What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that teens could spend hours on this content-rich site following their favorite professional and college sports and players...or checking out endless photos of swimsuit models and cheerleaders. (The site is definitely skewed toward showing men as athletes and women as eye candy.) Parents should be aware that SI.com links to FanNation, its interactive site, where users 13 and older can register by providing their first and last name, email address, and Zip code. The site filters bad words and removes offensive comments, but like all interactive areas, potentially harmful and inappropriate content could get through.
What's it about?
Fans looking for the up-to-the minute pro and college stats, scores, and schedules won't be disappointed by SI.COM, Sports Illustrated's online arm. Football, baseball, and basketball get the most play, but hockey, golf, tennis, soccer, and NASCAR also get prominent coverage. There are links to other sites that are part of the SI.com/CNN.com network, like FanNation.com, which lets registered users create blogs, post comments, join groups, and play fantasy sports. For the Little League set, there's also SIKids.com, with games, quizzes, and polls.
Is it any good?
The magazine's in-depth profiles take a backseat to breaking news and splashy multimedia -- videos, photos, and of course, the swimsuit section. "Extra Mustard" is SI.com's attempt to meld sports and pop culture, but photo galleries of celebs at games don't offer much for the serious fan. One of the best features: the SI Vault -- a digitized archive of the magazine's complete collection of content that highlights stuff that's relative.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about athletes as role models. What happens when a sports hero does something unethical or illegal? What do kids think about players who use steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs? What message do they get from the site's photo gallery called "athletes who went to jail"?