LARAMIE -- The future of Sports Illustrated is in grave danger.

While billionaires badger over stock shares, licensing fees and overpriced contracts, an icon of athletics is on a ventilator. If you want to read the gory details, you can do that right here. The future of the magazine is bleak. Same goes for its online platform.

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Once a beacon of the industry, landing on the cover of this publication put you in rarified air. It was once revered as prime real estate coveted by the biggest names in the game on the biggest stage in the world.

Now? We wait.

Until then, though, let's take a look back at the times a Wyoming Cowboy landed on the front of this once-prestigious mag:

 

Jim Kiick SI cover 1972
Jim Kiick SI cover 1972
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JIM KIICK - Aug. 7, 1972

The former Wyoming running back appears on the cover alongside Miami Dolphins teammate Larry Csonka. The title: Miami's Dynamic Duo. Kiick was the first former Cowboy to grace the cover of SI. He was the Cowboys lead back from 1965-67, rushing for 1,714 yards on 431 carries. He also found the end zone 10 times on the ground while helping lead Wyoming to berths in the Sun Bowl (28-20 victory over Florida State) and the Sugar Bowl (20-13 loss to LSU). Kiick also snagged 52 passes during his time in Laramie, amassing 561 yards through the air to go along with five more touchdowns. He was selected by the Dolphins in the fifth round of the 1968 AFL Draft. As a pro, Kiick rushed for 3,759 yards and 29 touchdowns. The New Jersey native was a two-time Super Bowl champion and named an All-Star twice. Kiick was also a member of the 1972 Miami team that finished the season undefeated. No other team in league history has accomplished that feat.

 

 

Jim Kiick SI cover 1975
Jim Kiick SI cover 1975
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JIM KIICK - July 28, 1975

Kiick, alongside former Miami teammates Paul Warfield and Larry Csonka, again do some posing in front of the field-goal posts. Only this time, Kiick and Csonka are wearing the burnt orange and brown of the Memphis Southmen of the upstart World Football League. Kiick played during the only season of the WFL -- 1975 -- before signing with the Denver Broncos.

 

 

Conrad Dobler SI cover 1977
Conrad Dobler SI cover 1977
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CONRAD DOBLER - July 25, 1977

"Pro Football's Dirtiest Player" was Conrad Dobler, a former Wyoming standout who played on both the offensive and defensive line in Laramie from 1969-71. Dobler, born in Chicago and raised in Twentynine Palms, Calif., told me back in 2019 he came to Wyoming for one sole purpose: to win a national championship. Unfortunately for him, he arrived on campus just in time to witness 14 African-American players get axed from the football team and watched as the Cowboys plummeted out of the national spotlight. Dobler was selected in the fifth round of the 1972 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. He would become one of the nastiest offensive guards in the league, known for tactics such as biting and leg whipping his opponents. That's how you earn a nickname like that. Dobler suited up in the NFL for 10 seasons and was a three-time Pro Bowl selection, all while playing for the Cardinals.

 

 

Bill Garnett SI cover 1982
Bill Garnett SI cover 1982
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BILL GARNETT - March 22, 1982

OK, this is a bit of a stretch. Bill Garnett can be seen on this cover helplessly watching as Georgetown's Patrick Ewing (the focus of the cover) pulls down one of his game-high eight rebounds in a second-round victory over the Cowboys in the 1982 NCAA Tournament. The Hoyas would finally avenge that 46-34 loss to Wyoming in the 1943 National Championship game with a 51-43 win. Garnett is still the highest-drafted athlete in UW history, going No. 4 overall to the Dallas Mavericks in 1982.

 

 

Fennis Dembo SI cover 1987
Fennis Dembo SI cover 1987
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FENNIS DEMBO - November 18, 1987

The "Dazzling Dude" graced the front of SI before the start of a much-anticipated 1987 season. Fennis Dembo, a year prior, helped lead the Cowboys to the Sweet 16 after an upset win over UCLA. Under first-year head coach Benny Dees, Wyoming was expected to make an even deeper run in the NCAA Tournament. That didn't happen. Dembo and Pokes wouldn't make it past the first round, falling to Loyola-Marymount, 119-115. Dembo capped his career in Laramie as the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,311 points. He would be the 30th overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft, landing in Detroit with the Pistons. To this day, he is the only current Cowboy to be featured on the cover of SI.

You can check out all the SI covers right here.

University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

During the summer of 2021, 7220Sports.com counted down the Top 50 football players in University of Wyoming history, presented by Premier Bone & Joint Centers, Worthy of Wyoming.

The rules are simple: What was the player's impact while in Laramie? That means NFL stats, draft status or any other accolade earned outside of UW is irrelevant when it comes to this list.

This isn't a one-man job. This task called for a panel of experts. Joining 7220's Cody Tucker are Robert GagliardiJared NewlandRyan Thorburn, and Kevin McKinney.

We all compiled our own list of 50 and let computer averages do the work. Think BCS -- only we hope this catalog is fairer.

Don't agree with a selection? Feel free to sound off on our Twitter: @7220sports - #Top50UWFB

Gallery Credit: 7220Sports.com

- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

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