Let’s make this fun and funny. And by doing so, let’s start with honesty. I am a happily married man. It’s true. I am. I have two and soon-be three kids, and I love them more than anything. My wife is gorgeous and funny and the list could go on and on and on.
But did you ever see the cult classics, Hot Tub Time Machine, Old School or Hall Pass? They’re all pretty much the same movie. A group of married men seek their youth by attempting to repeat it. Their wives, or partners, essentially grant this wish, with hopes that their buffoonery, might be expunged. That they might come home content with the way life has turned.
They’re hilarious movies. But I don’t fully relate to them. I’m not seeking my “turn back toward grace.” I am a writer, and by being a writer, I have a great imagination. That sometimes haunts me. It allows me to step into others’ shoes.
The problem is sometimes these shoes are drop dead swimsuit models on covers of Sports Illustrated infamous swimsuit editions. Let me try that again. Sometimes I am thumbing through magazines, looking for something sport or food or home related, and I happen to “bump into” the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.
This is all by mistake. I promise (lol). But it really isn’t fair not to include such “skill” in the barely clad sport of swim suiting, in TheSportster list of rankings. So, for integrity’s sake, I will do the dirty work. Selfless and composed.
Here are the 15 hottest women to ever grace the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition Cover.
15 “The Super Team” (Cover Year: 2014)
It’s become common in the NBA world to concoct the “Super Team.” A team made up of three stars, formerly central to their past franchise. Recent examples include, the Celtics of 2008 with KG, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. Or the Heat teams with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. It’s beginning to feel like, without a super team, you’re dead in the water when it comes to winning a ring.
Well, why not do it in the art of modeling? Concoct, three so saucy stars, that ruin it for every cover model in the history of SI Covers. This team for the win. Back to back to back. Literally backside to backside to backside. Can you get over it?
The 50th Anniversary issue. SI had to go big. And boy did they. Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge and Chrissy Teigen shirtless in the gorgeous blue waters with thongs. Makes sense. Above is just one of the many hot photos from the shoot.
14 Lena Kansbod (Cover Year: 1977)
I absolutely must include this photo. Lena Kansbod is every teenage boy's fantasy. Her look like the hot mom who picked you up in her van, to take you to soccer practice.
You know you had that friend. The one who was shy about his mom’s goods. Her ability to withstand the steady wear of time, with tight, perky youthful assets, aged like a fine wine.
The image is also tasteful. Kansbod in her one piece with that beautiful, big smile. The oversized beach chair. It feels like something you’d see in Nantucket. Nah, more like something straight out of your teenage dream.
13 Elsa Benitez (Cover Year: 2001)
You could cook an egg on that girl. My God. Snap pop and sizzle. Benitez the doorway to the Mediterranean.
The longer you look in her eyes, the less you see a real, normal woman. I swear they’re like vacuums. You begin to see a goddess or something. Her draw so strong you get lost somewhere between the here-and-then. Wishing you could time travel. Become a piece of sand, or fan her while she eats grapes in her trailer on a break.
I don’t know what else to say about this. The tanned skin. The lips. The bikini so tight it’s like floss tied around an orange.
12 Kathy Ireland (Cover Year: 1992)
The other poster I hid, this time under the infamous Jordan dunk over Craig Ehlo poster, was this shot of Kathy Ireland. Along with Cindy Crawford, it’s fair to say Ireland was as dominate AS an MJ in the world of near-nudity.
I had the pleasure of meeting Ireland at a Chumash Casino a few years back. Girl still got it. My buddy and I jaw dropped as we posed next to the woman, who arguably woke our man parts out from boyish slumber, in the mid-90s.
I argue Ireland very well defined the pose of a bikini shot. This shot used in classes taken by those who wish to get into the photography side of things.
Isn’t she a doll?
11 Kate Upton (Cover Year: 2017)
From what I hear, and from maybe what I see…Kate Upton is sort of, kind of, good at being hot?
The topic of Kate Upton gives me a little comfort. No, not because her curves are like silken sand dunes rolling over gushes of diamond waves, but because she’s moved on into acting, and my wife really loves her. That sounds bad, and maybe like a bit of a male fantasy. What I mean is my wife likes her as an actress.
