As you'll see in the article on Raider Linebacker Ted Hendricks that begins on page 92, Hendricks has a whole lot of hats. Contributing Photographer Peter Read Miller, who shot the story, has none. "I look funny in hats," says Miller, 36. "My hair is too long." Well, judge for yourselves.
Miller spent time in Hawaii and in Barstow, Santa Rosa and El Segundo, Calif. with Hendricks; it was last month in El Segundo that he finally tackled Hendricks' hat collection. "Hendricks doesn't hide in his hats," says Miller. "A different part of him comes alive with each one."
Miller was born in Chicago and grew up in Evanston, Ill. When he was 12 his parents divorced, and he moved with his mother and sister to Santa Barbara. Later he spent two years at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, but wound up graduating from Pasadena High. He went to USC, earning three letters in crew, and shot sports for the USC newspaper and yearbook. In 1970 he received a B.A. in economics and was just a thesis away from completing a master's in public administration; this led to a fellowship at the Wharton School of Public Finance in Philadelphia, where he entered the Ph.D. program in the fall of '70. "Everybody else was into reading public finance journals and turning papers in early," Miller says. "I was running around campus with a camera." He lasted one semester.
Miller moved back to Los Angeles, where he lived near the beach, "shot rock concerts and artsy garbage like sunsets, the ocean and blurred people on escalators." In 1971 he became road manager for the Crabby Appleton rock group, "but in Detroit, our equipment got stolen and we had to go home."
It was a blessing in disguise—Miller went back to shooting USC football. He began freelancing in 1972 and became an SI regular in 1978. Last week alone he shot the National League playoff games in L.A., and, for future stories, the BYU-Wyoming game in Laramie and the Raiders-Chiefs game in L.A.
But about the hats. If he had to wear just one of Hendricks', which would it be? "His Raider helmet," Miller says. "I've got a secret desire to play tight end for them. I'm 6'3", 205. Unfortunately, I run the 40 in a month."