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When Iowa Graced the Cover of Sports Illustrated in the 50's and 60's

When Iowa Graced the Cover of Sports Illustrated in the 50's and 60's

1/4/2020 - I was in an antique store today, and they had old editions of Sports Illustrated. I browsed through the old magazines from the 50's and 60's, and wondered if Iowa was ever on the cover.

I did a quick search on my phone, and found two older SI covers:

September 27, 1954 - Calvin Jones (Football)

January 24, 1966 - George Peeples (Basketball)

Both magazines have been digitized by Sports Illustrated on their website, so click the links above to read through both magazines and the related articles.

There was also another story about Iowa basketball in the 1968 Sports Illustrated edition, called "A Winner Where The Tall Corn Grows."

I was unable to find the Calvin Jones edition, but I did find the 1966 basketball magazine. It was only $1, as it had a section ripped out of the cover, so I bought it. It was pretty cool to read the article (before I realized it was online), and to see the advertisements and topics of that time.

The 1954 Calvin Jones magazine has quite a bit of history. Jones was the first college football player and first African American to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine. This was just the 7th issue of Sports Illustrated. If you don't know much about Calvin Jones, it's really impressive what he accomplished on the field. However, he also suffered a similar tragic fate as Nile Kinnick, dying in an airplane crash (although not during the military, traveling between CFL games).

Here is a summary of his life story as told by his best friend and grandson (former CFL player Edwin Harrison), and how he died in the crash. He actually missed his original team flight, and took a later flight. The video also includes a cameo from former QB Drew Tate when he was on the Stampeders.

Here is a video of an unveiling of his statue in his hometown of Steubenville, Ohio, and announcement of "Calvin Jones Day" on August 24th each year.

Unfortunately, there isn't much written about him in the magazine, other than this quote on the inside.

"There's a stone wall waiting in Iowa to crack the skulls of the Notre Dame backfield shown in color on pages 17 to 20, and the keystone in it is a six-foot, 210-pound guard named Calvin Jones. A star player on one of Herman Hickman's eleven elevens, he symbolizes the rugged spirit of the line as the season gets underway."

Note: Iowa lost to #4 Notre Dame that year, 18-34

George Peeples also had quite the career, playing professionally in the ABA from 1966-1973. I couldn't find any videos about George online.

You can buy a copy of these magazines on eBay or other resale websites if you want a copy. The prices vary quite a bit, so do your homework on what you're getting.

Ebay Searches (with affiliate link):
1966 Basketball Magazine
1954 Football Magazine

You can also review the games from the 1954 Iowa football season and 1965-1966 Iowa basketball season





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When Iowa Graced the Cover of Sports Illustrated in the 50's and 60's - Summary of Iowa football and basketball games