This Week’s Sports Illustrated: 2014 NFL Draft Preview features Johnny Manziel, The Trouble with Running Backs, Mock Draft, and the Four Most Sought After Skill Sets for 2014

Johnny Manziel_5.5The May 5th issue of Sports Illustrated @SInow – on newsstands NOW features a 10-plus page section of the 2014 NFL Draft Preview with Texas A&M’s quarterback Johnny Manziel on the cover. This is Manziel’s first SI cover.

The 2014 NFL Draft Preview answers every question a fan could have about the upcoming draft with a specific focus on Manziel’s future in the NFL. In order to inform his feature, The MMQB’s Peter King watched Manziel’s games with five of the best quarterback evaluators in the business, Doug Flutie, Rich Gannon, Mike Holgrem, Kevin Gilbride and David Cutcliffe. In the article, they each bring their own level of expertise to Manziel’s evaluation. The feature examines Manziel’s accuracy, footwork, mechanics, improvisation, situational awareness, anticipation, shotgun and the opposition. Each evaluator offers his own opinion on the lightening rod quarterback but in the end all agreed he has an “innate ability to create and do some very unorthodox stuff.” (Page 47)

Scouts are calling 2014 will be the deepest draft in NFL history so SI’s Chris Burke’s “Mock Draft” has projections all the way through round 2. Burke includes the top 64 players and breaks them down by those he believes will be instant starters, value picks, trade baits, stretch, off-field risk and sinkers. His first pick prediction? The Texans will take Jadeveon Clowney, the defensive end out of South Carolina. To round out the top 5 picks Burke predicts:

Number 2: the Rams will take Jake Matthews, the tackle out of Texas A&M

Number 3: the Jaguars will take Khalil Mack, the outside LB from Buffalo

Number 4: the Browns will take Johnny Manziel, the quarterback from Texas A&M

Number 5:  the Raiders will take Sammy Watkins, the wide receiver from Clemson

Also included in the NFL Draft Preview, SI’s Doug Farrar analyzes the four skill sets of crucial importance in 2014 which include: a mobile franchise quarterback (think Andrew Luck of the Colts), three-down linebacker (think NaVorro Bowman of the 49ers), shutdown press cornerback (think Richard Sherman of the Seahawks) and coverage safety (think Earl Thomas of the Seahawks).



**Download a high res version of the Manziel cover here 

This Week’s Sports Illustrated: Mad Max’s $144 Million Bet  


NEW YOR17COVv12_PromoK, NY (April 23, 2014) The 2013 Al Cy Young winner, Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers is on the cover of  this week’s Sports Illustrated @SINow –  on newsstands NOW.  On his way to becoming another starting pitcher to sign a nine-figure contract, Scherzer is in complete control both on and off the field. This is Scherzer’s first SI cover.

SI’s Albert Chen examines why Scherzer declined the dramatic $144 million offer in the off-season in the feature, “Mad Max.” States Chen: “Max Scherzer is a really smart guy, so what does he know that we don’t?” (Page 29)

Also in this week’s issue, SI’s Andy Staples’ feature titled, “A Cut Above” he predicts Sammy Watkins will be the first receiver off the board at the NFL draft next month. Although many would argue Watkins slipped from an All-American freshman at Clemson to sophomore whose season was anti-climatic, Staples discusses why Watkins is one to watch.

Additionally in a special report titled, “If You Give a Mouse a Concussion,” The MMQB’s Robert Klemko discusses how a brilliant intern at an NIH lab in Maryland stumbled upon a groundbreaking way to observe the brains of concussed mice in real time. Now, that mistake has helped to transform the approach to understanding how the brain reacts to mild traumatic injury and pointing the way to possible treatment.Writes Klemko: “Roth’s paper reported, among other findings, that passing an antioxidant through the skull immediately after a concussion reduced brain tissue damage by nearly 70%.” (Page 42)



This Week’s Sports Illustrated: Boston Strong Issue Features a Cover of 3,000 Strong and a Look Back in “One Year Later”


16COVpromoNEW YORK, NY (April 16, 2014) On April 12th, 2014 more than 3,000 enthusiastic Bostonians came together on the Boston Marathon finish line to show their “Boston Strong” for the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated@SINow –  on newsstands NOW. Users can go to to find themselves on the interactive cover photo.

