I’m thrilled to announce the opening of a very special new club here at Gentlemen’s Quarterly: The GQ Sports Style Hall of Fame.
Before I show you around, I want to take you on a trip back to Atlanta in 1992.…
In October of that year, when Deion Sanders suited up for both the Falcons and the Braves on the same day, taking two limos, two helicopters, and a private jet between Miami and Pittsburgh to make it all happen, I was an 11-year-old Little Leaguer living in the A.
Obviously, Neon Deion was a superhero.
The way he could take over a game from the cornerback position (with a few punt returns thrown in) defied the fundamental logic and spatial layout of the game of football.
Equally inspired was the way he freaked his uniform, from the creative innovation of his sweatband placement, to the towel he dangled from the front of his belt, to the bandana that would remain his signature between the hash marks.
Meanwhile on the baseball diamond, he weaponized his blazing speed to turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples—his gold chain bobbing out of his jersey as he transformed himself into a Road Runner–like blur. To me, the act was no less immortal.
Yet even in his two-sport heyday, Prime Time never made it to the prime real estate of the cover of GQ.
Maybe Sanders—a guy who hobnobbed on the sidelines with MC Hammer in the “2 Legit 2 Quit” era of the Falcons, and famously drew a dollar sign in the dirt of the batter’s box—was just way too far ahead of his time culturally.
All I can say is that the current editorial team wasn’t going to let the omission slide. Deion Sanders—one of humankind’s most swaggerific sportsmen—being forever overlooked by GQ? No way.
Which is why I’m thrilled to announce this major new program that enables us to rectify the historical head-scratchers of the past and bring the cultural planets back into their rightful alignment.
We are kicking off our new Style Hall with three covers that feature a trio of the coolest athletes of all time: Allen Iverson, Derek Jeter, and the man we now know as Coach Prime.
To further mark the moment, we are also throwing a big ol’ event on Saturday, February 11 (yep, that’s the day before the Super Bowl), in Scottsdale, Arizona, where we’ll be interviewing all three cover stars in person onstage—and inducting them into our new Style Hall of Fame. Buy yourself a ticket and you can be there to celebrate with us too.
This issue also marks Allen Iverson’s overdue debut on the cover of GQ. Incredible, given what we now take for granted: that A.I. brought culture itself to the forefront of the NBA, simply through his style. He went chain for chain with Puff and Biggie. He invented the tunnel fit. He provoked the infamous NBA dress code. And he inspired a generation of young men to emulate his every look and move—on and off the court.