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50 STATE-SPECIFIC WEEKLY SECTIONS
Montanans Pick Ryan Leaf as Enemy of the State in Harris Interactive Poll
New York, NY, May 4, 2004 - This week's SPORTS ILLUSTRATED highlights the sports scene in the state of Montana, marking the 42nd of 50 state-specific sections to be published in the magazine as part of SI's yearlong 50th Anniversary celebration.'
Identifying the semipro Rocky Mountain Football League as a sporting activity unique to the state, the six-page feature also includes an accompanying essay by Montana author Bryan Di Salvatore , 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 Montana edition begins hitting newsstands on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 . Newsstand copies in Montana will feature a cover-flap identifying the special state section.
Highlights from the special section include:
• In "Open Range," Bryan Di Salvatore explains why golf in Montana is for the most part a deliriously uncomplicated affair where lines for tee times are unheard of.
• The Poll: Montanans weigh in on their state's sports scene in a Harris Interactive poll that found these results:
o Favorite NFL team................Denver Broncos (17%)
o Favorite NBA team................Los Angeles Lakers (20%)
o State's biggest rivalry................Montana - Montana State (73%)
o State's biggest rival................Idaho (34%)
• Enemy of the State: Great Falls native and former San Diego Charger Ryan Leaf received 10% of this vote followed by George Steinbrenner (8%), Al Davis (7%) and Randy Moss (7%). Respondents' most hated opponents: Montana State (16%), the University of Idaho (16%) and the University of Montana (9%).
• Greatest Moment - Editor's pick: Eager to host a heavyweight title fight, residents of Shelby, MT erected a 40,208-seat stadium for the July 4, 1923 bout between champion Jack Dempsey and Tommy Gibbons. The fight put Shelby on the map, but backers of the fight lost so much money that four area banks had to close.
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: Allison Keane, SI (212) 522-5542; Stephan Pechdimaldji, SI (212) 522-7644