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ESPN The Magazine 06.12.17

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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access_time3 min.
out of the shallows

When I told folks I was interviewing Ryan, the response was a unanimous, “Ugh, that guy?” Ryan, to his credit, was not surprised. He’s keenly aware of what people think of him—good, bad and ugly. Ryan says he first felt famous after his reality show aired and he was getting stopped for photos and autographs walking down the streets of New York. He felt similar exposure after the Rio Olympics, when “people were basically telling me to go die,” he recalls good-naturedly. He adds of the debacle: “I definitely learned a lot about myself, including that I needed to grow up. And I learned a lot about other people.” MORE ON PAGE 62 Lochte, with fiancée Kayla Rae Reid, breaks in the new family kiddie pool. Senior writer Tom Junod on Muhammad…

access_time4 min.

Major league baseball is in an era of enlightenment in which organizations are filled with the bright minds of men and women who won’t accept the status quo without examination. The phrase That’s the way it’s always been done is routinely ignored, and more informed decisions are now made about defensive positioning, pitch selection, bunts, platoons and trade value, as well as about whether it’s worth sacrificing an All-Star catcher to the act of blocking home plate just to prevent one run in one game in a 162-game season. But as the sport has evolved, the practice of retaliation—through the use of a baseball thrown at a prone human target—is still in play, left over like a horse and buggy in the middle of an interstate highway. Take the Braves–Blue Jays…

access_time19 min.
richard sherman won’t let it go

Richard Sherman wanted to send a message to Russell Wilson. It was June 2014, and it’d been a testy day at Seahawks minicamp, with defensive players hitting the offense in a noncontact practice. On one play, Sherman had ripped off the helmet and jersey of receiver Phil Bates, igniting a brawl, the cornerback’s dreadlocks flopping in the air. Both sides cleared. Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” blasted from the loudspeakers. But the defense, a ruthless and crazy and awesome bunch that less than five months earlier had delivered the franchise its first Super Bowl victory, was just getting started. Sherman is famous for loving practice, for treating it like a game, for rarely missing it even when injured. For him, it’s where a mystical bond is forged and a win on Sunday becomes an…

access_time48 min.
the greatest, at rest

BY TOM JUNOD A week before her husband dies, Lonnie Ali changes the plans for his funeral. The funeral she had envisioned is too big, she thinks. It is too complicated. At her annual meeting with the man who has been doing most of the planning, she says, “Sit down. I have to talk to you about something.” She is making changes because she believes she has time to make them. Her husband is not even sick. And besides … he’s Muhammad Ali . She began working on the plan a decade earlier in response to counsel, and she’s come to regard it as part of his routine upkeep, not so different from helping him with his meds. There are just some things you have to do, she says. She is not…

access_time2 min.
the blue jays go hog wild in toronto,y’all

HOGTOWN STAK ROGERS CENTRE COST: $18* ESTIMATED CALORIES: 1,190 Before opening Cherry Street Bar-B-Que last year, Toronto’s Lawrence La Pianta had been a barbecue hobbyist, smoking local rivals in cook-offs for 20 years. So we asked him to smell what’s cooking at Blue Jays games, where they sling the Hogtown Stak, an offering that pays homage to Toronto’s early history as a hub of pork processing. How does this dish represent Toronto? It’s got a strong Canadian influence. Ballparks all seem to have a signature dish, and that’s what I think the Jays did with this and its take on poutine with the pulled pork and the gravy. This fits right in with the burgeoning barbecue scene in Toronto. How did this get started? I think regardless of where you are, the Food Network sparked…

access_time2 min.
jake arrieta gets loose

—MORTY AIN When did working out become a big part of your life? The initial desire to train at an elite level started when I was probably 12. What are the big things you’ve learned from that many years of training? Probably the most influential thing was in college, a guy named Zach Dechant—who is still the baseball strength coach at TCU—was all about training in ways that mimic the movements we do on the field. We would do a lot of T-spine [thoracic] mobility, a lot of hip mobility, basically warming up those joints before you’re about to put 400 to 500 pounds on a back squat. I started to develop a routine that allowed me to prepare myself to move heavy weight but also maximize my recovery time. Do you still lift a…