Its about that time again.
My SI subscription is set to run out next month. Obviously, I’m going to renew. But, as is the case with everything else in my life, I’m being lazyÂ about it.
Sports Illustrated doesn’t know that. They’re probably worried that I may be on the verge of cutting our relationship off after two decades. After all, I can read it for free online.
As a result, the good people at Time, Inc are trying to entice me to stay into the fold with the offer of free gifts. It’s a trap I’ve fallen into before, but it’s not a mistake I plan on making again.
When I was a kid, Sports Illustrated offered cool stuff like football phones and sneaker phones and posters. That is no longer the case. Here’s a list of free gifts I’ve recieved in the past:
1. Long Sleeve T-Shirt: I’m by no means a small person. But I’m not unusually large either. I’m around 6’1″ or 6’2″ and I weigh around 240 lbs. I don’t shop at big and tall shops nor do I struggle to fit into clothes from namebrand stores. Yet, for some reason, a size XL Sports Illustrated long sleeve t-shirt makes me look like I’m trying to squeeze into a child size shirt. The sleeves barely reach my wrists and he neck is so tight I feel like I’m being choked. If the shirt arrived on a Tuesday, it had been relegated to the pajama draw by Wednesday.
2. Sports Illustrated Fleece Jacket: Again, there are issues with the sleeves being too short. Luckily, the sleeves have elastic in them so I can stretch them out a little bit. I like the fact that the heather grey fleece jacket has a full zipper, which eliminates a lot of the tightness issues. At least I did like that until I tried to unzip it one day. And the pully-y part of the zipper snapped off in my hand. I WAS A PRISONER IN COMFY FLEECE.Â I nearly dislocated my shoulder trying to slip it off over my head.
3. Sports Illustrated Gym Bag: The picture makes this look like a very nice bag, suitable for trips to the gym or overnight travel. In reality, this bag is barely large enough to hold a pair of sneakers. It’s a glorified toiletry bag. Unless there’s an entire community of Sports Illustrated readers who exercise barefoot in nothing but tiny shorts, this is not a useful item
4. The Football Book: It’s a coffee table book full of pictures of Jim Brown. I’ve never really understood the point of coffee table books anyway. After you look at the pictures once, what’s the point of looking again? It’s not going to change. But at least pictures of art or foreign lands or exotic animals show people you have some level of sophistication. What does a picture of Dick Butkus shooting snot rockets tell visitors about you?
5. Sports Illustrated Travel Alarm Clock: It’s small and fragile so if you actually decide to travel with it, the clock will break in your bag before you reach your destination. It’s not backlit, so you can’t see it with the lights off.
So, this time, Sports Illustrated, I will pass on the bonus items. A lack of clutter in my closets and garbage can is gift enough.
What’s the quickest way to get me to skip a Sports Illustrated column? Write about steroids. What else can be said at this point? And yet, for a fleeting moment, I actually thought this would be different. Here’s how David Epstein starts his piece:
Are you one of Radomski’s people?” the man screamed at me. Minutes earlier I had been knocking on his door. That was just before he chased me away and followed me in his car and then ran me off the road. Now he was at the window of my rental, the front tires of which were up on the sidewalk. “Are you here for Radomski?”
It’s like an action movie! I was sucked in.
That feeling didn’t last. It quickly devolved into yet another profile of the latest in a myriad list of pathetic losers who got involved with steroids as a way to ingratiate themselves to professional athletes, who invariably use and them forget about them.
Moving on, we come to Dan Patrick’s weekly athlete kiss up and bad joke hour. This week’s subject, Perennial Nobel Peace Prize nominee Ray Lewis.Â On Wednesday, I got an email from John (go read 200 Miles from The Citi.)
Did you read any of SI yet? Â Ray Lewis with Dan Patrick, criticizing Rex Ryan for cursing??? Â Whoa, Ray. Â Whoa. Â It’s quotes like that where I anxiously anticipate Sh*t Justin Says.
Sh*t Justin Says is a game John plays while reading the magazine every week. He likes to predict what I will react to and then compare his impressions with what I actually write. This one was a slam dunk. Let’s read the exchange.
DP: Did you have a problem with Rex Ryan’s language when he was the Ravens’ defensive coordinator?
RL: With his language?
DP: Yeah, f bombs.
RL: Man, Rex is Rex. His personality is wide open.
DP: Tony Dungy took issue with it. I asked him if he’d hire someone who swore like Rex, and he said no.
RL: Rex is who he is, and Tony definitely has his opinion about things, with the life he lives. I’m kind of the same way: If a man is cursing at another man, then I truly look at that as a problem, no matter what your job title.