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ESPN The Magazine’s latest issue highlights the entertaining intersection between Hollywood and sports, with athletes now more than ever taking the script and running with it: The women of wrestling have become the main event. Freeskier Gus Kenworthy is sticking the landing in his jump to TV. And, from the telenovela of the Lakers to the epic drama that is Serena, the plot continues to thicken. Alison Brie and Becky Lynch are featured on the cover of ESPN The Magazine’s Blockbuster Issue, on newsstands Friday. Lynch is the first WWE Superstar to be featured on the cover.
In the espnW-powered cover story, W senior writer Allison Glock sits down with blockbuster game-changers Lynch (WWE Raw women’s champion) and Brie (star of Netflix’s hit show on women’s wrestling, Glow) to talk about dominance, sunset flips and opening the door when fear knocks. The Mag asked 11 athletes: “Who would play you in the movie of your life?” The Blockbuster Issue has their answers, as well as senior writer Alyssa Roenigk on freeski star Gus Kenworthy, who landed his first Hollywood role in American Horror Story: 1984.
And, you can’t have a Blockbuster Issue without having a ranking of the “Greatest Fictional Athletes in Movie History.” The Mag pit 32 of the best fictional athletes against one another in a knockout tournament until there was one athlete left standing: Rocky Balboa. Pop-culture junkies Katie Nolan, Pablo S. Torre and Mina Kimes debated and seeded the tournament, then stats whiz Peter Keating used his unique rankings—taking into account inspiration, athletic excellence and quality of movie–to determine the winner.
The Blockbuster issue also features three screenplays that, while fictional, deserve an award of their own:
Serena Williams and the Chamber of GOATs
Serena seeks entry into the mythical corridors of the best to ever do it, but can she overcome her foes, doubters and … Michael Jordan? By Tracy Oliver (Co-writer, “Girls Trip”)
All the King’s Toons
A completely copyright-respecting fever dream mocumentary that takes us behind the scenes for the chaotic making of Space Jam 2. By David Kohan (Creator, “Will & Grace”)
The Showtime Must Go On
What if we told you that in the Lakers’ greatest hour of need, the NBA’s most legendary franchise turned to an unlikely savior, and that savior was the Iron Sheik. By Nahnatchka Khan (Creator, “Fresh Off The Boat”
Also in this issue
The Truth: Anchors Away
Imagine a sports world in which there’s no salary cap, no luxury tax, no draft—nothing to restrict player movement. It’s easy if you try. By Howard Bryant
The Big Reads: One Texas Town, Two Unforgettable Stories
His game: Street Fighter. His method: extraordinary. His brother: his enduring hope. A profile of Mike “Brolylegs” Begum, a champion Street Fighter player from Brownsville, Texas, who, because of a severe disability he’s had since birth, plays using his mouth. By Elaine Teng
When you have family living on both sides of the border, where do you call home? For one high school football player in Brownsville, Texas, there is no easy answer. By Tonya Malinowski