We used nearly the exact same headline a week ago when the Bills were featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated for the first time in eight years. That cover jinx is now the sole reason for Buffalo’s Week 4 loss.
SI’s weekly cover is rarely noteworthy. Perhaps in some crazy scheme to sell magazines the editors splash trendy names, faces, and subject matter on the first page a reader sees every week. Usually it takes a unique picture to make the cover notable, and it’s especially rare that the coverboy(s) are interesting two weeks in a row.
But that’s the kind of odd, record-breaking year we’re having early in the 2011 season. Now two teams that have combined for one winning season over the last decade have finished a week with a zero still in their loss column. That’s unique, different, and certainly cover-worthy.
Like Buffalo last week, this week’s SI cover ends a long front page hiatus for Detroit. At 4-0 the Lions are now one of the NFL’s two undefeated teams, and they haven’t been on SI’s cover page since Barry sanders led a Hall of Fame tribute cover story in 2004, and at the time the current Lions were slugging through another mediocre 6-10 season. The Lions have made seven cover appearances, three of which have featured Sanders
The word “appearances” is applied pretty generously and loosely for Detroit, as the Lions have only been the cover subject four times. For example, the Lions were technically on the cover of SI in 2003, but they were like the small cousin who thinks he’s tall and insists on standing at the back of the family picture.
It’s been much worse though…