Greg Foster learned the limits of his size and quickness during
his stint as a walk-on defensive end with the Georgia Bulldogs in
1979. "When we ran wind sprints, guys who weighed 100 pounds more
than me would pass me," Foster says. Inspired by photos he saw in
SI and other sports publications, he soon discovered that
tackling photo assignments was more his speed. For this Where Are
They Now issue Foster, a freelancer whose work first appeared in
SI in '92, got the goose-bump experience of photographing his
childhood hero Dick Butkus. "I wore his number 51 in high school,
and I had a poster of him on my bedroom wall," says Foster. "I
admired Butkus for being mean and ferocious, but at the shoot he
took direction well and never complained."
Al Tielemans also has a bit of history with his subject in this
issue, Scott Norwood, whom he covered in Super Bowl XXV--the
Bills' heart-wrenching 20-19 loss to the Giants--for SI in 1991.
Having witnessed Norwood's devastation over missing the potential
game-winning kick, Tielemans, an SI staff photographer, did not
want to invoke the past. "We never talked about the miss," says
Tielemans, who was a kicker, too--on his peewee team in North
Wales, Pa. Instead Tielemans aimed to portray Norwood in the
cheerier light of his life today. "People associate him with one
negative event," says Tielemans, "but that doesn't define who he
A team of SI reporters actually answered the question, Where are
they now? "My real question is, Where am I now?" said Bill Syken
after a dizzying stint tracking down every ex-jock on Capitol
Hill. Jaime Lowe, meanwhile, went unbeaten in her games of phone
tag with marathoner Joan Benoit Samuelson, former pitching
prospect Brien Taylor and the 1996 Olympic women's gymnastics
team. True gumshoe duties, however, fell to Chris Mannix, an
ex-Celtics ball boy, who sleuthed out the seven boys who were the
U.S.'s top basketball prospects in '86. He didn't reach his last
man--Barnabas James out of Los Angeles--until just before
deadline. "I had an address but no phone number, so I FedExed him
every day, pleading. Finally, he called. I worked every day for
three months, but I was totally into it."
COLOR PHOTO: PHIL ELLSWORTH (FOSTER AND BUTKUS) IDOL TALK Foster (right) wore Butkus's number.
COLOR PHOTO: AL TIELEMANS (TIELEMANS) TWO-TIMER Tielemans shot Norwood, again.
COLOR PHOTO: KATE LATTANZIO (THREE REPORTERS) ON THE CASE Syken (left), Lowe (center) and Mannix.
At SI.com check out a new daily edition of SCORECARD, which goes
up Monday through Friday with all original content. Among the
SCORECARD favorites appearing daily: THEY SAID IT, SIGN OF THE
APOCALYPSE and GO FIGURE. Plus, the magazine's writers contribute
a daily blog (Stephen Cannella's latest is previewed on page 32),
and THE 10 SPOT takes an irreverent look at the day's news. There
are also fresh columns from SI writers and the best sports
photography anywhere, in a LEADING OFF gallery.