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ESPN The Magazine November 2018

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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family portrait

In my family, sports run supreme. So when I got the opportunity to photograph Kansas City Chiefs standout quarterback Patrick Mahomes for The Mag, I definitely told my uncle Ward first. He isn’t just a Chiefs mega-fan. He’s a former high school football teammate and friend of head coach Andy Reid. My uncle was totally excited for me and totally bummed he couldn’t be there himself. We ended up texting throughout the game about how loud the stadium was, how well Mahomes was playing and how exciting and improbable of a year it’s been for my uncle’s beloved Chiefs.…

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how to root for different nfl teams and keep the peace in a marriage

Coming from two different NFL fan bases, how do you keep it civil on football Sundays? Lori (Lions fan): Keeping it civil is never really an issue for us. We’ve had to comfort each other through some tough losses, though. Larry (Dolphins fan): Both of our teams have been less than stellar for some time. I feel the Lions have been about the most robbed team in the NFL with bad calls over the years. On Thanksgiving Day, the Lions always play. Larry, are you a Lions fan that day? Larry: I do actually root for them on Thanksgiving, not with intensity, though! More like, “C’mon, Lions, you can do it.” And they usually don’t. Lori: We both enjoy having all the games on that day and rooting against the Cowboys. What’s your best advice for…

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the truth

There is much to forget about The Godfather: Part III, universally regarded as a destitute sibling to its preceding two masterpieces. But one image that remains with me is not a scene from the film but its publicity: a promotional poster with an aging, seated Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino, and the words “Real power cannot be given. It must be taken.” It is in this spirit that the godfathers of college sports continue to laugh in the face of much of the public, grounded in their position that athletes should not be compensated within the NCAA’s multibillion-dollar enterprise. Said Syracuse don Jim Boeheim in October: “They all say the same exact thing: ‘It’s a billion-dollar business.’ No, it’s not. There might be income coming in, but it goes to…

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1. party like it’s $19.99!

GOLF Mickelson vs. Woods The day after Thanksgiving, many people will be fine following The Match (3 p.m. ET on Bleacher Report Live, DirecTV, AT&T U-verse) on Twitter. But there’s no NFL that day, most people are off from work, and college football doesn’t offer much until Oklahoma-WVU later that night (8 p.m. ET, ESPN). So I’ll say 650K buys. MMA Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather A worse mismatch than Conor in the boxing ring. But it’s so appealing—I say 2.6M buys, a UFC record. NCAA Alabama vs. the Raiders As fun as this would be, most football fans have never paid for a game. But at $20, I bet it would still get 225K buys. HOOPS TO 11 LeBron vs. Kobe Love the idea, but NBA Twitter would be good enough for most people. Let’s say 160K buys. SWIMMING Michael Phelps vs.…

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2. feeling locky?

As surely as Tua Tagovailoa will win the Heisman on Dec. 8 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN), the Warriors are just as good a bet to repeat as NBA champs. That’s how Vegas sees it anyway, listing both around -200 (bet $200 to win back $100). But in the eyes of our gambling gurus, one is clearly the better bet. DOUG KEZIRIAN: They’ve already started engraving Tua’s name on the Heisman Trophy. He is clearly the nation’s best player (27 TDs, 1 INT) on the best team—he’s thrown one fourth-quarter pass all year! The equivalent would be the Warriors with a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals. BEN FAWKES: It’s tough to bet against the Warriors, but injuries, for one, are always possible. The SuperBook at the Westgate Las Vegas has already taken…

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3. papa, preach!

ANDREW MENARD, STUDENT IN MICHIGAN: We were at Applebee’s, getting ready to go off to college. Papa Lee was telling all of us how he used to play basketball back in the service, and I’m thinking, “There’s no way he’s good.” LEROY MARTENS, AKA PAPA LEE, AGE 71: He said, “Papa Lee, I bet I can kick your butt.” I said, “Let me go home and get my knee braces.” DYLAN MARTENS, PAPA LEE’S GRANDSON AND FRIEND OF MENARD’S: I’ve seen him play since I was a little kid, so I knew he was pretty good. More than anything, we wanted a memory of the day, so we started taping, thinking maybe we’d get something to put on Snapchat. And then it happened. ANDREW: He’s backing me down, and I’m like, “I’m gonna…