Michael Phelps vs. Ryan Lochte at Olympic trials

Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte battle it out at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials in Omaha.

After revealing the depths of his depression — and even thoughts of suicide after his second drunken-driving arrest — Phelps is hoping to make a difference for those who are dealing with similar issues.
Michael Phelps Says Mental Health Is His New Passion
After revealing the depths of his depression — and even thoughts of suicide after his second drunken-driving arrest — Phelps is hoping to make a difference for those who are dealing with similar issues.
After revealing the depths of his depression — and even thoughts of suicide after his second drunken-driving arrest — Phelps is hoping to make a difference for those who are dealing with similar issues.
Michael Phelps Says Mental Health Is His New Passion
After revealing the depths of his depression — and even thoughts of suicide after his second drunken-driving arrest — Phelps is hoping to make a difference for those who are dealing with similar issues.
After revealing the depths of his depression — and even thoughts of suicide after his second drunken-driving arrest — Phelps is hoping to make a difference for those who are dealing with similar issues.
Michael Phelps Says Mental Health Is His New Passion
After revealing the depths of his depression — and even thoughts of suicide after his second drunken-driving arrest — Phelps is hoping to make a difference for those who are dealing with similar issues.
After revealing the depths of his depression — and even thoughts of suicide after his second drunken-driving arrest — Phelps is hoping to make a difference for those who are dealing with similar issues.
Michael Phelps Says Mental Health Is His New Passion
After revealing the depths of his depression — and even thoughts of suicide after his second drunken-driving arrest — Phelps is hoping to make a difference for those who are dealing with similar issues.
FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2014, file photo, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps walks into a courthouse for a trial on drunken driving and other charges in Baltimore. After revealing the depths of his depression _ and even thoughts of suicide after his second drunken-driving arrest _ Phelps is hoping to make a difference for those who are dealing with similar issues. The 23-time Olympic gold medalist announced a partnership with Talkspace, which provides online therapy, and said he considers it a higher calling than anything he ever did as a swimmer. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
AP Interview: Phelps says mental health is new passion
FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2014, file photo, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps walks into a courthouse for a trial on drunken driving and other charges in Baltimore. After revealing the depths of his depression _ and even thoughts of suicide after his second drunken-driving arrest _ Phelps is hoping to make a difference for those who are dealing with similar issues. The 23-time Olympic gold medalist announced a partnership with Talkspace, which provides online therapy, and said he considers it a higher calling than anything he ever did as a swimmer. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2016, file photo, United States' Michael Phelps arrives to compete in the final of the men's 200-meter individual medley during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After revealing the depths of his depression _ and even thoughts of suicide after his second drunken-driving arrest _ Phelps is hoping to make a difference for those who are dealing with similar issues. The 23-time Olympic gold medalist announced a partnership with Talkspace, which provides online therapy, and said he considers it a higher calling than anything he ever did as a swimmer. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, FIle)
AP Interview: Phelps says mental health is new passion
FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2016, file photo, United States' Michael Phelps arrives to compete in the final of the men's 200-meter individual medley during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After revealing the depths of his depression _ and even thoughts of suicide after his second drunken-driving arrest _ Phelps is hoping to make a difference for those who are dealing with similar issues. The 23-time Olympic gold medalist announced a partnership with Talkspace, which provides online therapy, and said he considers it a higher calling than anything he ever did as a swimmer. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, FIle)
FILE - In this Aug. 10, 2016, file photo, United States' Michael Phelps checks his time after competing in a men's 200-meter individual medley semifinal during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After revealing the depths of his depression _ and even thoughts of suicide after his second drunken-driving arrest _ Phelps is hoping to make a difference for those who are dealing with similar issues. The 23-time Olympic gold medalist announced a partnership with Talkspace, which provides online therapy, and said he considers it a higher calling than anything he ever did as a swimmer.(AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
AP Interview: Phelps says mental health is new passion
FILE - In this Aug. 10, 2016, file photo, United States' Michael Phelps checks his time after competing in a men's 200-meter individual medley semifinal during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After revealing the depths of his depression _ and even thoughts of suicide after his second drunken-driving arrest _ Phelps is hoping to make a difference for those who are dealing with similar issues. The 23-time Olympic gold medalist announced a partnership with Talkspace, which provides online therapy, and said he considers it a higher calling than anything he ever did as a swimmer.(AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
<p>Swim stars Michael Phelps of the United States and Joseph Schooling of Singapore watch the action from cageside.<br>PHOTO: Yong Teck Lim for Yahoo News Singapore </p>
ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS

Swim stars Michael Phelps of the United States and Joseph Schooling of Singapore watch the action from cageside.
PHOTO: Yong Teck Lim for Yahoo News Singapore

<p>Swim stars Joseph Schooling and Michael Phelps made a special appearance at the event.<br>PHOTO: Yong Teck Lim for Yahoo News Singapore </p>
ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS

Swim stars Joseph Schooling and Michael Phelps made a special appearance at the event.
PHOTO: Yong Teck Lim for Yahoo News Singapore

<p>Michael Phelps was at ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS as a special guest for the evening.<br>PHOTO: Yong Teck Lim for Yahoo News Singapore </p>
ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS

Michael Phelps was at ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS as a special guest for the evening.
PHOTO: Yong Teck Lim for Yahoo News Singapore

