The greatest Sports Illustrated Super Bowl covers of all time

No swimsuits though…

THE SAN FRANCISCO 49ers and Baltimore Ravens will meet in New Orleans and one team will become the 47th NFL Champion of the Super Bowl era.

During that game, somebody will do something that will be captured by a photographer that will land on the cover of next week’s Sports Illustrated.

On the next few pages, we will take a look at how the cover of SI’s Super Bowl issue has evolved over the years. From the simple cover of Max McGee in 1967 to last year’s shot of Eli Manning being protected by his linemen, the covers are a fun look back at the evolution of one of the world’s biggest sporting events and the evolution of the pre-eminent sports magazine.

The greatest Sports Illustrated Super Bowl covers of all time
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  • Sports Illustrated's first Super Bowl cover was amazingly simple

  • In one of the greatest upsets in NFL history, SI went with Joe Namath taking a drink of water

  • The headline for the Cowboys' first Super Bowl win wasn't very super

  • The Steelers first Super Bowl win was Terry Bradshaw's only Super Bowl cover

  • In what started a trend for future Steelers Super Bowl wins, this cover showed Lynn Swann making his famous falling down catch

  • Yippeee?

  • Another great Steelers catch goes on the cover, this time from John Stallworth

  • One of the greatest Super Bowl cover photos showed the unlikely Raiders hero celebrating as Joe Theisman looks on helplessly

  • It was fitting that the Bears defense was featured after their Super Bowl win

  • Doug Williams' performance changed the perception many had of African-American quarterbacks

  • This was the 49ers third Super Bowl win and Joe Montana had yet to appear on a Super Bowl cover

  • The fourth win was the charm, and check out that vertical leap!

  • Interesting that Sports Illustrated chose not to show Scott Norwood after his 'Wide Right' field goal miss

  • We really start seeing a more modern SI cover in 1994. Two years later Emmitt Smith would get the rare second SI Super Bowl cover with headline 'SUPERBOYS'

  • Notice that Desmond Howard is looking for defenders on the jumbotron

  • John Elway final got over the hump. The next year he went back-to-back in the Super Bowl and on the cover

  • The Rams and Kurt Warner were one of the more incredible Super Bowl stories

  • The Ravens won this Super Bowl with defense, although this play is probably a penalty in today's game

  • And the very next year, SI's cover showed another hit that would be illegal today

  • Tom Brady's second Super Bowl win got him on the cover

  • Some think he needs more, but Peyton Manning does have one ring and one Super Bowl cover

  • David Tyree's miracle catch helped upset the 18-0 Patriots

  • And yet another incredible catch by a Steeler in the Super Bowl

  • Drew Brees celebrates the Saints' win with his son

  • Eli Manning cemented his spot in history with his second Super Bowl

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