With the Miami Heat trailing two games to one against the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals, the team’s championship hopes and dynastic ambitions have come to hinge on Dwayne Wade’s injured knee says senior writer S.L. Price in this week’s SI. While Wade’s injury has contributed to slowing down the Heat’s momentum since entering the finals last week, Price finds that Wade’s strength throughout his life during personal issues has enabled him to play through extreme pain. However tough he is, his production needs to improve if the Heat have a chance.
“I can feel for him, but I can’t really understand what he’s going through. You appreciate when someone puts their body on the line each and every night when they’re not even close to 100 percent” says teammate LeBron James (PAGE 48).
The seemingly unstoppable and energetic Wade’s scoring average has plummeted since suffering a deep bone bruise against Orlando on March 6. His focus has shifted to hours of treatment before and after each game. Although uncertainty lingers about Wade’s performance, the player finds comfort from his mother, Jolinda Wade, praying for his knee. During the second-round playoff series against the Chicago Bulls, Wade yelled to his mom, “Ma! Come and touch my knee and pray on it” (PAGE 48), which she continued to do throughout the Eastern Conference finals.
“People don’t understand the pain that he’s experiencing… but he doesn’t let it stop him. He understands that the body he’s playing in now is not the body that he played in when he came to the league,” says Wade’s mother Jolinda (PAGE 49).
Aside from his injury, Wade also has been dealing with personal and legal issues surrounding his divorce during this year’s postseason play. His spirits, however, remain positive with everything he is going through. “Me, the last couple days I’ve been coming in, get my work in that I need to, and the last two games that I’ve stepped on the court, I felt better physically… Hopefully I can continue” (PAGE 49).
Wade’s injured body leads to another concern for the Heat after the finals: The possible break-up of the ‘Big Three.’ Lebron James can opt out of his contract with Miami and become a free agent after next season. Price concludes “the state of Wade’s knees figures to be a heavy factor in whether LeBron stays or ends up somewhere else next year” (PAGE 50).
In this week’s Sports Illustrated, “The Power 50 List” ranks the top 50 men and women who occupy the thrones in the sports landscape. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell earned the top spot on the list and sits atop a thrown on this week’s SI cover, drawing on a parallel to the popular HBO show “Game of Thrones.”
View Steve Rushin’s opening essay “The Kingdoms of Sport,” and the entire Power 50 list here.
SI’s team of L. Jon Wertheim (SI Executive Editor), Adam Duerson (SI Senior Editor and project editor for this package) and Richard Deitsch (SI writer/reporter and SI.com Senior Editor) sat down with us to discuss the process of putting together such an extensive list.
How do you even start a project like this?
RD: We sent notice that we were going to do this package to every editor and writer who works on specific beats at both the magazine and SI.com. They weighed in with their thoughts on who should belong on such a list and why. That was the initial batch of information we used.JW: We started months ago. Part of the challenge was defining power, especially in a sports context. We tinkered with a sabermatric or algorithm-type formula….but realized that was not realistic. So we polled our colleagues, talked to experts outside the company and came up with informed opinion from great debate.
AD: The process speaks to the whole idea of why you make lists. Nobody will come to a consensus on any sort of list like this, but it sparks smart debate. We struggled throughout the entire process, but had a lot of fun with it.
AD: Steve Rushin’s piece which opens the power package does a great job of defining what we meant by power. It’s why we use the “Game of Thrones” analogy because the show is all about different interpretations of power. Ten different people can think they have power at the same time. Power is in the eye of the beholder. All of the people on this list can change the sports landscape with a single decision. Money, titles, properties, etc. all weigh into it.
JW: It’s programming decisions, acquisitions, player signings, and success. President Obama even made the list. His comment on not wanting the sons he doesn’t have to play football due to his concerns over safety is very powerful. People listen when the President talks and he spoke on the future and safety of our country’s most popular sport.
How does one attain power in sports?
