:-Instream Sports-:
 
 
 

M.V.PIECES: THE DON REESE SI COVER

Blog image

M.V.PIECES: THE DON REESE SI COVER


djordan's picture
Share/Save

M.V.PIECES: THE DON REESE SI COVER

Thursday afternoon in 1982 was magazine day. There had been a run of classic Sports Illustrated covers during this time period; Gaylord Perry’s 300th win; a fantastic shot of Magic & Michael Cooper dancing ahead of the their entry into the NBA finals; Dr. J. polishing off the Celtics, on their way to the same prom. The following week, as SI was wont to do, you were expecting a dream cover of Kareem and Caldwell Jones locked in a death battle aside the rim. Instead you received a pre-heavyweight championship hype issue where the Favorite, Larry Holmes, was hidden behind the fold and the great white hope, Gerry Cooney donned the top of the magazine. Kids today have no concept how huge this fight really was. Kids today have no concept how huge boxing really was.

Walking home from seventh grade that afternoon, you were expecting a pictorial resolution to Sixers/Lakers; expecting another cool cover to funtac on your wall; expecting something memorable. You open the mailbox. You get what you expected….just nothing like you expected. It wasn’t Mats Wilander winning the French Open (which would've made a sweet cover); it wasn’t the Lakers besting the Sixers, which was more a timing issue than a content choice; had one of the teams swept, surely the winner would’ve been crowned the lede of the week. This was the cover:


This is the story behind the June 14, 1982 Sports Illustrated SPECIAL REPORT Cover : The NFL Cocaine Expose by Don Reese:
M.V.Pieces is our 24/7 feature that highlights the best daily sportswriting on the web, around the clock. While the posts are (mostly) in real-time, let’s begin things with a look back at this forgotten article from 30 years ago this month. Don Reese, the Miami Dolphins' first round draft pick in 1974, allowed a promising NFL career to vanish through the haze of freebased cocaine and a dealing charge. The story that emerged in the wake of this self-expose we found just as compelling; a story of redemption, faith and everlasting love. While reading the outstanding posts from former NFL tight end Nate Jackson, which you can find here, here and here, I instantly thought of Don Reese. I remembered the power of the message, that this was important. This demanded my attention. I asked John Underwood, the Sports Illustrated senior writer assigned to work with Reese, if he felt this story was worthy of the cover. “Cover stories were often assigned as such,” Underwood said, “But I don't remember if I knew it would be on the cover. It wouldn't have mattered either way.” Reese, through an intermediary, had approached SI with the idea for this piece, as outstanding a longread as you could find. INSTREAM’s NBA writer,Jeremy Conlin, brought the article back to my attention and upon a second look, more mature eyes found the true narrative. I remembered many of the details of Reese’s arrest, conviction and temporary resurgence with the New Orleans Saints. What escaped my 11-year-old heart was the undying affection Reese possessed for his wife:

I want to be...O.K. I'll tell you exactly what I want to be. I want to be like my wife. With her morals, and her sense of responsibility. To Paulette, marriage meant giving herself to me and the family, in every way…. It's a goal worth striving for, because I have no doubt she'll be there if I make it.

Don Reese passed away from cancer on September 18, 2003 at the age of 52. He and Paulette were married for 33 years. You can find the article in its entirety here on the SI Vault website, a wonderful vehicle when you long to step into yesterday.

We want to promote not simply the smartest writers, but the most compelling sports-related subject matter from all over The Internet. If you’re reading this, you probably already know guys like Drew Magary @ Deadspin one of the funniest, vulgar, dangerous, brilliant, visionary writers in America today; or David Roth, whose outstanding work can be found over at The Classical.org; Grantland.com’s Bill Barnwell, or Chris Brown's smartfootball.com. Destinations such as these and other outlets that may not be familiar to you; we aim to promote the best writing, period, while providing an additional platform for the undiscovered voices of reason and innovation.

The Twitter feed is dedicated solely to recognizing the great pieces and angles of the day. No recaps, very few previews (if any) no work with an expiration date. Words that make you think, that make you wonder, that leave you with knowledge. What we’re doing at INSTREAM is making a bold statement - we know great writing when we read it. If you want to bring something to our attention for consideration, reach us at MVP@instreamsports.com.

That’s M.V.Pieces – pieces you can return to – pieces that touch us, that teach us something . Writing that stimulates an intelligent conversation.

Or ends one.

Sports Illustrated Article


Blog tags: 
Blog image: 
Tagline: 
In 1982, an 11-year-old boy discovered sports journalism. 30 years later, he found courage, love and friendship on the same pages.

Total comments : 2


Comments

Johnny D'Acquisto's picture

David I can rememeber this article in 1982 when all the stories were flying much like the stories about steroids were for the baseball players in the 2000 era...The site locks great and should be a very rewarding and enlightning experience...

Dave Carl's picture

The site looks great! I've been looking forward to the launch since we last talked. I'll be a regular here! Hope you're well.

 

Related Articles

The NFL season kicks off on a Wednesday for the first time ever this year, so now is as good a time


read more

author picture

We covered the NFC in Part I


read more

author picture


I want to be in the movies. Not the blockbuster you check out at the multiplex on Friday


read more

author picture

In Part I on Monday, we cover


read more

author picture


“Everything about me in sports is credited to my father,” Philadelphia Eagles W


read more

author picture

“I want to give kids the opportunity I never really had," Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receiver Jeremy


read more

author picture

“I'm going to honor my Auntie and Uncle,” NFL Tight End Delanie Walker told the Tennessee Titans


read more

author picture

Latest / Most Viewed

Dave Jordan's picture
What’s the first image that comes to mind when you hear the name “Casey Stengel?”
John D’Acquisto's picture
When you enter the spring training facility in Phoenix, Arizona, March 1974, you expect to be greete
John D’Acquisto's picture
“So you need to put your golf balls in the oven and heat ‘em up,” Charlie explained to me back in ‘7
AlOliver's picture
We’re down 2-1 in Game 7 of the 1985 American League Championship Series against the Kansas City Roy
Derrick and David May Jr.'s picture
DERRICK MAY: Father’s Day is on Sunday and the holiday of course makes us think about our dad, Dave

From the Bullpen

All The Young Dudes by John D’Acquisto

When you enter the spring training facility in Phoenix, Arizona, March 1974, you expect to be greete ...

 
 
 
 
X

Instream Sports - Login


Loading