In August Ian Book was the backup quarterback at the University of Dame with all eyes on whether or not Brandon Wimbush would progress as a passer enough to the point that Notre Dame could make a run at the playoffs. In December, Ian Book is the starting quarterback of the Fighting Irish after fueling a run to the playoffs for the first time in program history and finds himself on the cover of one of Sports Illustrated’s special edition playoff previews. Talk about a meteoric rise.
Notre Dame digital media teams were actually shooting some promo shots of Book and Chase Claypool as the cover popped up on Sports Illustrated’s twitter and captured the moment Book saw it for the first time.
When you find out you’re on the cover of @SInow.
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) December 14, 2018
I’d have included a tweet of the full cover from SI here, but whoever posted the covers to their Twitter did so in a way that I was unable to get just a pic of the Book cover without also including the cover of Clemson version of the cover which features Travis Etienne and do we really want to be looking at anything Clemson related just yet?
Now, for anyone worried about the SI Cover jinx, there is nothing to fear here. Sports Illustrated has a cover for each team so that should eliminate the possibility of a jinx on the Irish heading into the Cotton Bowl showdown with the Tigers. Along with Book and Etienne, Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and Alabama’s Tua Tagavailoa also have their own versions of a cover.
This is the first time the Irish are on the cover of Sports Illustrated for football since the 2015 season when Ronnie Stanley and Jaylon Smith graced a regional pre-season cover along with the Notre Dame Leprechaun. Prior to that, you have to go all the way back to 2012 when Notre Dame had two covers – one with Manti Te’o in the middle of the season and another at the end of Notre Dame’s 12-0 regular season commemorating the run to the title. The only two other SI covers for Notre Dame football in the last 20 years were the 2006 season preview with Brady Quinn, Zibby, and Travis Thomas; and Maurice Stovall’s touchdown versus Michigan State in 2002.
Let’s hope that Notre Dame gives Sports Illustrated reason for another cover or two here in the next few weeks.