Juan Miranda sees the Diamondbacks’ first baseman go to great lengths in attempting to explain exactly who he is.
- In Animal Kingdom’s Kingdom, the Kentucky Derby winner gives a glimpse into his glamorous life of eating oats, running and sleeping standing up.
THIS WEEK’S FACES IN THE CROWD (page 27)
- Austin Ernst (Seneca, S.C.) – Golf
- Mac McGuire (Southlake, Texas) – Track and Field, Soccer, Football
- Alyssa Lombardo (Bethlehem, Pa.) – Track and Field, Softball
- Keegan Taylor (Greenland, N.H.) – Baseball
- Joyce Boone (Brooklyn) – Arm Wrestling
- Johnny Dee (Vista, Calif.) – Basketball
Follow Faces in the Crowd on Twitter @SI_Faces.
INSIDE THE WEEK IN SPORTS (page 28)
- Motor Sports: Crashing Defeat – Rookie J.R. Hildebrand’s gaffe cost him a win but gave the Indy 500 just what it needed: a race fans will talk about for years. (Lars Anderson, @LarsAndersonSI)
- Baseball: Diamond Max – The Rays have a crazy slew of picks, but history suggests Arizona’s draft will be the one you remember. (Joe Sheehan, @joe_sheehan)
- The NBA: Extending a Hand – Playoff struggles or not, the Thunder is sticking with Russell Westbrook, and that’ll be reflected in his contract talks. (Chris Mannix, @ChrisMannixSI)
- NASCAR: Rockin’ Along – His team is humming, and Carl Edwards is in a groove that has put him on top of the Sprint Cup charts. (Elizabeth McGarr, @emcgarr)
- Tennis: No. 1 Problem – Early exits from the French Open showed that the top-ranked women just aren’t what they used to be. (S.L. Price)
THIS WEEK ON THE TABLETS
- SI Digital Bonus: You Can’t Make These Guys Up – In this 1985 feature, Bruce Newman lauds the bold imagination it took to bring Hulk, Andrew and Superfly to the mainstream. But the cultural imprint that pro wrestling has left is very real and oh so mah-velous.
Terror, Tragedy and Hope in Tuscaloosa
With Apologies to Derrick Rose, the Bulls’ MVP Is Their Team Defense
Roberto Luongo Scares the Puck out of Fans in Vancouver
Novak Djokovic: The Face of Serbia’s Rebirth
The Pacific Northwest: North America’s Soccer Hotbed
The cover story of this week’s May 23, 2011, issue of Sports Illustrated—on newsstands now—documents both the aftermath of the deadly tornado that ripped through Tuscaloosa, Ala., on April 27 and how the Crimson Tide athletic community is helping in the relief effort.
When the most powerful tornado in the history of Alabama ripped through “T-Town” with winds of up to 190 mph, it caused damage that will take years to recover from. Senior writer Lars Anderson (@LarsAndersonSI), who lives in Birmingham and taught a sportswriting class at the University of Alabama this spring, spoke with several students and Tuscaloosa residents, each of whom has their own story from that tragic day. The outpouring of support from the Alabama athletic community has included but has not been limited to:
- More than $1 million in donations to the relief effort from the school’s athletic department.
- Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Javier Arenas, a member of the Crimson Tide’s 2009 national championship team, bought $1,600 worth of supplies and Tweeted that he would give it away outside of a mall.
- 15 members of Alabama’s baseball team helped a mother of one of the six students killed search the wreckage for a white dress that the mother wanted to bury her daughter in.
Says football coach Nick Saban: “We can create a psychological escape for the people of this town. They have a great passion for sports, and we’ll be there for them.”
Sports Illustrated is helping with the recovery effort with an Alabama relief auction to benefit the American Red Cross. Users can bid on items such as a dinner anywhere in the continental U.S. with Peter King, two tickets to the 2011 Sportsman of the Year Celebration in New York later this year, classic Crimson Tide cover reprints and custom print photographs of Joe Namath and Bear Bryant signed by legendary photographer Neil Leifer. To bid on an item, click here. Items will be open for bidding between now and 2-3 pm EST on May 25.
