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ESPN The Magazine
16 min read
Sports

Body 2017

EVERYBODY HAS A BODY, BUT NO BODY IS PERFECT. Think all great athletes are flawless? Javier Baez was born with crooked feet that needed braces—and now patrols the infield for the Cubs. Kirstie Ennis lost a leg in Afghanistan—then made herself into a multisport superstar. Guard Isaiah Thomas peaked at 5-foot-9—and last season scored more points than anyone his height in NBA history. Heck, softball player A.J. Andrews broke multiple bones in her hand—and still became the first woman to win a Gold Glove. Yes, everybody has a body—and as this, our ninth Body Issue, proves, every body tells a stor
ESPN The Magazine
12 min read
Sports

Still Standing

Greg Oden has a recurring dream. He’s playing defense for the Trail Blazers. He blocks a shot and passes to the outlet and sprints down-court, light and fast and strong. He’s three years removed from his last NBA appearance now, trying to build a new life out of the lows of his last one, but in the dream he can still play. He can still run. He glides to the paint, catches a return pass and dunks. Coast-to-coast. The crowd explodes. He feels a sweet rush of adrenaline. Fans love him, and he loves himself—all joy and no shame. ODEN IS IN the lobby of the academic support center on the Ohio Stat
ESPN The Magazine
10 min read
Sports

It’s Go Time

As Jordan Gross jogged off the field at Bank of America Stadium against the Giants, Panthers fans cheered and high-fived him without knowing exactly where he was headed. Gross just couldn’t ignore the urge any longer. Maybe it was the humidity or all that sweet tea, but in 2013, after a decade of playing tackle in Carolina, Gross had finally reached his bathroom breaking point. It’s simple math, really: Players drink gallons of water but can’t leave the field for even 30 seconds for fear of a turnover happening midstream. Over the years, Gross had tried every technique NFL players and other h
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Scribd Editors, Scribd Editor
From the Editors

Gut instinct vs. big data…

Does incorporating data analysis take away from the art of sports, or does it sweeten the taste of victory? This “Moneyball”-esque tale about the MLB Pirates puts in the hard work & examines the raw data to find out.