category_outlined / Sports
ESPN The MagazineESPN The Magazine

ESPN The Magazine 06.18.18

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.

United States
ESPN Magazine LLC
Read Morekeyboard_arrow_down


access_time2 min.
pogba united

Prior to this cover shoot, I had shot Pogba three times for commercial shoots. And honestly, I’ve never seen him more free and easygoing than when we got time with him at his home. It was like being transported into Pogba’s world with his signature “PP” logos slapped onto everything. At one point, he wanted to change up his look. He ran back to his closet and came out wearing a fresh pair of sneakers with the laces untied. I asked him whether he wanted to tie them before we started shooting. “Nope, that’s how I wear them,” he said. This was the essence of the shoot—capturing real moments with Pogba and embracing his own personal style, untied laces and all. MORE ON PAGE 50 Pogba poses on the pitch he…

access_time4 min.
the numbers

Analytics offers a basic recipe for winning soccer: Treat the game like it’s hockey, and play like you’re the Russians who brought the idea of puck control to the NHL in the ’90s. Dribble with discipline and make sharp passes and you will build possessions. The more touches you amass, the more shots you can take. And the more shots you take, the more goals you will score. Spanish clubs popularized a tiki-taka style of play rooted in these concepts a decade or so ago, and the formula led Germany to an undefeated World Cup in 2014. That German team had the second-largest possession percentage among all squads competing in Brazil—and the biggest goal differential. But what if a team isn’t Germany or Barcelona or the old Red Wings? An underdog…

access_time16 min.
the beauty of devotion

We were as far from the Mexico City cultural elites as we were from Saturn. We were a provincial family with weird accents. We attended clandestine Catholic schools in a time when education, including a private one, was secular by law. We passed for learned thanks to a familial love for books and classical music. We were, for sure, the less trendy kids wherever we went, and we paid our quota of bullying because of that. We wore supermarket clothes. My dad’s car was a disgrace, and the other children were dancing to Gloria Gaynor and Rigo Tovar while we were discovering the Beatles in a set of records that came for free with our yearly subscription to Selecciones del Reader’s Digest. Most of all, we belonged to the peculiar…

access_time2 min.
when they knew

Brad Scherzer, father of Nationals pitcher Max: When he was little, Max said, “I want to be a major league baseball player.” He also wanted to be a firefighter or a police officer. There was never that one instant when I knew this would work out for him. Baseball is full of potholes. Sure, I saw something in Max’s eyes—his enthusiasm for sports, especially baseball. When he was 2, I’d come home from work and find him in the basement, waiting so we could play. But he also liked to learn. Even after the Cards drafted him out of high school, Max was set on college. He was creating a life where baseball would be one of his alternatives, not his only alternative. Mike Bryant, father of Cubs third baseman Kris:…

access_time2 min.
quick, dodge challenger!

DEE GORDON, MARINERS OUTFIELDER: Right before the national anthem, I saw the eagle, Challenger, on the JumboTron [before his flight to the field], and I said, “That bird looks like he doesn’t want to cooperate. If he comes over here, it’s going to be a disaster—I’m going to fight the bird or run from the anthem. Either way, I’m in trouble.” DESSA, NATIONAL ANTHEM SINGER: I met Challenger the day before and was told not to make any big gestures with my arms to avoid becoming a target for the eagle. I remember thinking, “That bird is the size of a mini fridge!” PAXTON: I was in left field by myself. I put down my glove and put my hat over my chest. All of a sudden, I see the eagle flying…

access_time2 min.
getting up to speed

Fleet-footed outfielder A.J. Andrews will be the first to tell you she doesn’t love running, but conditioning is everything for the softball star. What parts of your body do you target for softball? I target my legs the most because the power you have is going to come from your hips or legs. My favorite workouts are the ones when I feel absolutely exhausted at the end, and those are mainly the workouts that work on explosiveness, so a lot of legs. Especially me being a speed player, I sprint a lot, so it’s important for my legs to be powerful. I like to do incline sprints as well as stadium sprints. When I’m doing stadium sprints, it helps me feel that I’m getting faster, so when I apply that to even…