Citing his own struggles, Michael Phelps says that the USOC doesn't do enough to help athletes transition out of Olympic competition and that athletes have reached out to him for advice because of this.
Michael Phelps: USOC Helps Athletes During Olympics, but Pushes Us Aside After
Citing his own struggles, Michael Phelps says that the USOC doesn't do enough to help athletes transition out of Olympic competition and that athletes have reached out to him for advice because of this.
Michael Phelps has shifted his focus since his retirement after swimming in the 2016 Rio Olympics, but his son Boomer seems to share his father's love of the water.
Is Michael Phelps' Son Also Destined for Swimming Greatness?
Michael Phelps has shifted his focus since his retirement after swimming in the 2016 Rio Olympics, but his son Boomer seems to share his father's love of the water.
Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, sits down with CBSN to talk about his passion for saving water, his battle with depression and his life at home with his two young sons, Boomer and Beckett.
Michael Phelps' new mission outside the pool
Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, sits down with CBSN to talk about his passion for saving water, his battle with depression and his life at home with his two young sons, Boomer and Beckett.
Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, sits down with CBSN to talk about his passion for saving water, his battle with depression and his life at home with his two young sons, Boomer and Beckett.
Michael Phelps' new mission outside the pool
Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, sits down with CBSN to talk about his passion for saving water, his battle with depression and his life at home with his two young sons, Boomer and Beckett.
Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, sits down with CBSN to talk about his passion for saving water, his battle with depression and his life at home with his two young sons, Boomer and Beckett.
Michael Phelps' new mission outside the pool
Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, sits down with CBSN to talk about his passion for saving water, his battle with depression and his life at home with his two young sons, Boomer and Beckett.
Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, sits down with CBSN to talk about his passion for saving water, his battle with depression and his life at home with his two young sons, Boomer and Beckett.
Michael Phelps' new mission outside the pool
Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, sits down with CBSN to talk about his passion for saving water, his battle with depression and his life at home with his two young sons, Boomer and Beckett.
FILE PHOTO: July 2, 2016; Omaha, NE, USA; Michael Phelps reacts after the men&#39;s 100m butterfly finals in the U.S. Olympic swimming team trials at CenturyLink Center. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Swimming: U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Swimming
FILE PHOTO: July 2, 2016; Omaha, NE, USA; Michael Phelps reacts after the men's 100m butterfly finals in the U.S. Olympic swimming team trials at CenturyLink Center. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Michael Phelps of the U.S. swims to a first place finish in his men&#39;s 100m butterfly heat during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre August 2, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Michael Phelps of the U.S. swims to a first place finish in his men's 100m butterfly heat during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre
FILE PHOTO: Michael Phelps of the U.S. swims to a first place finish in his men's 100m butterfly heat during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre August 2, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Michael Phelps of the U.S. swims to a first place finish in his men&#39;s 100m butterfly heat during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre August 2, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Michael Phelps of the U.S. swims to a first place finish in his men's 100m butterfly heat during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre
FILE PHOTO: Michael Phelps of the U.S. swims to a first place finish in his men's 100m butterfly heat during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre August 2, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo
<p>TORONTO – The “Letters To My Younger Self” series from the Players Tribune has been among the most interesting things the digital publication has done. While the editorial conceit <a href="http://www.oprah.com/spirit/celebrities-letters-to-younger-selves/all" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:existed long before The Players Tribune" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">existed long before The Players Tribune</a>, the publication has received well-deserved praise for the series, including very thoughtful pieces bylined by <a href="https://www.theplayerstribune.com/letter-to-my-younger-self-quentin-richardson/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Quentin Richardson" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Quentin Richardson</a>, <a href="https://www.theplayerstribune.com/author/mike-bossy/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Mike Bossy" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Mike Bossy</a> and <a href="https://www.theplayerstribune.com/damon-stoudamire-nba-letter-to-my-younger-self/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Damon Stoudamire" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Damon Stoudamire</a>. For the column below, I swiped the concept to ask a number of people in the sports media the following question: <em>What specific career advice would you give your younger self and why?</em> Here’s how they answered:</p><h3><strong>Ian Eagle, CBS Sports play-by-play announcer</strong></h3><p>“I would start off by giving the younger version of myself some practical advice. Don&#39;t eat at a suspect Chinese restaurant in San Francisco before flying on a red-eye with a window seat (trust me on this one). </p><p>If you&#39;re fortunate enough to make it in this highly competitive business, don&#39;t take for granted the chair that you occupy. Take the time to truly appreciate the unique moments along the way—a spectacular NFL Sunday in Foxboro, a raucous crowd at Phog Allen Fieldhouse, or the electricity inside Air Canada Centre in Toronto. It&#39;s easy to get caught up in the preparation and minutia of your assignment, but don&#39;t forget to be present and soak up the atmosphere.</p><p>When you&#39;re young you tend to focus on just your role in the broadcast, as you get older and gain experience you begin to value every person on the crew and the sheer enormity of the production you&#39;re working on. The announcer is a small piece of the puzzle and although you may be front and center, you won&#39;t be successful without the hard work and dedication of others. In addition, be a well rounded person with knowledge that extends beyond the two teams you&#39;re covering—pop culture, world news, social issues may be topics of conversation during a broadcast when you least expect it, be prepared for anything. I would also advise my younger self that nobody cares if your flight was delayed or the people in the hotel room next to you traveled a small chicuacua with them—all that matters is being totally focused and locked-in the moment you go on the air. And have fun!! This isn&#39;t brain surgery (but if you&#39;re a well-rounded person you&#39;d be able to perform that if necessary).”</p><h3><strong>Joe Buck, Fox Sports play-by-play announcer</strong></h3><p>“Keep on your path. Don&#39;t let the ‘noise’ creep in as the years go by. Social media will be both a blessing and a curse. Take it for what it is and be you. Don&#39;t let the ‘he tries to be funny too much’ criticism from a certain columnist from the <em>New York Post</em> affect what you do. Be you. See a therapist before your late 30s—you have a lot of issues to work through. And for the love of God, sleep through your eighth hair transplant appointment in 2011. Trust me, it&#39;s for the best.”</p><h3><strong>Marty Smith, ESPN host and reporter</strong></h3><p><em>“Dear Younger Me...</em></p><p><em>Offering you advice seems ungrateful and haughty, as if you need a different direction. Listen up: You don’t. </em><em>You don’t know it yet, but you’re blessed with a life beyond the craziest fantasy world you could ever conjure. </em><em>So let it ride.</em></p><p><em>Live the Golden Rule. </em></p><p><em>Be kind. Work hard. </em></p><p><em>Head up. Nose down. </em></p><p><em>Heart full. Always. </em></p><p><em>Even when it&#39;s empty.</em></p><p><em>Passion never loses. You’ll meet folks with better looks and more talent and a fancier degree. </em></p><p><em>You’ll never meet anybody with more passion. It’s the one thing you can control. Own it. It&#39;ll take you awhile to gain comfort in that space, but your gut is correct—it’s the right way.</em></p><p><em>Momma always said every man is equal, and deserves respect when he gives it. She’s right. </em><em>Keep treating people well. It matters.</em></p><p><em>Status is fleeting. It’s a drug. It’s a fake title. Authenticity and loyalty are eternal—and hard to come by. Embrace them. </em></p><p><em>Just do you. It’s unorthodox and it’s different, and I know some of the traditional cats are giving you a big ol&#39; ration of s*** for it right now. It hurts, but don’t let on. They&#39;ll come around. </em></p><p><em>You liked to be liked. That will never leave you. You’ll eventually be able to admit it openly and be cool with the admittance.</em></p><p><em>Champion your wife and include her in your triumphs and experiences. They’re so much richer when you share them together. </em></p><p><em>Walk your Faith. This will be a boomerang for you. You&#39;ll let it fly away for a time, but when you seek it, it&#39;ll come back.</em></p><p><em>So the advice: </em><em>Don’t concern yourself with awards. You’ll never win any.</em></p><p><em>Raise some hell, you’re pretty good at it. (Just maybe not as much as you’re raising right now.) </em></p><p><em>Go home and spend some of those hours with Momma and Daddy. You won’t have them for long. </em></p><p><em>And just so you know, Marty: All those eye-roll lessons Daddy preaches constantly about accountability and respect and hard work and the indescribable privilege of being American, and the pride of your last name? </em></p><p><em>Write them down. </em><em>He’s right.”</em></p><h3><strong>Rebecca Lowe, NBC Sports host</strong></h3><p>“I could sit my younger self down for an entire day and give advice. But three of the biggest pieces I would impart are...firstly, never believe anyone who tells you they don’t see you in a specific role. If that’s where you see yourself and where you believe you can shine then stick at it and prove the doubters wrong. No one knows you better than you know yourself and use the doubt to drive you on.</p><p>Secondly, know that not every job is perfect and they tend to be less perfect in the early stages of your career when you’re trying to carve your path. It might be that you can’t stand your job, or your boss or the people around you but if it’s a job that will help you get to the next stage then head down and power through. Always remember it is a lucky person who gets to enjoy their job. So if it takes some years of disgruntlement and dissatisfaction to get to where you’re happy, that’s the sacrifice you have to pay. I always suggest asking yourself: ‘What’s your alternative choice?’ Often the alternatives are not as good. And, finally, over prepare. In everything you do. If you do this, you’ll never come unstuck.”</p><h3><strong>Shea Serrano, writer and best-selling author, <em>The Ringer</em></strong></h3><p><em>“</em>I would tell my younger self three things:</p><p><strong>1. Always say yes.</strong> If someone asks you to do a work thing, just say yes. It doesn&#39;t matter if you know how to do it or not. Just say yes and then trust yourself to figure it out. I remember one time MTV asked me to make some pop culture postcards for them for the holidays one year. I had no idea how to do it, but what I did know was that they were gonna pay me several hundred dollars to them. So when they called and asked if it was something I knew how to do, I was just like, ‘Yup. I got you. I do it all the time.’ That&#39;s how I tried to handle everything. I didn&#39;t know how to write a book until I wrote a book, you know what I&#39;m saying?</p><p><strong>2. Don&#39;t be late.</strong> There are absolutely some people who were born with a natural gift for writing and storytelling; just brilliant, exceptional people birthed with brilliant, exceptional talent in their bones. Not me, though. And that being the case, I knew I was never going to be able to keep up with those type of people if I was just depending on my own tiny amount of talent. So, as a way to supplement that, I just decided to try to never, ever, ever be late with an assignment. I would always turn my stuff in early, answer emails quickly, respond to phone calls immediately, so on and so forth. You can&#39;t control talent, but you can control work ethic is what I&#39;m telling you. And in my experience, an editor is more likely to choose working with someone who&#39;s a decent writer but is super dependable over choosing to work with someone who is an exceptional writer but is unreliable.</p><p><strong>3. Know that everyone gets kicked in the teeth a billion times before they ‘make it.’ </strong>This was the hardest thing to learn, and something that I&#39;m still dealing with today. A lot of being a writer is pitching stories and ideas and then either a) never hearing back, or b) hearing back but it&#39;s a no. It&#39;s hard not to take it personal when it happens, because it always seems to feel like they&#39;re turning you down, not like they&#39;re turning your ideas down. But, as I&#39;ve come to learn, it happens to everyone all the time. I mean, just think on it like, I&#39;m a No. 1 <em>New York Times</em> bestselling author. That&#39;s a real and true thing. And still, it doesn&#39;t matter. I get turned down for things literally every week. It&#39;s just the way it goes. You gotta just keep going. Because that&#39;s really the main difference that separates someone who makes it from someone who doesn&#39;t. The person who made it was the one who kept getting up after getting kicked in the teeth. The person who didn&#39;t make it didn&#39;t get up.</p><h3><strong>Erika Nardini, Barstool Sports CEO</strong></h3><p>“You do not look good with short hair, don’t try it. Don’t work away your 20s. Bigger companies don’t necessarily give you bigger chances for success. Don’t worry about how one job relates to the next. There’s a thru-line in there somewhere and the right person/company will see it.”</p><h3><strong>Adam Schefter, ESPN NFL insider and podcast host</strong></h3><p>“What I would tell my younger self is the exact advice I did try to tell my younger self; I just couldn&#39;t listen to it, not in the way I wanted because I was so consumed with trying to land a sports reporting job or advancing once I had it.</p><p>Back when I was at the University of Michigan in the late 1980s, my college roommates and I discovered this poem called <em>The Station</em>, by Robert J. Hastings. We would read it and remind each other of it, and we even put it at the end of a video we made at the end of our senior year, as we were graduating, one final reminder of lessons we all should learn. It&#39;s good advice for any young person in any young field—better than anything I can offer. I never like when people lean on a poem to try to convey thoughts, but I believe it&#39;s valuable advice for anyone just getting started—or even finishing up.”</p><p>The Station, by Robert J. Hastings</p><p><em>Tucked away in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We’re traveling by train and, from the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of smoke pouring from power plants, of row upon row upon row of cotton and corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of city skylines and village halls.</em></p><p><em>But uppermost in our conscious minds is our final destination—for at a certain hour and on a given day, our train will finally pull into the Station with bells ringing, flags waving, and bands playing. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So restlessly, we pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, waiting, waiting for the Station.</em></p><p><em>“Yes, when we reach the Station, that will be it!” we promise ourselves. “When we’re eighteen. . . win that promotion. . . put the last kid through college. . . buy that 450SL Mercedes-Benz. . . have a nest egg for retirement!” From that day on we will all live happily ever after.</em></p><p><em>Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no Station in this life, no one earthly place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The Station is an illusion—it constantly outdistances us. Yesterday’s a memory, tomorrow’s a dream. Yesterday belongs to a history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday’s a fading sunset, tomorrow’s a faint sunrise. Only today is there light enough to love and live.</em></p><p><em>So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad, but rather the regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.</em></p><p><em>“Relish the moment” is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”</em></p><p><em>So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener. Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we go along. The Station will come soon enough.</em></p><h3><strong>Amy Trask, NFL analyst, CBS Sports</strong></h3><p>“I would tell my younger self: listen to your mom. The best advice I have ever been given was imparted to me by my mom: to thine own self be true. (As an aside, I will note that it wasn’t until I was almost out of college that I learned that these wise words were those spoken by Polonius to Laertes in Hamlet. While one might then say that my advice to my younger self would be to follow the words of Shakespeare, I shall always consider this the advice my mom shared with me.) </p><p>My mom repeated this advice (over and over), as moms are wont to do. I sometimes rolled my eyes, as kids are wont to do.</p><p>While it is unequivocally the best advice I have ever received, I didn’t always follow it. I heeded this advice for the most part and when I did I was my strongest and my most capable. I am my best when I am myself, as my mom advised me to be. But there were times I didn’t follow this advice and instead tried to be something or someone I was not and in those instances not only was I not my best, I stumbled and bumbled and fumbled. It just doesn’t work for me to try to be what I am not.</p><p>So my advice to my younger self is quite simple: listen to your mom even (or especially) in those instances in which you may be tempted to ignore or don’t believe you need to follow her advice and ‘to thine own self be true.’”</p><h3><strong>Beth Mowins, ESPN and CBS Sports play-by-play announcer</strong></h3><p>“I would tell my younger self to keep a journal. I wish I had the ability to look back over the years and recall where I have been and what I have done. It doesn&#39;t have to be much...even just a few sentences about games and places and people. So many great stories have been lost in my memory banks and I wish I could bring some back. We are lucky to spend time with amazing players and coaches and it would be nice to have a journal to reflect on the good times with the people in this business. Enjoy the journey...and jot it down. It&#39;s important because you want to pass on knowledge to the younger people in this business. It&#39;s always nice to have a story to tell about ‘when I was your age,’ or be able to say, ‘I went through something similar’ and here&#39;s what happened. It can also help you do your job better by providing some historical perspective to the games you are covering. I enjoy a good quote or a funny anecdote as much as the next person. Sportscasting is still about relationships with people and the more connections you can make the better off you will be.”</p><h3><strong>Don Van Natta Jr., ESPN senior writer and investigative reporter</strong></h3><p>“Relax, kid. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And what’s ‘the small stuff,’ you ask? The highlight reel of all the indignities and idiocy that will comprise a 30-year journalism career: the published mistakes (yours and others); the big-footing colleagues; the years (or decades) of no raises; the editors who merrily drive lawn mowers through your copy; the slammed doors and the hung-up phones; the grounded late-night flights and canceled summer vacations; the sources who lie to you or about you; the Christmas Eve calls from long-winded bosses; the scoops that get away; the ‘fake news’-spewing ‘readers’ who don’t read a word of what you write; the rabid fans who will only hear fraudulent, bumper-sticker characterizations of your stories on WEEI in Boston; the omnipresent drumbeat of job cuts.</p><p>In the wide-open canvas of a career, nearly all of it amounts to small stuff. Trust me, it’s true. So keep reminding yourself of that. And don’t frown so damn much.</p><p>Being a journalist in America is still one of the best jobs in the world, despite everything. Think about it: you get paid to find the truth and report it to an audience starving for it. When things go wrong—and they often will—don’t let those moments trip you up. Just roll with it, cold-call the next would-be source and chase the next scoop with as much as confidence and swagger as you mustered the day before.</p><p>You don’t know this now but the friends you make in this business will last far longer than the best stories you’ll write and the best prizes you’ll win. And all the fun you’re going to have will far eclipse the days of failure and frustration. Remember, kid: 10,000 writers would give anything to have your nickels-paying, out-in-the-boondocks job. So…</p><p>Count your blessings. Embrace the good. Savor every moment. And smile.”</p><h3><strong>Candace Buckner, <em>The Washington Post</em> Wizards writer</strong></h3><p>“When I talk to young journalists, I always tell them to read more than just the sports page, network, and write daily—three things I should’ve done better when I was their age. But if I could give my younger self some advice, it would be pointed and simple: don’t bury your head into journalism, get out and experience life.</p><p>I was a focused kid when I arrived at Mizzou, with set-in-stone goals that centered on getting into J-School then becoming the next Willow Bay or Robin Roberts. I worked my tail off, held down a couple jobs and ran a floor in my dorm. I didn’t mess around and while I dig that about young Candace, I wish I would’ve told myself: <em>Chill, homie, and go do real life.</em> Go spend a summer abroad and learn something about the world outside of your perfectly-crafted tiny universe you have at Columbia, Mo. I needed more experience. While I don’t dare to think that if I would’ve gone to Thailand at 22 years old, then I would have this whole life thing all figured out (people who do that are the worst), I do believe that traveling and experiencing other cultures would’ve opened up a lifetime of learning, which in turn would make me a better writer and reporter. When I was younger, I was racing. But it would’ve OK to slow down and live.”</p><h3><strong>Mike Arnold, CBS Sports lead NFL director</strong></h3><p>“I guess the advice I&#39;d give my younger self is to keep working hard and eventually things will work out. I remember first starting out in television as a runner with ABC Sports and was so disappointed when I didn&#39;t get a full time job with them after spending about 3-4 years working countless weekends trying to land a position. I figured I&#39;d end up back home in Scottsdale working somewhere but probably not in television. I even applied to the city of Phoenix to work in the public information office and didn&#39;t get a response. Luckily, I had some young ABC production assistants in my corner because when Terry O&#39;Neil left ABC Sports and came over to CBS Sports, David Dinkins, Jr. and Peter Lasser (those two production assistants) told O&#39;Neil that I should be the first production assistant hired at CBS Sports. O&#39;Neil hired me. That was 1981 and I&#39;m still here at CBS.”</p><h3><strong>Kerith Burke, Warriors reporter, NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California</strong></h3><p>“I’d like to tell my younger self, ‘you’re on the right path, and your path is your own.’ I fall back on this advice in many situations to calm the worry hamster in my head who likes to hop on its wheel and churn the night away. I try to remind myself that when it comes to jobs on this path, talent, timing, and luck all play a role. Only one of those I can control.</p><p>This advice overlaps with something else: Jealousy is a useless emotion. Coming out of college, I was too concerned with others. I was envious about not working for the No. 1 station, or wondered why a colleague got an assignment I knew I could do well. This stemmed from my insecurity, and not knowing healthy ways to aim my ambition. I had to grow up. As I grew up, my path braided with friends in the industry to make us stronger. Don’t compete against your colleagues, befriend them. There’s plenty of room for all of us. It feels best to walk together.”</p><h3><strong>Dianna Russini, ESPN NFL reporter and studio host</strong></h3><p>“Don’t lose touch with those who have helped you grow both professionally and personally. You hear it all the time, ‘be good to everyone,’ but the reality is life gets busy and we all get consumed. It isn’t until you are in a tough spot professionally or maybe even without a job that you start realizing you should have built stronger relationships with those who have put themselves out for your own benefit. Just a few years ago, I was unemployed, living with my parents and looking for work in local sports. I was miserable and the market was worse. About seven years prior, when I was in college at George Mason University, I had reached out to random news directors in the NY/NJ/CT area looking for internships during my summer break. One news director was kind enough to write back to share that he had no openings but to stay in touch. I didn’t. Fast forward to the year I was looking for work and that same news director, Mike St. Peter, who was still the news director at NBC Connecticut, kindly answered my email once again. I always regretted I never sent him a note or even checked in on him over the years since he didn’t have to write back to a college student with zero experience, and I needed him now.