This week’s Sport Illustrated issue (March 14) is packed with great variety of offerings. Articles, statistics, a book excerpt and a rather interesting advertisement all comprise one of the best issues that I can remember.
“Life On and Off the Field” is replete with eye-catching statistics of the National Football League’s GFP or Gross Football Product, which is a number that closely resembles the GDP of Macedonia. This easy-to-read two-page gem analyzes and synthesizes the staggering potential economic impact on various industry segments (broadcasts, sponsorships, tickets and concessions, players’ salaries and owners’ profits), in addition to the impact the on local businesses (stadium workers, restaurants/hotels, parking venues, taxes, etc.) should a work stoppage occur. I highly recommend it to sports and non-sports fans alike.
A book excerpt that chronicles Joe DiMaggio’s record breaking fifty-six game hitting streak is a real treasure. Kostya Kennedy’s 56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports recounts the two games in which DiMaggio tied and broke baseball’s forty game hitting streak record held by George Sisler. Accomplished in the early days of World War II, DiMaggio’s record setting event brought a nation of baseball fans together in a way that has never been equaled.
And finally, if you like to read magazines you apparently are not alone. According to a rather attention-grabbing advertisement, 93% of American adults spend approximately forty-three uninterrupted minutes reading a single magazine issue. This makes them unique with respect to other media, as these readers tend not to engage in other activities while reading the magazine. With free content being available over the Internet and other venues, e.g., the insides of elevators, buses and subway cars, it’s pretty remarkable that adults will spend time and money on paper and ink. We keep being told that our habits and wallets are changing, but maybe not quite as much as those virtual purveyors would like us to believe.
So if you have forty-three minutes to kill this week, I recommend you do so with Sports Illustrated. You won’t be disappointed.
–Dr. Fran Caplan, Dean of Libraries