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Sports Illustrated Super Bowl Commemorative

Sports Illustrated Super Bowl Commemorative

Sports Illustrated Super Bowl Commemorative 2021
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Sports Illustrated commemorates the 2021 Super Bowl Championship.

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United States
Maven Coalition Inc.

in this issue

6 min.
who’s laughing now?

WHEN I was growing up in the Tampa Bay area in the mid-1980s, I would hear this joke about the Buccaneers: I left two extra tickets to the Buccaneers game on my windshield. I came back an hour later, and there were four. I bring this up to let you know that the Creamsicle-colored misery was real. Because to understand what the unprecedented success of the past year means to the Tampa Bay area, you first must understand how it has suffered. Tampa Bay does not have a deep sports history. Its three major league professional sports franchises—the Bucs, Lightning and Rays—have been around for fewer than 100 seasons combined. The Yankees have been around for 117. People around the country know the Rays as a team that is plucky but cheap and plays…

3 min.
the season

THE BUCCANEERS WERE RUNNING HOT BY THE END OF A REGULAR SEASON THAT INCLUDED ENCOUNTERS WITH TEAMS THEY WOULD DEFEAT IN THE PLAYOFFS ON THE ROAD TO THE SUPER BOWL SEPT. 13 OPENING FRIGHT While CB Sean Murphy-Bunting corralled Saints back Alvin Kamara here, Tampa Bay’s defense mainly struggled in a 34–23 road loss. SEPT. 20 PRUDENT PICKUP Signed in early September after being waived by the Jaguars, running back Leonard Fournette rushed for 103 yards, including a late 46-yard TD, in a 31–17 win over the Panthers. SEPT. 27 HORIZONTAL HOLD The Bucs enjoyed a comfortable 28–10 win in Denver as Chris Godwin had five receptions for 64 yards and a first-quarter touchdown. OCT. 4 CATCHING ON Scotty Miller, a 2019 sixth-round pick, made five grabs for 83 yards and a TD in a 38–31 victory over the Chargers. OCT. 8 CHICAGO BLUE The…

8 min.
joy to behold

ON HIS WAY to defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul’s hospital room shortly after the All-Pro lost the better part of three fingers on his right hand during a gruesome Fourth of July fireworks accident in 2015, Michael Alessi wondered whether his friend and personal training client might have finally exhausted the tank of energy and positivity that had carried him through a challenging life. Then he saw Pierre-Paul in his room, flashing a knowing grin as he held up a training resistance band—the kind that he used to roll his eyes at during his monotonous warm-up exercises with Alessi. Pierre-Paul had someone smuggle them into Jackson Memorial in Miami, where he was staying under a pseudonym to filter out visitors. The slice of privacy allowed him to wander the hallways doing hip…

7 min.
unlikely hero

RECENTLY WHEN Bill Marpet saw his son, Ali, he was taken aback when he noticed his boy dressed up in a black Polo shirt with a red emblem on the chest. This was far nicer than Ali usually dressed; for most of his life, he had revelled in the art of the hand-me-down. Once, on a family vacation to Jamaica on New Year’s Eve, Ali donned his version of formal attire: a T-shirt that read at the corner of happy and healthy that he proudly announced was free of armpit stains. That fashion sense dated back to his toddler years. Once, when Bill was doing the laundry, he asked Ali whether a pair of pajamas he was holding belonged to him. “Yep, them’s are mine. The ones with the holes in…

7 min.
’nette gain

THE BUCCANEERS’ wild-card game against Washington wasn’t hurting for story lines. The biggest had its roots back in last year’s scouting combine, when Ohio State defensive end Chase Young proclaimed that the quarterback he’d most like to sack in the NFL was Tom Brady. After Washington clinched the NFC East with a Week 17 win over Philadelphia, Young, the No. 2 pick in the draft, reiterated his desire to take a crack at the former Michigan man, leaving the field while yelling, “I want Tom!” (Brady refused to engage. “He’s obviously a great young player,” he said.) Then there was the issue of Brady’s counterpart. After missing 2 ½ games with a calf injury—and most of the previous two seasons with a gruesome leg injury that required 17 surgeries—Washington’s Alex Smith…

5 min.
the legend grows

SEAN MURPHY-BUNTING is a mere 23 years old, and just 21 months ago he was plucked out of Central Michigan in the second round of the 2019 draft. The cornerback spent his rookie year as a part-time starter on Bruce Arians’s first Buccaneers team, a group that hung around a while during the season but missed out on the playoffs after consecutive losses to end the year. In short, he really didn’t know what was coming when Tom Brady became a teammate. Now, he knows. “He shows up to meetings early. He sits in the front every meeting. He always has his notepad, whether it’s a five-minute team meeting or a 30-minute team meeting,” Murphy-Bunting says. “His habits are just so good that they rub off on everybody else.” During the 2020 season Murphy-Bunting…