Last year, my sister-in-law decided to buy me a Sports Illustrated subscription as a gift.
It was a really nice gesture, and I was looking forward to it. I used to have a subscription when I was in high school, but back then, I wasn’t into many sports besides hockey. Now, I’m more I to basketball, football, tennis and other sporting events.
So in high school, I found it hard to enjoy each issue, as they overlooked hockey a lot.
But now that I’m into more sports, I thought I would really enjoy the magazine.
And while it was all right, there just seemed to be a lot lacking.
The biggest issue I had was that about half the issues came late. In a world where you can instant analysis on everything, getting something later than it should be was pretty annoying.
For example, I got the Superbowl preview issue on the Monday — the day after the Superbowl. Not much of a preview then, is it?
I received an issue that was talking about the Miami Heat taking a 2-1 series lead in the NBA finals a few days after the Heat had won the championship.
And so on.
Don’t get me wrong. Some of it was still enjoyable to read. But I found most of the stories didn’t give me any new information that I didn’t know from anywhere else. They weren’t different enough. Another article on Lebron? Sigh.
It was almost like a line from a Toby Keith song: “I ain’t as good as I once was, But I’m as good once as I ever was.”
And that was true. Some of the articles were great. But I glanced through a lot of them because they just weren’t appealing.
In my view, there are a couple of changes that SI could do that might do wonders for them.
1) Make a lot more feature-y articles. These are the more enjoyable ones to read, because they don’t have a expiration date on them. The issues that involve some sort of timing make the issue seem old pretty quickly (the Miami Heat story above is a good example).
2) Make the features on athletes we don’t hear about often. Skip the platitudes on Woods, Lebron, Brady and the others. Give me more about guys who don’t have a million articles written about them every week. They’re more refreshing to read.
And 3) Include more hockey stuff. The NHL is about to experience another lockout, but there’s hardly a mention. During the season, there are a few articles here and there, but they are spread out. Most issues, it’s a couple of pages under their “Inside the NHL” section.
As it stands now, it’ll probably be another 18 years before I get a subscription again.