RD: Some inherit it. Some develop it from their brain power, hard work and innovation. Everyone’s power originates from a different type of source. For instance, Roger Goodell started as a lawyer and climbed the ranks at the NFL. Michael Jordan became powerful from his athletic greatness. Everyone on this list has a different story.
AD: These origins of power can continue this parallel to the “Games of Thrones” world, where you have a child (King Joffrey Baratheon) as the king, a woodsmen who rose to leadership and a knight who wins power on the battlefield (like athletes).
What type of position is most represented on the list?
RD: Heads of leagues are very prominent on this list, whether it’s commissioners of the major sports leagues or those that run NCAA conferences. And we are ascribing a lot of power to television and media.
Why are leaders in media so well represented on this list?
RD: The people who control the airwaves in this country have massive power. Take John Skipper at ESPN. He and his team can control the sports dialogue on any given day. What ESPN decides to put on their network just has so much resonance among the sports world. All his counterparts at the other networks—Mark Lazarus at NBC, Sean McManus at CBS, Eric Shanks at Fox—these guys are the gatekeepers to how we view sports in America. Their power is immeasurable.
Why is Roger Goodell number one?
AD: He’s the leader of the most popular sport in America and he demonstrates his power on a daily basis. Everyone knows he’s in charge.
JW: He’s also leading the NFL at a pivotal moment. The sport has never been more popular—revenues are at an all-time high, but there’s now this concussion issue hanging over the league that could jeopardize its future.
What surprised you about this year’s power list?
AD: We found it difficult to incorporate athletes amongst the executives. That’s why we did a separate top 10 list solely devoted to athletes. It isn’t to say that some or all of them wouldn’t fit into the top 50 either.
RD: What surprised me during the process of putting this together is how everyone’s definition of power is so vastly different. Had another media outlet worked on the same type of list, it would be different. This sort of project sparks debate since it’s not an exact science.
JW: Something that surprised me a bit was how much power the commissioner’s of NCAA conferences now have relative to the NCAA. Realignment, conference TV networks and contracts have completely changed the landscape.
How do you guys see this power list changing next year?
AD: If we do this list again next year, there could be over 20 new names. It’s a snapshot of who has the most power now.
JW: You have leaders that will change positions and some will simply lose power. For instance, Philip Anschutz aims to sell all of his properties soon. David Stern will be retired, as will Jacques Rogge. Then there’s NCCA President Mark Emmert. He holds a lot of power today, but people are calling for his head due to the controversial University of Miami investigation.
RD: The only thing that we can predict surely is that the list next year will change.
Visit SI.com/power throughout this week for the complete Power 50 list, new daily power lists, a ranking of the least powerful people in sports and an exclusive podcast with “A Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin. Click here to view a Q&A with the editors behind the Power 50 list.
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2013: Spectacular Multiplatform Launch Features Swimsuit Models From Historic Shoots in all Seven ContinentsPosted: February 11, 2013
Cover Model Kate Upton, 17 Swimsuit models, Four World Class Athletes, Overnight Sensation Katherine Webb and More Available on Newsstands, Tablet, Mobile, Web and a Travel Channel TV Special
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2013 takes an unprecedented journey to all seven continents, delivering fashion, beauty and earth’s most exotic destinations across print, tablet, mobile, web and television. Available on newsstands February 12 and on digital platforms now, the story of breathtaking SI Swimsuit models in equally beautiful locations around the world, including the red-hot cover shot of Kate Upton in Antarctica, provides fans access to over 650 high resolution images and more than two hours of high definition video.
Upton, a 20-year-old, Melbourne, Fla. native is the first back-to-back SI Swimsuit model to appear on the cover since Tyra Banks (1996, 1997) and joins Elle Macpherson (1986, 1987, 1988), Christie Brinkley (1980,1981) and Paulina Porizkova (1984, 1985) in the elite group of women who’ve appeared by themselves on the coveted cover in back-to-back years.
“Kate Upton joins the legacy of repeat cover models that have risen to international stardom from appearing on the cover of our iconic brand,” said MJ Day, senior editor of SI Swimsuit. “Adding to her legacy is the historic nature of SI Swimsuit 2013—we shot on all seven continents, including the first-ever fashion shoot in Antarctica, where the beautiful images of Kate transcend photography, making it a great choice for the cover and all of the digital Swimsuit platforms.”
