Like the athletes they cover, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S writers and photographers rely on teamwork to do their jobs, discussing the tone and direction of a story when they receive an assignment and often collaborating when an interview and photo shoot overlap. "Photo guys tend to be looser and more relaxed than writers, which can help our subjects open up in conversation," says senior writer S.L. Price, who worked alongside Al Tielemans last week to explore the seldom-seen personal side of new Notre Dame coach Tyrone Willingham (page 38). At the same time, says photographer David Klutho, "we look to writers for cues. The writers get to know about the qualities of a subject long before we do." Klutho's pictures of Jason Zuback's swing sequence accompany senior writer Austin Murphy's story on golf's big hitters (page 80). Klutho adds, "Because we can't edit a photo after it's taken, it's our job to know what the writer is thinking."
In the forthcoming My Losing Season ( Doubleday, October), the author (right) of such best-sellers as The Lords of Discipline, The Great Santini and The Prince of Tides writes about his stint as a point guard for The Citadel in the late '60s. By turns humorous and poignant, the memoir (excerpted on page 74) explores the ways identities are formed through sports. Through the account of his own struggles to grow as an athlete and a person, Conroy also brings insight to the pivotal and often destructive nature of parental influences.
Scheft, the columnist who brought "The Show" (page 29) to SI in July, also pens material on everything from politics to pets as the chief monologue writer for Late Show with David Letterman. But these days, says Scheft (left, with the talk-show host), not even Washington, D.C., can rival the sports world as a source for comic fodder. "Just when you think you've run out of jokes," he says, "a father and son jump a first base coach."