Alabama SI Cover Tournament: Back to Work, Joe Namath! vs. Too Much Bama

Christopher Walsh

So, not all Sports Illustrated covers are alike. 

This second-round matchup in the Alabama Sports Illustrated Cover Tournament is a good example. 

On one side is the actor Joe Namath, standing with Ann Margaret while they worked on one of their many projects together.

On the other is Alabama's 21-0 victory over LSU in the 2011 national championship game, the only shutout in BCS or College Football Playoff history.

It's quite a contrast in the Namath Regional.

BamaCentral is holding a 48-field single-elimination tournament to determine the best Alabama Sports Illustrated cover.

Vote on Twitter (@BamaCentral) or Facebook (@AlabamaonSI). The voting goes 24 hours for each matchup and the result added to the original post on BamaCentral.

Second round

Joe Namath Regional

Game 22: Back to Work, Joe Namath! vs. Too Much Bama (2011 title)

Too Much Bama 

Alabama vs. LSU Sports Illustrated cover, Jan. 16, 2012, Too Much Bama

Story headline: Absolutely Alabama 

Subhead: In a defensive tour de force that featured just enough offensive punch (a touchdown, at last!), the Crimson Tide shut down LSU and left no doubt as to whom should be crowned national champion

Excerpt (by Austin Murphy): Alabama's 14th national championship, its second in three years, did more than remove the sting of that home loss to the Tigers on Nov. 5. The title was a balm and a gift to the thousands of residents of Alabama who lost property and loved ones in the tornadoes that ripped through the state on April 27. "This isn't a win just for us, but this is a win for Tuscaloosa and all of Alabama," said a teary Carson Tinker, the team's long snapper, who was with his girlfriend, Ashley Harrison, when she was swept up by a twister and thrown roughly 100 yards. Harrison died, her neck broken. "We've been through so much this year, and I'm at a loss for words to describe what I feel. Just happy."

BCS to the U.S.A.: You're welcome!

This, after all, was the matchup the entire nation clamored to see—with the exception of the roughly 80% of Americans who don't live in a state with an SEC school and don't affix, for instance, Bulldogs or Gators or Razorbacks magnets to their car doors. We've seen this movie before, went the thinking among non-SEC types, who pointed out that Alabama already had a crack at the Tigers and lost in the so-called Game of the Century, which was renamed upon its conclusion Field Goal Fest '11.

Among those eager for the rematch was SEC commissioner Mike Slive, who could rest assured, once the title game pairing was announced, that his conference was guaranteed its sixth straight national championship. (The bad news: An SEC team was now sure to lose in the title game for the first time in the 14-year history of the BCS.)

Back to Work, Joe Namath!

Joe Namath, Ann Margaret cover Sports Illustrated, Aug. 17, 1970

Story headline: A Game That Gets a Good Man Down

Subhead: None. It was a photo spread with 11 shots of Namath of moments he'd probably love to forget

Excerpt (by SI Staff): These are the shoes of Joe Namath, which are nice to be in if you are making Westerns in Rome with groovy little chicks (see cover), but not so nice if you are playing football against large, ill-tempered men, like the ones butting into the scenes on the following pages. These painful moments are from what one quarterback has called "the secondary nightmare"; the primary nightmare is interceptions. In each of these cases Namath has been racked up after throwing a pass—at right by the Chargers' Pete Barnes. There is little a quarterback can do at times like these except roll with the tackle; note his assailant's number so the blocking can be adjusted; brood about getting into a more soothing profession or, best yet, about hitting the owner up for more bread.


Too Much Bama def. Back to Work, Joe! 78.2-.21.8 percent