1998: The Year of the Ugly

By Jason Priestas on July 12, 2009 at 8:00 am
Elvis Grbac, the old hotness

(This is a bit old, so apologies if you've already seen this, but if you haven't, hopefully it will bring a small schadenfreudic1 smile to your face.)

Writer Jeff Pearlman, remembering one of his favorite moments from his days at SI and a classic gaffe from People Magazine2:

The magazine chose Rich Gannon as its Sexiest Athlete. At the time, Gannon was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. Still a couple of seasons removed from his golden tenure with the Raiders, Gannon was 33, handsome and likable. In other words, a solid choice. Yet People, being People, simply informed the photographer assigned to the piece that the Sexiest Athlete was the Chiefs’ quarterback. Hence, he took pictures of the Chiefs’ quarterback. Well, one of the Chiefs’ quarterbacks: Elvis Grbac.


The pictures made their way back to the New York offices, and editors were dumbfounded. This was their Sexiest Athlete? Yet upon learning the truth, no one with the magazine had the heart (guts?) to tell Grbac that an unfathomable mistake had been made. As a result, Elvis Grbac reigns as People’s 1998 Sexiest Athlete.

That's cold. But we love it.

1 Not a real word. Settle down Michigan grads.
2 And that should be the last time you ever see the words "People Magazine" printed around these parts.