</p><p>This time he brought me in for an interview, and days later, he hired me as a sports/news reporter. That was the start of my career. Under his leadership, he allowed me to be part of breaking news coverage at Sandy Hook Elementary and the Boston Marathon bombings. It turned out he wasn’t just a good e-mailer but a superb newsroom leader. He took a really big chance on me when in reality I had done nothing to give him security that I was a good reporter or even a decent human being. Every year since I don’t make the same mistake. I send Mike, who has now moved on to become President and General Manager of NBC Boston, a note to just say, thanks for giving me a chance when nobody would take a call. He usually responds with something that lets me know he’s proud. Work hard at your craft but you can’t do it alone. Appreciate those who help because you never know.”</p><h3><strong>Andrea Kremer, NFL Network reporter and HBO Real Sports correspondent</strong></h3><p>“I would tell my younger self to try and enjoy the moment more. For decades, I was so focused on what’s the next story...the next game...the next big interview....the next important issue that I rarely enjoyed ‘the moment.’ This is not one of these New Age epiphanies but there have been seminal moments of my career that I wish I had relished more. In retrospect, I think it felt anathema to me to ‘enjoy’ the moment as though I equated that with being a fan and not a serious journalist but that is wrong. After more than two decades in television my realization came in 2008 as I prepared to cover the single greatest event in my career (to date)—Michael Phelps’ quest for his eighth gold medal. I specifically thought about the historical aspect of the day and my small role in it as I was headed to the pool deck. It was meaningful for what it taught me at that time and moving forward. Now it’s a learning lesson I try to impart to younger broadcasters in lieu of my younger self.”</p><h3><strong>J.A. Adande, director of sports journalism at Northwestern University</strong></h3><p>“On a practical level, I&#39;d tell myself to invest in the company 401k at the earliest opportunity and to the maximum tax-exempt amounts. And if not eligible, open an IRA. The last thing a 21-year-old thinks about is retirement planning.</p><p>I am curious what would have happened if I had told my younger self to stick with my original goal of being a play-by-play announcer. I got a taste of working game broadcasts while doing sidelines the past few years and it kind of made me wish I had charted a course toward sitting in that No. 1 seat. Still, I doubt it would have led to me working 20 NBA Finals in addition to just about every other major sporting event, so I think younger me got it right.”</p><h3><strong>Suzanne Smith, CBS Sports director and the first woman to direct NFL games fulltime</strong></h3><p><em>“</em>Dear Suzanne,</p><p>You are about to embark on an amazing journey. One full of adventure, excitement and challenges. Hard work, your attitude, respect and integrity will be the cornerstones.</p><p><strong>Some basic rules</strong></p><p>Treat EVERYONE equally, from your runners to the CEO. Work as hard as you can. Tackle each task like it’s the last, then work harder. Understand that every job is important. Speak up. Your ideas have value, even in a room of people with more experience. Take risks, don’t be afraid to fail. Send handwritten thank you notes. If you’re not early, you’re late.</p><p><strong>Take advantage of the skills you’ve gained as an athlete</strong></p><p>Be a leader and a team player. Be competitive while working with your colleagues. First to arrive, last to leave. Inspire others. Rise to the occasion when the pressure is on.</p><p><strong>On the practical side</strong></p><p>Invest in a good piece of luggage, one with wheels! Dress like a professional, not like you are in your college dorm. Keep a journal, keep your credentials, photos. Don’t be in a rush to get from one event to the next. Take the time to soak it all in. Don’t assume your boss knows what you want to do. Be proactive about your assignments and the events you want to be a part of.</p><p><strong>The boys club</strong></p><p>Be yourself. You will never be one of the boys, stop trying. The day you accept this, things will be easier. The day you realize you don’t WANT to be part of ‘the club,’ your world will change.</p><p><strong>Family and friends</strong></p><p>Balancing your career and life will be challenging at times. You will have to make sacrifices to be successful in this industry. Remember, your family, partner and friends are affected as well.</p><p><strong>You got this</strong></p><p>It’s not enough to dream your dreams. You’ve got to pursue your dreams. No, it’s not always easy but if it was easy, anybody could do it. Always remember and remind those around you that it is a privilege to be a part of some of the most coveted sporting events in the world. Believe in yourself and let your passions be your guide. Enjoy your amazing journey.”</p><h3><strong>Tim Brando, Fox Sports play-by-play announcer</strong></h3><p>“Many times as sportscasters we talk about players that sometimes force it, or press their efforts as opposed to letting the game come to them. Ours is a totally subjective craft and for everyone that loves your work there will always be those that don’t. I’m blessed to have had a career that’s spanned four decades with ESPN as its starting point, then a quick transition to Turner, and then an 18-year run at CBS, before joining FOX four years ago. Honestly, only now do I personally believe I’m as grateful and feel as privileged as I always should have to do what I love for a living. Type A’s are littered throughout sports television and most of us want to get the top assignments in live sports television. I wouldn’t change my path, but I would recommend if I had the chance to start over to have enjoyed the journey by living more in the moment than I did. Breaking into syndicated play-by-play in 1982-83 with Raycom/Jefferson Pilot and making ESPN freelance appearances as a play-by-play man in my mid 20’s in 1985 had me thinking that was my calling. But upon my arrival to Bristol in late 1986 the suits saw me as a studio talent first! I fought that and I probably should have embraced it far more; it did help me later in securing a gig at the ‘Tiffany’ Network, CBS. I loved what I was doing, but shouldn’t have been so concerned with what’s next!</p><p>‘Tim, slow down, you’re in a great spot, don’t worry so much about what’s next,’ my old departed friend John Saunders would say. He was right. I tell young broadcasters all the time to enjoy the journey and the relationships that come with it. A wonderful collection of people that could put me in places to succeed have always been there for me. They (the suits) want to know how privileged you feel. I would tell myself if I were younger, to let them know that, and stop worrying about chasing the next great gig. You’ve already got a really good one. Keep loving it, performing it and good things will come your way. I’ve found that understanding your role, and giving the employer your best in that role is not only better, but allows for greater fullness of life.”</p><h3><strong>Nancy Armour, sports columnist, <em>USA Today</em></strong></h3><p><strong>“Develop your own voice.</strong></p><p>Find writers whose work—and work ethic—you admire, and study what they do and how they do it. Learn from them and make use of any tips or guidance they share, but don’t make the mistake of trying to be them. There will only be one Dave Anderson or Jim Litke or Jackie MacMullan or Leonard Pitts, and trying to write in a voice or style that isn’t your own will come across as forced and inauthentic. Find your voice, your style and the writing will flow better.</p><p><strong>Learn from your mistakes.</strong></p><p>Mistakes are going to happen, it’s human nature. You will beat yourself up something awful and forever cringe at the memory of it. But make sure you learn from it, too. Recognizing how and why the mistake occurred is the surest way to avoid doing it again in the future.</p><p><strong>Expand your world.</strong></p><p>Read books and listen to podcasts about things that have nothing to do with your job or the sport(s) you cover. Have friends and interests outside the business. There’s a risk of getting stale and jaded when you are immersed in the same thing day after day, week after week, year after year. Getting outside your bubble is the best way of guarding against that—and also a reminder that what we do is pretty damn cool.</p><p><strong>Don’t be afraid to fail.</strong></p><p>When I was 13, my father gave me some advice that influences me to this day. I won’t bore you with the whole story, but the gist was that you should never let the fear of failure, or fear in general, stop you from doing something. Wondering ‘What if?’ after you’ve let an opportunity pass will haunt you longer than any embarrassment you might have suffered, and nothing empowers you quite like tackling your fears head on.</p><p><strong>Enjoy the ride.</strong></p><p>We have fun, interesting jobs that most people envy when they hear about them. It’s easy to forget that with deadlines, the stress over the state of the business and the pressure of always having to do more. But every once in a while, take a breather and remember what drew you to the profession in the first place.”</p><h3><strong>Kenny Albert, Fox Sports and NBC Sports play-by-play announcer</strong></h3><p>“Work, work, work! Preparation will be the key to a career in sports broadcasting. Read everything you can get your hands on. Look into internships during your high school and college years, but also get as many reps as you can on-air. If a local cable station happens to visit your high school to film a girls basketball game, volunteer to do the play-by-play. Perhaps they will offer you hundreds of other games in all sports over the next three years, which could prove to be the most invaluable experience you could ever ask for.</p><p>Practice makes perfect! Also be sure to learn other positions—producing, editing, writing, keeping statistics, etc. Watch and listen to as many games as possible—to absorb both announcing styles and information via osmosis. If your initial goal is hockey radio play-by-play, send tapes out to as many teams as possible all over North America. Don&#39;t be afraid of 10-hour bus rides. Working in the minor leagues could wind up among the most important and memorable years of your professional career.”</p><h3><strong>Adnan Virk, ESPN studio host and play-by-play announcer</strong></h3><p>“I would tell myself to ignore all the trolls. When people ask me for advice in this business it can be epitomized in two words: thick skin. No matter what people may tweet at you, no matter how disparaging or hateful it may be, don’t let it affect you emotionally, or your performance in any manner. I would also tell my younger self to pay more attention to the 1984 Orange Bowl between Nebraska and Miami since one day improbably I would be the studio host for CFB and such background would be more helpful rather than watching the Gretzky-era Oilers dynasty in bloom.”</p><h3><strong>Mina Kimes, ESPN reporter and columnist</strong></h3><p>&quot;I would have told my younger self to take more creative risks. At the beginning of my career, I was terrified of failure, so I always pursued projects that I knew I could execute. But I&#39;ve since learned that the best stories are the ones that seem insurmountable—not just when the reporting is difficult, but also when an idea feels murky at the outset. I wish I had been more daring early on, because my greatest experiences as a writer have been ones that teetered on the edge.&quot;</p><h3>THE NOISE REPORT</h3><p><strong>1a.</strong> As expected, there was immense pushback from viewers on the decision by Turner Sports to buck longstanding Selection Sunday tradition and reveal all the teams in the NCAA tournament field prior to the bracket itself. The phrase “Selection Show” trended on Twitter long after the show ended and <a href="https://twitter.com/i/moments/972960904143888384" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Twitter compiled reaction from an angry crowd of sports viewers" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Twitter compiled reaction from an angry crowd of sports viewers</a>. The most notable response, from all places, was <a href="https://twitter.com/LawrenceKS_PD/status/972957250506641411" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:this laugh-out-loud tweet from the Lawrence (Ks.) Police" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">this laugh-out-loud tweet from the Lawrence (Ks.) Police</a>. What I wrote in 2016 holds true today: “Front-load the program so that all the brackets are revealed within the first 35 minutes and spend the next 85 minutes going heavy on analysis and interviews. If the analysis is good, people are not going to abandon your channel just because the brackets are in. Obviously, this is a high profile property and CBS is in the business of keeping you around to make money but the pacing on Sunday was a huge miss. Viewers will revolt if they think you are stringing them along, which is how it felt watching.” This from the <em><a href="http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/for-petes-sake/article204614759.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Kansas City Star" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Kansas City Star</a></em> and <a href="https://www.si.com/extra-mustard/2018/03/12/ncaa-tournament-selection-show-twitter-reaction" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:this from SI’s Jimmy Traina" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">this from SI’s Jimmy Traina</a> cover the reactions.</p><p><strong>1b.</strong> ESPN NFL analyst Louis Riddick is not a man of moderate opinions and goals. He wants to be part of Monday Night Football and has no problem letting the world know of his interest, including his bosses at ESPN.</p><p>“This is something that has been a goal of mind and ESPN is very well aware that I am very interested in it,” said Riddick, this week’s guest on the SI Media Podcast. “It is the pinnacle of broadcasting as far as I am concerned, the most iconic position in broadcasting. To be involved with Monday Night Football either as a play-by-play person or analyst is something I am hoping I can achieve.”</p><p>Asked what ESPN management’s response has been to Riddick’s interest, Riddick said, “It has been very favorable. They are well aware of it. I think you saw my interest in being a part of a live broadcast, a live game, with my involvement with the Pro Bowl this year and that only scratched the surface of what I think I am capable of doing with that kind of platform. I am fired up about the possibility of being involved with the brand of Monday Night Football in any way shape or form and I think the next couple of weeks and months as ESPN figures out where they want to go with that are going to be awfully exciting for me personally.”</p><p>As the guest on Episode 168 of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, Riddick addressed many topics including what separates a good NFL broadcaster versus an average one; how he has attempted to improve as a broadcaster; his candidness on issues and why too often former players pull punches on the air; how he navigates being a candidate for NFL general manager jobs versus working at ESPN; his thoughts when someone does not report on him accurately; how he approaches discussing social issues or politics on social media; playing under Nick Saban and Bill Belichick in Cleveland; Saban’s attention to detail and what makes him different than other coaches; how the Browns should approach holding the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the NFL Draft, and much more. To listen to the podcast in full, check it out on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.</p><p><strong>PODCAST BREAKDOWN:</strong></p><p><strong>• 1:00: </strong>What separates a good NFL broadcaster from an average one.</p><p><strong>• 2:50:</strong> How has Riddick improved as a broadcaster and how much film he watches on his own work.</p><p><strong>• 6:40: </strong>The aesthetics of sports broadcasting.</p><p><strong>• 9:30:</strong> Being candid about NFL personnel people and trying to take people behind the curtain of the NFL</p><p><strong>• 14:15: </strong>Playing for Bill Bellichick and Nick Saban and what separates Saban from other coaches.</p><p><strong>• 20:20: </strong>Interviewing for general manager jobs while working for ESPN.</p><p><strong>• 24:30:</strong> Other media writing about him, and his reaction to what he says is incorrect reporting.</p><p><strong>• 33:00:</strong> What would happen if a mid-season GM job came up.</p><p><strong>• 35:20:</strong> His approach to social media when it comes to social issues and politics.</p><p><strong>• 36:40 </strong>His interest in being on Monday Night Football.</p><p><strong>• 41:00: </strong>Tony Romo’s work this year on CBS and Riddick&#39;s preparation for the NFL Draft.</p><p><strong>• 47:20: </strong>How he believes the Browns will approach the No. 1 and No. 4 overall pick.</p><p><strong>• 51:00: </strong>How he would approach the end of Tom Brady’s career if he were Patriots management.</p><p><strong>2.</strong> SI legal analyst Michael McCann <a href="https://www.si.com/tech-media/2018/03/05/adrienne-lawrence-espn-lawsuit-john-buccigross" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:analyzed Adrienne Lawrence’s lawsuit against ESPN" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">analyzed Adrienne Lawrence’s lawsuit against ESPN</a> and the company’s possible defenses.</p><p><strong>2a.</strong> As SI first reported, <a href="https://www.si.com/tech-media/2018/03/08/michael-smith-espn-leaving-sportscenter-sc6" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Michael Smith’s last day as an ESPN SportsCenter host" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Michael Smith’s last day as an ESPN SportsCenter host</a> was Friday.</p><p><strong>2b.</strong> ESPN jettisoned Sean McDonough out of the Monday Night Football booth despite public votes of confidence from management as recent as just a few months ago. On a positive note for viewers, McDonough signed a new multi-year extension and will rejoin ESPN’s college football team this fall. His assignments will include weekly college football games, as well as a College Football Playoff Semifinal. He will continue to call the CFP National Championship on ESPN Radio, marquee college basketball games, The Masters Par 3 contest and more.</p><p><strong>3.</strong> <a href="https://www.si.com/tech-media/2018/03/07/winter-paralympics-2018-nbc-coverage-pyeongchang" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:How to Watch—And What to Expect From—the Winter Paralympics 2018 on NBC." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">How to Watch—And What to Expect From—the Winter Paralympics 2018 on NBC.</a></p><p><strong>4.</strong> <strong>Sports pieces of note:</strong></p><p>• From <em>Indianapolis Star</em> reporters Tim Evans, Joe Guillen, Gina Kaufman, Marisa Kwiatkowski, Matt Mencarini and Mark Alesia: <a href="https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2018/03/08/larry-nassar-sexually-abused-gymnasts-michigan-state-university-usa-gymnastics/339051002/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:How Larry Nassar abused hundreds of gymnasts and eluded justice for decades." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">How Larry Nassar abused hundreds of gymnasts and eluded justice for decades.</a></p><p>• A remarkable thread on the KHL from reporter Slava Malamud: </p><p>• From Juliet Macur of <em>The New York Times</em>: <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/08/sports/opioids-suicide.html?smid=tw-nytsports&#38;smtyp=cur" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Suicides, Drug Addiction and High School Football." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Suicides, Drug Addiction and High School Football.</a></p><p>• <a href="https://www.theringer.com/2018/3/6/17072332/cody-rhodes-dusty-rhodes-all-in" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Cody Rhodes is carving his own path in memory of his father" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Cody Rhodes is carving his own path in memory of his father</a>, &quot;The American Dream&quot; Dusty Rhodes, from Mike Piellucci of The Ringer.</p><p>• Kevin Love, for The Players Tribune, <a href="https://www.theplayerstribune.com/kevin-love-everyone-is-going-through-something/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:on suffering panic attacks." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">on suffering panic attacks.</a></p><p>• <em>New York Times</em> writer Harvey Araton <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/06/sports/ncaabasketball/big-east-st-johns-mullin.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fsports&#38;action=click&#38;contentCollection=sports&#38;region=rank&#38;module=package&#38;version=highlights&#38;contentPlacement=1&#38;pgtype=sectionfront" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:profiled St. John’s coach Chris Mullin." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">profiled St. John’s coach Chris Mullin.</a></p><p>• ESPN’s <a href="http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/22624561/ichiro-suzuki-return-seattle-mariners-resolve-internal-battle" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Wright Thompson on Ichiro" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Wright Thompson on Ichiro</a>.</p><p>• SI’s Lee Jenkins profiled <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/03/06/dwane-casey-raptors-kyle-lowry-demar-derozan-kentucky-ncaa" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey</a>.</p><p>• Steve Francis, for The Players Tribune, on <a href="https://www.theplayerstribune.com/steve-francis-i-got-a-story-to-tell/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:his unlikely journey to the NBA." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">his unlikely journey to the NBA.</a></p><p>• The Athletic’s Levi Weaver on <a href="https://theathletic.com/264535/2018/03/07/tim-lincecum-and-the-weird-gremlin-of-grief/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Tim Lincecum." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Tim Lincecum.</a></p><p>• From ESPN.com’s Susan Ninan: <a href="http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/22667359/in-india-rugby-helps-women-find-level-playing-field?utm_source=The+Sunday+Long+Read+subscribers&#38;utm_campaign=fa5fa24f7d-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_03_09&#38;utm_medium=email&#38;utm_term=0_67e6e8a504-fa5fa24f7d-273522061" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:India&#39;s Rugby Revolution." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">India&#39;s Rugby Revolution.</a></p><p><strong>Non-sports pieces of note</strong></p><p>• <em>The New Yorker</em>’s Jane Mayer on <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/03/12/christopher-steele-the-man-behind-the-trump-dossier" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Christopher Steele" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Christopher Steele</a>.</p><p>• Via The Atlantic’s Rachel Monroe: <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/04/our-time-com-con-man/554057/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:The Perfect Man Who Wasn&#39;t." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">The Perfect Man Who Wasn&#39;t.</a></p><p>• Via Farhad Manjoo of <em>The New York Times</em>: <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/07/technology/two-months-news-newspapers.html?smid=tw-share" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers. Here’s What I Learned." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers. Here’s What I Learned.</a></p><p>• <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/obituaries/overlooked.html?smid=tw-nytimes&#38;smtyp=cur" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Fifteen women The New York Times overlooked for obituaries" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Fifteen women <em>The New York Times</em> overlooked for obituaries</a>.</p><p>• From Josh Dean of <em>Bloomberg Businessweek</em>: <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/obituaries/overlooked.html?smid=tw-nytimes&#38;smtyp=cur" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:America Is Giving Away the $30 Billion Medical Marijuana Industry." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">America Is Giving Away the $30 Billion Medical Marijuana Industry.</a></p><p>• From Eric Adler of <em>The Kansas City Star</em>: <a href="http://www.kansascity.com/news/state/missouri/article204287484.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Missouri is a destination wedding spot—for 15-year-old brides." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Missouri is a destination wedding spot—for 15-year-old brides.</a></p><p>This is my final piece (at least for awhile) for <em>Sports Illustrated</em>. It is a weird sentence to write. This was the singular place I dreamed of working for as a young person and to have worked here for two decades has been an immense professional privilege. SI paid for me to travel the world—I covered seven Olympic Games—and trusted me with assignments that meant a great deal to me, including the Women’s Final Four and the U.S. Open. I was able to work for every part of the editorial brand, from Swimsuit to SI.com to SI Commemoratives, and spent two years helping edit SI For Women (RIP).</p><p>It has been an amazing place to work and I leave feeling as close to the brand as I did when <a href="https://www.si.com/vault/1998/06/15/244478/howie-young-red-wings-defenseman-january-28-1963" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:SI published my first byline" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">SI published my first byline</a> in 1998 about Howie Young, an NHL defenseman for the Red Wings who drank himself out of professional sports before sobering up and finding a second life in Thoreau, N.M., a predominantly Navajo community two hours west of Albuquerque, as a mild-mannered bus driver for the McKinley County public schools.</p><p>There are many colleagues that I want to cite publicly for helping and educating me along the journey but I’ll do that in a post on my own social channels. I’ll announce soon enough what’s next but thank you for reading me here, for listening to the podcast and for having an interest in what my SI colleagues and I do professionally.</p>
Media Circus: 22 Well-Known Sports Media Members Give Advice to Their Younger Selves

