Thursday, February 12, 2009

Top 5 SI swimsuit covers

It’s that time of the year again — the often-imitated, never-duplicated Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue has arrived in mailboxes across the country this week, brightening dreary February days. It will produce indignant letters to the editor (“Girls in tiny bathing suits! Cancel my subscription!”) from people who somehow missed the last 45 years of swimsuits. Please, cancel their subscriptions. And renew mine.

The Top Five SI swimsuit covers of all time. You can certainly disagree with one or two or all five, so post your picks in the comment section. For research purposes only, find all the previous swimsuit covers here. It’s actually pretty tough to make a poor choice with this group:

5. 2009: Is it inevitable that the most recent (i.e. freshest) makes the list? I like to think it’s more of a credit to 23-year-old first time cover girl Bar Refaeli, who will now be known for more than just being Leonardo DiCaprio’s girlfriend. SI sorted through 90,000 photos to pick the cover winner…and got it right.

4. 1994: The Dream Team, and three’s company, alright. Where else can you find Elle Macpherson, Kathy Ireland and Rachel Hunter together, and all of them smiling at you?


3. 1984. The issue’s title was “Here Comes The Sun,” with Paulina Porizkova kneeling on some exotic beach at sunrise. Here comes the sun, indeed.


2. 1987: When it comes to Elle Macpherson, take your pick — the 6-foot-tall Girl Next Door from the Land Down Under was on the cover a record five times. My favorite though, was ‘87’s offering. No way she could look any sweeter—or hotter.


1. 2006: The “Beach Party” cover featured eight pretty young things, and in this situation, eight is always better than one. Beautiful smiles, and the fact that they all forgot the upper portions of their suits has nothing to do with it.

— Stan Olson

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Agree with '84 and '87

my others are 80, 95, and 98

Anonymous said...

Geez, am I that old? Does no one remember Cheryl Tiegs in that mesh one-piece?

http://bit.ly/70sSIgirls

Still makes my heart go pitty-pat.

Anonymous said...

No contest. The Tiegs photo was hands down number one.

Anonymous said...

I still have the 1978 Cheryl Tieg's SI issue. However, Elle still ranks at or near the top.

Anonymous said...

Where is the Tyra Banks cover??? That HAS to be in the top 5...

Anonymous said...

That Cheryl Tiegs cover was without a doubt the Number 1 Sports Illustrated cover of all time. I remember the crap SI caught when they put her on there wearing a suit showing 'body parts', lol. But man o' man... as a 12 year-old kid back in '78 did I ever love it... and as a 45 year-old guy in '09 I respect them even more now for having had the guts back then to actually do it.

The SI cover has at times been a bit of a 'ground breaker' and the Tiegs photo proved it. Thing is... much like Playboy, the SI issue is slowly but surely becoming an almost ran. How do they fix it? Not by giving me Danica Patrick... on a car... in a bikini... that's for sure. Give me Danica Patrick in body paint and then maybe we'll have something to talk about, but until then... I'm tired of the SI issue.

Funny thing about this particular blog posting by Olson... something tells me this has been by far his favorite column to write in quite some time. I'm telling you Stan, we need far more of this. So keep up the good work.

Observer Sports said...

Guys, this was a favorite indeed. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the Tiegs shot inside the mag? If it was on the cover, I totally missed one that had to be in the top five...
Stan

Anonymous said...

1980 - no question.
A young Christy Brinkley leaning against a palm tree.

Anonymous said...

I made the earlier comment about being the 12 year-old kid.... Actually you're correct, come to think of it, Cheryl Tiegs was barely getting her feet wet in the modeling industry at that time and was stuck back in the middle of the spread with only one or two shots. Funny thing though, the one shot everybody remembers is the one picture that generated the most mail in the history of all the swimsuit editions, that being the mesh swimsuit. Nothing since has come close to rivaling it.

Having said all of that, the model on the cover that year in '78 was somebody we haven't heard much of anything from after that; Maria Joao from Brazil. The year after that was Christie Brinkley. And things only got better from there.

So you were right... in 1978 Cheryl was an innie not an outtie. Lol. But gosh... as a 12 year-old kid huddled around the locker does it really make any difference??? Looking at Cheryl's picture was kind of like Ralpie's Red Rider B-B Gun... we knew it might make us go blind, but we didn't care.

Anonymous said...

Dude, Where is Tyra Banks or Beyonce?

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