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Sports Illustrated February 2020 issue editors’ letter: Miami Super Bowl MVPs

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The world has changed over the last half century—how’s that for a stunning historical and cultural insight? As obvious as that is, it’s still fun to take stock of the evolution. Especially since we’ve been thinking a lot here lately about what this magazine and brand have been and where they’re going.

Take the Jan. 20, 1969 issue of Sports Illustrated. Joe Namath on the cover, following the Jets’ epic upset of the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. Tex Maule’s game story, with then-hipster references to the Jet Age and “swinging” nights on the town. The word housewife in the headline of a different story. A car ad touting power windows as a technological leap that will ease the physical burden of rolling up to a mailbox and mailing a letter.

That particular issue of SI popped up as we were conceptualizing the cover for our latest edition of the magazine: The February issue, out today, features a grouping of the nine living MVPs of the Super Bowls played in Miami, including Namath. In some ways South Florida is the unofficial home of the Super Bowl; this year’s game, at Hard Rock Stadium, is the 11th in Miami, more than any other host city. It’s been the scene of some of the most super Super Bowl moments (Broadway Joe’s guarantee, Swann’s catch, Montana’s drive) and some of the strangest. As Michael Rosenberg shows in his cover story, the growth of the Super Bowl from football curiosity to de facto national holiday can be traced quite clearly through the games played in South Florida, from Super Bowls II to LIV.




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