TORONTO – The “Letters To My Younger Self” series from the Players Tribune has been among the most interesting things the digital publication has done. While the editorial conceit existed long before The Players Tribune, the publication has received well-deserved praise for the series, including very thoughtful pieces bylined by Quentin Richardson, Mike Bossy and Damon Stoudamire. For the column below, I swiped the concept to ask a number of people in the sports media the following question: What specific career advice would you give your younger self and why? Here’s how they answered:

Ian Eagle, CBS Sports play-by-play announcer

“I would start off by giving the younger version of myself some practical advice. Don't eat at a suspect Chinese restaurant in San Francisco before flying on a red-eye with a window seat (trust me on this one).

If you're fortunate enough to make it in this highly competitive business, don't take for granted the chair that you occupy. Take the time to truly appreciate the unique moments along the way—a spectacular NFL Sunday in Foxboro, a raucous crowd at Phog Allen Fieldhouse, or the electricity inside Air Canada Centre in Toronto. It's easy to get caught up in the preparation and minutia of your assignment, but don't forget to be present and soak up the atmosphere.

When you're young you tend to focus on just your role in the broadcast, as you get older and gain experience you begin to value every person on the crew and the sheer enormity of the production you're working on. The announcer is a small piece of the puzzle and although you may be front and center, you won't be successful without the hard work and dedication of others. In addition, be a well rounded person with knowledge that extends beyond the two teams you're covering—pop culture, world news, social issues may be topics of conversation during a broadcast when you least expect it, be prepared for anything. I would also advise my younger self that nobody cares if your flight was delayed or the people in the hotel room next to you traveled a small chicuacua with them—all that matters is being totally focused and locked-in the moment you go on the air. And have fun!! This isn't brain surgery (but if you're a well-rounded person you'd be able to perform that if necessary).”

Joe Buck, Fox Sports play-by-play announcer

“Keep on your path. Don't let the ‘noise’ creep in as the years go by. Social media will be both a blessing and a curse. Take it for what it is and be you. Don't let the ‘he tries to be funny too much’ criticism from a certain columnist from the New York Post affect what you do. Be you. See a therapist before your late 30s—you have a lot of issues to work through. And for the love of God, sleep through your eighth hair transplant appointment in 2011. Trust me, it's for the best.”

Marty Smith, ESPN host and reporter

“Dear Younger Me...

Offering you advice seems ungrateful and haughty, as if you need a different direction. Listen up: You don’t. You don’t know it yet, but you’re blessed with a life beyond the craziest fantasy world you could ever conjure. So let it ride.

Live the Golden Rule.

Be kind. Work hard.

Head up. Nose down.

Heart full. Always.

Even when it's empty.

Passion never loses. You’ll meet folks with better looks and more talent and a fancier degree.

You’ll never meet anybody with more passion. It’s the one thing you can control. Own it. It'll take you awhile to gain comfort in that space, but your gut is correct—it’s the right way.

Momma always said every man is equal, and deserves respect when he gives it. She’s right. Keep treating people well. It matters.

Status is fleeting. It’s a drug. It’s a fake title. Authenticity and loyalty are eternal—and hard to come by. Embrace them.

Just do you. It’s unorthodox and it’s different, and I know some of the traditional cats are giving you a big ol' ration of s*** for it right now. It hurts, but don’t let on. They'll come around.

You liked to be liked. That will never leave you. You’ll eventually be able to admit it openly and be cool with the admittance.

Champion your wife and include her in your triumphs and experiences. They’re so much richer when you share them together.

Walk your Faith. This will be a boomerang for you. You'll let it fly away for a time, but when you seek it, it'll come back.

So the advice: Don’t concern yourself with awards. You’ll never win any.

Raise some hell, you’re pretty good at it. (Just maybe not as much as you’re raising right now.)

Go home and spend some of those hours with Momma and Daddy. You won’t have them for long.

And just so you know, Marty: All those eye-roll lessons Daddy preaches constantly about accountability and respect and hard work and the indescribable privilege of being American, and the pride of your last name?

Write them down. He’s right.”

Rebecca Lowe, NBC Sports host

“I could sit my younger self down for an entire day and give advice. But three of the biggest pieces I would impart are...firstly, never believe anyone who tells you they don’t see you in a specific role. If that’s where you see yourself and where you believe you can shine then stick at it and prove the doubters wrong. No one knows you better than you know yourself and use the doubt to drive you on.

Secondly, know that not every job is perfect and they tend to be less perfect in the early stages of your career when you’re trying to carve your path. It might be that you can’t stand your job, or your boss or the people around you but if it’s a job that will help you get to the next stage then head down and power through. Always remember it is a lucky person who gets to enjoy their job. So if it takes some years of disgruntlement and dissatisfaction to get to where you’re happy, that’s the sacrifice you have to pay. I always suggest asking yourself: ‘What’s your alternative choice?’ Often the alternatives are not as good. And, finally, over prepare. In everything you do. If you do this, you’ll never come unstuck.”

Shea Serrano, writer and best-selling author, The Ringer

I would tell my younger self three things:

1. Always say yes. If someone asks you to do a work thing, just say yes. It doesn't matter if you know how to do it or not. Just say yes and then trust yourself to figure it out. I remember one time MTV asked me to make some pop culture postcards for them for the holidays one year. I had no idea how to do it, but what I did know was that they were gonna pay me several hundred dollars to them. So when they called and asked if it was something I knew how to do, I was just like, ‘Yup. I got you. I do it all the time.’ That's how I tried to handle everything. I didn't know how to write a book until I wrote a book, you know what I'm saying?

2. Don't be late. There are absolutely some people who were born with a natural gift for writing and storytelling; just brilliant, exceptional people birthed with brilliant, exceptional talent in their bones. Not me, though. And that being the case, I knew I was never going to be able to keep up with those type of people if I was just depending on my own tiny amount of talent. So, as a way to supplement that, I just decided to try to never, ever, ever be late with an assignment. I would always turn my stuff in early, answer emails quickly, respond to phone calls immediately, so on and so forth. You can't control talent, but you can control work ethic is what I'm telling you. And in my experience, an editor is more likely to choose working with someone who's a decent writer but is super dependable over choosing to work with someone who is an exceptional writer but is unreliable.

3. Know that everyone gets kicked in the teeth a billion times before they ‘make it.’ This was the hardest thing to learn, and something that I'm still dealing with today. A lot of being a writer is pitching stories and ideas and then either a) never hearing back, or b) hearing back but it's a no. It's hard not to take it personal when it happens, because it always seems to feel like they're turning you down, not like they're turning your ideas down. But, as I've come to learn, it happens to everyone all the time. I mean, just think on it like, I'm a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author. That's a real and true thing. And still, it doesn't matter. I get turned down for things literally every week. It's just the way it goes. You gotta just keep going. Because that's really the main difference that separates someone who makes it from someone who doesn't. The person who made it was the one who kept getting up after getting kicked in the teeth. The person who didn't make it didn't get up.

Erika Nardini, Barstool Sports CEO

“You do not look good with short hair, don’t try it. Don’t work away your 20s. Bigger companies don’t necessarily give you bigger chances for success. Don’t worry about how one job relates to the next. There’s a thru-line in there somewhere and the right person/company will see it.”

Adam Schefter, ESPN NFL insider and podcast host

“What I would tell my younger self is the exact advice I did try to tell my younger self; I just couldn't listen to it, not in the way I wanted because I was so consumed with trying to land a sports reporting job or advancing once I had it.

Back when I was at the University of Michigan in the late 1980s, my college roommates and I discovered this poem called The Station, by Robert J. Hastings. We would read it and remind each other of it, and we even put it at the end of a video we made at the end of our senior year, as we were graduating, one final reminder of lessons we all should learn. It's good advice for any young person in any young field—better than anything I can offer. I never like when people lean on a poem to try to convey thoughts, but I believe it's valuable advice for anyone just getting started—or even finishing up.”

The Station, by Robert J. Hastings

Tucked away in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We’re traveling by train and, from the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of smoke pouring from power plants, of row upon row upon row of cotton and corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of city skylines and village halls.

But uppermost in our conscious minds is our final destination—for at a certain hour and on a given day, our train will finally pull into the Station with bells ringing, flags waving, and bands playing. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So restlessly, we pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, waiting, waiting for the Station.

