With this issue SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is exactly half a year old. In the first of these memos, 26 issues ago, I mentioned our hopes that you would in some tomorrow come to think of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED not as Time Inc.'s newest baby but as the essential weekly reporter of the Wonderful World of Sport. This has happened, it is fair to say, even faster than the most optimistic of us had thought possible.
SI's knowledgeable, enthusiastic readers have already made this new national weekly the accepted magazine voice of sports and their expending role in a increasingly sports and their expending role in an increasingly sports-minded American life.
During a period from only midsummer to midwinter, SI has brought more than 80 different sports and recreation to its pages—perhaps the most striking clue as to why SI, fulfilling its responsibility to cover all sports, has been an immediate success.
In the field of major sports, each in its season, readers of SI have come to know and expect authoritative, colorful and complete reporting. Our football coverage is an excellent case in point. Indefatigable Herman Hickman contributed preseason team roundups, early season regional breakdowns, weekly hunches and on-the-spot game reports through to the Cotton Bowl, even taking time out to argue with Biggie Munn about one vs. two platoons. You also read about Canadian football; stadium statistics; marching songs; cheerleaders; Y. A. Tittle, Buddy Parker, Lou Little and Michigan's No. 44, workhorse Back John Daniel Cline; a sidelight by Otto Graham on the rougher aspects of the pro game; divergent views of the college game by Father Hesburgh of Notre Dame and Robert Hutchins, late of the University of Chicago; a cheer for touch football by Duane Decker; another for Slippery Rock Teachers by Bob Creamer; scouting reports on the Army-Navy and bowl games; stories on the four big bowl games by four leading coaches, two of them undefeated in 1954—and that's still not all of it.
But SI has also been present at less crowded areas of the sports world. Mountain climbing, spelunking, weight lifting and hurling, among others, are all an integral part of sports; and as such have already been, as they will be again, an integral part of SI's story.
Beyond its complete coverage of sports, SI has brought unique coverage, not only in the quality of its reporting, but with its continuing features appearing nowhere else: the scouting reports; FISHERMAN'S CALENDAR; COMING EVENTS; SCOREBOARD; TIP FROM THE TOP.
Your response to all these things in the short space of six months is welcome evidence that American families today are productively filling their hours of play and leisure more than ever with the exuberance, achievement and simple peace of mind which in large measure define the world of sport which six-months-old SI reports.