My Favorite SI Stories: Sports Hernia
As part of an ongoing series, SI asked prominent sports bloggers to give us their 10 all-time favorite SI Stories (to see choices from other bloggers, scroll to the bottom). Here are the responses from The Sports Hernia:
This article was accompanied by Hulk Hogan on the cover and if that didn't get you excited, shame on you. Because after all, the hot rumor was that wrestling was fake, so if it was being recognized by an outfit such as Sports Illustrated, surely greater things were bound to come; and we already had Saturday Night's Main Event.
College Basketball: Class Acts
Great college basketball preview from a great hoops year in '85-86, but we thought Reggie Miller played ball at UCLA?
Ready To Soar To The Very Top
This is from the "Kid Dynamite" cover which is almost impossible to forget. The article documents an up-and-coming boxer named Mike Tyson, who was beating up grown men at age 13. What's more crazy is, has it really been 22 freaking years since we've seen Mike this happy?
Sweepstakes For A Franchise Man
The question from this cover story still remains unanswered: Why was Miami No.1? An article in a similar vein to the humorous Mandarich piece, with Vinny Testeverde as the hands down best quarterback coming out of college: "It's hard to find a franchise player, and he's it." It almost happened that way, not really, but almost.
Bosworth Faces The Music
Cover story on Brian Bosworth who, shocking only himself, got banned from the Orange Bowl for steroid use. What's more disappointing was how any of this could have happened under the careful guidance of Oklahoma head coach Barry Switzer. If Bosworth played today, there'd be daily YouTube clips of his haircuts. A man way ahead of his time.
The Incredible Bulk
The cover story on Tony Mandarich that we're pretty sure no one can forget. After reading the article, there was pretty much no doubt from anyone that Mandarich would become Conan the Destroyer of the NFL, leading to "Pancakes" and "OTFs" (players driven out of the camera's view) becoming official categories. Or not.
Great feature on Bill Laimbeer, one of the all-time great instigators, which has definitely become a lost art in today's NBA. "I don't fight. I agitate, then walk away," Laimbeer said, grinning. If nothing else, it's good to see his evil spirit lives on as his WNBA team, the Detroit Shock, aren't taking crap from anyone.
The High Price Of Hard Living
If seeing the cover for this issue doesn't break your heart, you have no soul. Really well done article on the sad downfall of two of the most talented players in baseball, Darryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden. Straws line of "Drink, do coke, get women, do something freaky," sums it up incredibly well.
This was the hilariously depressing piece on Mets franchise saviors Paul Wilson, Jason Isringhausen and Bill Pulsipher. "Last year they combined for more surgeries (four) than complete games (three)." Yup, that sounds about right, and you still can't go to a Mets game without hearing someone talking about these three with great disdain.
At Full Blast
Better known as "The Rocker article", which was great on so many levels, particularly because it inspired the impromptu Battery/Beer Rocket night for his slightly controversial return to Shea Stadium. But it was also great since it was the epitome of letting someone hang himself. It was like you could actually picture Pearlman giving more and more slack to the rope Rocker was stringing himself up on.