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To honor the film, Wahlberg and co-star Christian Bale grace the front of the magazine's "Year in Sports Media" issue. The two Hollywood heavyweights are among the rare non-athletes who have ever landed on the cover of the publication in its 56-year history.
"As somebody who always dreamed of being a professional athlete, to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated is an amazing accomplishment," Wahlberg told People.
Both lead actors are in the running for big Hollywood prizes for their roles. Wahlberg received a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of Ward and Bale is generating best supporting actor buzz for his turn as Dickie Eklund, Ward's older half-brother and trainer.
Other movies that received mention in the issue are James Franco's 127 Hours, and Secretariat.