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Can it really be almost 21 years since this popular Sports Illustrated cover in Tucson was published?
“Rock Solid — Arizona is No. 1”
The mean stares of Tedy Bruschi, Sean Harris, Jim Hoffman, Tony Bouie and Brandon Sanders complement the story written by Tim Layden.
That period was at the height of the Desert Swarm defense, which was coming off a complete shutdown of Miami in a 29-0 victory at the Fiesta Bowl.
Parts of Layden’s story:
“They have a catchy marketable nickname (Desert Swarm), one foot in your living room (via New Years Day’s stunning 29-0 trashing of Miami in the Fiesta Bowl) and even a nod in the hit movie Speed (Keanu Reeves to Sandra Bullock, after noticing the school’s helmet logo on her shirt: “Arizona Wildcats? University of Arizona? Good football team.”) …
“Arizona has been building with the castoffs and undiscovered. ‘Nobody wanted a lot of guys on this team,’ says senior guard Warner Smith. ‘That’s made everybody a little hungrier.’ Hell hat hofury like a player unrecruited given the chance to lay leather on the teams that passed him over.”
The lengthy article by Layden brought out the human element of head coach Dick Tomey, describing his experience as a Tucson city-league baseball player.
More Layden on Tomey, whom his coaches and players loved to be around:
“Ask Tomey what he expects from a quarterback and you get the following response: ‘Leadership, judgement and toughness. The world is full of quarterbacks with great arms who look good but who can’t get anything done.'”
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Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo: