Plus – Burn the Red Shirt or Not? And Player X On Tiger Woods
It’s been a long time since boxing could compete with the big three sports. But what happens when young men with athletic ability and competitive fire, like cover athlete Quadtrine Hill, find themselves looking for Plan B? In Off the Grid, in the new issue of ESPN The Magazine on newsstands now, writer Tim Keown reports on South Florida businessman Kris Lawrence’s experimental heavyweight factory –turning former football players into heavyweight contenders.
- Hill on boxing: “I punch like a heavyweight and move like a lightweight. I fight just like a running back – deliver the hit, avoid the hit.”
- Lawrence: “These guys are in such amazing shape, that if they’re willing to work and have a strong chin, they can be boxing professionally in a year.”
In To Play or Not to Play, writer Ryan McGee looks at Wake Forest football coach Jim Grobe’s decisions on taking red shirts off of some of his top young talent this past season. McGee examines those who played, and those who didn’t, and tackles a decision many bowl coaches will now face: Burn the redshirt, or not.
- “The bigger buzz among players, though, was about his lack of damage control. Here is the highest-paid athlete in the world, with all those agents and people to protect him, and they couldn’t keep this quiet? We were shocked. The NFL is skillful at this.”
- “Even in my endorsement contracts, which aren’t near Tiger’s level, there are vague behavior clauses that cover pretty much anything and everything that would attract negative attention to a product.”
THE BOOK OF BASKETBALL: THE LOST PAGES. You’d think that a 700-page book wouldn’t have deleted anything, yet not so about The New York Times’ best-seller, The Book of Basketball, Bill Simmons offers The Magazine 15 mini moments he wished could have made the last cut.
OVER THE TOP. Judging by the current crop, there’s no greater source for hyperbole – in the history of the planet Earth! – than sports book titles. Amanda Angel reports.
SO BAD IT’S SAD. Blackouts, blowouts, empty stands: welcome to the post parity NFL, where seven historically inept teams could be the harbinger of doom. Tim Keown reports.
CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR. Playing overseas is the ultimate goal for U.S. soccer stars. But the dream of greener pitches comes with a cost. Luke Cyphers reports.
SHOOTOUT SECRETS. Puck insiders give the skinny on the NHL’s controversial tiebreaker. How well your team masters it can make or break an entire season. Lindsay Berra and E.J. Hradek report.