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ESPN The Magazine

ESPN The Magazine September 2019

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
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1 min.
leader of the pack

What happens when Baker Mayfield and 18 poochies show up to a cover shoot? One word: chaos. And three more words: adorable doggo party! It all began with the idea to photograph Mayfield, a canine lover, with some dogs (a nod to Cleveland’s Dawg Pound). But when the very panty four-legged models arrived, we finally had an answer to mankind’s greatest existential question: Who let the dogs out? Apparently, we did. Luckily, Mayfield didn’t mind taking a back seat to the pooches—he even broke up a doggy fight (bad dogs! no!) on set between a Shih Tzu and a pit bull mix. Now, that’s what we call a team player. MORE ON PAGE 38…

1 min.
remembering a founding father

We were bigger than most, and so was he. When ESPN The Magazine debuted 21 years ago as an oversized biweekly, one of our founding editors was Glen Waggoner, a larger-than-life Texan who resembled Henry VIII—and Santa. But what really made Waggoner memorable was the size of his heart. We wanted to put out a publication that readers would open with anticipation, and he made that mission easier by treating every day like Christmas. When he died on July 23 at the age of 78, memories came rushing back to those of us who worked beside him. He had come to journalism by happy accident when he worked at Columbia and joined friends from the publishing world to form the original Rotisserie League. That league would help ignite the fantasy…

4 min.
the numbers

At ESPN The Magazine, we’ve watched sports analytics go mainstream and promoted advanced metrics in ways that are both reasonable and imaginative. Now, after more than 100 columns, this will be the last edition of “The Numbers,” and I want to thank all of you who offered ideas and suggestions for improving our coverage. From all the statistics and research and rankings we’ve presented, I also want to underscore the most radical lesson analytics can teach: Winning isn’t always about effort. Sure, success at the highest levels of sports requires constant hard work. We are told as much every day by commentators, coaches and athletes. But when we make the connection too direct, failure becomes a character flaw. And that’s always a conclusion that deserves to be tested. The next time…

4 min.
the truth

There are no lion-in-winter stories for Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic because, for them, winter has yet to arrive. All three are in their 30s—Federer 38, Nadal 33, Djokovic 32—when so many of yesterday’s tennis players had already said goodbye. At various stages in the past five years, each has been rumored to be slipping, finished even, but the opposite is occurring. As the U.S. Open approaches, you have to go back three years for a major that one of them did not win. They’ve won them all, 11 major titles in a row since Stan Wawrinka beat Djokovic for the U.S. Open title in 2016. It’s the second-most devastating stretch of tennis in the Open era, which dates back to 1968, bested only by the 18 titles…

3 min.
1 heavy wait

ESPN: Why do you continue your fire station shifts during camp? STIPE MIOCIC: I love what I do, man. I work real hard here, and I love helping out people. Why would I give it up? It makes my mom proud of me—like I did something with my life. I worked so hard to get here. How often are you in danger? Every call can be dangerous. You don’t know what’s going to happen. Of course, a high percentage of the time it’s just a medical call. But you never know, man. Have you ever gotten burned? In training. Nothing like that in the field. Usually by that time we’ve knocked it down. My ears have been burned a bit, but not a lot. Maybe because I have big ears. Have you ever seen anyone die? Yeah,…

2 min.
2. tape of the tales

KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV VS. DUSTIN POIRIER As evidenced by his jump out of the cage to brawl with Team Conor McGregor, Khabib doesn’t always make the wisest choices about when and whom to fight … which began as a kid, when his dad let him grapple with a bear cub in what’s become Khabib lore. “There wasn’t anything else to do,” Dad says. Lafayette, Louisiana, gave Poirier a key to the city in May because of his relentless community work. In recent years, The Diamond has auctioned off fight kits to help out the family of a deceased police officer, start a food bank and build a disability-friendly playground. ISLAM MAKHACHEV VS. DAVI RAMOS Makhachev, who grew up in Dagestan alongside Khabib, enters with a career record of 17–1, which includes exactly zero fights seen…