Friday, November 4, 2011

The Sports That Sports Illustrated Used to Cover...

A fellow freelancer and I were talking last week about the subject of how great Sports Illustrated used to be.

Or I guess I should say how great we assume Sports Illustrated used to be, since of course neither of us (being young, hip dudes) were actually able to read back when SI was publishing hunting and fishing journalism from guys like Robert F. Jones. That SI was long since gone (or so I thought) by the time we came of age, replaced by, well, whatever it is that SI covers now. Sports, I guess.

But I didn't realize just how recently that metamorphosis had occurred until I was doing a little Google Fu on red setters (not Irish setters. Red setters. The former's a photogenic dustmop. The latter's a bird dog that has always intrigued me) and I stumbled across an SI article on that very subject. Even more amazing, it was from the Novermber 20, 1978 issue.

I would have thought that by that time SI would be basically the same publication it is today. I would have been basically wrong, because there it is. Whodathunk it. The SI Vault website is, by the way, completely searchable. Well worth the timesuck.

I sure wish Sports Illustrated still published those kinds of stories. Hell, I wish most hunting and fishing magazines still published those kinds of stories...

Incidentally, the picture above obviously isn't a red setter, it's a chessie, which was featured on the Nov. 30, 1959 cover of SI. I couldn't find anything out about him other than his owner's name was Kenneth Hand. Don't know if the dog actually ran in the 1959 National Field Trial Retriever Stakes (there were two chessies, according to the article) or if he was just a model. Good-lookin' dog, either way.


  1. Some people who wrote for SI on things we like:


    Bob Jones.

    Bil Gilbert, Tom McGuane, Jim Harrison, Russ Chatham, "Gatz" Hjortsberg, Dan Gerber, Mason Smith, Charles Gaines, William Humphrey...


    I am sure I forgot some.

    Most were under Patricia Ryan's editorship. She later had Rage of Falcons reviewed in PEOPLE.

  2. Steve I kinda figured you had written for SI but I haven't yet delved deep enough to find anything of yours. I'll keep looking...

  3. One a million years ago-1972? 74? Just front of the book, a piece musing on some odd falconry in Idaho.

    The other in an adventure special, ca ?- 2000? That one I still have-- Mongolian eagle falconry with nice Dave Edwards photos. I can look that one up.