Shawn White on ESPN The Magazine Cover: Winter Olympics Preview
Just when fans thought “Player X” had hung up his helmet at the end of the 2009 NFL season ESPN The Magazine has found a NASCAR driver, an NBA player and an MLB player to step up to the plate to give fans the inside track on their favorite sports and the lives of their favorite players – anonymously, of course. In the current issue of ESPN The Magazine, on newsstands now, fans will hear from “Driver X.” In his first column, Driver X lays out “a day in the life” of a highly touted NASCAR driver, from sponsor responsibilities to mandatory drug testing, the 11-month season is nonstop.
– I am Driver X. for the Past few months I’ve read what an anonymous NFL player has said in this column about life as a pro and thought, Dude, someone in NASCAR needs to do this. So, when The Mag invited me to be the voice of my sport, I jumped at the chance. So here I am, ready to take you inside the garage.
– I’ll start by answering the question that drivers get most this time of year: “How was your offseason?” Well, I didn’t have one … I spend less time driving a race car than I do being a “race car driver,” with all the obligations that come with it.
– The sponsor stuff can be exhausting… A few years ago, Jimmie Johnson took Mike Hampton around with him the morning of the 500, and the pitcher flipped. “Derek Jeter would never do this just before the World Series,” Hampton said.
– I’m a fan of the new drug-testing policy…We don’t need that junk on the track when we’re going 190 mph. But my problem with giving a urine sample is the amount of pee the lab wants and how they want it. To make sure I don’t cheat, a lab technician watches me do my business…
– So, if you walk through the garage, and no one asks for anything, it means you’re not winning. And that is a driver’s worst nightmare.
Player X/NBA launched on ESPN Insider this week as well, and Player X/MLB will launch later this month. As part of the Player/Driver X franchise, the anonymous athletes will appear weekly on ESPN Insider and bi-weekly in The Mag in a rotation. And, if there is breaking news, fans may hear from Player X/NFL during the offseason.
Also featured in this issue of The Magazine fans will find a Winter Olympics preview led by a revealing first-person account from cover athlete Shaun White about winning, innovating and growing up. The Olympic preview also features “Games Saver” by Luke Cyphers – the Olympics aren’t what they once were. Here’s how to fix that; “International Idol” by Lindsay Berra and Dale Brauner – these 13 athletes from around the world are a medal or two away from real global rock star treatment; and “Transformers” – the road to Vancouver has been rocky for several U.S. Olympians. It’s time to prove there’s more to them than meets the eye.
Other features in this issue: a NASCAR preview, “Our Cars Can’t be Beat;” “The Squeeze is On,” by Seth Wickersham, about the looming NFL labor dispute; and “Me Annoying? No Way!” by Eddie Matz, about Wake Forest center Chas McFarland.
Cover: Shaun White