Some sports stories happen as fast as a knockout punch. Others take longer. One of these, which SPORTS ILLUSTRATED will be telling some six months from now, has been 25 years in the making.
It's the story of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S second annual Silver Anniversary All-America.
The idea for a Silver Anniversary All-America occurred last year to Herman Hickman, then 25 years out of college, when he wondered how the thousands like himself who as seniors had earned their varsity letters in football had fared in the years between. He could not avoid the feeling that many, perhaps most, had gone on to greater success in other fields than they had already achieved on football fields. From this came the Silver Anniversary All-America, with which SPORTS ILLUSTRATED last year honored senior letter-men of the 1931 season, not first for their youthful prowess as athletes but foremost for their mature accomplishments as businessmen, clergymen, doctors, diplomats and members of the military—or, to put it simply, as members of society. Reaction to the establishment of the awards was everywhere favorable, throughout the world of sport, among the colleges and universities who made the nominations and on the part of the two dozen judges—men like Harlow Curtice, Benson Ford and Thomas J. Watson, Jr. and Generals Bradley and Ridgway—who gave their time and thought to naming the winners. One judge, J. Edgar Hoover, added this note when he submitted his selections. It states clearly, I think, a most important and appealing element of the Silver Anniversary All-America. "I have gained," wrote Mr. Hoover, "an even deeper understanding of the role of sports in developing good citizens."
This year it is the turn of the football lettermen of the fall of 1932. Recently Managing Editor Sidney L. James sent invitations for nominations to nearly 250 collegiate institutions. Almost all have indicated their desire to participate. Between now and October 1, the deadline for nominations, they will be reviewing their files and canvassing their alumni. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED will announce the final choices of the judges—the 25 men who this year will receive the silver goal posts you see here—when the football season is over.
June 30, 1957
It will be once again, I am sure, a story well worth the 25-year wait.