Apple iPad is worth a look from sports fans


When the Cardinals traded for Lou Brock way back in 1964, St. Louis fans may not have known what to expect. It seemed he would be a role player, a minor addition that wasn’t all that impressive. Brock was batting a dismal .251, and had only 10 stolen bases through 51 games. He was a decent young player, but certainly not anything spectacular. The previous two seasons in Lou’s short career lined up with those beliefs. His average in his rookie year was just .263. The next year, 1963, he hit .258 for the rival Cubs. So, when 1964 rolled around and he struggled out of the gate, Chicago sent him to St. Louis. The rest is history, as Brock became a Hall of Famer and the all-time leader in stolen bases until Rickey Henderson came along. He is now among the greatest Cardinals of all-time. The point: some things need time to develop and find success.

The wait is over for eager customers everywhere, as Apple introduced the iPad yesterday. While it was wildly anticipated, many have criticized it. Most complaints want more features like a camera and flash ability. Still, I think it will be another home run for the company, as the product is truly one of a kind. When I saw the iPad and the reviews, I honestly wasn’t impressed. It looked like a big iTouch to me. Nothing special. It didn’t really appear to add anything to the lineup that includes everything iPods and more. A closer look, though, changed my mind.

While a camera and other capabilities would be nice, it is best to be patient. Lou Brock didn’t steal 938 bases overnight. Apple will most likely tweak the product in the coming years to accommodate the customer’s demands. This is only the first, the foundation for future technological advances. And technology is advancing faster than ever, so in a year or two there will be something better.

The coolest thing that I have seen about the iPad may be the new Apps. The newspapers and magazines have stepped up to create an interactive version of their print editions that can’t even be found on the web. The Sports Illustrated App is especially impressive with every photo, story, category, and even video to captivate the reader. Take notes sports fans, this is big.

This experience is unheard of. Just watch the video above and you’ll know what I mean.

While I am a fan of this technology, I also hope that in this new wave of technology, magazines like SI continue to print regular issues for newsstands like it always has. The physical magazines hold value in that looking back twenty years from now, I could pull out that Tim Tebow cover and say, “Wow, I remember this. Tebow was something else.” The iPad or whatever it will be in 20 years doesn’t hold that same nostalgic effect. And I like nostalgia, especially with sports. That’s why the Hall of Fame is so special to baseball fans.

You’d be hard-pressed to find the Lou Brock SI cover issues in full on your iPad. And you definitely wouldn’t see him smacking a single up the middle or sliding into second for another steal like you just saw Tebow running through LSU. It would be neat though. The sights and sounds of 1968, as Lou appears from behind a dusty cloud. The hard copy will never be lost in time, it will always be the same. Lou was something else, just look at him on SI. It only took a little time, something the iPad may need to become a superstar product.

Remember these? The real test would be if anyone had them. That would be awesome. These covers can all be found on in the SI Vault section.