The 220-page magazine features spreads of Swimsuit models in all seven continents, including four new Swimsuit model rookies, body paint in the Bahamas and four world class athletes. The magazine also includes essays on each of the exotic locations by SI editors and writers.
New for the SI Swimsuit multiplatform effort include: a tablet edition and mobile app with more than 150 high resolution photos and over 75 high definition videos; a rebuilt website with a fully liquid homepage and supercharged with scrollable photo galleries and videos from each location shoot; Swim Daily, a new daily destination for Swimsuit news, photos, interviews and videos; a live show on Si.com leading up to a spectacular live projection mapping event; three Google+ Hangouts; and a Travel Channel special on Feb. 17 at 8:00 p.m.
A breakdown of SI Swimsuit multiplatform content:
- Tablet: Available to download on major tablets and free to current SI subscribers, the tablet edition features all of the magazine content, plus 360-degree body painting, and over 75 videos, including three up-close videos of each of the 17 models and video features from all seven continents.
- Mobile App: The newest app features pinch and zoom for all photos, 360-degree body painting, Swim IQ (the guess-the-model trivia game, which will allow users to earn points and unlock videos and photos), and is airplay enabled. Fans can update the 2012 app or download for free in iTunes. And if that’s not enough, users can upgrade to the premium app at si.com/mobile to unlock all of the 2013 pictures and videos.
- Website – www.si.com/swimsuit: The newly rebuilt SI Swimsuit website features images from each location shoot and more than 75 videos that take you behind the scenes with the models. Fans can vote for their favorite rookie model at SI.com/rookies and win a chance to accompany a crew on a forthcoming Swimsuit photo shoot at si.com/swimsweeps.
- www.SwimDaily.com: A new daily online destination for non-stop news, photos, interviews and videos throughout the year. SwimDaily will have daily content from models, behind-the-scenes stories from the hard-working editorial team, exclusive interviews, an always-updating Instagram feed powered by the girls themselves, and more.
- SI Swimsuit 2013 Live on SI.com: Swimsuit model Chrissy Teigen and SportsIllustrated.com managing editor Matt Bean will host a live show at 10:00 p.m. ET Wednesday, Feb. 13 powered by Lexus featuring model interviews, clips from the upcoming Travel Channel behind-the-scenes show, sit-downs with creative director Chris Hercik and senior Swim editor MJ Day, and more. The climax: a live stream of the Swimsuit projection mapping event on Feb. 13 at 11 p.m., where a Swimsuit sizzle reel will be beamed on the facade of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
- Social Media: The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit launch is fully interactive. On Twitter check out @SI_Swimsuit and follow the hash tag #WhereIswim; become a fan on Facebook (Facebook.com/SISwimsuit) follow on Instagram; and participate in three Google+ hangouts at plus.google.com/+SISwimsuit:
- Feb. 12:, 2:30pm ET- Meet Swimsuit Editors MJ Day and Darcie Baum (NYC)
- Feb. 13: 7:30pm ET- Meet this year’s Swimsuit Rookies with host Chris Mannix (Las Vegas)
- Feb. 14: 6:00pm ET- Spend Valentine’s Day with Kate Upton and Katherine Webb with host MJ Day (Las Vegas)
- Television: To find out what is was like to visit every continent, fans can tune into a TV special “The Making of Swimsuit 2013: 7 Continents, 17 Wonders, which premieres Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. on the Travel Channel
The locations and models for Swimsuit 2013 included:
- Antarctica: Kate Upton (3rd Swimsuit Appearance)
- Australia: Genevieve Morton (4), Alyssa Miller (3), Nina Agdal (2), and Natasha Barnard (Rookie)
- Chile: Chrissy Teigen (4), Jessica Perez (2) and Kate Bock (Rookie)
- China: Anne V (9), Jessica Gomes (6) and Hannah Davis (Rookie)
- Namibia: Cintia Dicker (5), Adaora (2), and Emily Didonato (Rookie)
- Spain: Irina Shayk (2011 cover model and 7th appearance), Julie Henderson (7), and Ariel Meredith (3)
Kate Upton, Anne V, Chrissy Teigen, Alyssa Miller, Ariel Meredith and Nina Agdal are also featured in recreations of classic Swimsuit covers in the famous body paint section, which was shot on the sandy beaches of the Bahamas.
