Sports Illustrated compares Michael Jordan to 007

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan

Sports Illustrated in its Feb. 18 issue did a big spread on former basketball star Michael Jordan on the eve of his 50th birthday. The cover story, Michael Jordan at 50, briefly compares the former athlete to a certain gentleman agent.

Here’s the key except in the article by SI’s Phil Taylor. It’s part of a passage about whether Jordan can retain his popularity.

There was a time when Jordan was the coolest guy in any room, the black James Bond. He turned the shaved head into a game-changer for prematurely balding men. Baggy shorts with black socks, once the province of dorky retirees, became stylish once he started rocking them…..But how long can Jordan’s level of public admiration last? As his playing career fades further into the background, can the post-50 Joran maintain his cool pose?

Most of the magazine’s contents are behind a pay wall. You can sample some offerings on its Web site, such as 50 reasons we’ll never forget Michael Jordan and SI’s 100 best Michael Jordan photos.

Jordan turns 50 on Feb. 17.

007 makes Sports Illustrated (sort of)

Puns, quips and witticisms are part of the copy editor’s stock in trade. Witness the Nov. 30 issue of Sports Illustrated and its letters to the editor page.

One letter published concerned a story in Nov. 9 issue about the University of Iowa’s football team. The letter noted that the Hawkeyes weren’t “winning every game by 40. But the way they have won is more enjoyable for the fans. Each game has been like a James Bond film with a last-second flash of brilliance that saved the day.”

The headline for the letter, composed by an anonymous copy editor? From Iowa with Love. Given that Iowa was also the alma mater of veteran 007 screenwriter Richard Maibaum (who afterall introduced the notion of Bond making quips), that’s probably appropriate.