Okay, let’s stop the silly. Kate Upton is hot. Like hot with three t’s. Hottt. My wife thinks she’s hot. I think she’s hot. My cat thinks she’s saucy. And by the look of these images gracing the 2017 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, I might just have to agree.
Time to roll up my tongue and put it away.
10 Yvette and Yvonne Sylvander (Cover Year: 1976)
I’m going to play nice here. Keep it relatively appropriate. There are some things you think and admit to, and other things you safely keep tucked in your subconscious pocket. But that subconscious thought (maybe a little more conscious than I’d like to admit to) is not on me. No, no. It’s on SI for having the nerve to pose two drop dead 12’s out of 10 sisters, in matching swimsuits on a secluded beach.
I’ve admitted too much…
You have to love this photo for many reasons. Not only are the two sisters utterly delish. But they have throwback rainbow style suits, reminding all the old-school gentlemen of perhaps, their more wilder years.
9 Veronica Varekova (Cover Year: 2004)
It’s the infamous arousing, shy shot. A girl turning her half-naked body away from the one who views her, biting her lip and shyly looking back. It really isn’t cool. For one, it plays with a man, like a cat a lizard’s tail. Makes you think your gaze might earn you a hearty reward, only to be chronically tempted by the gifts never given. Second, it confuses a fool. Think about it. The gifts on her upper half posed away-from, while the lower half adjust itself in a suggestive pose. On top of that, SI had the nerve to put the classic bow on the backside. This isn’t Christmas. But it sure mind-screws a man into thinking so.
This pose and image of Varekova must be one of the best from a marketing standpoint ever. The bow causing men to get in a giving mood, handing out copies after work to co-workers and to friends over happy hour. And not to take to anything away from Varekova. The girl got that bit lip swagger. She’s salty. Commands attention.
8 Elle Macpherson (Cover Year: 1986)
The words on the cover were: “Paradise Found.” Does it get any more suggestive than that? What’s the paradise, a gorgeous tree-shaded cove with clear salt banks, or the paradise sought, say, over the supple land of butternut skin and soft curves?
Both. But the image described of a secluded beach is nowhere near as special without Elle Macpherson walking in a tight-fitting spandex one piece, pulled out to punctuate the infamous goods she’s been given.
This image with the suggestive phrase, recalls Leo DiCaprio’s famous movie, the Beach. A movie about feral needs fulfilled by amorphous boundaries – any, and all sins allowed.
7 Elle Macpherson (Cover Year: 1987)
I mean, come on. Get the hell out of here with that SI cover. This is when the internet haunts a married man. Why in the hell is this out there, available, for me or for any Al Bundy to see? And what is with that gemmed heart sitting between her bosom? Is it mockery for all the millions of men who would lay eyes on our slick, seal-like frame, raptured in that too-small onesie?
This is how it happened: the photography director sat Macpherson down with her team of designers and said one thing: “Too small.” He helped them draw the dimensions, drawing notice to her well-endowed top side, and asked they snip away enough spandex, to make it look and feel like a shadow wrapped around her goods.
I’m literally angry over that cover. How dare you Elle Macpherson. How dare you.
6 “The Dream Team” (Cover Year: 2006)
The greatest team ever assembled was the first NBA Dream Team. Compiled in 1992, the team took Olympic basketball by storm, dominating in an unforgettable manner. They were stacked. Housed the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, Karl Malone, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Chris Mullin, John Stockton, Christian Laettner and Charles Barkley. They were filthy. Not watching this team play was a crime. A crime punishable by death.
Now imagine that team all on the same cover. Shirts off. Sand riding up their thighs, by their buttocks. Lips like luscious Grecian gods. Hair blowing honey like in the breeze. Bear with me here, I’m getting to the point. In 2006, Sports Illustrated concocted a diatribe of sexy, so outrageous, it’d make your mind blow. We’re talking Roger Rabbit with his red headed wife Jessica. Lots of exclamation points, electricity fizzing out your hair. How on God’s green earth, SI had the nerve to do this, is beyond me.