“Yes, when we reach the Station, that will be it!” we promise ourselves. “When we’re eighteen. . . win that promotion. . . put the last kid through college. . . buy that 450SL Mercedes-Benz. . . have a nest egg for retirement!” From that day on we will all live happily ever after.

Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no Station in this life, no one earthly place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The Station is an illusion—it constantly outdistances us. Yesterday’s a memory, tomorrow’s a dream. Yesterday belongs to a history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday’s a fading sunset, tomorrow’s a faint sunrise. Only today is there light enough to love and live.

So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad, but rather the regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.

“Relish the moment” is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener. Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we go along. The Station will come soon enough.

Amy Trask, NFL analyst, CBS Sports

“I would tell my younger self: listen to your mom. The best advice I have ever been given was imparted to me by my mom: to thine own self be true. (As an aside, I will note that it wasn’t until I was almost out of college that I learned that these wise words were those spoken by Polonius to Laertes in Hamlet. While one might then say that my advice to my younger self would be to follow the words of Shakespeare, I shall always consider this the advice my mom shared with me.)

My mom repeated this advice (over and over), as moms are wont to do. I sometimes rolled my eyes, as kids are wont to do.

While it is unequivocally the best advice I have ever received, I didn’t always follow it. I heeded this advice for the most part and when I did I was my strongest and my most capable. I am my best when I am myself, as my mom advised me to be. But there were times I didn’t follow this advice and instead tried to be something or someone I was not and in those instances not only was I not my best, I stumbled and bumbled and fumbled. It just doesn’t work for me to try to be what I am not.

So my advice to my younger self is quite simple: listen to your mom even (or especially) in those instances in which you may be tempted to ignore or don’t believe you need to follow her advice and ‘to thine own self be true.’”

Beth Mowins, ESPN and CBS Sports play-by-play announcer

“I would tell my younger self to keep a journal. I wish I had the ability to look back over the years and recall where I have been and what I have done. It doesn't have to be much...even just a few sentences about games and places and people. So many great stories have been lost in my memory banks and I wish I could bring some back. We are lucky to spend time with amazing players and coaches and it would be nice to have a journal to reflect on the good times with the people in this business. Enjoy the journey...and jot it down. It's important because you want to pass on knowledge to the younger people in this business. It's always nice to have a story to tell about ‘when I was your age,’ or be able to say, ‘I went through something similar’ and here's what happened. It can also help you do your job better by providing some historical perspective to the games you are covering. I enjoy a good quote or a funny anecdote as much as the next person. Sportscasting is still about relationships with people and the more connections you can make the better off you will be.”

Don Van Natta Jr., ESPN senior writer and investigative reporter

“Relax, kid. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And what’s ‘the small stuff,’ you ask? The highlight reel of all the indignities and idiocy that will comprise a 30-year journalism career: the published mistakes (yours and others); the big-footing colleagues; the years (or decades) of no raises; the editors who merrily drive lawn mowers through your copy; the slammed doors and the hung-up phones; the grounded late-night flights and canceled summer vacations; the sources who lie to you or about you; the Christmas Eve calls from long-winded bosses; the scoops that get away; the ‘fake news’-spewing ‘readers’ who don’t read a word of what you write; the rabid fans who will only hear fraudulent, bumper-sticker characterizations of your stories on WEEI in Boston; the omnipresent drumbeat of job cuts.

In the wide-open canvas of a career, nearly all of it amounts to small stuff. Trust me, it’s true. So keep reminding yourself of that. And don’t frown so damn much.

Being a journalist in America is still one of the best jobs in the world, despite everything. Think about it: you get paid to find the truth and report it to an audience starving for it. When things go wrong—and they often will—don’t let those moments trip you up. Just roll with it, cold-call the next would-be source and chase the next scoop with as much as confidence and swagger as you mustered the day before.

You don’t know this now but the friends you make in this business will last far longer than the best stories you’ll write and the best prizes you’ll win. And all the fun you’re going to have will far eclipse the days of failure and frustration. Remember, kid: 10,000 writers would give anything to have your nickels-paying, out-in-the-boondocks job. So…

Count your blessings. Embrace the good. Savor every moment. And smile.”

Candace Buckner, The Washington Post Wizards writer

“When I talk to young journalists, I always tell them to read more than just the sports page, network, and write daily—three things I should’ve done better when I was their age. But if I could give my younger self some advice, it would be pointed and simple: don’t bury your head into journalism, get out and experience life.

I was a focused kid when I arrived at Mizzou, with set-in-stone goals that centered on getting into J-School then becoming the next Willow Bay or Robin Roberts. I worked my tail off, held down a couple jobs and ran a floor in my dorm. I didn’t mess around and while I dig that about young Candace, I wish I would’ve told myself: Chill, homie, and go do real life. Go spend a summer abroad and learn something about the world outside of your perfectly-crafted tiny universe you have at Columbia, Mo. I needed more experience. While I don’t dare to think that if I would’ve gone to Thailand at 22 years old, then I would have this whole life thing all figured out (people who do that are the worst), I do believe that traveling and experiencing other cultures would’ve opened up a lifetime of learning, which in turn would make me a better writer and reporter. When I was younger, I was racing. But it would’ve OK to slow down and live.”

Mike Arnold, CBS Sports lead NFL director

“I guess the advice I'd give my younger self is to keep working hard and eventually things will work out. I remember first starting out in television as a runner with ABC Sports and was so disappointed when I didn't get a full time job with them after spending about 3-4 years working countless weekends trying to land a position. I figured I'd end up back home in Scottsdale working somewhere but probably not in television. I even applied to the city of Phoenix to work in the public information office and didn't get a response. Luckily, I had some young ABC production assistants in my corner because when Terry O'Neil left ABC Sports and came over to CBS Sports, David Dinkins, Jr. and Peter Lasser (those two production assistants) told O'Neil that I should be the first production assistant hired at CBS Sports. O'Neil hired me. That was 1981 and I'm still here at CBS.”

Kerith Burke, Warriors reporter, NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California

“I’d like to tell my younger self, ‘you’re on the right path, and your path is your own.’ I fall back on this advice in many situations to calm the worry hamster in my head who likes to hop on its wheel and churn the night away. I try to remind myself that when it comes to jobs on this path, talent, timing, and luck all play a role. Only one of those I can control.

This advice overlaps with something else: Jealousy is a useless emotion. Coming out of college, I was too concerned with others. I was envious about not working for the No. 1 station, or wondered why a colleague got an assignment I knew I could do well. This stemmed from my insecurity, and not knowing healthy ways to aim my ambition. I had to grow up. As I grew up, my path braided with friends in the industry to make us stronger. Don’t compete against your colleagues, befriend them. There’s plenty of room for all of us. It feels best to walk together.”

Dianna Russini, ESPN NFL reporter and studio host

“Don’t lose touch with those who have helped you grow both professionally and personally. You hear it all the time, ‘be good to everyone,’ but the reality is life gets busy and we all get consumed. It isn’t until you are in a tough spot professionally or maybe even without a job that you start realizing you should have built stronger relationships with those who have put themselves out for your own benefit. Just a few years ago, I was unemployed, living with my parents and looking for work in local sports. I was miserable and the market was worse. About seven years prior, when I was in college at George Mason University, I had reached out to random news directors in the NY/NJ/CT area looking for internships during my summer break. One news director was kind enough to write back to share that he had no openings but to stay in touch. I didn’t. Fast forward to the year I was looking for work and that same news director, Mike St. Peter, who was still the news director at NBC Connecticut, kindly answered my email once again. I always regretted I never sent him a note or even checked in on him over the years since he didn’t have to write back to a college student with zero experience, and I needed him now.

This time he brought me in for an interview, and days later, he hired me as a sports/news reporter. That was the start of my career. Under his leadership, he allowed me to be part of breaking news coverage at Sandy Hook Elementary and the Boston Marathon bombings. It turned out he wasn’t just a good e-mailer but a superb newsroom leader. He took a really big chance on me when in reality I had done nothing to give him security that I was a good reporter or even a decent human being. Every year since I don’t make the same mistake. I send Mike, who has now moved on to become President and General Manager of NBC Boston, a note to just say, thanks for giving me a chance when nobody would take a call. He usually responds with something that lets me know he’s proud. Work hard at your craft but you can’t do it alone. Appreciate those who help because you never know.”

Andrea Kremer, NFL Network reporter and HBO Real Sports correspondent

“I would tell my younger self to try and enjoy the moment more. For decades, I was so focused on what’s the next story...the next game...the next big interview....the next important issue that I rarely enjoyed ‘the moment.’ This is not one of these New Age epiphanies but there have been seminal moments of my career that I wish I had relished more. In retrospect, I think it felt anathema to me to ‘enjoy’ the moment as though I equated that with being a fan and not a serious journalist but that is wrong. After more than two decades in television my realization came in 2008 as I prepared to cover the single greatest event in my career (to date)—Michael Phelps’ quest for his eighth gold medal. I specifically thought about the historical aspect of the day and my small role in it as I was headed to the pool deck. It was meaningful for what it taught me at that time and moving forward. Now it’s a learning lesson I try to impart to younger broadcasters in lieu of my younger self.”

J.A. Adande, director of sports journalism at Northwestern University

“On a practical level, I'd tell myself to invest in the company 401k at the earliest opportunity and to the maximum tax-exempt amounts. And if not eligible, open an IRA. The last thing a 21-year-old thinks about is retirement planning.

I am curious what would have happened if I had told my younger self to stick with my original goal of being a play-by-play announcer. I got a taste of working game broadcasts while doing sidelines the past few years and it kind of made me wish I had charted a course toward sitting in that No. 1 seat. Still, I doubt it would have led to me working 20 NBA Finals in addition to just about every other major sporting event, so I think younger me got it right.”

Suzanne Smith, CBS Sports director and the first woman to direct NFL games fulltime

Dear Suzanne,

You are about to embark on an amazing journey. One full of adventure, excitement and challenges. Hard work, your attitude, respect and integrity will be the cornerstones.

Some basic rules

Treat EVERYONE equally, from your runners to the CEO. Work as hard as you can. Tackle each task like it’s the last, then work harder. Understand that every job is important. Speak up. Your ideas have value, even in a room of people with more experience. Take risks, don’t be afraid to fail. Send handwritten thank you notes. If you’re not early, you’re late.

Take advantage of the skills you’ve gained as an athlete

Be a leader and a team player. Be competitive while working with your colleagues. First to arrive, last to leave. Inspire others. Rise to the occasion when the pressure is on.

On the practical side

Invest in a good piece of luggage, one with wheels! Dress like a professional, not like you are in your college dorm. Keep a journal, keep your credentials, photos. Don’t be in a rush to get from one event to the next. Take the time to soak it all in. Don’t assume your boss knows what you want to do. Be proactive about your assignments and the events you want to be a part of.

The boys club

Be yourself. You will never be one of the boys, stop trying. The day you accept this, things will be easier. The day you realize you don’t WANT to be part of ‘the club,’ your world will change.

Family and friends

Balancing your career and life will be challenging at times. You will have to make sacrifices to be successful in this industry. Remember, your family, partner and friends are affected as well.

You got this

It’s not enough to dream your dreams. You’ve got to pursue your dreams. No, it’s not always easy but if it was easy, anybody could do it. Always remember and remind those around you that it is a privilege to be a part of some of the most coveted sporting events in the world. Believe in yourself and let your passions be your guide. Enjoy your amazing journey.”

Tim Brando, Fox Sports play-by-play announcer

“Many times as sportscasters we talk about players that sometimes force it, or press their efforts as opposed to letting the game come to them. Ours is a totally subjective craft and for everyone that loves your work there will always be those that don’t. I’m blessed to have had a career that’s spanned four decades with ESPN as its starting point, then a quick transition to Turner, and then an 18-year run at CBS, before joining FOX four years ago. Honestly, only now do I personally believe I’m as grateful and feel as privileged as I always should have to do what I love for a living. Type A’s are littered throughout sports television and most of us want to get the top assignments in live sports television. I wouldn’t change my path, but I would recommend if I had the chance to start over to have enjoyed the journey by living more in the moment than I did. Breaking into syndicated play-by-play in 1982-83 with Raycom/Jefferson Pilot and making ESPN freelance appearances as a play-by-play man in my mid 20’s in 1985 had me thinking that was my calling. But upon my arrival to Bristol in late 1986 the suits saw me as a studio talent first! I fought that and I probably should have embraced it far more; it did help me later in securing a gig at the ‘Tiffany’ Network, CBS. I loved what I was doing, but shouldn’t have been so concerned with what’s next!

‘Tim, slow down, you’re in a great spot, don’t worry so much about what’s next,’ my old departed friend John Saunders would say. He was right. I tell young broadcasters all the time to enjoy the journey and the relationships that come with it. A wonderful collection of people that could put me in places to succeed have always been there for me. They (the suits) want to know how privileged you feel. I would tell myself if I were younger, to let them know that, and stop worrying about chasing the next great gig. You’ve already got a really good one. Keep loving it, performing it and good things will come your way. I’ve found that understanding your role, and giving the employer your best in that role is not only better, but allows for greater fullness of life.”

Nancy Armour, sports columnist, USA Today

“Develop your own voice.

Find writers whose work—and work ethic—you admire, and study what they do and how they do it. Learn from them and make use of any tips or guidance they share, but don’t make the mistake of trying to be them. There will only be one Dave Anderson or Jim Litke or Jackie MacMullan or Leonard Pitts, and trying to write in a voice or style that isn’t your own will come across as forced and inauthentic. Find your voice, your style and the writing will flow better.

Learn from your mistakes.

Mistakes are going to happen, it’s human nature. You will beat yourself up something awful and forever cringe at the memory of it. But make sure you learn from it, too. Recognizing how and why the mistake occurred is the surest way to avoid doing it again in the future.

Expand your world.

Read books and listen to podcasts about things that have nothing to do with your job or the sport(s) you cover. Have friends and interests outside the business. There’s a risk of getting stale and jaded when you are immersed in the same thing day after day, week after week, year after year. Getting outside your bubble is the best way of guarding against that—and also a reminder that what we do is pretty damn cool.

Don’t be afraid to fail.