To read the full online version of Terror, Tragedy and Hope in Tuscaloosa, click here.
On the Tablets: A podcast interview with Lars Anderson as well as video footage of the tornado’s aftermath and interviews with those affected in the Crimson Tide community.
TOM THIBODEAU: DEFENSE, CHICAGO STYLE – LEE JENKINS (@SI_LeeJenkins)
The Chicago Bulls are one step from their first NBA Finals since the Michael Jordan era, thanks not only to MVP Derrick Rose but also to Tom Thibodeau’s corralling team defense, which led the league in defensive efficiency, rebounding differential, opponents’ field goal percentage and opponents’ three-point percentage. Recalls former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy, for whom Thibodeau was an assistant coach with the Knicks in the late 1990s and early 2000s (page 42): “One day I asked him about individual defense and he started breaking down the stance on the ball, where your hand position should be, how far you should retreat after a jab step. He gave me a doctoral paper on it. He made me feel bad about my own level of knowledge.”
The preparation for Thibodeau’s first season in Chicago started with a procession of exhausting individual workouts during the summer. Recalls Joakim Noah: “I’d hide from him, and he’d still find me. I’d tell him ‘Thibs, I can’t do it again, I’m tired, it’s summertime, it’s Friday, let’s take it easy, let’s chill.’ He didn’t go for that.”
To read the full online version of Defense, Chicago Style, click here.
On the Tablets: Touch on any one of the five Bulls players on the floor to see what their defensive responsibilities are, plus up-to-the-minute video of the latest action from the Eastern and Western Conference Finals.
NHL PLAYOFFS: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND ROBERTO LUONGO – BRIAN CAZENEUVE
His team is the best in hockey, and most of the time so is Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo. But his penchant for disastrous mistakes seems to always weigh on fans in Vancouver, even when his teammates on the Canucks’ powerhouse roster rise to his defense. Says winger Alex Burrows (page 46): “What the hell else does he have to do? I know: win a Stanley Cup. When we win people think the puck stops itself. No, it’s Roberto. I think he’s the best goalie in the world.”
To read the full online version of The Good, The Bad and Robert Luongo, click here.
On the Tablets: Three examples each of “Good Luongo” and “Bad Luongo” as well as a slideshow of the latest from the Eastern Conference Finals between the Lightning and Bruins.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: STARING DOWN HISTORY – S.L. PRICE
With the longest men’s winning streak of the Open era in his sights, Novak Djokovic is doing more than chasing history. He’s also serving as the symbol of Serbia’s rebirth. Says Vladimir Petrovic, Serbia’s ambassador to the U.S. (page 54): “Novak Djokovic is the single biggest positive p.r. this country’s ever had. He’s a positive face of the new democratic Serbia.”
Djokovic’s pride in his homeland—as well as the steeliness that has guided him on his current winning streak—was shaped during the NATO bombings of 1999. Rather than holing up in their apartment, the Djokovics went to the Partizan Tennis Club in Belgrade, where Novak trained, and spent entire days hitting tennis balls. Recalls Novak’s mother, Dijana: “There was no way we are sitting at home and crying. So we are on the tennis court from 10 in the morning to 6, 7, 8 p.m. Also our two other kids [Marko and Djordje] are practicing during the bombing. You are practicing and listening to sirens, but it was the only way. We were trying to find some way to get out.”
To read the full online version of Staring Down History, click here.
On the Tablets: Video of Djokovic imitating the serves and/or tics of other players on Tour.
SOCCER: A PACIFIC PASSION PLAY – GRANT WAHL (@GrantWahl)
The best rivalries in North American soccer are in the Pacific Northwest between the Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps. It’s a competition that dates back to the North American Soccer League—more than two decades before Major League Soccer was established. All three teams competed then with the same franchise names, leaving a mark on the former and current fan bases. Now the region has quickly transformed into an MLS hotbed, highlighted by record attendance and intense matches. Seattle coach Sigi Schmid says (page 50): “Any other rivalry in this league has sort of been a created rivalry. This rivalry has history. It’s been there the last 30-plus years, and that makes it the best rivalry in the league.”
