When Major League Baseball player Eddie Mathews, pictured on the cover of Volume 1, Issue 1, suffered a hand injury a week later that forced him to miss seven games, the "Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx" -- a.k.a. "The Dreaded SI Cover Jinx" -- was born, as some noted that bad things seemed to happen to people soon after they appeared on the magazine's cover. Other notable cover coincidences include:
- January 31, 1955 - The week that an issue featuring her was on the stands, skier Jill Kinmont struck a tree during a practice run and was paralyzed from the neck down.
- November 18, 1957 -- The University of Oklahoma had won 47 consecutive games, which remains the longest winning streak in the history of college football. The cover carried the headline "Why Oklahoma is unbeatable." In their very next game, Oklahoma lost to the University of Notre Dame, which was in the middle of a down period. Notre Dame had also been the last team to defeat Oklahoma before the streak began, in 1953.
- May 26, 1958 - SI's 1958 Indianapolis 500 preview issue featured Pat O'Connor, who was killed in a 15-car pileup during the first lap of the race.
- February 13, 1961 - Laurence Owen was billed as "America's Most Exciting Girl Skater." Two days after the cover date, Owen and the rest of the United States figure skating team perished in a plane crash.
- December 14, 1970 - The University of Texas, 10-0 and enjoying a 30-game winning streak, fumbled nine times in its next game, a 24-11 loss to Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl.
- June 5, 1995 - Three days after his appearance, San Francisco Giants third baseman Matt Williams, the National League leader in home runs, batting average and RBIs, fouled a pitch off his right foot, breaking it, and forcing him to miss ten weeks.
- March 6, 2005 - The University of Illinois men's basketball team was 29-0 the day of their appearance, but soon lost their final regular season game to Ohio State University.