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The SI Vault

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For over sixty years, Sports Illustrated has built a peerless archive of sports journalism, and now, host and SI editor Ted Keith cracks opens the vault, with the writers who wrote those classic stories as our guides. First, Ted interviews authors like Buzz Bissinger, Jack McCallum, and his own dad, SI alum Larry Keith, about their iconic work in the magazine, and then he delivers a reading for our audience to enjoy. On The SI Vault, Sports Illustrated's 60+ years of sports history comes alive.






Grant Wahl on his 2002 LeBron cover story

Grant Wahl joins Ted Keith on the SI Vault Podcast 15 years after his famous cover story on then-high school junior LeBron James. They discuss the reporting that went into the story, Grant driving LeBron to McDonald's in his rental car, the decision to put the a high school junior on the cover, other future celebrities Grant met that week and much more.

Duration: 00:35:33

Steve Rushin on covering the legendary 1991 World Series

In this episode of the SI Vault Podcast, host Ted Keith and SI senior contributing writer Steve Rushin revisit the legendary 1991 World Series, considered by many to be one of the best and most dramatic Fall Classics ever played. Rushin, who wrote Sports Illustrated's cover story about the series, remembers his experience covering all seven games, including how he wrote his famous story in the basement of his childhood home while dealing with personal turmoil.

Duration: 00:32:36

Frank Deford on Muhammad Ali

In this episode of the SI Vault Podcast, Ted Keith and SI senior contributing writer Frank Deford remember the life and times of Muhammad Ali.

Duration: 00:29:00

Jon Wertheim looks back on Kerry Wood & the best deal in sports history

On the new episode of the SI Vault Podcast, Ted Keith visits with Jon Wertheim to remember two stories given new relevance given recent events in the world of sports. First, Keith and Wertheim remember the recently-deceased Ozzie Silna, the onetime owner of the ABA's Spirits of St. Louis, who made what is widely considered to be the most savvy deal in the history of sports. Next, given Max Scherzer's recent 20-strikeout game for the Nationals, the pair reminisce about Kerry Wood's dominant...

Duration: 00:33:10

SI Vault Presents: Leagues Apart

Historically, sports have been a boys-only club. Even modern women sports superstars like Serena Williams and the USWNT continually have to battle for equal pay and respect. But women refuse to lose, even if a win gets them less than it should.

Duration: 00:20:29

Alex Wolff on Final Four memories and the greatest upset ever

Sports Illustrated senior writer Alexander Wolff and SI deputy managing editor Jon Wertheim join host Ted Keith to discuss Wolff’s memories of more than 25 years of covering the Final Four, from the hidden moments to the forgotten heroes to the most memorable plays. Wolff also chooses this week’s story from the SI Vault, read by Keith, which is “Shooting the Lights Out,” Curry Kirkpatrick’s cover story from the April 8, 1985 issue, about Villanova’s stunning upset of defending national...

Duration: 00:45:21

SI Vault Presents: The Long Road To Glory

50 years ago, the independent, border-school Texas Western upset basketball royalty, defeating the Kentucky Wildcats and winning the NCAA tournament. What's more, they did it while being the first team to start five black players.

Duration: 00:16:18

Rick Reilly returns to SI; Michael Jordan’s ’98 Bulls vs. Steph Curry’s ’16 Warriors

In this episode of the SI Vault Podcast, host Ted Keith talks about Rick Reilly's return to Sports Illustrated, his cover story in this week’s issue on Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors and much more. Finally, Keith will read Reilly’s cover story from the May 11, 1998 issue of SI, chronicling Michael Jordan and the 1998 Chicago Bulls. We love to hear our listener's thoughts. Please tweet our host at For more sports, visit SI is now part of...

Duration: 00:37:54

SI Vault Presents: Baseball's Blacksheep—African Americans in baseball from Negro Leagues to now

Everybody knows the story of Jackie Robinson, but was he really the first baseball player to break the color barrier? Negro Leagues put white and black players on the same field long before Branch Rickey called up No. 42.

Duration: 00:25:05

Remembering Super Bowl I with SI's Walter Iooss, Jr.; “Bread-and-Butter Packers” by Tex Maule

In this week’s episode of the SI Vault Podcast, host Ted Keith talks with legendary Sports Illustrated photographer Walter Iooss, Jr., one of only a handful of people that has attended every Super Bowl in NFL history. From Walter’s favorite memories of his time covering the game to his favorite photos, readers get a chance to see what it’s like for the game’s best photographers on the sidelines at the biggest game of the season. Finally, Ted will read, “Bread-and-Butter Packers,” from the...