This week’s bonus feature from SI Senior Writer Scott Price,  “Start at the Finish” focuses on the marathon and examines the lives of more than 15 people who were affected by the bombing, all of whom bring a different perspective to the race. He writes, “The Boston Marathon can’t help but regenerate itself. It will always be new because there’s something about its history and civic fervor, its oddly attractive personal toll, even its most catastrophic moment, that makes converts of us all.” (Page 69) Also part of this week’s Boston package is “The Point After” written by David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox. His firsthand account explains how proud he is of the city and its citizens, and how incredible the recovery process has been in the last 12 months. Says Ortiz: “If I had to make a speech this year on Patriots’ Day, I’d say, ‘God continue to bless America.’ Because even though it began with so much pain and tragedy, the last 12 months have been a blessing.” (Page 70)

Of the cover phSI_20140421_Boston-spreadoto, SI’s Director of Photography Brad Smith said, “A year later, Boston has shown the strength to carry on. I’m proud that Sports Illustrated was able to contribute, in a small way, to that process with this cover. You can see in the faces of the people of Boston, how far they’ve come, together as a city.”(Pictured left is the opening picture of the article)

Additionally, SI’s Lee Jenkins’ NBA Playoff Preview features an article on Chicago Bulls Joakim Noah’s passion and his responsibility as not just a grinder but a performer, and seeks to answer three major questions: “More realistic title contender: Rockets or Clippers?” “Which East team will crash the conference finals?” and “Who will be the breakout player of the playoffs?” This week’s NHL Playoff Preview by SI’s Brian Cazeneuve highlights 43 year-old Teemu Selanne’s career and includes “Power Rankings” of the eastern and western conferences.



**Download a high res version of the Boston Strong cover here; download the wide shot found on page 52 here






Corner of Boylston and Dartmouth to be closed to traffic for the Production Scheduled FOR SATURDAY, April 12, 7:00 a.m.

NEW YORK, NY (April 9, 2014) Sports Illustrated @SINow invites Bostonians to be part of an historic cover photo shoot featuring Boston Strong. The production is scheduled for Saturday, April 12th, 7:00am, at the corner of Boylston and Dartmouth … the finish line of the 2014 Boston Marathon. Sports Illustrated will make this shoot the cover of its next issue which hits newsstands April 16. Fans are asked to wear their Boston gear and join Mayor Marty Walsh, city first responders, neighbors and friends for this celebration of resiliency and pride one year after the marathon bombing.

Said SI Managing Editor Chris Stone: “Boston Strong is a story about people, ordinary people doing extraordinary things, ordinary people doing ordinary things. SI’s creative director, Chris Hercik, believed the best way to tell this story a year later was to bring all those people, or as many aspossible, into a single photo at the finish line. If you look at last year’s cover photo, you see all that empty space all the way down Boylston Street filled by smoke and that backdrop of chaos and destruction. This year’s photo fills those spaces with the Bostonians who wrote the Boston Strong story.”

WHO: Sports Illustrated Productions, Mayor Walsh and fellow Bostonians show their civic pride

WHAT:Sports Illustrated will host a photo shoot for the cover of the April 21st issue in honor of Boston Strong

WHEN: Saturday, April 12th   
Call Time: 7:00am

WHERE: Boston Marathon Finish Line
Boylston and Dartmouth Street
Boston, MA 02116

** Photo shoot opportunity**

This week’s Sports Illustrated: UCONN’s Shabazz Napier on the cover

On 15covV14_PromoMonday night, the UConn Huskies defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 60-54 to win the school’s fourth national championship. It was the end of a remarkable and improbable run for the Huskies, which were a No. 7 seed coming into the NCAA tournament and had to defeat the Nos. 2 (Villanova), 3 (Iowa State) and 4 (Michigan State) seeds in the East regional. In the national semifinal, they defeated the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, the Florida Gators, before taking down the Gators’ SEC rivals for the title.


Shabazz Napier, who was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, averaged 26.2 points per game in the Huskies’ six-game stretch. For Napier, the title was a bookend of his freshman year national championship, in which the team was carried primarily by Kemba Walker.


In the cover story, senior writer Michael Rosenberg describes UConn’s journey “from the brink of the abyss to a fourth national title.” Indeed, the Huskies were not even eligible for last year’s tournament due to poor academic standing. But behind second-year coach Kevin Ollie, the Huskies are back on top of the college basketball world and on the cover of Sports Illustrated again this week.


Download a hi res version of this week’s cover here


This Week’s Sports Illustrated: The 2014 Final Four Preview Features Stories of Last Chance Redemption, Frank the Tank and more

This week’s April 7, 2014 issue of Sports Illustrated @SInow features the 2014 Final Four Preview with one national, Kentucky, and one regional cover, Wisconsin, from the Elite 8 games; Kentucky’s Aaron Harrison’s pivotal game winning shot (with twin brother Andrew Harrison in the background), and Wisconsin’s Josh Gasser and Frank Kaminsky celebrating their win over top seeded Arizona. This marks the 16th cover for the Kentucky Wildcats basketball and the second for the Wisconsin Badgers basketball.

The 10 page section of the Final Four Preview features: “Fresh Start,” a look at Kentucky’s road to the Final Four; “Redemption,” a feature on Florida’s Scottie Wilbekin’s comeback after a career threatening suspension; “A Soft Side,” a piece on UConn’s Shabazz Napier’s significant choice in becoming one with his team; “Tanking,” a look into Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky’s own way of doing things; and SI’s “Scouts’ Takes”; a look into each team’s strengths and weapons.

Among the features:

SI’s Luke Winn takes a closer look into Julius Randle, the 6’9” power forward from Dallas Texas and the Wildcats’ long journey to the Final Four. After speaking with Winn, Carolyn Kyles, Randle’s mother, notes it was the third round victory against Wichita State, in which Randle tallied 13 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists that her son was back in action. She said: “That game is when I could see all the joy come back in his eyes.” (Page 38)

Also featured, twenty-five years later, SI’s Michael Rosenberg takes a look back to Seton Hall’s heartbreaking loss in the men’s 1989 NCAA Finals against Michigan. Rosenberg spoke with head coach P.J. Carlesimo and Ramon Ramos, the 6’8”center star who was critically injured years later in a near death auto accident. Rosenberg writes, “Ramos remembers beating Duke in the Final Four. He remembers Michigan point guard Rumeal Robinson sinking the winning free throws in the final after referee John Clougherty called one of the most second-guessed fouls in college basketball history.” (Page 56) He does not remember much about the 25 years since.



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This Week’s Sports Illustrated: 2014 Baseball Preview Features “The Hardest Things to Find” (Ace Pitchers, Two-way Catchers, Righthanded Sluggers and more)

Washington Nationals will defeat the Oakland A’s in this year’s World Series. That’s the prediction from Sports Illustrated @SInow in the March 31, 2014 issue of the magazine on newsstands NOW. The issue features an extensive 60-plus-page section of the 2014 Baseball Preview with four regional covers with the following cover subjects: Seattle Mariners’ Robinson Cano, New York Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka, Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout and St. Louis Cardinals’ Yadier Molina. This marks the first cover for Robinson Cano, first for Masahiro Tanaka, second for Mike Trout and first for Yadier Molina.

The 2014 Baseball Preview answers every question a fan could have about the upcoming season and focuses on “The Hardest Things to Find” in baseball, featuring: “Precious Mettle,” an extensive piece on the ready-made ace Tanaka, by SI’s Tom Verducci; “The Power Gap,” a look into how Trout has become one of the select few righthanded sluggers in the game, also by SI’s Tom Verducci; “The Cano Show,” how will Jay-Z’s first client fare after signing a megadeal with a franchise fighting to stay relevant?; The “Molina Way,” a feature that examines why Molina is a lethal force with his glove and his bat; “Long Story Short,” a preview of the top five short stops to watch in light of Derek Jeter’s final season; “Béisbol Prospectus,” a feature that explores the vibrant Cuban subculture in clubhouses around the majors; “Advance Report,” what to watch for in 2014 and “Scouting Reports,” a look into every team in the league featuring “Behind Enemy Lines,” how rival scouts size up each team.

 Interesting Facts:

  • In 2012 the Mariner’s Safeco Field ranked last among AL ballparks in home runs (116). Last year it was fifth (170). All but one of Cano’s 27 homeruns in 2013 would have left the Safeco yard.
  • If Jeter plays 100 games, gets 110 hits and scores 60 runs this season he’ll be ranked #2 in games played at shortstop, #7 in hits, and #10 in runs.
  • Manny Machado made 710 plate appearances in his age-20 season; that was the most playing time by anyone that young since 1962.
  • In one stretch of five starts in 2009, Tanaka threw 124, 137, 142, 125 and 137 pitches. The Angels ace Jered Weaver hasn’t thrown 124 pitches in a game that many times in his entire eight-year career, covering 231 starts.
  • Since Hideo Nomo’s arrival in 1995, seven Japanese-born pitchers have made at least 80 starts in the majors. After initial success, five of them saw severe performance drops after two seasons on this side of the Pacific.
  • Koji Uehara of the Boston Red Sox posted a 1.09 ERA, allowing 33 hits in 74 1/3 innings, striking out 38% of the batters he faced and walking just seven men unintentionally. The lesson here? Don’t over commit to one pitcher in the closer role.

 From “Behind Enemy Lines,” rival scouts size up the team:

  • Of the A’s: “The bullpen is sick and gives them the best overall staff in the American League.”
  • Of the Tigers: “Miguel Cabrera is the best on the planet. Why is he so good? Because God likes baseball. You can’t teach what Cabrera does.”
  • Of the Rangers: “I truly believe Adrian Beltre will be a Hall of Famer. Best third baseman in the game—not even close.”
  • Of the Orioles: “Kevin Gausman is not tapping on the door, he’s knocking it down. He’s just like Stephen Strasburg; a fast-track college pitcher who knows how to pitch.”
  • Of the White Sox: “If Chris Sale were on a better team and not in a launching pad of a ballpark, he’d win a Cy Young.”
  • Of the White Sox: “[Yasiel] Puig is such a freak – if he grew up in the U.S. he’d be the best running back in the country.”


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