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SPORTS ILLUSTRATED FEATURES STATE OF WEST VIRIGINIA IN SERIES

OF 50 STATE-SPECIFIC WEEKLY SECTIONS

West Virginia Native Sam Huff Pens Guest Essay

New York, NY, September 17, 2003 — This week’s Sports Illustrated features sports in the state of West Virginia, marking the tenth of 50 state-specific sections to be published in the magazine as part of SI’s yearlong 50th anniversary celebration.

Profiling Adventure Sports in the New River Gorge as an event unique to West Virginia, the six-page section also includes a guest essay by West Virginia native and NFL legend Sam Huff and a wide range of facts, figures and photographs highlighting the most memorable moments and personalities that have shaped West Virginia’s sports landscape. As with the WV section, SI features one of the 50 United States each week for 50 weeks and celebrates a sport or sporting event unique to that state.

The West Virginia section is one of 50 state-specific sections to be published in conjunction with SI’s 50th Anniversary. The magazine will hit newsstands today and copies in West Virginia will feature a cover-flap identifying the special West Virginia section.

Highlights from the special section include:

  • Will West Virginia’s residents make peace with the Adventure Sports fanatics? SI writer Chris Ballard takes a look into the adventure-sports wonderland of West Virginia in "Cliff Hanger."
  • In "A Hard Life," guest essayist Huff writes how growing up as a coal miner’s son shaped him into a famously rugged linebacker.

  • The Poll: West Virginians weigh in on sports in a Harris Interactive poll that found these results:

    • Favorite major league baseball team: Pirates, 20% vs. Braves, 10%
    • Favorite NFL team: Steelers, 29% vs. Cowboys, 12%
    • Favorite NBA team: Los Angeles Lakers, 19%
    • State’s biggest rivalry: W.Va — Marshall, 61%
    • More a fan of college or pro sports? Pro, 53% vs. College, 28%

  • Enemy of the State: Legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno received 18% of this vote beating out Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss (15%) and Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer (5%).
  • Greatest Moment: No win was ever sweeter than the 51-30 rout of Penn State in the ’88 season; the 51 points are the most the Mountaineers have scored in 59 meetings with the despised Nittany Lions.

SI’s 50th Anniversary program, America’s Sports Illustrated: 50 Years, 50 States, 50 Sports, is a wide-ranging multimedia platform that is the most ambitious initiative in the history of the franchise. The grassroots effort, which was launched in July 2003 and continues through July 2004, is a yearlong celebration of sports in America. It will include editorial coverage in the magazine and online, a community sports outreach campaign with the YMCA and National Recreation and Park Association, as well as The Toyota Presents Sports Illustrated’s 50th Anniversary Tour that will travel to unique sports events in cities and towns throughout the country. SI’s actual 50th anniversary date is August 16, 2004. Toyota is the presenting sponsor of the Tour; Starter and Best Buy are program sponsors.

Contacts: Rick McCabe (212) 522-1375, Sports Illustrated Julie Sprich (212) 522-9511, Edelman


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