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SPORTS ILLUSTRATED FEATURES STATE OF VIRGINIA IN SERIES OF
50 STATE-SPECIFIC WEEKLY SECTIONS

Norfolk Native and Redskins Defensive End Bruce Smith Writes of His Roots in Virginia and Search of the Alltime Sacks Record

New York, NY, October 8, 2003 — This week’s Sports Illustrated highlights the sports scene in the state of Virginia, marking the 13th of 50 state-specific sections to be published in the magazine as part of SI’s yearlong 50th anniversary celebration.

Identifying The Virginia Gold Cup steeplechase racing and the state’s rich equestrian history as an event unique to the state, the six-page feature also includes an accompanying essay by Virginia native and Redskins DE Bruce Smith, and a wide range of facts, figures and photographs highlighting the most memorable moments and personalities that have shaped Virginia’s sports landscape.

The Virginia edition will hit newsstands on Wednesday, October 8, 2003 . Newsstand copies in Virginia will feature a cover-flap identifying the special Virginia section.

Highlights from the special section include:

  • "A Day at The Races," where SI senior writer Franz Lidz writes how Virginia steeplechase racing is alive and fun as old money meets new at the Gold Cup at Great Meadow in Fauquier County.
  • In "It’s Good to Be Home," Washington Redskins’ Bruce Smith writes how he returned to his roots in search of the all-time sacks record.
  • The Poll : Virginians weighed in on their state’s sports scene in a Harris Interactive poll that found these results:
    • Favorite major baseball team Baltimore Orioles (22%)
    • Favorite NFL team Washington Redskins (33%)
    • Greatest Athlete Michael Vick (27%)
    • State’s biggest rivalry Virginia-Virginia Tech (63%)

  • Enemy of the State : Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones with 13% of the vote. Jones has now been voted Enemy no. 1 in three states. (Delaware and Texas are the others.) Baltimore Orioles’ owner Peter Angelos came in second with 8% of the vote. Florida State Football Coach Bobby Bowden in third with 7% of the vote. Virginians’ most hated opponents: The Dallas Cowboys.
  • Greatest Moment Editor’s pick : The legend of Michael Vick was born in 1999 when as a redshirt freshmen, he led Virginia Tech to its first 11-0 regular-season record and a spot in the national championship game. In a taut Sugar Bowl showdown the Hokies held a 29-28 lead in the fourth quarter before falling to top-ranked Florida State 46-29. Vick & Co. ended up with the No. 2 ranking, the school’s highest ever.

 

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 began 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 YMCA of the USA 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: Sheryl Spain/SI, (212) 522-6905 Julie Sprich/Edelman (212) 522-9511


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