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Illinois Native and Famed Sportswriter William Nack Writes on the Thrill of Going to Wrigley to Watch the Original Hammerin' Hank

New York, NY, March 30, 2004 - This week's SPORTS ILLUSTRATED highlights the sports scene in the state of Illinois, marking the 37th of 50 state-specific sections to be published in the magazine as part of SI's yearlong 50th Anniversary celebration.

Identifying the tradition of the Chicago Golden Gloves as a sporting event unique to the state, the six-page feature also includes an accompanying essay by former SI senior writer William Nack , plus a wide range of facts, figures and photographs highlighting the most memorable moments and personalities that have shaped the state's sports landscape.

The Illinois edition begins hitting newsstands on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 . Newsstand copies in Illinois will feature a cover-flap identifying the special state section.

Highlights from the special section include:

    • Once the most important event in boxing, the Chicago Golden Gloves still puts on an entertaining-if smaller-time-show, explains SI senior writer Richard Hoffer in "Golden Oldie."

    • In "Sweet and Sauer," William Nack describes how there was no thrill like going to Wrigley to watch the original Hammerin' Hank (Sauer).

    The Poll: Illinoisians weigh in on their state's sports scene in a Harris Interactive poll that found these results:

      o Favorite major league baseball team..............Chicago Cubs (57%)
      o Favorite NFL team..............Chicago Bears (55%)
      o Favorite NBA team..............Chicago Bulls (52%)
      o Favorite NHL team..............Chicago Blackhawks (43%)
      o Favorite sport to play..............Baseball/softball (15%)
      o State's Biggest Rivalry..............Cubs-White Sox (43%)

    Enemy of the State: Brett Favre , Illinoisians left Steve Bartman off the list, instead targeting the nemesis of their beloved Bears. Respondents' most hated opponents: Favre's Packers (55%), the St. Louis Cardinals (13%) and the Yankees (4%).
    Greatest Moment - Editor's pick: June 14, 1998. Salt Lake City. Michael Jordan steals the ball from Karl Marlone, dribbles downcourt, then hits a jumper with 5.2 seconds left in Games 6 of the NBA Finals. The Chicago Bulls beat the Utah Jazz 87-86 and claim the league title for the sixth time in the last six full seasons in which Jordan has played for them. Michael's masterpiece is complete.
    Sportstown: Rockford earns Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary Sportstown honors for having Illinois' best community sports programs.

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 the National Recreation and Park Association, as well as The Toyota Presents Sports Illustrated's 50th Anniversary Tour that will travel to unique sports events and festivals 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; Best Buy , MassMutual Financial Group and Starter are program sponsors.

Contacts: Rick McCabe, SI;    (212) 522-1375 Julie Sprich, Edelman (212) 522-9511

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