SI’s fifth annual sports media in review

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Stephen Colbert on the cover of Sports Illustrated … a sign of the apocalypse?

A sign of the times.

The Dec. 21 issue, on news stands Wednesday, props go to the Comedy Central fake pundint and U.S. speedskating savior who has raised sponsor money through his “Nation” for the American squad going into the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Nearly 9,000 individual donors, kicking in an average of $30, have helped make up for a Dutch bank sponsor that pulled out, and traffic on the USS website has doubled.

For some reason, 2006 Olympic gold medalist Shani Davis called Colbert “a jerk” earlier this month — the rest of the team love it.

Says Colbert: “They look like members of Blue Man Group, but beyond that there’s nothing comedic about speedskating. These are incredible athletes. My character isn’t ironically detached, he’s ironically a-ttached–things are important to him. And right now we’re here for speedskating.”

More from the SI media issue:

== A piece on Cris Collinsworth, who replaced John Madden on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”

== A piece on Bill Simmons and how he got to the top of the New York Times bestseller spot.

== A piece on “Invictus” and the power of the sports movie (when compared to Drew Barrymore’s “Whip It.”)

== A piece on how Chad Ochocinco (Hachi Go) has helped Twitter go nuts.

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