When I was 13, my father gave me some advice that influences me to this day. I won’t bore you with the whole story, but the gist was that you should never let the fear of failure, or fear in general, stop you from doing something. Wondering ‘What if?’ after you’ve let an opportunity pass will haunt you longer than any embarrassment you might have suffered, and nothing empowers you quite like tackling your fears head on.

Enjoy the ride.

We have fun, interesting jobs that most people envy when they hear about them. It’s easy to forget that with deadlines, the stress over the state of the business and the pressure of always having to do more. But every once in a while, take a breather and remember what drew you to the profession in the first place.”

Kenny Albert, Fox Sports and NBC Sports play-by-play announcer

“Work, work, work! Preparation will be the key to a career in sports broadcasting. Read everything you can get your hands on. Look into internships during your high school and college years, but also get as many reps as you can on-air. If a local cable station happens to visit your high school to film a girls basketball game, volunteer to do the play-by-play. Perhaps they will offer you hundreds of other games in all sports over the next three years, which could prove to be the most invaluable experience you could ever ask for.

Practice makes perfect! Also be sure to learn other positions—producing, editing, writing, keeping statistics, etc. Watch and listen to as many games as possible—to absorb both announcing styles and information via osmosis. If your initial goal is hockey radio play-by-play, send tapes out to as many teams as possible all over North America. Don't be afraid of 10-hour bus rides. Working in the minor leagues could wind up among the most important and memorable years of your professional career.”

Adnan Virk, ESPN studio host and play-by-play announcer

“I would tell myself to ignore all the trolls. When people ask me for advice in this business it can be epitomized in two words: thick skin. No matter what people may tweet at you, no matter how disparaging or hateful it may be, don’t let it affect you emotionally, or your performance in any manner. I would also tell my younger self to pay more attention to the 1984 Orange Bowl between Nebraska and Miami since one day improbably I would be the studio host for CFB and such background would be more helpful rather than watching the Gretzky-era Oilers dynasty in bloom.”

Mina Kimes, ESPN reporter and columnist

"I would have told my younger self to take more creative risks. At the beginning of my career, I was terrified of failure, so I always pursued projects that I knew I could execute. But I've since learned that the best stories are the ones that seem insurmountable—not just when the reporting is difficult, but also when an idea feels murky at the outset. I wish I had been more daring early on, because my greatest experiences as a writer have been ones that teetered on the edge."

THE NOISE REPORT

1a. As expected, there was immense pushback from viewers on the decision by Turner Sports to buck longstanding Selection Sunday tradition and reveal all the teams in the NCAA tournament field prior to the bracket itself. The phrase “Selection Show” trended on Twitter long after the show ended and Twitter compiled reaction from an angry crowd of sports viewers. The most notable response, from all places, was this laugh-out-loud tweet from the Lawrence (Ks.) Police. What I wrote in 2016 holds true today: “Front-load the program so that all the brackets are revealed within the first 35 minutes and spend the next 85 minutes going heavy on analysis and interviews. If the analysis is good, people are not going to abandon your channel just because the brackets are in. Obviously, this is a high profile property and CBS is in the business of keeping you around to make money but the pacing on Sunday was a huge miss. Viewers will revolt if they think you are stringing them along, which is how it felt watching.” This from the Kansas City Star and this from SI’s Jimmy Traina cover the reactions.

1b. ESPN NFL analyst Louis Riddick is not a man of moderate opinions and goals. He wants to be part of Monday Night Football and has no problem letting the world know of his interest, including his bosses at ESPN.

“This is something that has been a goal of mind and ESPN is very well aware that I am very interested in it,” said Riddick, this week’s guest on the SI Media Podcast. “It is the pinnacle of broadcasting as far as I am concerned, the most iconic position in broadcasting. To be involved with Monday Night Football either as a play-by-play person or analyst is something I am hoping I can achieve.”

Asked what ESPN management’s response has been to Riddick’s interest, Riddick said, “It has been very favorable. They are well aware of it. I think you saw my interest in being a part of a live broadcast, a live game, with my involvement with the Pro Bowl this year and that only scratched the surface of what I think I am capable of doing with that kind of platform. I am fired up about the possibility of being involved with the brand of Monday Night Football in any way shape or form and I think the next couple of weeks and months as ESPN figures out where they want to go with that are going to be awfully exciting for me personally.”

As the guest on Episode 168 of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, Riddick addressed many topics including what separates a good NFL broadcaster versus an average one; how he has attempted to improve as a broadcaster; his candidness on issues and why too often former players pull punches on the air; how he navigates being a candidate for NFL general manager jobs versus working at ESPN; his thoughts when someone does not report on him accurately; how he approaches discussing social issues or politics on social media; playing under Nick Saban and Bill Belichick in Cleveland; Saban’s attention to detail and what makes him different than other coaches; how the Browns should approach holding the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the NFL Draft, and much more. To listen to the podcast in full, check it out on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.

PODCAST BREAKDOWN:

• 1:00: What separates a good NFL broadcaster from an average one.

• 2:50: How has Riddick improved as a broadcaster and how much film he watches on his own work.

• 6:40: The aesthetics of sports broadcasting.

• 9:30: Being candid about NFL personnel people and trying to take people behind the curtain of the NFL

• 14:15: Playing for Bill Bellichick and Nick Saban and what separates Saban from other coaches.

• 20:20: Interviewing for general manager jobs while working for ESPN.

• 24:30: Other media writing about him, and his reaction to what he says is incorrect reporting.

• 33:00: What would happen if a mid-season GM job came up.

• 35:20: His approach to social media when it comes to social issues and politics.

• 36:40 His interest in being on Monday Night Football.

• 41:00: Tony Romo’s work this year on CBS and Riddick's preparation for the NFL Draft.

• 47:20: How he believes the Browns will approach the No. 1 and No. 4 overall pick.

• 51:00: How he would approach the end of Tom Brady’s career if he were Patriots management.

2. SI legal analyst Michael McCann analyzed Adrienne Lawrence’s lawsuit against ESPN and the company’s possible defenses.

2a. As SI first reported, Michael Smith’s last day as an ESPN SportsCenter host was Friday.

2b. ESPN jettisoned Sean McDonough out of the Monday Night Football booth despite public votes of confidence from management as recent as just a few months ago. On a positive note for viewers, McDonough signed a new multi-year extension and will rejoin ESPN’s college football team this fall. His assignments will include weekly college football games, as well as a College Football Playoff Semifinal. He will continue to call the CFP National Championship on ESPN Radio, marquee college basketball games, The Masters Par 3 contest and more.

3. How to Watch—And What to Expect From—the Winter Paralympics 2018 on NBC.

4. Sports pieces of note:

• From Indianapolis Star reporters Tim Evans, Joe Guillen, Gina Kaufman, Marisa Kwiatkowski, Matt Mencarini and Mark Alesia: How Larry Nassar abused hundreds of gymnasts and eluded justice for decades.

• A remarkable thread on the KHL from reporter Slava Malamud:

• From Juliet Macur of The New York Times: Suicides, Drug Addiction and High School Football.

Cody Rhodes is carving his own path in memory of his father, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, from Mike Piellucci of The Ringer.

• Kevin Love, for The Players Tribune, on suffering panic attacks.

New York Times writer Harvey Araton profiled St. John’s coach Chris Mullin.

• ESPN’s Wright Thompson on Ichiro.

• SI’s Lee Jenkins profiled Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey.

• Steve Francis, for The Players Tribune, on his unlikely journey to the NBA.

• The Athletic’s Levi Weaver on Tim Lincecum.

• From ESPN.com’s Susan Ninan: India's Rugby Revolution.

Non-sports pieces of note

The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer on Christopher Steele.

• Via The Atlantic’s Rachel Monroe: The Perfect Man Who Wasn't.

• Via Farhad Manjoo of The New York Times: For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers. Here’s What I Learned.

Fifteen women The New York Times overlooked for obituaries.

• From Josh Dean of Bloomberg Businessweek: America Is Giving Away the $30 Billion Medical Marijuana Industry.

• From Eric Adler of The Kansas City Star: Missouri is a destination wedding spot—for 15-year-old brides.

This is my final piece (at least for awhile) for Sports Illustrated. It is a weird sentence to write. This was the singular place I dreamed of working for as a young person and to have worked here for two decades has been an immense professional privilege. SI paid for me to travel the world—I covered seven Olympic Games—and trusted me with assignments that meant a great deal to me, including the Women’s Final Four and the U.S. Open. I was able to work for every part of the editorial brand, from Swimsuit to SI.com to SI Commemoratives, and spent two years helping edit SI For Women (RIP).

It has been an amazing place to work and I leave feeling as close to the brand as I did when SI published my first byline in 1998 about Howie Young, an NHL defenseman for the Red Wings who drank himself out of professional sports before sobering up and finding a second life in Thoreau, N.M., a predominantly Navajo community two hours west of Albuquerque, as a mild-mannered bus driver for the McKinley County public schools.

There are many colleagues that I want to cite publicly for helping and educating me along the journey but I’ll do that in a post on my own social channels. I’ll announce soon enough what’s next but thank you for reading me here, for listening to the podcast and for having an interest in what my SI colleagues and I do professionally.

