Steve Rushin is ending his 19-year run at Sports Illustrated. He will be missed. At least two other SI writers have been reportedly been let go. These departures appear to be part of a larger trend by SI to rid itself of much of its breathable "Air and Space" and turn the magazine over to a higher power: swimsuit models.
Of course, a picture of a scantily clad woman tells a 1000 words. By that word count, Rick Reilly better up his game.
I don't have a problem with magazines that show (tasteful) photos of beautiful woman, but leave it to the pros (Maxim, FHM, etc.). Sports Illustrated is Axe-ing readers to accept bread and circus over good writing. No subtlety here: "Spray more. Get more."
So goodbye Steve Rushin. Get ready for more Jenn Sterger. The title "Air and Space" remains appropriate, although now good writing will be replaced by gobs of silicon.
2/26 UPDATE: The Big Lead's post mortem on Rushin and SI