My stepdad gets Sports Illustrated. This week, the postal system goofed up and gave him Sports Illustrated for KIDS instead. After getting cheesed off, he gave the issue to me figuring I'd find something to do with it.

Before we look into the past with
Nintendo Power, we can look in the FUTURE
with SI for Kids. Yes, I used to get this--a
decade ago, and I haven't seen it since late 1993.

Back in the early 90's, of course, this mag was
the epitome of coolness at the playground. This
was when Nike's athlete-ad campaign worked
TOO well and the children started paying $120
for shoes made with $5 rubber, because of the
Swoosh logo and a stiched-on "autograph" from
a sports dude.
In those years, the covers ruled...I had one with
Shaq where he had a robotic arm and it said,
"TERMINATOR 3!!!!" Sweeeeeet. Now let's
take a look at the cover in January 2002.

I know what you're thinking: "Since when is Barry Bonds ATHLETE OF THE YEAR?? That lousy guy stole Mark McGwire's home run record; a record Mark barely had time to enjoy; and Mark AND Sammy Sosa are cooler than that guy!!" Take your beef to the 9-year-olds that voted him on this cover in the first place (because he is, in fact, on there by popular vote).
Normally, looking at a new issue of an old children's magazine you remember can be disappointing, because it's guaranteed to be in a worse shape than it was when you knew it before--kids' tastes get dumber, so the mags get dumber. But it wasn't the case here. No, this is still as classy as it ever was. I was surprised.
For one thing, they
still honestly report on
what's going on, with in-depth articles;
instead of printing a giant two-page spread
shot of a guy surfing and writing a 3-inch
article about him because they're worried
about kids' "attention spans" not wanting to
read something good.
Another thing, there's this "Comic Cards"
section where kids paste word balloons on
sports cards and send them in...I don't remem-
ber this in the mag ten years ago, but it's a
darn good schtick!
But that didn't top another caption contest; somewhere else in the magazine, where they had run a photo in the previous issue and asked kids to identify what the woman was saying at that moment her picture was taken. This lady won a huge tennis tournament, and held up her HUGE trophy proudly for all to see. It was at that moment that the bottom detatched from the "cup" part and smacked her in the face, at the precise moment the picture was taken. You gotta love the caption they printed as the winner for this pic: "Hey! Where's the cream filling??"
It's rare that a magazine will get me to laugh like THIS, and I've NEVER found a boring sports mag funny. But this made my day. Not only the nostalgia part, but the fact that the magazine was still actually GOOD. It went on with interviews and an art gallery section featuring a radioactive Michelle Kwan(who was STILL doing that leg thing), and a diseased-faced Kobe Bryant. (These were funny as well, although unintentionally.....
Of course, the experience wouldn't be perfect without Buzz Beamer, the cartoon kid who was always in the back of the magazine doing SOMEthing. One issue of SIforK featured a cover Beamer story where he blasted through time in a rocket and interfered with sports from different eras....great! But a decade is a long time....would he still be there?

HE WAS!!!!!!!
Well, it looks like the quality of children's premiere sports magazine hasn't gone downhill yet. Wish I could say the same for today's sorry kids' television shows...