I joined Sports Illustrated in 2005 after Time Inc chief, John Huey, and the departing boss, Norman Pearlstine, permitted the magazine to make me an exception to its hiring freeze. And my debut story on November 14 -- introducing the nation to Steelers safety Troy Polamalu -- landed on the cover. Exciting!

My stint at SI lasted for only a couple years. Nonetheless, I wrote multiple cover stories, including one on Seahawks tailback Shaun Alexander (cover below). An extra benefit of the Alexander piece was the opportunity to return to Seattle -- my old stomping grounds -- for several days. 

When Troy Polamalu announced his retirement in April of 2015, SI reprinted my cover story. My favorite piece to write for SI, though, featured superstar wideout Marvin Harrison. For many years, the magazine had been unsuccessful in trying to profile the inscrutable NFL player. However, my persistence — and some luck — paid off: Harrison temporarily let me into his world, leading to a well-received story in SI's January 8, 2007 issue. The headline -- "The Marvelous and Mysterious Marvin Harrison" -- captured him. On January 16, 2007, ESPN's "Outside the Lines" interviewed me live about the piece.