Earlier this week, I purchased a copy of Sports Illustrated for the first time in I can't remember. It's the College Football Preview edition and has a regional cover, so this was the one I wound up with:
COVER (4/5): Their season didn't end as planned but that won't stop @AlabamaFTBL this season http://t.co/Rl7Bhicgl9 pic.twitter.com/nb7tNApeZf— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 13, 2014
(Curiously, I bought this in North Carolina, which either shows you how much the national media disrespects Florida State or how powerful the SEC Network is.)
For obvious reasons, I am biased towards online sportswriting, because it's much broader in terms of tone and scope and approach. Also, magazines don't let you curse or insert shoddy MS paint art or make up fake Steve Spurrier quotes.* But...I really enjoyed the undistracted experience of reading some fantastic writing. Martin Rickman has a touching piece about Marshall's Rakeem Cato, who grew up in Liberty City and Overtown without a father and lost his mother when he was 13. Joan Niesen wrote an interesting piece about USC's George Farmer, who thought he'd be part of an unstoppable receiving trio with Marqise Lee and Robert Woods until injuries held him back. Andy Staples even got me somewhat excited about Florida's offense. I will definitely hold that against him at some point.
You will notice there are no links in the above paragraph, because none of those pieces are available online. Had I not purchased this edition, they wouldn't have crossed my radar at all. This is me telling you that it's worth it to go to a bookstore, hand over six dollars, and read all of them.
After you're done going through SB Nation's College Football Preview, that is. I'm not TRYING to get fired here.
*Please note, we have never done this. Everything Hatin' Ass Spurrier says are the authentic words of the man himself. He just hasn't said them yet.