To read the full online version of a Pacific Passion Play, click here.
On the Tablets: The weekly Sports Illustrated soccer podcast with Wahl as well as SI.com’s Jen Chang and Jonathan Wilson. Plus, a visual history of professional soccer in the Pacific Northwest.
SI PLAYERS MLB POLL
Who is the nicest player in baseball? (page 13)
Jim Thome, Twins DH….21% Johnny Damon, Rays DH….5%
Raúl Ibañez, Phillies OF….7% Joe Mauer, Twins C….4%
Mike Sweeney, Retired 1B….5%
Facebook Fan Picks
Derek Jeter, Yankees SS….18%
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox 2B….11%
FAST FACTS: Yankees OF Curtis Granderson and SS Derek Jeter also received 4% of the players’ vote…. Among the top 25 vote-getters, only one pitcher, Oakland’s Craig Breslow (1%) was named, while nine first basemen were cited…. Pedroia was No. 3 in fan voting but received only two player votes (1%).
POINT AFTER: TOUGH LOVE FROM DR. PHIL – PHIL TAYLOR (@SI_PhilTaylor)
Senior writer Phil Taylor has been baffled by how the NBA playoffs have turned into one big therapy session. He’s been captivated by the games yet at the same time annoyed by hearing so many players and teams sort out their emotional baggage. So Taylor does his best to channel the real Dr. Phil in humorous faux conversations with four postseason participants, all of whom with their own set of issues: the Celtics’ Glen Davis, whose own coach said he couldn’t “find” him during the playoffs; the Lakers’ Andrew Bynum, who has a firsthand account of Los Angeles’s trust issues; a tearful Brandon Roy of the Trail Blazers; and the Heat’s Chris Bosh, weighing in on his role as the neglected member of Miami’s Big Three (page 64).
To read the full online version of Tough Love from Dr. Phil, click here.
Scorecard Essay: Everybody Loves Sportscasters – Steve Rushin (@SteveRushin)
This fall America will get three new TV shows based on the life of ESPN anchors. There have been a number of sitcoms about sportswriters—including The Odd Couple and Everybody Loves Raymond—but the new age of media lends itself well to an update of that tried and true formula. Steve Rushin previews the fall lineup while also looking back at the old standbys (page 12).
To read the full online version of Everybody Loves Sportscasters, click here.
THIS WEEK’S FACES IN THE CROWD (page 20)
• Myles Andrews (Long Beach, Calif.) – Track and Field • Conlin McCabe (Brockville, Ont.) – Rowing
• Danielle Etrasco (Massapequa, N.Y.) – Lacrosse • Cody McMillion (Hopkins, S.C.) and Ariana Mato
• J.T. Poston (Hickory, N.C.) – Golf (Davie, Fla.) – Equestrian
• Megan Smith (Olathe, Kans.) – Track and Field
Follow Faces in the Crowd on Twitter @SI_Faces.
INSIDE THE WEEK IN SPORTS (page 28)
- Baseball: Hot in Cleveland – At the season’s quarter pole on thing is clear: The Indians are for real.
- On the Tablets: Joe Sheehan (@joe_sheehan) weighs in on the Jorge Posada situation.
- Olympic Sports: Sweet 16 – The U.S. has found its next teen phenom in the pool, Missy Franklin, who’s poised to make a huge splash.
- Golf: Painful Thought – Another injury-related setback heightened speculation that Tiger Woods’s best days are behind him.
THIS WEEK ON THE TABLETS
- SI Digital Bonus: Worthy of Really High Fives – In this feature story from the June 18, 1984, issue, Curry Kirkpatrick recaps a French Open where Ivan Lendl won his first major and Martina Navratilova (sort of) captured the Grand Slam.
- Scorecard: The Man in Full – Touch to read an excerpt from George Vecsey’s Stan Musial: An American Life and listen to an interview with Vecsey.
- Scorecard: Video of a Home Run Derby between the late Harmon Killebrew and Mickey Mantle.
- Scorecard: Off the Record – This week’s must-see moments in sports video.