Overnight sensation Katherine Webb, making her first SI Swimsuit appearance, was shot in New York City. In addition, this year’s Swimsuit continues the tradition of featuring world class athletes, as pro surfer Alana Blanchard, Australian hurdler Michelle Jenneke and Dutch field hockey players Eva De Goede and Ellen Hoog were photographed in Las Vegas.
Sports Illustrated will launch the 2013 issue with a destination-wide celebration Feb. 12 to Feb. 15. The Launch week schedule includes:
- SI Swimsuit Launch Party hosted by Crimson in New York City: A party for SI Swimsuit partners, media and VIP guests to be attended by the 2013 Swimsuit models prior to jetting off to Las Vegas. Celebration begins at 5:00 p.m. on February 12th.
- SI Swimsuit Live Projection Mapping Event hosted by Caesar’s Palace: If you’re near Caesar’s Palace (or a computer) on Feb. 13 at 11 p.m. Eastern, prepare to have your mind blown. An SI Swimsuit sizzle reel will be beamed onto the hotel’s facade, which will—thanks to the magic of projection mapping—be animated in 3-D. If you’re not in Las Vegas, the event will be streamed live at SI.com/swimprojection, as well as people.com, ew.com and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit YouTube channel.
- SI Swimsuit on Location hosted by MARQUEE Nightclub at The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas: The SI Swimsuit launch week event will feature the 2013 Swimsuit models and bring to life all of the beautiful and exotic shoot locations from the 2013 SI Swimsuit issue in a marquee and exclusive nightclub setting. Event begins at 9:00 p.m. on Feb. 13.
- Club SI Swimsuit hosted by 1OAK Nightclub at The Mirage, Las Vegas: This annual event features a main stage reveal of the 2013 Swimsuit models, and a super powered performance from an A-list performer. Club SI Swimsuit begins at 9:00 p.m. on Feb. 14.
- SI Swimsuit Overtime hosted by The Bank Nightclub at Bellagio, Las Vegas: This by-invitation-only event is the final celebration of Swimsuit launch week in Las Vegas. The event begins at midnight on Feb. 15.
The city of Torreon in Mexico has seen an increase of violent crimes, including murder, kidnapping and armed carjacking. And Torreon—the seventh-most dangerous city in the world— is where Herculez Gomez, a 30-year-old forward for Club Santos Laguna and striker for the U.S. National Team, went from being an MLS afterthought to a Mexican scoring champion. In this week’s SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, senior writer Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) examines perhaps the most stunning six-month turnaround in U.S soccer history.
After using Craigslist to hire someone to create a highlight tape, Gomez earned a 6-month contract with a club in Mexico for the 2010 season. He went on to become the first U.S player to win the Golden Boot, earning a share of the scoring crown in a foreign league and has earned a roster spot on the U.S National Team. With goalkeeper, Tim Howard, they are the only players to start each of the 10 games leading up to yesterday’s friendly match against Canada. Gomez says:
“I’m constantly buzzing and being a pest, things are going to open up for guys who are good on the ball…I know I have the motor…I just need to kill myself every game.” (PAGE 51)
Is Gomez good enough to lead the U.S at World Cup 2014 in Brazil? With 10 World Cup qualifiers left in 2013, we will just have to wait and see. But U.S. coach Jurgen Klinnsmann already likes what he has seen from Gomez:
“…the impact he made from Day One was to do everything possible for the team…He’s willing to sacrifice himself, and his chemistry seems to be really good with his teammates. He’s a pure giver.” (PAGE 51)
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.”