NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–It’s known as the Super Bowl Hangover — getting to the big game is great, but for the losing team, the pain lasts a lot longer than one night. In Super Bowl history, only eight teams have lost the big game and then returned to play in it the next year. In Sports Illustrated’s February issue — available online and on newsstands Jan. 27 — senior writer Greg Bishop tackles this very topic and why losing teams almost never return to the Super Bowl the following year.
Getting to the Super Bowl is easy, getting back is the real challenge. For all the talk of hangovers and curses, the answer for why the climb back is so tough for those teams might be simpler, and a deeper dive into the data shows that Super Bowl losing teams may not be as cursed as we think. In the February issue, Bishop shares insights from Super Bowl runner-up coaches, players and executives, including 49ers general manager John Lynch, former Falcons coach Dan Quinn and former Titans star receiver Kevin Dyson. They discuss how they approached the following season and why they ultimately didn’t make it back. Bishop also looks for answers outside the game, bringing insights from performance consultants, academic researchers and a Nobel laureate economist to the Super Bowl hangover debate.
February Issue Features
- And You Thought *We* Have Vaccine Issues?: In 1925, a remote town in Alaska faced a ruthless pandemic that created an urgent health crisis. Senior writer Jon Wertheim shares an incredible story about a team of 20 sled drivers and 150 dogs responsible for delivering emergency vaccines across 700 icy miles of tundra, frozen lakes and dense forests. Wertheim also corrects the mistold story, highlighting the true hero of the relay.
- The Fight Over Hockey’s Racial Reckoning: In November 2019, former NHL player Akim Aliu went public about his experiences with racism during his time with the league. Today, he and many players remain frustrated with the NHL, but Aliu remains committed to eradicating systemic racism and intolerance in hockey. Senior writer Alex Prewitt talks with Aliu about his experience and his organization, the Hockey Diversity Alliance.
- “Family Guy” Jayson Tatum: Senior writer Chris Mannix profiles Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum who arguably is becoming one of the best all-around players in the NBA, in large part thanks to his mother’s sacrifices, resilience, and belief in his abilities. The touching family story continues with the next Tatum generation – Jayson’s 2-year-old son Deuce who is already a social media star.
- A look back at Pete Axthelm: Pete Axthelm was a man of his time, a brilliant New York sportswriter from the 1960s-90s who rode the 1970s New Journalism wave to fame. He was also a man ahead of his time, shrewdly anticipating the crossover of sportswriters into television, social activism among athletes, and the mainstreaming of sports gambling. Wertheim shares history of Axthelm’s untold told story.
- Leading Off: SI honors Black History Month and shares classic photos of Negro League stars, following the news that MLB officially recognized Negro Leagues players with Major League status.
- Scorecard: U.S. Senator Cory Booker pens his first piece for Sports Illustrated. He shares his perspectives on why the Athletes Bill of Rights — aimed at compelling the NCAA to provide improved care for student-athletes — is a critical issue to him.
- SI Edge: A performance expert shares how to get and stay motivated.
- Game plan: Mark Bechtel reviews a new Netflix series on youth football in Brooklyn.
- SI Full Frame: A classic photo of a pair of NBA Washington monuments.
- History: The Nets’ first and only scorekeeper opens up his memorabilia collection.
- Where Are They Now: Natalie Coughlin, Olympic swimmer turned winemaker.
- Point After: Breaking down the Super Bowl audience, with minute-by-minute viewership data from MVP Index.
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