EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - If you think you enjoy you're favorite magazine subscription. Think again.

"It could be a little sickness," laughs Ken Cooper from Eden Prairie.

At age 11, Cooper received his first Sports Illustrated issue in the mail. That was 31 years ago. He's kept every issue since.


"I have 1,565 issues saved," he says. "Hey, if you do something, do it full tilt."

Cooper says his wife is gracious, willing to allow the storage space for the massive collection.

"It's amazing to look back at these issues," he says. "Sports has come a long way in 30 years."

He says he keeps them because of his love for sports and history.

"In the 80's, Sports Illustrated was our only way to know what happened on the national stage. Just like a song can take you back to a period of time, so can these covers."

His collection of knowledge is impressive, too. Cooper has done his own original research on every issue dating back to 1954.


He could tell you that Major League Baseball is the sport that's been on the cover the most or that just over 5,300 individuals have been pictured on the covers, featured or in the background.

"There have actually been more shirtless men on the cover than swimsuit issues," he chuckles.

His collection and research were noticed by Sports Illustrated editors. They even wrote a column about Cooper in August - Sports Illustrated's 60th issue.

"That was pretty surprising," said Cooper. "It doesn't get much better to be in the magazine you grew up with."

Since the article came out the phone has been ringing, too.