Friday, February 22, 2008

When Rick Reilly Left SI, He Took All The Photographers With Him

Ever since Rick Reilly abandoned his back page column in Sports Illustrated, they have tried to fill his large shoes with a parade of writers, none of which I have found eloquent or thought-provoking. What used to be a treat, sort of like dessert at the end of a meal, has now become a waste of space, sort of like the waiter who comes back to your table saying they are all out of the chocolate souffle but could offer you a plate of Jelly Bellys.

But even worse than that, Reilly appears to have stolen all the internal photographers from SI headquarters, replacing them with droputs from the Wall Street Journal's portrait department. Now, columnists get their pictures done in a black and white cross-hatch drawing that looks something like a woodcarving done by a guy using a fork on a block of wood. It is not a flattering result.

I've reserved opinion since I never knew what these writers really looked like in the first place. But now, here comes Dan Patrick's line-art portrait. And it looks nothing like him.

Patrick looks sinister, almost...evil?

We all remember what Patrick looked like after seeing his omnipresent mug for years on ESPN. So how to explain this portrait?

A) Patrick's face was viciously attacked by Wolverine
B) Patrick has the chicken pox, so the portrait conversion software couldn't process the scan of his original photo
C) Patrick has long hairs growing all over his face and is in dire need of a shave
D) Patrick's makeup artist at ESPN was simply en fuego (which would mesh with the rumors that he showed up to the set a Juan-Pierre-like three hours before tapings)

I know Patrick's SI contract was for a lot of money. Maybe he can fork some of that coin back over to SI so they can hire themselves a photographer on-site.


Eric Karros said...

Although I've never been a huge Reilly fan, he was usually at least worth reading and on occasion came up with a great piece. Not so with the 'parade of Jelly Bellys' thusfar. I remember the first non-Reilly piece in particular (whoever it was) was so bland and poorly written I thought maybe it was computer-generated (which could explain the portrait).