Sports Illustrated came two days late this week.
I don’t mind terribly. It’s the NFL preview. Clearly, this issue is jam packed with information. If the good people over at Sports Illustrated need to take a couple of extra days to complete the NFL preview issue, then I’m more than happy to wait for it.
So, when it finally did arrive on Friday, I wasn’t surprised by how much thicker than usual the magazine was. Upon further inspection, however, it turned out that was false heft. The middle of the magazine contained a massive fold out DirectTV ad. That’s blatant misdirection. It’s the magazine equivalent of a middle school girl stuffing her bra. Come on, Sports Illustrated, there’s no reason to do that. Everyone grows at their own pace. You’re pretty in your own way. (I think I may have gone off in the wrong direction there.)
Not only did this ad fool me, but it affected how I consumed the articles. It made it harder to fold the magazine over. When I did, I lost the last word on every line. The only way to read it comfortably was to lay it down on the table in front of me. I don’t know how you decorate your house, but I do not keep a table in front of my toilet.
While we’re on the topic, here are some other things that annoy me about magazines.
–Centerfolds: Not naked lady pictures. I am a big fan of naked lady pictures (Though not as much since they invented the internet, where the naked ladies move around and do other things.) I am talking about the actual folded over pages that are sometimes included in magazines. Sports Illustrated does this a lot, usually with graphs or when they predict the NCAA tournament every March. But, once you unfold a centerfold once, it never folds back correctly again. It sticks out or gets bent and looks sloppy.
–Loose Staples: You usually know within a few seconds if your magazine has a lose staple. Every time you turn the page you feel it. All your hoping for is that you can finish the infected article before the page comes loose and the integrity of your reading experience is forever altered.
-Damaged Cover: The men and women of the United States Postal Service generally do a fantastic job. But every now and again, a magazine shows up in the mailbox with a torn, bent or wet cover. And when that happens, the entire experience is shot. They say visual presentation makes up 28% of the dining experience (I just made that up. It’s based on nothing. Absolute and complete nonsense.) Magazines are the same way. The articles may be fantastic, but if I can’t be drawn in by the cover, I’m not going to enjoy it as much.
And here’s another thing that has nothing to do with magazines at all but does involve advertising. What’s up with those Geico/ESPN fantasy football ads with the caveman calling his scouts in Europe to help him draft? It’s football. Why would his scouts be in Europe?
Anyway, I’m done judging this book by it’s cover. Let’s judge it by what’s inside instead.
Sports Illustrated: September 6, 2010
I commend Sports Illustrated for doing something different this week. Publishing this scene from the upcoming “Lombardi” musical is certainly a change of pace.
That being said, man, musical theatre makes me feel gay. Just hearing the way those people sing makes me uncomfortable. Why do they emote so much? I watched the Emmys last week (why isn’t it Emmies?) the opening number was a musical theatre version of Born to Run. It’s entirely possible that you are under the impression that I would have really enjoyed that. After all, it’s Springsteen. Well, I couldn’t have hated it more. It took a great rock song and wrapped it in affectation and a decorative scarf.
Playing For Time by Peter King
I worked a couple of early shifts this week. I was up at 5 and at my desk at work by 7:30 on both Friday and Saturday. Why am I telling you this? Well, I fell asleep twice while trying to read this article. “Football is a fast game.” There, Mr. King, I just did it in 5 words. You took 5 pages to say the same thing, except you packed it with awesome statistics like average throw time and football terminology like “A gap.”
Chicago’s Leap Of Faith by Damon Hack
First off, Damon Hack is one of the great sportswriter names in history. He was born for this job. As far as the profile of Julius Peppers, I enjoyed it. I was under the impression that Peppers was an angry guy with a terrible attitude. This piece went pretty far in reversing that impression. I will root for him to succeed.
Making The Snap Decisions by Phil Taylor
I’m not sure where I stand on the decision to write about Mark Sanchez. Do we crave more information about him because we see him every week on Hard Knocks or do is this redundant because there’s nothing left to know?
On it’s own merits, this is a pretty pedestrian profile of Sanchez. It paints him as a pretty typical NFL archetype, “young QB struggling to take the next step.” Will he make it? I don’t know.
I’m not going to go through each individual team preview. That would be crazy, and computer issues have me writing this on my iPhone anyway. But I will take a moment to point out the absurdity of predicting a final score for a game that won’t be played for another 6 months. Peter King is certainly qualified to predict who will make the playoffs and who will advance. He’s qualified to predict a Steelers/ Packers Superbowl. But a score? That’s too much.
I like the way each scouting report is formatted. The main article answers each teams big question. The insets profile a key player. The schedules are analyzed and broken down thoroughly. My favorite part of every SI season preview is the list of each team’s starters. This year they’ve changed it a bit, listing both the offense and defense horizontally instead of on a graph like they have in the past. The information is the same, but for some reason, I’m not loving it as much as usual.
Point After by Selena Roberts
The NFL wants to expand to 18 game seasons. The players don’t want it. The fans don’t want it. Selena Roberts helps make our case by pointing out the human toll football takes on the players. It’s a good column.