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ESPN The Magazine 03.30.15

ESPN The Magazine is for the NEXT generation of sports fans who want to stay on top of the athletes, teams, topics and upcoming events in their own sports world. The Magazine celebrates not only sports, but the cultures and lifestyles that are an integral part of them - all with ESPN's unique personality and authority.

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ESPN Magazine LLC
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access_time3 min.
the ticket

On March 26, 2006, George Mason advanced to the men’s Final Four, becoming the second double-digit seed in NCAA history to make it that far. After the Patriots lost to Florida, their Cinderella story reached its conclusion—but a new fairy tale was just beginning. As the players packed their bags, the media latched onto the next chapter of their inspiring story: the school’s ability to profit from it. The Patriots’ success had “resulted in a whopping windfall” from merchandise and donations, reported Ad Age. Others touted a 21 percent surge in applications. The university highlighted its payoff in a news release, “The Business of Being Cinderella.” Five years later, something strange happened. George Mason returned to the Dance, advancing to the third round as an 8-seed—and applications barely budged. In 2012,…

access_time4 min.
the numbers

With baseball season about to start, I have a fun stat for you that is so simple you can calculate it in your head and it’ll tip you off to hidden fantasy values. The metric is runs per hit (RPH), and it’s just a player’s runs scored divided by his hits. I know that many sabermetricians barely glance at stats like runs and RBIs, which depend heavily on a player’s offensive context, including where he hits in the lineup. But take a deeper look at runs per hit: To excel in this category, a player needs to put himself in scoring position without hitting many singles, so he must have some combination of power, walks and speed. That makes RPH a handy snapshot of his offensive skills beyond batting average. In…

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7,000 Estimated number of bees giving pause (six!) at Tempe Diablo. 0 Number of fans reported to suffer the sting of outrageous misfortune (seven!) that day. 2 Number of Angels farm teams named the Bees, no more. (That’s eight. And we’re out.) To bee or not to bee? That was the question at a recent Cactus League game between the Royals and Angels, when a large swarm invaded Tempe Diablo Stadium. Within an hour, the bees became a sea of troubles behind home plate, engulfing a microphone. And then an employee of a local pest control company took up arms and shuffled them off this mortal coil. Royals manager Ned Yost, who described it as a “mass bee genocide,” said he would have preferred to see smoke used as part of a catch-and-release method. But would…

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WHO Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes and two of his daughters, Ashley, 8, and Joselin, 6 WHAT Reyes family at Walt Disney World WHEN Jan. 29, 7:37 a.m. ET WHERE Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Magic Kingdom, Lake Buena Vista, Florida “This was our first stop at Disney, something called the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, where fairy godmothers made our three youngest girls into princesses. Here we have Tiana and Sleeping Beauty—or maybe that’s Belle. I don’t know, man. Daddy does rides. My wife, Katherine, gets scared, so it’s my job to take our four girls on the roller coasters. This time our youngest rode all the coasters with me, and she wasn’t scared. I couldn’t believe it. I’ll do anything to see my girls happy, but I’ll be honest with you: When we finally got to the hotel at 5…

access_time4 min.
perfect storm

During last year’s NBA Finals, the Spurs bludgeoned the Heat with arguably the highest form of basketball ever —sublime playmaking, absurd perimeter shooting and lightning-quick passing that exhausted the finest player of a generation. Apparently, the players and coaches of the Hawks have TVs, because they’ve employed that same starless, free-flowing offense to obliterate the Eastern Conference. Their efficiency owes a debt not only to coach Mike Budenholzer, a Spurs assistant for 17 seasons, but to the fact that many of the Hawks’ plays are ripped straight from San Antonio’s playbook. Atlanta’s mastery of the offense is a testament to two characteristics both teams employ: wide-open spacing and shooting, shooting, shooting. Also: shooting. Here are three plays, directed by Jeff Teague, that illustrate what makes this Hawks offense so damn pretty—and…

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spiral tap: ty lawson on his spin move

It hasn’t been a dream season for the Nuggets, but Ty Lawson is nonetheless giving defenders fits. Credit speed and elite ballhandling, including this deft spin move that the point guard put in his arsenal back in his high school days at Oak Hill Academy. “I added it to my game because it’s really hard to guard,” says the 27-year-old Lawson. “I’ll do it against anybody. Except Mike Conley. He reads it too well. But it works so often that I almost always get an open shot off of it.” The numbers agree. Through February, 83.8 percent of his 2-point field goals were unassisted, the seventh-highest rate in the NBA (minimum 30 games). Here’s how he creates his foolproof route to the rack. —ASHLEY MELFI 1 “When I bring the ball…