Friday, January 26, 2007

Old S.I. Review (February 5, 1990)

For this review I decided to grab the first late-January, early-February issue out of a pile to see what was going on this time of year in the past. The issue that came up was this one from 1990 celebrating the 49ers' 4th Super Bowl title. Let's open it up and start plowing through...


Most of the Letters section is devoted to reader feedback and opinion at the conclusion of the 1989-90 college football season. And, as usual, most people were pissed off. But not everyone. Reader Stuart Wood, from California (naturally), was ready to drop the rankings, have everyone join hands, and sing Kumbaya. To wit...

"This season fans nationwide had reason to celebrate good football. No team is clearly No. 1, so let's call it a winning season for college football and leave it at that."

Sadly for Stuart, they did award a national championship in 1990. And it went, somewhat controversially (there were 4 one-loss teams that year), to the U. A couple readers wrote in to dispute the #1 ranking but the bigger outcry was over Miami's attitude and swagger...

"After watching hours of bowl games and hearing hundreds of statistics on almost every conceivable subject over the recent bowl season, the only question I still have is this: How does the University of Miami afford all the mustard for so many hot dogs?"
-Don Dunn (Booneville, Ark.)

"As a young football coach, recently removed from my college playing days, I find your approval of Miami's antics disturbing. The finger-waggling, talking trash and "silly little dances" have no place on the playing field. That's what cheerleaders are for."
-Mike Godfrey (Seneca, Mo.)

I'm not sure that's what cheerleaders are really for either but point taken, Mike. My favorite letter, however, has nothing to do with Miami. It's from a Tennessee fan...

"The inclusion of Southern Cal in your final Top Five ranking of college football is a joke. Tennessee would beat USC like a drum. Ask UCLA which team it would rather play."
-H. Bruce Guyton (Knoxville, Tenn.)

First of all, love the name H. Bruce Guyton. But what I really love is that H. Bruce took the time to rattle off a letter about who finished #5 in the final SI poll. That's great. Suffice it say that H. Bruce from Knoxville and Stu Wood from California have a slightly different take on the importance of college football. (For the record...Tennessee beat UCLA 24-6 in the opening game of the '89 season, while USC could only manage a 10-10 tie against the Bruins in the finale. Hence, the UCLA line.)

Super Bowl Leftovers

Couple tidbits from the Super Bowl Scorecard section...

-S.I. pretty much nailed it's Hall of Fame predictions for the, at the time, current 49ers dynasty. Said they wouldn't get many. Montana, Lott and Rice were locks. Bill Walsh was probable. Roger Craig was a maybe. That's basically right. Usually when they predict stuff like that there's always a glaring mistake or two.

-Eddie DeBartolo gets a mention for noting that the 49ers "lost a little bit" of money in 1988 and would be lucky to turn a small profit in 1989. Kind of interesting knowing what we know about Eddie now.

-Not losing money were the hotels in New Orleans during Super Bowl week in '90. Le Pavilon, where the Broncos stayed, jacked the price from $69/night to $240/night with a 4-night minimum for Super Bowl week.

-Not sure why it was in this section but there's also a brief blurb about Karl Malone. Seems The Mailman was upset about getting snubbed for the All-Star Game (the fans voted A.C. Green ahead of him) so he decided to take it out on his next opponent, the Milwaukee Bucks, to the tune of 61 points and 18 rebounds in 33 minutes. After the game, which the Jazz won 144-96, Bucks coach Del Harris remarked, "I knew Karl wanted to make a statement. I just didn't know he was going to write a whole book."

Joe Montana Is The Balls

That's basically the main point of the feature article. Nothing too exciting to be honest. Just a lot of (admittedly deserved) talk about how great the offense was against Denver. How they all felt ridiculously confident going into the game after watching the Broncos on film. A dejected John Elway saying, "can't you let a guy sulk in peace," to the paparazzi after the game. A smattering of Matt Millen quotes. Picture of Joe Montana holding up a picture of his daughters in the locker room. Picture of Joe Montana walking onto the field. Picture of Joe Montana scrambling. Picture of Joe Montana talking to Steve Young and Steve Bono at halftime. Picture of Joe Montana eating a hamburger with his dad in the trainer's room after the game. That's about all.

Nine & Nine

From the story on Media Day comes this factoid...As of 1990 Joe Montana, Kenny Stabler and Terry Bradshaw had combined for 9 Super Bowl rings and 9 wives.

The Rise of UConn

Outside a largely unnecessary 3-page story on Jack Nicklaus joining the Senior Tour, the first story after the Super Bowl stuff focuses on a tight Big East race and the emergence of the UConn Huskies. Some highlights from that piece...

-Several mentions of the immortal Nadav Henefeld, described as "a deft outside shooter with the passing and pilfering skills of a much smaller man." The story also describes how "the man they call The Dove" was not rattled by the "lewd woofing" of Alonzo Mourning in a win over Georgetown.

-Another immortal, St. John's Malik Sealy, is summarized in two words..."willowy finesse." Which, if you saw him play in college, kind of makes sense.

-Jayson Williams (the same Jayson Williams who was involved in that incident with the limo driver that was killed with a shotgun on his property) is mentioned in a blurb about St. John's winning at Providence, a place that hadn't be kind to the Redmen in recent years. Oddly enough, this is how he's mentioned...

"Two years ago we lost and I ended up in jail," said Williams, who had been charged with assault - the charge was later dropped - for chucking a chair at a spectator that evening. "Tonight we won, and I'm free."

More College Hoop

Skipping relatively boring articles on the retirement of legendary jockey Bill Shoemaker and the Australian Open (won by Ivan Lendl and Steffi Graf) we come to the College Basketball Report, which includes the following...

-Clarence "Big House" Gaines is profiled after joining Adolph Rupp in the 800-win club. Got to respect a man with the nickname "Big House." 800 wins is a hell of a lot of wins too.

-In the SEC write-up is a note about LSU blowing an 11-point lead to Georgia in the final 5 minutes of a game thanks to missing the front-end of 10 straight one-and-ones.

-Also in the SEC write-up is this bit on the state of the Florida Gators...

Florida, a preseason pick to contend with LSU for the SEC title, thanks largely to 7'2" center Dwayne Schintzius and 6'7" forward Livingston Chatman, staggered into Baton Rouge for last Saturday's game without those frontliners. Chatman had quit the team on Jan. 14, claiming he was "burned out." Last week Schintzius joined him, even though a student review board had forgiven him for his role in a fraternity-house fracas on Jan. 13. DeVoe, however, said he wouldn't take Schintzius back from a suspension that began on Jan. 15 unless he lost weight and got a haircut. Schintzius got a trim, then quit anyway."

And, finally, The Small College Player of the Week was Shawnee State's Joe Smith. Among his accomplishments for the week were 19 points in an 88-87 defeat of Dyke College. Insert your own joke here.

Past S.I. reviews


Anonymous said...

It returns! I love the feature - keep up the good work.

Machon said...

It is really amazing how high Joe is jumping in that picture. It may be the camera angle, but it looks like he is coming off a trampoline like the Phoenix Sun's Gorilla.

Anonymous said...

How the hell can you get 10 one-and-ones? I don't think it's even possible. You can only get 3 per half (on team foul #7, #8, and #9).

Kiana said...

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