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When my TV show, 'Sports Jobs with Junior Seau,' assigned me to be a 'Sports Illustrated' reporter for a weekend, I didn't realize I'd have to squeeze it in around another sports job. I had planned to retire from the NFL to enjoy the cushy lifestyle of a full-time reality TV star, but I wound up getting run over by a bull.
At home I have a copy of the April 21, 1986, issue of 'Sports Illustrated.' I'm on the cover with the blurb, 'Can Lou Do It?' I'd just arrived at Notre Dame, and with spring football underway, I was the focal point of that week's coverage.
Even if I did have, you know, a 'Sports Illustrated' body, I'd still wear elegant clothes.
For a while I was on the cover of every Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, which was regarded as the pinnacle of success in America.
I gave birth to my first son in April 1986. I thought it would be a good goal to get back in shape after having a baby if I ran the New York City Marathon. I ran in it November 1986. I had just shot the 'Sports Illustrated' swimsuit issue, so I was in great shape.
The main thing is healthy eating, exercise, which I do for special events, like if it's Sports Illustrated, or the swim suit catalogue for Victoria's Secret, or my own calendar that I did for the year 2000.
A supermodel needed to be able to be on 'Sports Illustrated,' to be able to walk runways, to be able to do beauty ads, to be on covers. And the girls now can no longer be on covers and be in the ads because your actresses have taken over all the jobs. I don't know what happened, but we want our jobs back.
The first thing they gave me at 'Sports Illustrated' was a first-class air card. 'And oh, by the way, there's the petty cash drawer,' they told me. 'Take a few thousand dollars for expenses.'
My dream was always to be on the cover of 'Sports Illustrated.'
'Sports Illustrated' does extremely minimal retouching. Other publications, however... phew. They do a lot; I've watched myself be Photoshopped before. It. Is. The. Worst.
These 'Sports Illustrated' people, they know how to hold a secret.
The 'Sports Illustrated' cover was the last thing I shot. That week, I told my agent, 'You know what, I really... I don't want to be a model anymore. I really want to do movies.' And I think he wanted to wring my neck at the moment.
I was a subscriber to 'Sports Illustrated' like so many of us, and I was overwhelmed by a toxic mix of naivete and arrogance, and just thought to myself, 'I think I can write like this.'
It's become another dimension to who I am. I don't think Sports Illustrated is going to be wanting me. But who cares? I'm at a different place in my life.
Life magazine ran a page featuring me and three other girls that was clearly the precursor of Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues.
I never thought I'd make the pages of 'Sports Illustrated', because I've always been skinny.
When we do 'Sports Illustrated,' it starts the night before. You do a St. Tropez tan that night, then baby oil gel, then body color.
After my first 'Sports Illustrated' cover, I felt terrible about myself for a solid month. People deal with models like they are children. They think they can pull one over on you. I'm not a toy; I'm a human. I'm not here to be used.
I did a shoot for 'Sports Illustrated,' and my grandpa called me and asked when my issue of 'Playboy' was coming out. It was hilarious as well as embarrassing.
Every single model wants to be in 'Sports Illustrated,' and I feel extremely blessed to have that opportunity.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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