September 26, 2004

50 Years of Sports in America
The Way They Were
We've grown accustomed to their faces, but before they became icons, they were prodigies, beguiling us with their innocence ... and grit
Time Waits for No Sport
From crew cuts to cornrows, from Marilyn Monroe to Sheryl Crow, there have been no constants over the past 50 years--except for Arnie, who's still the King
The Way They Are
One look at these athletes at the moment their talent bloomed and you'll know how sweet it is to be a Can't-Miss Kid
Playing With the Prose
A quick trip through some of the best writing from 50 years of SI--in 60 words or less
In the Beginning ...
A new way to look at the creation of bigtime sports in America, with an assist from Michelangelo
Signs of the Apocalypse
We've been collecting these harbingers of doom for 11 years now, but that doesn't mean the end isn't coming
Really Good Sports
SPORTS FANS SAY Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player of the past 50 years (page 167); Marvin (Bad News) Barnes didn't get a single vote, but if you never saw him play a game--or show up late for one--you should feel cheated. The people saluted on the following pages are some of SI's favorite characters, not just for what they did but for how they did it: with humor, style and, in Marvin's case, in a full-length mink coat.
They Said It
Think of the people quoted here as the spiritual descendants of Yogi Berra, imparting precious pearls of wisdom
The Poll
But enough about SPORTS ILLUSTRATED--here's what sports fans think about the past 50 years
Looking Back
Instant replay has vastly enriched the lives of all sports fans, so why not bring it to the Swimsuit Issue? MARISSA MILLER re-creates 10 highlights from SI's most illustrious--and sometimes notorious--spin-off
Sports Illustrated Bonus Section: Golf Plus
Boy to Man U
Jonathan Spector, an 18-year-old from suburban Chicago, is the latest young Yank to hit it big in England
SI Players
Inside The NFL
Perfect Timing
Peyton Manning and the Colts made key plays in critical situations to knock off the AFC South rival Titans
Inside Baseball
Sosa Music
Sammy's slammin' again, and Cubs fans are dancin' in the aisles as their team fights for the NL wild card
Inside College Football
New Tigers
With Jason Campbell running a retooled offense, Auburn has taken control of the SEC West from LSU
Inside Boxing
Chopped Liver
Bernard Hopkins took his rightful place in the spotlight with a body blow that crumpled Oscar De La Hoya
Inside Golf
Euro Thrash
With toughness and togetherness, the breezy Europeans blew away the uptight U.S. to win the Ryder Cup
Leggin' It Out
He's 45, thick in the middle, and he'd rather be fishing. But Gary Anderson is back in the NFL--where a guy with a good foot will always be welcome