Who's old school? Well, there's photographer Walter Iooss Jr., who has been shooting for SI since 1961 and has yet to convert to a digital camera. And then there are Brett Favre, Ray Lewis, Jerry Rice and the 10 other NFL stars whom Iooss photographed for this issue's portrait gallery. "I love the same guys everyone else loves," says Iooss, "the guys who play their absolute best under pressure." He gave his images a retro feel by shooting 8-by-10 Polaroids and then employing a process that produced a sepia effect, underlining the old-fashioned football values he saw in each of his subjects.
Far from the gridiron, SI senior writer Richard Hoffer examines the rarefied world of high-class yachting in his story on the America's Cup qualifying races taking place off the coast of New Zealand. Hoffer, who became seasick in his previous attempt to cover sailing, at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, changed his approach for his second go-around: He viewed the races from a helicopter. "It's only a little less nauseating," he says.
A Missouri native, Mark Bowden grew up hearing about the state's Turkey Day football rivalry between Kirkwood and Webster Groves High. Bowden's cousins attended Webster Groves, and one of his uncles, Gale Keane, is in the school's Hall of Fame. "I always envied my cousins who lived in Webster," says Bowden, 51, who moved away as a toddler and now lives in New London, Pa. "And I wished I was a Keane so I could live there too."
For the fourth installment of our series on high school sports Bowden attended the game for the first time—six family members in tow—and wrote about the rivalry's importance to the two towns. Bowden, a columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, is the author of several books, including Black Hawk Down and Bringing the Heat, a book about the 1992 season of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Ardent fan Alec Wilkinson, who chronicles Mark Messier's long, strange trip through professional hockey, says that meeting the New York Rangers veteran evoked an unexpected association: "The only other person I had known who was full of the kind of vitality Messier has was Jerry Garcia." Wilkinson, a writer at The New Yorker for 22 years, has followed Messier's career since the late 1980s.