Actor Brad Pitt made the cover of Sports Illustrated this week for his portrayal of Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane in Moneyball the movie. An actor making the cover of the most well respected sports magazine in the country for playing a movie role seems weird. Did Charlie Sheen make the cover of the magazine for winning Rookie of the Year with the Indians? Did Steve Nebraska’s perfect perfect game with the Yankees get Brendan Fraser on the cover? I think not, and if those guys can’t get the front flap, then I’m not so sure I support Pitt making it.
I get it, I get it — Moneyball is based on reality while those movies are not. Just know, SI, that I’ll be disappointed if Al Pacino wearing a coaching headset doesn’t make next week’s cover. But I do get it — if you have a chance to put Brad Pitt on the cover of you’re magazine, you’re going to do it. It’s a rare opportunity to appeal to an audience you wouldn’t normally be able to target.
You might be surprised to know that Pitt isn’t the first non-coach, non-athlete to make the cover. According to a press release from SI, Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, Stephen Colbert, Bob Hope, Ed Sullivan, Steve McQueen and Arnold Schwarzenegger in addition to former presidents John F. Kennedy, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan (appearances on the 11/26/84 and 2/16/87 covers) and Bill Clinton have all made the cover.
As for Pitt’s knowledge of the game, he says it’s shameful how little he knows about baseball. Pitt also says he now follows the A’s and feels a bit romantic about them. Yup, Moneyball does have that power. It’s hard not to at least respect the A’s after learning the Moneyball story.Google+