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ESPN The Magazine

ESPN The Magazine 08.21.17

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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3 min.
feast on this

Senior writer Wright Thompson on Conor McGregor’s appetite: After tracking Conor over two continents, I finally caught him in a locker room on UFC’s campus in Las Vegas. We talked about the Dublin neighborhood where he grew up and a breakfast spot I fell in love with while reporting there. Matt the Rashers serves a full Irish breakfast: two slices of back bacon, three sausages, two eggs, black pudding—made with pig’s blood—and white pudding, hash browns, tomato, mushrooms, beans and lamb’s liver, along with either toast or brown bread. To steal a line from the late, great Jim Murray, that breakfast is one of the many reasons that Conor looks like a Greek god and I look like a Greek restaurant. MORE ON PAGE 38 You are what you eat? For Thompson…

4 min.

On Aug. 9, 2016, the U.S. women’s gymnastics team won gold at the Rio Olympics, its second straight team gold. Since late 2010, U.S. women’s gymnastics has not lost an Olympic or world team competition, becoming the most dominant gymnastics program in the world. One year later, just ahead of the P&G championships in Anaheim, California, USA Gymnastics is mired in scandal. A former team doctor, Larry Nassar, pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges, and he has been accused by 119 former patients—the majority college-aged women—of assault during treatment sessions. Some of these sessions took place at Michigan State University, where Nassar had an office. Others took place at USA Gymnastics–sanctioned events, and some women alleged they were assaulted at Karolyi Ranch in Texas, owned by national team coordinator Martha…

4 min.
for the books

By the spring of 2012, I had still not fully recovered from a brain injury I’d suffered on Sept. 10, 2011, on the set of ABC College Football. I had stood up too quickly, blacked out and fell backward on the tile floor, then spent six months of grueling therapy relearning how to walk and talk, and read and write. But I was still making rookie mistakes on TV and getting hammered on Twitter for it. The one skill I could always count on was slipping away. Finally, I put together a clean performance just in time for the biggest test of the year: college basketball’s Championship Week, which is like air-traffic control on speed. I still wasn’t operating at full capacity, but I knew if I could do this, I…

13 min.
the burden on his back

“HE WORKS LIKE HE’S TRYING TO PROVE SOMETHING.” LANSING LUGNUTS MANAGER CESAR MARTIN Vladimir Guerrero Jr. wedges himself into a plastic seat just outside the luxury suite at Marlins Park, two hot dogs on a paper plate in one hand, a Pepsi in the other. The 18-year-old pulls out his phone, its background set to his No. 27 jersey, and he scrolls through texts. It seems everyone wants a piece of him. Tonight is the first day of All-Star week, and Junior went 2-for-4 with two runs in the Futures Game. He was the youngest player on either roster. The game capped the announcement that he was being promoted to High-A Dunedin, Florida, his reward for the past three months in Lansing, Michigan, where Junior had carried a .409 on-base percentage with…

1 min.
father’s figures

This season Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been among the brightest stars in Low-A, earning a promotion to High-A. But he has a long way to go to catch up to his father’s MLB accomplishments. VLAD GUERRERO JR. SECOND-YOUNGEST PLAYER ON 2017 MINOR LEAGUE OPENING DAY ROSTERS 18 YEARS 21 DAYS FOURTH-BEST OPS IN 2017 MIDWEST LEAGUE* 888 VLAD GUERRERO SR. THIRD-MOST HITS AMONG DOMINICAN-BORN PLAYERS 2590 MOST SEASONS HITTING .300 WITH 25+ HRS 14 BABE RUTH TED WILLIAMS 13 HANK AARON 12 VLADIMIR GUERRERO 11 MANNY RAMIREZ BARRY BONDS LOU GEHRIG *As of Aug. 1…

3 min.
let’s get psyched

Michigan vs. Florida WEEK 1 SEPT. 2, 3:30 P.M.,* ABC UM CRISIS: Jim Harbaugh teams don’t typically lack for confidence. Indeed, Michigan is a three-point favorite in its opener at AT&T Stadium even though Harbaugh has yet to win the Big Ten East and Florida has won two straight SEC East titles. Plus, Michigan lost 16 starters and 43 seniors from last year—while UF boasts nine returners on offense. A loss at the top of a schedule with eight bowl teams might rattle a young squad despite its coach’s swagger. THE DOCTOR’S ADVICE: This is a new season with new players. Michigan’s reputation is irrelevant. Take nothing for granted. Nebraska at Oregon WEEK 2 SEPT. 9, 4:30 P.M., FOX UO CRISIS: From 2009 through Week 2 of 2016, Oregon was 77–11 in non-bowl games. Only Alabama was better.…