Happened to run across the latest copy of Sports Illustrated at a bookstore the other day and I was stunned with what I saw.

On the cover was United States skier Lindsey Vonn. That was stunning to me because I figured it would be either Peyton Manning or Drew Brees adorning the cover with the Super Bowl just a few days away.

All I could think about was what an awesome honor it must be for Vonn to be the SI cover person over one of the Super Bowl quarterbacks. And the cover caption referred to her as “American’s Best Woman Skier Ever.”

A few seconds later, I was on my way to see what was in the Sporting News – I have no clue why Penn State coach Joe Paterno was on that magazine’s cover – and figured my next thoughts about Vonn would occur sometime during this month’s Winter Olympics.

Silly me.

I sometimes forget how many shallow, odd and attention-starved people there are on this planet. It seems the Vonn cover became a bit of an Internet controversy because an entity nobody had ever heard of before – something called WomenTalkSports.com – decided there was something wrong with the cover photo.

The cover shows Vonn from the side in the classic bending skiing position, smiling toward the camera as she prepares to head downhill. (see http://www.denverpost.com/portlet/article/html/imageDisplay.jsp?contentItemRelationshipId=2851456)

Somehow, a woman from that previously unheard of Web site decided that the cover shot was a sexualized pose. Come again?

I’m guessing this woman has never skied or watched skiing on television if she finds that to be a sexualized pose. All this woman has done is take away from Vonn’s major accomplishment – scoring an SI cover during Super Bowl week.

I checked Vonn’s Facebook and Twitter pages and I don’t see any complaints from her. In fact, she sent a public tweet to someone at Sports Illustrated on Feb. 2 that says “looks awesome thanks guys!”

Vonn sure doesn’t sound like a woman who feels she was sexualized to sell magazines.

Look, the 25-year-old Vonn is a talented athlete who happens to be attractive. Is she supposed to apologize for being easy on the eyes?

I really wonder if this woman from WomenTalkSports.com would have called it a sexualized pose if SI had put an unattractive woman who was scowling on the cover.

This whole attempt at stirring up a “controversy” when there isn’t one to begin with is very unsettling. It takes away from where the attention should be – Vonn’s stellar career and discussion about whether or not she really is the top female American skier ever.

She hasn’t won any Olympic medals during her career – this is her third Olympics – and she will be branded as a major disappointment if she doesn’t win at least one gold medal in Vancouver. She’ll be chasing medals with a sore left arm injured in a December training crash.

She seems to have a dynamic personality and appears to be a smart entrepreneur as she recently got a Web site up and running (see http://www.lindseyvonnshop.com/) to profit on her stardom. If you’re looking for a “Vonntourage” T-shirt, you now know where to go.

In case I didn’t drum home the point well, there’s nothing sexually exploitive about the SI cover. It seems to me that the uptight woman from WomenTalksSports.com missed the real discussion point of Vonn being on the SI cover.

Does the Sports Illustrated cover  jinx apply to female skiers?

  1. […] time to cash in. She impressively landed the Sports Illustrated cover during Super Bowl week (see https://mrsportsblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/vonn-si-cover-the-controversy-that-isnt/) and then followed that up with this week’s appearance in the SI swimsuit magazine. She’s been […]

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