Originality can’t keep up with Kardashians, Bush

I’d say Kinko’s got their money’s worth on the guerilla marketing campaign:

Thanks to Adam Rose of the HuffPost for the tip.

$2 Million For This 10,000+ Signed S.I. Collection

That there? It’s not that impressive-looking on its own; it’s just a somewhat large bookcase with quite a few magazines. They just happen to be multiple copies of every single SPORTS ILLUSTRATED… and over 94% of them are signed. Signed by the people on the cover, we mean, not just by Scott Smith, the guy collecting them. That would be rude and destructive.

Scott Smith Signed Sports Illustrated Collection $2 Million

Furthermore, he’s putting the whole thing on sale. You’re probably going to want to cash in all the penny jars in the house for this one, though, because a collection that takes 27 years to compile and get autographed isn’t going to come on the cheap. $2 million? Oh, no no, much too much to ask. No sir. No way. $1,999,999? Now we’re talking!

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Stanford $$$ Flushed Down Coach’s $70K Toilet?

• While Stanford suffers through athletic budget problems, football coach Jim Harbaugh gets himself a new $70,000 private bathroom & shower.

Jim Harbaugh golden toilet

• The SEC is certainly a selfless b-ball conference. When the players aren’t giving up scholarships to allow other people onto the team, their coaches are giving up raises so they can afford team trips to Australia.

• UConn is taking the first steps to curtail catastrophic cheerleader injuries.

• Schools aren’t sold on Bud Light’s plans for college-colored Fan Cans.

• Are fantasy sports a nightmare for relationships & fan allegiances?

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What Happens When SI Takes Off The Swimsuit?

SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY, my first stop on the web every morning, has this handy chart of SI vs. ESPN THE MAG sales the past two years:

ESPN Mag Sales vs. SI: Wonder what they'd look like without swimsuit stats?

Wonder what those numbers would look like if you removed revenue from SI’s swimsuit issue - a copy that happens to be the highest-selling mag on the planet every year. I’m guessing the ad revenue for SPORTS content would be a lot closer to dead, flat even.

Which mag do you prefer:

View Results

I know the swimsuit issue probably does more in actual sales than ad rev, but still you have to believe that those numbers skew the comparison to the ESPN offering. Read more…

SI To Sue Universities… For Coaches’ Poll Ballots?

Give SPORTS ILLUSTRATED credit: they’ve got balls. For as much as a publication might be mindful of frivolous use of expensive things like, y’know, lawyers’ fees, the magazine is prepared to go to the courts to uncover a football program’s deepest, darkest secrets.

Hanging Chad
(”Does this say Connecticut at #3? Oh wait, this is basketball. No wonder Villanova’s also in the top 10.”)

No, this has nothing to do with recruiting, personnel files, or anything related to the day-to-day business of running an athletic department or college football team. No, SI’s target is, um, coaches’ poll ballots.

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New Bar Refaeli SI Swimsuit Pics Put Up on Twitter

Twitter really is a wonderful thing. If it’s not Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin uploading lovely photos of herself, it’s other ladies uploading photos of Larry Johnson buying big bottles of booze for buxom babes.

Bar Refaeli

And score another one for the social networking application, as we get to enjoy some new pics of Bar Refaeli & other beauties showing their stuff for next year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. You’ll recall that Refaeli was the cover girl for this year’s edition. And from what we can tell from this little preview, 2010 is going to be just as titillating.

(More pics after the jump? You better believe it.)

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Frank Deford Calls ESPN A ‘Journalistic Disgrace’

I pretty much picture all sports bloggers the same way — wearing footie pajamas at 2 in the afternoon, watching SportsCenter while finishing off the giant economy bag of FunYuns. (This includes me). Frank Deford, on the other hand, evokes very different images.

Frank Deford

Deford brings to mind dry martinis, suits with visible handkerchiefs, wood-paneled hotel lounges, William Holden in “Sabrina,” private boxes at the dog track, a Rolls Royce mini bar. I can easily picture him running from a mounted hunting party with a fox cradled in his arms, laughing, as the voice-over says: “He’s the most interesting man in the world.” That’s why it’s somewhat noteworthy that it was the venerable Deford, and not some blogger, who was taking ESPN to the woodshed. Read more…

Tennis Babe Tatiana Golovin is a Bikini Treat, Too

Earlier today, we shared a superb selection of tennis babe Maria Kirilekno showing her sexier side for Sports Illustrated. However, in the original article we wrote all those many days ago, we mentioned that Maria would be joined in bikini-clad company by another lovely lady of the lob - fellow Russian racket-eer Tatiana Golovin.

Tatiana Golovin

Well, it wouldn’t be fair to ogle Ms. Kirilenko’s curves without also taking time to go ga-ga over Ms. Golovin. So in the interest of fair & balanced journalism (nobody’s using that phrase, are they?), let us take a tantalizing look at Tatiana’s adventures in swimwear modeling:

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Why Won’t ESPN Pay Attention to Selena Roberts?

One of the biggest sports stories so far in 2009 has been the taking-down of Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez by SPORTS ILLUSTRATED writer Selena Roberts. Whether or not you enjoyed the revelations of steroid abuse, stalking, and tipping pitches, you’ve got to admit that Roberts’ book has been worthy of the lead story on SportsCenter, in bars, and around the water cooler.

Selena Roberts Alex Rodriguez

So…why won’t ESPN talk to her?

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SI Exclusive: Dwight Howard Really Likes To Fart

Dwight Howard is on the cover of the latest SPORTS ILLUSTRATED issue, where the mag has an in-depth write-up of what makes the Orlando Magic star tick. (At least I guess that’s what the article is about. My subscription ran out a while ago, and the local Jiffy Lube didn’t have it amongst their magazine pile when I brought my car in for a oil change the other day. So I had to make do with Cosmopolitan - and learned 101 ways to please your man.)

Dwight Howard Sports Illustrated cover

(”Pull my finger!”)

Anyway, Mike Bianchi of the ORLANDO SENTINEL still has his subscription, and while perusing the article, he came across a blurb about one of Howard’s hobbies that’s sure to raise a big stink - Dwight really likes to fart.

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