Duration: 00:49:17

Evander Holyfield on fighting Mike Tyson, life after boxing; "Feeding Frenzy" by Richard Hoffer

In this week's episode, host Ted Keith talks with former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield about his long, storied career as part of Showtime's 30th anniversary of championship boxing. Among the topics Keith and Holyfield discuss are his first big fight in the Olympics, his legendary bouts with Mike Tyson and how their relationship is to this day and much more. Keith ends the show by reading Richard Hoffer's July 7, 1997 cover story in Sports Illustrated titled, "Feeding Frenzy,"...

Duration: 00:44:53

Vince Young, Texas upsets USC at the 2006 Rose Bowl, "The Night is Young's"

In this week's episode, host Ted Keith talks with Sports Illustrated senior writer Austin Murphy about his January 9, 2006 cover story, "The Night is Young's," chronicling the 2006 Rose Bowl between the Texas Longhorns and USC Trojans, which famously ended with a spectacular performance by Longhorns quarterback Vince Young, who single handedly won the game with a touchdown run in the final minutes. Following the interview, Keith ends the podcast with a reading of Murphy's historical...

Duration: 00:50:47

Rick Reilly's 'When Your Dream Dies,' the tale of referee Kenny Wilcoxen

In this week's episode, host Ted Keith starts off the show by reading Rick Reilly's story, "When Your Dream Dies," from the December 26, 1994 issue of Sports Illustrated, chronicling the tale of high school referee Kenny Wilcoxen. Through Wilcoxen's heart-warming story, that brings about memories of the movie It's a Wonderful Life, Reilly shares the what it's like for the ghosts on the field—the referees. Keith then interviews Reilly and talks about how he went about finding and reporting...

Duration: 00:59:51

The Vault Presents: The Super Fight

Before video games allowed for impossible matchups between sports legends, a computer attempted to answer the question: Who is the greatest of all: Rocky Marciano vs. Muhammad Ali? Harry Swartout looks back on the Super Fight simulation.

Duration: 00:16:45

Historical comparisons of the Warriors and '96 Bulls, Jordan stories, more

In this week's episode, host Ted Keith talks with SI senior writer Phil Taylor about his feature “Toy Story,” from the January 29, 1996 issue of Sports Illustrated chronicling the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan as they embarked on one of the greatest seasons in team sports history. Then, after talking Jordan stories, the comparisons to the Golden State Warriors and the team's current undefeated season and much more, Keith will bring the listeners back in time by reading Taylor's story in...

Duration: 00:53:28

The Vault Presents: Inside the DFS debate

Less than 30 years ago, SI pondered a sordid future in which legalized sports gambling cast a cloud over sports. Have daily fantasy sports ushered in that era? Harry Swartout goes inside the debate over the legality of DFS and examines what the future could hold for the industry.

Duration: 00:19:47

Ralph Sampson on Chaminade, life after; Alexander Wolff's, "The Greatest Upset Never Seen"

In this week's episode, host Ted Keith talks with SI senior writer Alexander Wolff and college basketball legend Ralph Sampson about Chaminade's upset of Virginia in 1982, memories of the game and much more. Then, Ted will read Wolff's SI feature, "The Greatest Upset Never Seen," from the Dec. 24, 2007, issue of Sports Illustrated. We love to hear our listener's thoughts. Please tweet our host at The SI Vault is sponsored by For up to a $200 bonus,...

Duration: 01:13:08

Larry Keith, Jeff Pearlman on the World Series, 1986 Mets, "Good to the Very Last Out"

In this week's episode, host Ted Keith talks with former SI editor Larry Keith and author Jeff Pearlman about their own World Series memories, Pearlman's book chronicling the 1986 New York Mets team and its upset of the Boston Red Sox in the Fall Classic. Then, Ted will read Ron Fimrite's SI cover story, "Good to the Very Last Out," from the Nov. 3, 1986, issue of Sports Illustrated. We love to hear our listener's thoughts. Please tweet our host at The SI Vault is...

Duration: 01:14:03

Rick Telander on Roger Maris, "The Record Almost Broke Him"

In this week's episode, host Ted Keith talks with senior writer Rick Telander about his story, "The Record Almost Broke Him," from the June 20, 1977 issue of Sports Illustrated. Telander and Keith discuss how the run-up to breaking Babe Ruth's long-standing homerun record, and the media storm that followed, impacted Maris's life. It was well known that Maris shied away from the spotlight, even in the years after he walked away from baseball with one of the most important records in sports....

Duration: 01:00:41

Tim Layden on Peyton Manning, "Matinee Idol Now Playing On Saturday Afternoons"

On this edition of the SI Vault Podcast, host Ted Keith welcomes Sports Illustrated senior writer Tim Layden to talk about his vault piece, "Matinee Idol Now Playing On Saturday Afternoons: Tennessee's Peyton Manning, Who Is Reveling In His Birthright As The Nation's Best Quarterback". Layden paints a fascinating picture of the Manning family while sharing a behind-the-scenes look of the Mannings and how the piece came together. You can find the original article here:...

Duration: 01:04:50

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