Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sports Illustrated - Hidden Intellectualism

     In his essay,"Hidden Intellectualism," Gerald Graff has given reference to a number of sources which all attribute to different pop culture. besides sports illustrated he mentions Joe DiMaggio's Lucky to Be a Yankee, Bob Feller's Strikeout Story, Mill's On Liberty, Vogue , Source, Hamlet and Socrates' Apology.  He,[Graff], used these to solidify or prove his case on "street smarts" and "book smarts."
     Sports Illustrated, which I will simply refer to as SI in this writing, was started by Henry Robinson Luce who met with Briton Hadden and together they launched Time magazine building themselves a publishing empire. In the year, 1929, as his partner Hadden dies, Fortune is launched. Now alone, Luce launches the photo magazine Life in 1936. He continued by launching House and Home in 1952, but this is later sold to Mc Graw-Hill Publishing company inc. It was not until the 16th of August 1954 that the first issue of SI hit the newsstand.(The Birth of Sports Illustrated, 453)
     SI was different from other magazines because;
i) it aimed at the American middle class consumers and budding TV sports spectators, and
ii)it was the property of Luce media empire, guaranteed financial backing and time required to thrive. The magazine used library research material to make stories and articles more complete. James Michener explained in his book  Sports in America, "sports Illustrated has become the bible of the industry..."
     In 1960, a French  man named Andre Laguerce took over as SI managing editor. he hired two writers, Dan Jenkins and Frank Daford. These two had insights and analysis not found elsewhere. They made Mac Cambridge describe SI style of reporting as "not just reporting or covering an event but distilling it, capturing its essence and presenting it in a compressed, lyrical image of deadline literature and photojournalism."To top it up, Andre also hired two photographers, Neil Leifer and Walter Iooss, who later led in color photograph printing.
    The SI magazine focused on only four major traditional sports, baseball, football, basketball and hockey, for some time before introducing golf and tennis. As athletes appeared on the cover of SI, they became a cultural icon, proof of athletes legitimacy. In the first forty years, Muhammad Ali appeared thirty-two times while Michael Jordan appeared thirty times, (St James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture,487).
     The creation of ESPN and other round-the-clock media in 1980's made the SI original mission less compelling. Sports fans no longer depended on the magazine to explain issues on sports because it was all in the TV highlights and the internet.(488). In the 1990's, SI was well known for the writing and photography that had made it famous initially.
     The magazine SI, relates to the author's [Gerald Graff] point when he asserts that
                 "It's a good bet that is students get hooked on reading and writing by doing term papers on                             Source, they will eventually get to On Liberty. But even if they don't, the magazine reading will                     make them more literate and reflective than they would be otherwise."
This is echoed by the editing done by SI where it distilled and captured the essence and presenting it compressed, lyrical... SI continues to sharpen minds by the language used and issues presented.

                                                     Works Cited
Bevis, Charlie. "Sports Illustrated." St James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Ed. Sara Pendergast and                Tom Pendergast. Vol. 4. Detroit; St James Press, 2000. 487-488. Gale Virtual Reference                          Library. Web. 17 January,2014.

"The Birth of Sports Illustrated." American Decodes. Ed. Judith S. Baughanan, et al. Vol. 6: 1950-1959.                   Detroit; Gale, 200-453. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web, 17 January,2014.


  1. Not a bad post, Hellen, but how does it relate to Graff's point?

  2. Hello, Helen! It's a great information that you've provided us with. But I am sorry to say, the best way starting of your research would be giving the earliest information about the person you are talking about, for example how did he become famous, and through which obstacles he went through. Honestly, when I did my own research the reader wasn't able to draw he connection between Graf's point and my point. But we all make mistakes, and the most important part is to fix them in a right way :)