Calling All Sports Fans: Trivia, Statistics and Fun Facts Revealed in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: THE COVERS, a Compilation of the Magazine's Iconic Covers



Oct 12, 2010, 09:00 ET from SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

NEW YORK, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- In SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: THE COVERS, the newest must-have collectors' item from the editors of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED that goes on sale today, sports enthusiasts discover that Michael Jordan tops the list for the number of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED covers of all time. Jordan appeared on the cover 49 times, followed by Muhammad Ali (38), Magic Johnson (23), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (22), Jack Nicklaus (22), and Tiger Woods (19).

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The New York Yankees top the list for the most appearances by team (70), followed by the Los Angeles Lakers (64), Dallas Cowboys (46), Boston Red Sox (45), Chicago Bulls (44) and Boston Celtics (42).

These statistics and many more are part of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: THE COVERS (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Books; October 12, 2010; $29.95). This 208-page collection highlights every single SPORTS ILLUSTRATED cover, showcasing the magazine's historical and iconic covers in chronological order, starting with the first issue (Aug. 16, 1954) and going through mid-May 2010. Divided and organized by decade, this index is further supplemented by chapter introductions written by the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED editor most closely associated with each 10-year block. An introduction by current SPORTS ILLUSTRATED editor Terry McDonell and a deep statistical analysis of cover subjects and themes complete this tour through the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's historical covers.

Featured statistics include:

  • No Sport Left Behind – Football graced 748 covers, and hockey 74. Forty-four covers were devoted to horse racing, 5 to dog shows, 3 to bridge, and even 2 to parachuting.
  • How Colleges Rank – With 34 covers, Oklahoma is No. 1 with the most covers of any school in all sports combined (regional editions included). Notre Dame and UCLA follow with 29 covers.
  • Swimsuit Top Seller – The 1989 25th anniversary Swimsuit issue, featuring Kathy Ireland in Baja, Mexico, remains the top-selling Swimsuit issue ever – 5.1 million copies sold.
  • Most Glaring OmissionAnnika Sorenstam won 72 LPGA tour events and 10 major championships, was an eight-time Solheim Cup team member and women's player of the year. Number of SI covers: 0.
  • Ascent of Manning – Other fathers and sons have been on SI's cover, but no family can match the Manning's with three members who have shared that honor, a total of 13 times.
  • What Were We Thinking – When you create almost 3,000 covers, there are bound to be a few clunkers. Dennis Rodman with a rare bird, Charles Barkley clad in chains, and George Steinbrenner dressed as Napoleon are a few examples that the editors might like to have done over.

For the past 55 years, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED covers have depicted the greatest teams and athletes of their generation as well as the most memorable moments in sports. Often it has been an appearance on the cover that has cemented a player's reputation or catapulted him or her into legendary status. From the memorable shot of the U.S. hockey team following the Miracle on Ice to Michael Phelps proudly wearing his eight gold medals from the Beijing Olympics, the SI cover is where the sports world gathers to see its fastest, strongest and greatest athletes, where arrivals are announced and greatness is acknowledged. Simultaneously, the weekly cover has become one of the most talked-about news items in the sports world, eliciting shock almost as often as it announces athletic greatness. And of course, no conversation about the most notable cover in sports is complete without a mention of the legendary SI jinx.

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's covers have inspired keen interest, bordering on obsession, ever since the magazine's launch in 1954. A must-have collector's item, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: THE COVERS is the ideal gift for all sports fans, history buffs, and pop culture enthusiasts.  For more information, please visit