Eye Candy: 35 Years of Sports Illustrated Covers

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Geez, I really get this 26 year ago? Looks like it came out in 1990.

I’ve been toting it around (much like Bo Jackson toted the rock) for all this time, hung on to it even before I became interested in photography.

Or maybe I was interested in it then, but just never put a camera to my eye?

Sports, to me, give a lot. It give me something to follow for a prescribed set of months, an ongoing storyline to follow. REAL reality TV.

The NY Mets season just ended earlier this week, with a playoff loss to the Giants. I’m not a Mets fan, but because of where I live, I get the NY channel they are on. So I watched a lot of Met games, followed the good games and the bad games, the up and downs…and all the injuries they had. It was a roller-coaster for them.

Now the baseball playoffs are in full swing and the NFL is heating up. The storylines continues.

Sports has given us great sportswriting (David Halberstam, Frank Deford, Jim Murray), as well as great sports photography (Dave Black, Walter Iooss, Brad Mangin) over the years. Both capture it all – the highs and lows, those peak moments.

If you click that link above, and go to the Joe McNally blog post, that shot of Bo running with his girlfriend is an image that has always stuck in my brain. I don’t know why, but it has. It’s not great or special, just a slice of life. But when Joe and I were working together early on, we were talking about our love of sports. And I mentioned this SI article on Bo Jackson I liked. And I – and I remember this, we were in the dirt parking of a kids soccer field near Tampa, Florida – mentioned that article and image.

And Joe nonchalantly says “Yes, I know it. I shot it.”

That was the first time photography became real to me.

I used to read SI for the writing – those writers could pull me into any topic. And the photography held me. I don’t read it much anymore, but still flip through it now and again. I like to see what types of portraits are being shot, what the actions shots are like.

SI tells stories with both their words and their images.

That’s true eye candy, folks.

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016

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