With the Chicago Cubs on the verge of their first playoff appearance since 2008, the team is featured on a regional cover of Sports Illustrated this week with an essay by Rich Cohen.
An unusual aura surrounds Wrigley Field this summer: optimism. The Cubs (72-51) have the fourth-best record in the majors and hold a 6 1/2-game lead over the San Francisco Giants in the wild card race. Chicago's NL Central rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates, are the only NL teams with better records than the Cubs.
The Cubs were swept in the NLDS in 2007 and 2008, meaning they haven’t won a postseason game since before the infamous 2003 Steve Bartman incident in Game 6 of the NLCS. But inside a revamped Wrigley Field, the Cubs have given their fans reason to hope for the first time in years.
Also in this issue are stories about Serena Williams' quest for tennis history, Seth Curry's journey to the NBA, Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave's rebound, the PGA Tour's class of 2011, and Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's potential.
All subscribers and newsstands in Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Eastern Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, North and South Dakota will receive the Chicago Cubs regional cover, while all other locations will receive the national Serena Williams cover.