Colt the Cover Boy

ESPN: The MagazineColt Brennan celebrated quarterback of the rejuvenated University of Hawaii Warriors football team, is featured on the cover of the upcoming issue of ESPN The Magazine.

“It’s the first time a local athlete has received this national honor,” crowed KHON sports anchor John Veneri tonight.

Now, not being particularly sports savvy, I confess that I initially though the remark carried a bit of fan hyperbole, since I was under the impression that ESPN The Magazine was a scrappy but small upstart publication that cowered in the shadow of the all-powerful Sports Illustrated.

Turns out I was wrong. Sure, Sports Illustrated has been around for half a century and its circulation of over 2 million easily dwarfed the readership of ESPN The Magazine… at least at its launch in 1998, when it had a circulation of about 350,000.

But a lot can happen in a decade, and ESPN The Magazine is no second-rate rag. It has over a million readers, and remarkably considers younger, trendier, “lad mag” titles like Maxim and FHM its primary competitors rather than Sports Illustrated. And given the way Sports Illustrated has been evolving over the past decade, it’s clear they’d love to have the reader demographics of ESPN The Magazine.

Which is to say, making the cover of ESPN The Magazine is a pretty big deal after all. Be sure to pick up a copy to read about “the best college QB in Hawaii… and 49 other states.” Congratulations are most certainly due, then, to our “Honolulu Hotshot.”

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