When Joe Marshall, who is both the editor of SI's Sports people section and the director of our news bureau, went on vacation last week, his minivan resembled Wild Kingdom on wheels. The Marshall family consists of Joe; his wife, Barbara; their four children, Seton, 13, Rebecca, 12, Ashley, 11, and Allison, 8; a 14-year-old mutt named Whiffle; two cats called Holly and Oakley; a pair of ferrets named Dusty and Rizzo; Conrad the rabbit; Max the parakeet; and Lilly the hermit crab.
Joe's cool marshaling of the family menagerie was further proof that he's the right man to coordinate the many elements of SPORTS PEOPLE, the profiles that make up the newest section of SI. SPORTS PEOPLE allows us to cover a wider assortment of sports and personalities than we have in the past. One such story was about Tommy Morrison, written after his 12-round victory over former heavyweight champion George Foreman (June 21). It wasn't a historic bout, but the SPORTS PEOPLE format allowed us to give readers an insight into the personality of an up-and-coming challenger.
Marshall's varied career has been good preparation for the demands of SPORTS PEOPLE. He joined SI in 1971 as a reporter and became a staff writer in '73. Two years later he left the magazine for 10 months to work for the ill-fated World Football League (the WFL was pronounced like the word whiffle, hence the name of the Marshall' dog). He returned to SI in '76 and was promoted to senior editor in '80. He later served as our director of photography and as editorial director of books. As director of SI's news bureau, Marshall oversees more than 700 correspondents from North America who supply information to SI's New York offices and also submit ideas for SPORTS PEOPLE. "We feature from three to five personalities every week," Marshall says. "So you need to have seven or eight in the works. It's fun having so many balls in the air at one time." Marshall's vacation was well-earned. He moved with most of his entourage from their house in Princeton, N.J., to their beach place on Fire Island, N.Y. It was a welcome respite for all. In recent weeks Seton survived an Outward Bound program on Chesapeake Bay; Ashley and Rebecca skated through an ice hockey camp in Canton, Mass.; and Allison got her kicks at a soccer camp in Princeton. Hmmm. They all sound ready for SPORTS PEOPLE.