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ESPN The Magazine 11.24.14

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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That’ why they call it the City of Brotherly Love. Need propane? Out of napkins? Ponchos, you ask? Michael Young has these tailgate staples in spades, and he’s giving them away out of the goodness of his heart. Really. In 2004, Young, a Philadelphia-area native and longtime Eagles fan, bought a used ambulance for $3,000 and converted his ride into a Tailgate Rescue Squad, and he’s doled out free supplies ever since. And while he calls Lot D6 home for Philly games, the ambulance takes road trips too: Tampa, Jacksonville, Chicago—on 12 miles a gallon. What’s behind Young’s giving spirit? He cites self-proclaimed tailgate commissioner Joe Cahn: “He calls tailgating the ‘last great American neighborhood.’ I like to think I stand by that.” HOW TO BECOME AN ESPN INSIDER! 1 Turn back…

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[ buzzworthy ]

It's 10:30 a.m. in Dallas, and red and blue tents have sprouted like wildflowers along Bishop Boulevard, the main drag that cuts through Southern Methodist University. The tailgate is festive but surprisingly mellow; alumni of varying generations are in lawn chairs, sipping bloody marys, cowboy boots kicked up on coolers. Scott Scripps, SMU ’02, nurses a koozie-shrouded beer as he watches the Mustangs’ mascot, a Shetland pony named Peruna, prance down the street. He’s in no rush to finish his drink. Now that SMU sells booze inside its football stadium, he explains, he doesn’t have to buy an extra ticket so that he can leave at halftime to refill. “It keeps people in the stands,” he says. “And it’s free money for the school.” College football and beer would seem to…

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[ fair share ]

On Nov. 19, U.S. District Judge Anita Brody will hold a fairness hearing about the proposed concussion settlement between the NFL and more than 25,000 former players. This is essentially the last chance to stop the deal, which purports to compensate athletes for neurological problems they developed during their pro careers but which is deeply flawed. The problems start with the money. At first, the plaintiffs sought more than $2 billion to settle with the NFL, while the league offered “peanuts,” according to reporting by my colleagues Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada. After relatively brief negotiations, the two sides agreed to $675 million in payouts to ex-players and their families. When Brody rejected their pact in January because she was concerned that sum wasn’t enough, the lawyers came back in June…

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Where’s Wilson? He’s already long gone. This is the start of the New York City Marathon on Nov. 2, at which eventual winner Wilson Kipsang of Kenya finished in 2:10:59. This photo of runners entering Brooklyn after crossing the Verrazano Bridge from Staten Island was taken by George Steinmetz from a helicopter at 9:58 a.m. It was also a marathon day for Steinmetz, who along with pilot Dennis Leaver made three separate flights in the open-door helicopter through 40 mph winds. Steinmetz’s final edit of his shoot didn’t come until sunrise the next day. “It was hairy but epic,” he says. “I got to see not only this sea of humanity but all these little stories of spirit. Every discarded paper cup we saw from the air came from an…

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zo om

WHO USA Rugby’s Eagles vs. New Zealand’s All Blacks WHAT The biggest crowd to watch a rugby match on American soil, in which the world champs toppled USA 74-6 WHEN Nov. 1, 3 p.m. CT WHERE Soldier Field, Chicago We want a rematch! OK, maybe want is a strong word. Sure, there is no shame in the 18th-ranked USA Eagles falling to the world champion All Blacks of New Zealand—especially when they did it before a sold-out Soldier Field crowd of 61,500 that more than tripled the attendance record for a rugby match in the U.S. But the final tally could have been better. To put the 74-6 loss in perspective, that would be like the Chicago Bears losing, well, 74-6. But there is good news for the swelling scrum of American rugby fans: Their Eagles have already…

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no. 3’s a crowd

When it comes to NBA superstars, there exists a clear hierarchy: LeBron James at the top, then Kevin Durant. It's in carving the third head on that totem pole where the going gets tough. To do so, The Mag first asked one exec from each of the 30 NBA teams to name the league's third-best player. The results were mixed: While 21-year-old Anthony Davis edged Chris Paul 10 votes to nine, 11 other execs named eight additional players. Messy, messy. So we turned to the calculators, subjecting all vote-getters (minus the one-legged Paul George) to a metric rumble. Did the analytics match the thinking of the NBA's top decision makers? Not exactly. 1 THE POINT-GUARD BRACKET Here’s a fun fact: Of our 10 vote-getters, five were point guards. Little men are big…