Three months ago an e-mail from Marv Fleming, a tight end on the '72 Dolphins, landed in the inbox of senior editor Larry Burke, coordinator of SI's three annual Where Are They Now issues. Fleming was lobbying for a story about his team on the 30th anniversary of pro football's only perfect season. Burke found Fleming's suggestion—followed by his teammates' phone numbers—intriguing and set the story in motion. "They have a singular claim to greatness," Burke says, "but they feel that they have not gotten the respect they deserve."
Not all of our annual paean to the past fell into our hands. Burke deployed reporters Albert Chen, Pete McEntegart and Kristin Green Morse to track down former stars. Deputy art director Linda Root supervised the design of 52 pages, while deputy picture editor Maureen Grise dispatched 40 photographers. Grise showed her knack for cutting red tape by securing the helicopter and airplane permits needed to photograph the former stadium sites on pages 98-103. "It's not every day I get to talk to Oscar Robertson, Zola Budd and the FAA," she says.
Walter Iooss Jr.
Iooss has been an SI staff photographer since 1961. His portraits of Oscar Robertson and Paul Hornung (pages 78 and 118), seen with his shots from a generation ago, delicately trace his own career as well as his subjects'.
Montville (Farewell, Teddy Ballgame, page 44) was an SI senior writer from '89 to 2001. He is the author of At the Altar of Speed: The Fast Life and Tragic Death of Dale Earnhardt, Sr. A New England native, Montville has nurtured a lifelong fascination with Ted Williams, whose biography he is currently writing.
O'Rourke (Electoral Dysfunction, page 29) has leaped nimbly from The Atlantic Monthly and other journals of political opinion to make his SI debut. The author of Parliament of Whores and numerous other books, O'Rourke pondered sports and politics and found the latter at least one branch lower on the evolutionary tree.