The team included: Veronica Varekova, Elle Macpherson, Rebecca Romijn, Rachel Hunter, Daniela Pestova, Elsa Benitez, Carolyn Murphy and Yamila Diaz-Rahi. It’s damn near murderous.
5 Tyra Banks (Cover Year: 1997)
I liked Tyra the moment I saw her on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Not only was she Will Smith’s girl, she had a sassy, confident, witty and yet, charming sense about her.
Flash forward a few years, to 1997. Tyra has moved out of acting and into full-fledged modeling. She maybe sorts of happened to put on a red pock-o-dot bikini and stand on the beach with a stomach flat as sheet metal.
I know this image like I remember Ken Griffey Jr’s swing. That gorgeous left handed upstroke (word choice, forgive it…), sending balls sailing 450 feet to dead center. Tyra was the King Griffey of sexy. She was fine. Real fine. Had the assets to be a complete star, on and off the field. I digress…
One confession, and a funny one: I had this image, like so many other boys, as a poster. Afraid my mom would tear it down, I hid it under a Ken Griffey poster. No, really. I seductively hid this image under a Ken Griffey poster, so I could stare long and hard (wrong word, here, sorry…) in the midnight hours of sleeplessness.
4 Christie Brinkley (Cover Year: 1980)
Hand down, the hottest girl of the 80s. Hands down. Nobody had the IT factor Brinkley did. She was so fine she stole the “Piano Man,” Billy Joel’s heart, and didn’t stop there, stealing Chevy Chase’s humorist fascinations in National Lampoon's “Family Vacation.”
This pose right here, is an impeccable 10 out of 10. Brinkley in her cream white bikini with those pink lemonade lips. Omit that please.
But truly. Rummage your mind and tell me a hotter girl from 80s. You won’t be able to. And if you think you do, it’s only because you’re lying. Sometimes we tell ourselves things to feel better about ourselves. Which I get. But when it comes to Brinkley’s gorgeous egg shell skin and golden hair, you’re just being silly, if you deny her, her throne.
3 Brooklyn Decker (Cover Year: 2010)
Decker is another girl my wife adores. She’s one of only a few cover models whose transitioned from undressing in a pleasurable manner to the big screen. This has left many men broken hearted. As her 2010 image is so “naughty girl next door,” it leaves a man’s mind wandering into phantasmal annals of bliss.
Stop me. Please.
No really. Those golden cheeks dusted with adorable freckles. The way she’s staring steadfast at the camera, as her bikini top plummets down her shoulders, becoming nothing but a prop for male imagination. It really isn’t cool. It could make a committed priest go flush and lose himself suddenly in a sermon.
As I said, Decker has transitioned into acting. She plays the daughter of Jane Fonda, in hit Netflix original Grace and Frankie. A show I highly recommend.
2 Heidi Klum (Cover Year: 1998)
This list would be utterly incomplete without the great Klum gracing its presence. Not only is Heidi Klum arguably a top 5 finest model of All-Time, but in her retirement, became a fashion and television mogul. She’s a brand.
What’s amazing about this photo, is it’s staging. You’ll notice the quality of the photo crisper than those before it, and the seductive stance, more compelling, compulsory, as she lunges forward into water. From talking with friends who understand modeling, I’ve been told this photo is considered a bridge from the Old School less suggestive style and quality to the New School, more sexually provocative.
Klum was perfect for the job because of her appeal, as a foreign girl with a friendly disposition. It made for more of a draw. And it sure as hell worked.
1 Hailey Clauson (Cover Year: 2016)
I feel like I dug my face in a mountain of Banana Split. Gooey caramel and chocolate dripping from my chin. And I’m nowhere near being ashamed.
When I saw this image, I had a literal, physical reaction. I leapt from my seat a quarter inch (White men can’t jump) and shouted psychobabble in a manner like speaking tongues. It was a damn near spiritual experience.
Holy High Water of Mind Mess. This is the stuff that makes a Will Ferrell in Old School wish for a second shot. We all know comebacks rarely work. But it at least makes his dilemma in the movie, understandable.
On the SI cover, Clauson has the nerve to pose in ocean white wash, with her top long gone in the surf. Me on another shore, picking it up. Her millionaire boyfriend, smirking.