While attending a friend's wedding reception this summer in Chevy
Chase, Md., senior editor Greg Kelly found himself at the same
table with Riki Ellison, the former San Francisco 49ers and Los
Angeles Raiders linebacker and the football coach at T.C.
Williams High in Alexandria, Va., which served as the inspiration
for the movie Remember the Titans. After learning that the
program had fallen on hard times, Kelly saw the potential for a
story and passed along the details to senior writer Tim Layden,
who ended up writing a feature on the struggles of the modern-day
Titans (SI, Oct. 15).
"On the whole the players from the 1971 team felt that the movie
got it right," Layden says. "It really was a racially balanced
team that helped bring the community together. Plus, the old
players are excited that they've been made into celebrities in
their middle age, something none of them expected. As for what's
going on today, nearly everybody was speaking from one political
angle or another, so you really had to look around corners and
piece things together to find out the truth."
If you're an SI subscriber who's interested in this kind of
story-behind-the-SI-story, have we got a deal for you! For eight
months SI has been producing a twice-weekly e-mail newsletter
called SI Extra, which serves as a free e-supplement for
subscribers to the magazine. So what's the extra in SI Extra? For
one, there's a feature called Inside SI, in which SI writers like
Layden deliver behind-the-scenes info about a story in that
week's issue of the magazine. "When we interview our fellow SI
writers, what we're looking for is the juicy stuff that we would
tell our friends if we had written that story ourselves," says
reporter Pete McEntegart, one of SI Extra's writers. "Often it's
that great anecdote that doesn't fit in the story but the writer
is just dying to tell someone."
To keep SI Extra as up-to-date as possible, it's written, edited
and fact-checked only hours before it pops up on readers'
computer screens on Wednesday and Friday mornings. Along with
INSIDE SI, Extra includes top five lists (such as senior writer
Jeff Pearlman's five nicest guys in baseball),
impress-your-friends trivia and stats, and tips on who's hot and
who's not for fantasy sports enthusiasts. Every edition of SI
Extra kicks off with MORNING CALL, our take on a late-breaking
game from the previous night. Other features include SI TIME
CAPSULE, in which the clock is turned back for a look at an SI
cover story from yesteryear, and GAME OF THE DAY, which
highlights the best sporting event to catch on TV that night. SI
Extra readers can even e-mail a question to an SI writer to be
answered in a future edition of the newsletter. All in all it's a
perfect--and cost-free--way for SI subscribers to stay in touch
with the magazine between issues.
The demand for SI Extra has grown steadily since it debuted in
January with 11,000 subscribers. This week it will go out to
about 150,000 readers. If you're an SI subscriber, you can sign
up for SI Extra on the Internet at SIcustomerservice.com. Simply
follow the easy instructions and your first e-mail should arrive
within two weeks. Think of it as a little something, well, extra,
just for subscribing.
Bill Colson, Managing Editor
SI Extra is a perfect--and cost-free--way for subscribers to
stay in touch with the magazine between issues.