<p>TORONTO – The “Letters To My Younger Self” series from the Players Tribune has been among the most interesting things the digital publication has done. While the editorial conceit <a href="http://www.oprah.com/spirit/celebrities-letters-to-younger-selves/all" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:existed long before The Players Tribune" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">existed long before The Players Tribune</a>, the publication has received well-deserved praise for the series, including very thoughtful pieces bylined by <a href="https://www.theplayerstribune.com/letter-to-my-younger-self-quentin-richardson/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Quentin Richardson" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Quentin Richardson</a>, <a href="https://www.theplayerstribune.com/author/mike-bossy/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Mike Bossy" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Mike Bossy</a> and <a href="https://www.theplayerstribune.com/damon-stoudamire-nba-letter-to-my-younger-self/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Damon Stoudamire" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Damon Stoudamire</a>. For the column below, I swiped the concept to ask a number of people in the sports media the following question: <em>What specific career advice would you give your younger self and why?</em> Here’s how they answered:</p><h3><strong>Ian Eagle, CBS Sports play-by-play announcer</strong></h3><p>“I would start off by giving the younger version of myself some practical advice. Don&#39;t eat at a suspect Chinese restaurant in San Francisco before flying on a red-eye with a window seat (trust me on this one). </p><p>If you&#39;re fortunate enough to make it in this highly competitive business, don&#39;t take for granted the chair that you occupy. Take the time to truly appreciate the unique moments along the way—a spectacular NFL Sunday in Foxboro, a raucous crowd at Phog Allen Fieldhouse, or the electricity inside Air Canada Centre in Toronto. It&#39;s easy to get caught up in the preparation and minutia of your assignment, but don&#39;t forget to be present and soak up the atmosphere.</p><p>When you&#39;re young you tend to focus on just your role in the broadcast, as you get older and gain experience you begin to value every person on the crew and the sheer enormity of the production you&#39;re working on. The announcer is a small piece of the puzzle and although you may be front and center, you won&#39;t be successful without the hard work and dedication of others. In addition, be a well rounded person with knowledge that extends beyond the two teams you&#39;re covering—pop culture, world news, social issues may be topics of conversation during a broadcast when you least expect it, be prepared for anything. I would also advise my younger self that nobody cares if your flight was delayed or the people in the hotel room next to you traveled a small chicuacua with them—all that matters is being totally focused and locked-in the moment you go on the air. And have fun!! This isn&#39;t brain surgery (but if you&#39;re a well-rounded person you&#39;d be able to perform that if necessary).”</p><h3><strong>Joe Buck, Fox Sports play-by-play announcer</strong></h3><p>“Keep on your path. Don&#39;t let the ‘noise’ creep in as the years go by. Social media will be both a blessing and a curse. Take it for what it is and be you. Don&#39;t let the ‘he tries to be funny too much’ criticism from a certain columnist from the <em>New York Post</em> affect what you do. Be you. See a therapist before your late 30s—you have a lot of issues to work through. And for the love of God, sleep through your eighth hair transplant appointment in 2011. Trust me, it&#39;s for the best.”</p><h3><strong>Marty Smith, ESPN host and reporter</strong></h3><p><em>“Dear Younger Me...</em></p><p><em>Offering you advice seems ungrateful and haughty, as if you need a different direction. Listen up: You don’t. </em><em>You don’t know it yet, but you’re blessed with a life beyond the craziest fantasy world you could ever conjure. </em><em>So let it ride.</em></p><p><em>Live the Golden Rule. </em></p><p><em>Be kind. Work hard. </em></p><p><em>Head up. Nose down. </em></p><p><em>Heart full. Always. </em></p><p><em>Even when it&#39;s empty.</em></p><p><em>Passion never loses. You’ll meet folks with better looks and more talent and a fancier degree. </em></p><p><em>You’ll never meet anybody with more passion. It’s the one thing you can control. Own it. It&#39;ll take you awhile to gain comfort in that space, but your gut is correct—it’s the right way.</em></p><p><em>Momma always said every man is equal, and deserves respect when he gives it. She’s right. </em><em>Keep treating people well. It matters.</em></p><p><em>Status is fleeting. It’s a drug. It’s a fake title. Authenticity and loyalty are eternal—and hard to come by. Embrace them. </em></p><p><em>Just do you. It’s unorthodox and it’s different, and I know some of the traditional cats are giving you a big ol&#39; ration of s*** for it right now. It hurts, but don’t let on. They&#39;ll come around. </em></p><p><em>You liked to be liked. That will never leave you. You’ll eventually be able to admit it openly and be cool with the admittance.</em></p><p><em>Champion your wife and include her in your triumphs and experiences. They’re so much richer when you share them together. </em></p><p><em>Walk your Faith. This will be a boomerang for you. You&#39;ll let it fly away for a time, but when you seek it, it&#39;ll come back.</em></p><p><em>So the advice: </em><em>Don’t concern yourself with awards. You’ll never win any.</em></p><p><em>Raise some hell, you’re pretty good at it. (Just maybe not as much as you’re raising right now.) </em></p><p><em>Go home and spend some of those hours with Momma and Daddy. You won’t have them for long. </em></p><p><em>And just so you know, Marty: All those eye-roll lessons Daddy preaches constantly about accountability and respect and hard work and the indescribable privilege of being American, and the pride of your last name? </em></p><p><em>Write them down. </em><em>He’s right.”</em></p><h3><strong>Rebecca Lowe, NBC Sports host</strong></h3><p>“I could sit my younger self down for an entire day and give advice. But three of the biggest pieces I would impart are...firstly, never believe anyone who tells you they don’t see you in a specific role. If that’s where you see yourself and where you believe you can shine then stick at it and prove the doubters wrong. No one knows you better than you know yourself and use the doubt to drive you on.</p><p>Secondly, know that not every job is perfect and they tend to be less perfect in the early stages of your career when you’re trying to carve your path. It might be that you can’t stand your job, or your boss or the people around you but if it’s a job that will help you get to the next stage then head down and power through. Always remember it is a lucky person who gets to enjoy their job. So if it takes some years of disgruntlement and dissatisfaction to get to where you’re happy, that’s the sacrifice you have to pay. I always suggest asking yourself: ‘What’s your alternative choice?’ Often the alternatives are not as good. And, finally, over prepare. In everything you do. If you do this, you’ll never come unstuck.”</p><h3><strong>Shea Serrano, writer and best-selling author, <em>The Ringer</em></strong></h3><p><em>“</em>I would tell my younger self three things:</p><p><strong>1. Always say yes.</strong> If someone asks you to do a work thing, just say yes. It doesn&#39;t matter if you know how to do it or not. Just say yes and then trust yourself to figure it out. I remember one time MTV asked me to make some pop culture postcards for them for the holidays one year. I had no idea how to do it, but what I did know was that they were gonna pay me several hundred dollars to them. So when they called and asked if it was something I knew how to do, I was just like, ‘Yup. I got you. I do it all the time.’ That&#39;s how I tried to handle everything. I didn&#39;t know how to write a book until I wrote a book, you know what I&#39;m saying?</p><p><strong>2. Don&#39;t be late.</strong> There are absolutely some people who were born with a natural gift for writing and storytelling; just brilliant, exceptional people birthed with brilliant, exceptional talent in their bones. Not me, though. And that being the case, I knew I was never going to be able to keep up with those type of people if I was just depending on my own tiny amount of talent. So, as a way to supplement that, I just decided to try to never, ever, ever be late with an assignment. I would always turn my stuff in early, answer emails quickly, respond to phone calls immediately, so on and so forth. You can&#39;t control talent, but you can control work ethic is what I&#39;m telling you. And in my experience, an editor is more likely to choose working with someone who&#39;s a decent writer but is super dependable over choosing to work with someone who is an exceptional writer but is unreliable.</p><p><strong>3. Know that everyone gets kicked in the teeth a billion times before they ‘make it.’ </strong>This was the hardest thing to learn, and something that I&#39;m still dealing with today. A lot of being a writer is pitching stories and ideas and then either a) never hearing back, or b) hearing back but it&#39;s a no. It&#39;s hard not to take it personal when it happens, because it always seems to feel like they&#39;re turning you down, not like they&#39;re turning your ideas down. But, as I&#39;ve come to learn, it happens to everyone all the time. I mean, just think on it like, I&#39;m a No. 1 <em>New York Times</em> bestselling author. That&#39;s a real and true thing. And still, it doesn&#39;t matter. I get turned down for things literally every week. It&#39;s just the way it goes. You gotta just keep going. Because that&#39;s really the main difference that separates someone who makes it from someone who doesn&#39;t. The person who made it was the one who kept getting up after getting kicked in the teeth. The person who didn&#39;t make it didn&#39;t get up.</p><h3><strong>Erika Nardini, Barstool Sports CEO</strong></h3><p>“You do not look good with short hair, don’t try it. Don’t work away your 20s. Bigger companies don’t necessarily give you bigger chances for success. Don’t worry about how one job relates to the next. There’s a thru-line in there somewhere and the right person/company will see it.”</p><h3><strong>Adam Schefter, ESPN NFL insider and podcast host</strong></h3><p>“What I would tell my younger self is the exact advice I did try to tell my younger self; I just couldn&#39;t listen to it, not in the way I wanted because I was so consumed with trying to land a sports reporting job or advancing once I had it.</p><p>Back when I was at the University of Michigan in the late 1980s, my college roommates and I discovered this poem called <em>The Station</em>, by Robert J. Hastings. We would read it and remind each other of it, and we even put it at the end of a video we made at the end of our senior year, as we were graduating, one final reminder of lessons we all should learn. It&#39;s good advice for any young person in any young field—better than anything I can offer. I never like when people lean on a poem to try to convey thoughts, but I believe it&#39;s valuable advice for anyone just getting started—or even finishing up.”</p><p>The Station, by Robert J. Hastings</p><p><em>Tucked away in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We’re traveling by train and, from the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of smoke pouring from power plants, of row upon row upon row of cotton and corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of city skylines and village halls.</em></p><p><em>But uppermost in our conscious minds is our final destination—for at a certain hour and on a given day, our train will finally pull into the Station with bells ringing, flags waving, and bands playing. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So restlessly, we pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, waiting, waiting for the Station.</em></p><p><em>“Yes, when we reach the Station, that will be it!” we promise ourselves. “When we’re eighteen. . . win that promotion. . . put the last kid through college. . . buy that 450SL Mercedes-Benz. . . have a nest egg for retirement!” From that day on we will all live happily ever after.</em></p><p><em>Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no Station in this life, no one earthly place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The Station is an illusion—it constantly outdistances us. Yesterday’s a memory, tomorrow’s a dream. Yesterday belongs to a history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday’s a fading sunset, tomorrow’s a faint sunrise. Only today is there light enough to love and live.</em></p><p><em>So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad, but rather the regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.</em></p><p><em>“Relish the moment” is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”</em></p><p><em>So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener. Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we go along. The Station will come soon enough.</em></p><h3><strong>Amy Trask, NFL analyst, CBS Sports</strong></h3><p>“I would tell my younger self: listen to your mom. The best advice I have ever been given was imparted to me by my mom: to thine own self be true. (As an aside, I will note that it wasn’t until I was almost out of college that I learned that these wise words were those spoken by Polonius to Laertes in Hamlet. While one might then say that my advice to my younger self would be to follow the words of Shakespeare, I shall always consider this the advice my mom shared with me.) </p><p>My mom repeated this advice (over and over), as moms are wont to do. I sometimes rolled my eyes, as kids are wont to do.</p><p>While it is unequivocally the best advice I have ever received, I didn’t always follow it. I heeded this advice for the most part and when I did I was my strongest and my most capable. I am my best when I am myself, as my mom advised me to be. But there were times I didn’t follow this advice and instead tried to be something or someone I was not and in those instances not only was I not my best, I stumbled and bumbled and fumbled. It just doesn’t work for me to try to be what I am not.</p><p>So my advice to my younger self is quite simple: listen to your mom even (or especially) in those instances in which you may be tempted to ignore or don’t believe you need to follow her advice and ‘to thine own self be true.’”</p><h3><strong>Beth Mowins, ESPN and CBS Sports play-by-play announcer</strong></h3><p>“I would tell my younger self to keep a journal. I wish I had the ability to look back over the years and recall where I have been and what I have done. It doesn&#39;t have to be much...even just a few sentences about games and places and people. So many great stories have been lost in my memory banks and I wish I could bring some back. We are lucky to spend time with amazing players and coaches and it would be nice to have a journal to reflect on the good times with the people in this business. Enjoy the journey...and jot it down. It&#39;s important because you want to pass on knowledge to the younger people in this business. It&#39;s always nice to have a story to tell about ‘when I was your age,’ or be able to say, ‘I went through something similar’ and here&#39;s what happened. It can also help you do your job better by providing some historical perspective to the games you are covering. I enjoy a good quote or a funny anecdote as much as the next person. Sportscasting is still about relationships with people and the more connections you can make the better off you will be.”</p><h3><strong>Don Van Natta Jr., ESPN senior writer and investigative reporter</strong></h3><p>“Relax, kid. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And what’s ‘the small stuff,’ you ask? The highlight reel of all the indignities and idiocy that will comprise a 30-year journalism career: the published mistakes (yours and others); the big-footing colleagues; the years (or decades) of no raises; the editors who merrily drive lawn mowers through your copy; the slammed doors and the hung-up phones; the grounded late-night flights and canceled summer vacations; the sources who lie to you or about you; the Christmas Eve calls from long-winded bosses; the scoops that get away; the ‘fake news’-spewing ‘readers’ who don’t read a word of what you write; the rabid fans who will only hear fraudulent, bumper-sticker characterizations of your stories on WEEI in Boston; the omnipresent drumbeat of job cuts.</p><p>In the wide-open canvas of a career, nearly all of it amounts to small stuff. Trust me, it’s true. So keep reminding yourself of that. And don’t frown so damn much.</p><p>Being a journalist in America is still one of the best jobs in the world, despite everything. Think about it: you get paid to find the truth and report it to an audience starving for it. When things go wrong—and they often will—don’t let those moments trip you up. Just roll with it, cold-call the next would-be source and chase the next scoop with as much as confidence and swagger as you mustered the day before.</p><p>You don’t know this now but the friends you make in this business will last far longer than the best stories you’ll write and the best prizes you’ll win. And all the fun you’re going to have will far eclipse the days of failure and frustration. Remember, kid: 10,000 writers would give anything to have your nickels-paying, out-in-the-boondocks job. So…</p><p>Count your blessings. Embrace the good. Savor every moment. And smile.”</p><h3><strong>Candace Buckner, <em>The Washington Post</em> Wizards writer</strong></h3><p>“When I talk to young journalists, I always tell them to read more than just the sports page, network, and write daily—three things I should’ve done better when I was their age. But if I could give my younger self some advice, it would be pointed and simple: don’t bury your head into journalism, get out and experience life.</p><p>I was a focused kid when I arrived at Mizzou, with set-in-stone goals that centered on getting into J-School then becoming the next Willow Bay or Robin Roberts. I worked my tail off, held down a couple jobs and ran a floor in my dorm. I didn’t mess around and while I dig that about young Candace, I wish I would’ve told myself: <em>Chill, homie, and go do real life.</em> Go spend a summer abroad and learn something about the world outside of your perfectly-crafted tiny universe you have at Columbia, Mo. I needed more experience. While I don’t dare to think that if I would’ve gone to Thailand at 22 years old, then I would have this whole life thing all figured out (people who do that are the worst), I do believe that traveling and experiencing other cultures would’ve opened up a lifetime of learning, which in turn would make me a better writer and reporter. When I was younger, I was racing. But it would’ve OK to slow down and live.”</p><h3><strong>Mike Arnold, CBS Sports lead NFL director</strong></h3><p>“I guess the advice I&#39;d give my younger self is to keep working hard and eventually things will work out. I remember first starting out in television as a runner with ABC Sports and was so disappointed when I didn&#39;t get a full time job with them after spending about 3-4 years working countless weekends trying to land a position. I figured I&#39;d end up back home in Scottsdale working somewhere but probably not in television. I even applied to the city of Phoenix to work in the public information office and didn&#39;t get a response. Luckily, I had some young ABC production assistants in my corner because when Terry O&#39;Neil left ABC Sports and came over to CBS Sports, David Dinkins, Jr. and Peter Lasser (those two production assistants) told O&#39;Neil that I should be the first production assistant hired at CBS Sports. O&#39;Neil hired me. That was 1981 and I&#39;m still here at CBS.”</p><h3><strong>Kerith Burke, Warriors reporter, NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California</strong></h3><p>“I’d like to tell my younger self, ‘you’re on the right path, and your path is your own.’ I fall back on this advice in many situations to calm the worry hamster in my head who likes to hop on its wheel and churn the night away. I try to remind myself that when it comes to jobs on this path, talent, timing, and luck all play a role. Only one of those I can control.</p><p>This advice overlaps with something else: Jealousy is a useless emotion. Coming out of college, I was too concerned with others. I was envious about not working for the No. 1 station, or wondered why a colleague got an assignment I knew I could do well. This stemmed from my insecurity, and not knowing healthy ways to aim my ambition. I had to grow up. As I grew up, my path braided with friends in the industry to make us stronger. Don’t compete against your colleagues, befriend them. There’s plenty of room for all of us. It feels best to walk together.”</p><h3><strong>Dianna Russini, ESPN NFL reporter and studio host</strong></h3><p>“Don’t lose touch with those who have helped you grow both professionally and personally. You hear it all the time, ‘be good to everyone,’ but the reality is life gets busy and we all get consumed. It isn’t until you are in a tough spot professionally or maybe even without a job that you start realizing you should have built stronger relationships with those who have put themselves out for your own benefit. Just a few years ago, I was unemployed, living with my parents and looking for work in local sports. I was miserable and the market was worse. About seven years prior, when I was in college at George Mason University, I had reached out to random news directors in the NY/NJ/CT area looking for internships during my summer break. One news director was kind enough to write back to share that he had no openings but to stay in touch. I didn’t. Fast forward to the year I was looking for work and that same news director, Mike St. Peter, who was still the news director at NBC Connecticut, kindly answered my email once again. I always regretted I never sent him a note or even checked in on him over the years since he didn’t have to write back to a college student with zero experience, and I needed him now.</p><p>This time he brought me in for an interview, and days later, he hired me as a sports/news reporter. That was the start of my career. Under his leadership, he allowed me to be part of breaking news coverage at Sandy Hook Elementary and the Boston Marathon bombings. It turned out he wasn’t just a good e-mailer but a superb newsroom leader. He took a really big chance on me when in reality I had done nothing to give him security that I was a good reporter or even a decent human being. Every year since I don’t make the same mistake. I send Mike, who has now moved on to become President and General Manager of NBC Boston, a note to just say, thanks for giving me a chance when nobody would take a call. He usually responds with something that lets me know he’s proud. Work hard at your craft but you can’t do it alone. Appreciate those who help because you never know.”</p><h3><strong>Andrea Kremer, NFL Network reporter and HBO Real Sports correspondent</strong></h3><p>“I would tell my younger self to try and enjoy the moment more. For decades, I was so focused on what’s the next story...the next game...the next big interview....the next important issue that I rarely enjoyed ‘the moment.’ This is not one of these New Age epiphanies but there have been seminal moments of my career that I wish I had relished more. In retrospect, I think it felt anathema to me to ‘enjoy’ the moment as though I equated that with being a fan and not a serious journalist but that is wrong. After more than two decades in television my realization came in 2008 as I prepared to cover the single greatest event in my career (to date)—Michael Phelps’ quest for his eighth gold medal. I specifically thought about the historical aspect of the day and my small role in it as I was headed to the pool deck. It was meaningful for what it taught me at that time and moving forward. Now it’s a learning lesson I try to impart to younger broadcasters in lieu of my younger self.”</p><h3><strong>J.A. Adande, director of sports journalism at Northwestern University</strong></h3><p>“On a practical level, I&#39;d tell myself to invest in the company 401k at the earliest opportunity and to the maximum tax-exempt amounts. And if not eligible, open an IRA. The last thing a 21-year-old thinks about is retirement planning.</p><p>I am curious what would have happened if I had told my younger self to stick with my original goal of being a play-by-play announcer. I got a taste of working game broadcasts while doing sidelines the past few years and it kind of made me wish I had charted a course toward sitting in that No. 1 seat. Still, I doubt it would have led to me working 20 NBA Finals in addition to just about every other major sporting event, so I think younger me got it right.”</p><h3><strong>Suzanne Smith, CBS Sports director and the first woman to direct NFL games fulltime</strong></h3><p><em>“</em>Dear Suzanne,</p><p>You are about to embark on an amazing journey. One full of adventure, excitement and challenges. Hard work, your attitude, respect and integrity will be the cornerstones.</p><p><strong>Some basic rules</strong></p><p>Treat EVERYONE equally, from your runners to the CEO. Work as hard as you can. Tackle each task like it’s the last, then work harder. Understand that every job is important. Speak up. Your ideas have value, even in a room of people with more experience. Take risks, don’t be afraid to fail. Send handwritten thank you notes. If you’re not early, you’re late.</p><p><strong>Take advantage of the skills you’ve gained as an athlete</strong></p><p>Be a leader and a team player. Be competitive while working with your colleagues. First to arrive, last to leave. Inspire others. Rise to the occasion when the pressure is on.</p><p><strong>On the practical side</strong></p><p>Invest in a good piece of luggage, one with wheels! Dress like a professional, not like you are in your college dorm. Keep a journal, keep your credentials, photos. Don’t be in a rush to get from one event to the next. Take the time to soak it all in. Don’t assume your boss knows what you want to do. Be proactive about your assignments and the events you want to be a part of.</p><p><strong>The boys club</strong></p><p>Be yourself. You will never be one of the boys, stop trying. The day you accept this, things will be easier. The day you realize you don’t WANT to be part of ‘the club,’ your world will change.</p><p><strong>Family and friends</strong></p><p>Balancing your career and life will be challenging at times. You will have to make sacrifices to be successful in this industry. Remember, your family, partner and friends are affected as well.</p><p><strong>You got this</strong></p><p>It’s not enough to dream your dreams. You’ve got to pursue your dreams. No, it’s not always easy but if it was easy, anybody could do it. Always remember and remind those around you that it is a privilege to be a part of some of the most coveted sporting events in the world. Believe in yourself and let your passions be your guide. Enjoy your amazing journey.”</p><h3><strong>Tim Brando, Fox Sports play-by-play announcer</strong></h3><p>“Many times as sportscasters we talk about players that sometimes force it, or press their efforts as opposed to letting the game come to them. Ours is a totally subjective craft and for everyone that loves your work there will always be those that don’t. I’m blessed to have had a career that’s spanned four decades with ESPN as its starting point, then a quick transition to Turner, and then an 18-year run at CBS, before joining FOX four years ago. Honestly, only now do I personally believe I’m as grateful and feel as privileged as I always should have to do what I love for a living. Type A’s are littered throughout sports television and most of us want to get the top assignments in live sports television. I wouldn’t change my path, but I would recommend if I had the chance to start over to have enjoyed the journey by living more in the moment than I did. Breaking into syndicated play-by-play in 1982-83 with Raycom/Jefferson Pilot and making ESPN freelance appearances as a play-by-play man in my mid 20’s in 1985 had me thinking that was my calling. But upon my arrival to Bristol in late 1986 the suits saw me as a studio talent first! I fought that and I probably should have embraced it far more; it did help me later in securing a gig at the ‘Tiffany’ Network, CBS. I loved what I was doing, but shouldn’t have been so concerned with what’s next!</p><p>‘Tim, slow down, you’re in a great spot, don’t worry so much about what’s next,’ my old departed friend John Saunders would say. He was right. I tell young broadcasters all the time to enjoy the journey and the relationships that come with it. A wonderful collection of people that could put me in places to succeed have always been there for me. They (the suits) want to know how privileged you feel. I would tell myself if I were younger, to let them know that, and stop worrying about chasing the next great gig. You’ve already got a really good one. Keep loving it, performing it and good things will come your way. I’ve found that understanding your role, and giving the employer your best in that role is not only better, but allows for greater fullness of life.”</p><h3><strong>Nancy Armour, sports columnist, <em>USA Today</em></strong></h3><p><strong>“Develop your own voice.</strong></p><p>Find writers whose work—and work ethic—you admire, and study what they do and how they do it. Learn from them and make use of any tips or guidance they share, but don’t make the mistake of trying to be them. There will only be one Dave Anderson or Jim Litke or Jackie MacMullan or Leonard Pitts, and trying to write in a voice or style that isn’t your own will come across as forced and inauthentic. Find your voice, your style and the writing will flow better.</p><p><strong>Learn from your mistakes.</strong></p><p>Mistakes are going to happen, it’s human nature. You will beat yourself up something awful and forever cringe at the memory of it. But make sure you learn from it, too. Recognizing how and why the mistake occurred is the surest way to avoid doing it again in the future.</p><p><strong>Expand your world.</strong></p><p>Read books and listen to podcasts about things that have nothing to do with your job or the sport(s) you cover. Have friends and interests outside the business. There’s a risk of getting stale and jaded when you are immersed in the same thing day after day, week after week, year after year. Getting outside your bubble is the best way of guarding against that—and also a reminder that what we do is pretty damn cool.</p><p><strong>Don’t be afraid to fail.</strong></p><p>When I was 13, my father gave me some advice that influences me to this day. I won’t bore you with the whole story, but the gist was that you should never let the fear of failure, or fear in general, stop you from doing something. Wondering ‘What if?’ after you’ve let an opportunity pass will haunt you longer than any embarrassment you might have suffered, and nothing empowers you quite like tackling your fears head on.</p><p><strong>Enjoy the ride.</strong></p><p>We have fun, interesting jobs that most people envy when they hear about them. It’s easy to forget that with deadlines, the stress over the state of the business and the pressure of always having to do more. But every once in a while, take a breather and remember what drew you to the profession in the first place.”</p><h3><strong>Kenny Albert, Fox Sports and NBC Sports play-by-play announcer</strong></h3><p>“Work, work, work! Preparation will be the key to a career in sports broadcasting. Read everything you can get your hands on. Look into internships during your high school and college years, but also get as many reps as you can on-air. If a local cable station happens to visit your high school to film a girls basketball game, volunteer to do the play-by-play. Perhaps they will offer you hundreds of other games in all sports over the next three years, which could prove to be the most invaluable experience you could ever ask for.</p><p>Practice makes perfect! Also be sure to learn other positions—producing, editing, writing, keeping statistics, etc. Watch and listen to as many games as possible—to absorb both announcing styles and information via osmosis. If your initial goal is hockey radio play-by-play, send tapes out to as many teams as possible all over North America. Don&#39;t be afraid of 10-hour bus rides. Working in the minor leagues could wind up among the most important and memorable years of your professional career.”</p><h3><strong>Adnan Virk, ESPN studio host and play-by-play announcer</strong></h3><p>“I would tell myself to ignore all the trolls. When people ask me for advice in this business it can be epitomized in two words: thick skin. No matter what people may tweet at you, no matter how disparaging or hateful it may be, don’t let it affect you emotionally, or your performance in any manner. I would also tell my younger self to pay more attention to the 1984 Orange Bowl between Nebraska and Miami since one day improbably I would be the studio host for CFB and such background would be more helpful rather than watching the Gretzky-era Oilers dynasty in bloom.”</p><h3><strong>Mina Kimes, ESPN reporter and columnist</strong></h3><p>&quot;I would have told my younger self to take more creative risks. At the beginning of my career, I was terrified of failure, so I always pursued projects that I knew I could execute. But I&#39;ve since learned that the best stories are the ones that seem insurmountable—not just when the reporting is difficult, but also when an idea feels murky at the outset. I wish I had been more daring early on, because my greatest experiences as a writer have been ones that teetered on the edge.&quot;</p><h3>THE NOISE REPORT</h3><p><strong>1a.</strong> As expected, there was immense pushback from viewers on the decision by Turner Sports to buck longstanding Selection Sunday tradition and reveal all the teams in the NCAA tournament field prior to the bracket itself. The phrase “Selection Show” trended on Twitter long after the show ended and <a href="https://twitter.com/i/moments/972960904143888384" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Twitter compiled reaction from an angry crowd of sports viewers" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Twitter compiled reaction from an angry crowd of sports viewers</a>. The most notable response, from all places, was <a href="https://twitter.com/LawrenceKS_PD/status/972957250506641411" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:this laugh-out-loud tweet from the Lawrence (Ks.) Police" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">this laugh-out-loud tweet from the Lawrence (Ks.) Police</a>. What I wrote in 2016 holds true today: “Front-load the program so that all the brackets are revealed within the first 35 minutes and spend the next 85 minutes going heavy on analysis and interviews. If the analysis is good, people are not going to abandon your channel just because the brackets are in. Obviously, this is a high profile property and CBS is in the business of keeping you around to make money but the pacing on Sunday was a huge miss. Viewers will revolt if they think you are stringing them along, which is how it felt watching.” This from the <em><a href="http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/for-petes-sake/article204614759.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Kansas City Star" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Kansas City Star</a></em> and <a href="https://www.si.com/extra-mustard/2018/03/12/ncaa-tournament-selection-show-twitter-reaction" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:this from SI’s Jimmy Traina" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">this from SI’s Jimmy Traina</a> cover the reactions.</p><p><strong>1b.</strong> ESPN NFL analyst Louis Riddick is not a man of moderate opinions and goals. He wants to be part of Monday Night Football and has no problem letting the world know of his interest, including his bosses at ESPN.</p><p>“This is something that has been a goal of mind and ESPN is very well aware that I am very interested in it,” said Riddick, this week’s guest on the SI Media Podcast. “It is the pinnacle of broadcasting as far as I am concerned, the most iconic position in broadcasting. To be involved with Monday Night Football either as a play-by-play person or analyst is something I am hoping I can achieve.”</p><p>Asked what ESPN management’s response has been to Riddick’s interest, Riddick said, “It has been very favorable. They are well aware of it. I think you saw my interest in being a part of a live broadcast, a live game, with my involvement with the Pro Bowl this year and that only scratched the surface of what I think I am capable of doing with that kind of platform. I am fired up about the possibility of being involved with the brand of Monday Night Football in any way shape or form and I think the next couple of weeks and months as ESPN figures out where they want to go with that are going to be awfully exciting for me personally.”</p><p>As the guest on Episode 168 of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, Riddick addressed many topics including what separates a good NFL broadcaster versus an average one; how he has attempted to improve as a broadcaster; his candidness on issues and why too often former players pull punches on the air; how he navigates being a candidate for NFL general manager jobs versus working at ESPN; his thoughts when someone does not report on him accurately; how he approaches discussing social issues or politics on social media; playing under Nick Saban and Bill Belichick in Cleveland; Saban’s attention to detail and what makes him different than other coaches; how the Browns should approach holding the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the NFL Draft, and much more. To listen to the podcast in full, check it out on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.</p><p><strong>PODCAST BREAKDOWN:</strong></p><p><strong>• 1:00: </strong>What separates a good NFL broadcaster from an average one.</p><p><strong>• 2:50:</strong> How has Riddick improved as a broadcaster and how much film he watches on his own work.</p><p><strong>• 6:40: </strong>The aesthetics of sports broadcasting.</p><p><strong>• 9:30:</strong> Being candid about NFL personnel people and trying to take people behind the curtain of the NFL</p><p><strong>• 14:15: </strong>Playing for Bill Bellichick and Nick Saban and what separates Saban from other coaches.</p><p><strong>• 20:20: </strong>Interviewing for general manager jobs while working for ESPN.</p><p><strong>• 24:30:</strong> Other media writing about him, and his reaction to what he says is incorrect reporting.</p><p><strong>• 33:00:</strong> What would happen if a mid-season GM job came up.</p><p><strong>• 35:20:</strong> His approach to social media when it comes to social issues and politics.</p><p><strong>• 36:40 </strong>His interest in being on Monday Night Football.</p><p><strong>• 41:00: </strong>Tony Romo’s work this year on CBS and Riddick&#39;s preparation for the NFL Draft.</p><p><strong>• 47:20: </strong>How he believes the Browns will approach the No. 1 and No. 4 overall pick.</p><p><strong>• 51:00: </strong>How he would approach the end of Tom Brady’s career if he were Patriots management.</p><p><strong>2.</strong> SI legal analyst Michael McCann <a href="https://www.si.com/tech-media/2018/03/05/adrienne-lawrence-espn-lawsuit-john-buccigross" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:analyzed Adrienne Lawrence’s lawsuit against ESPN" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">analyzed Adrienne Lawrence’s lawsuit against ESPN</a> and the company’s possible defenses.</p><p><strong>2a.</strong> As SI first reported, <a href="https://www.si.com/tech-media/2018/03/08/michael-smith-espn-leaving-sportscenter-sc6" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Michael Smith’s last day as an ESPN SportsCenter host" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Michael Smith’s last day as an ESPN SportsCenter host</a> was Friday.</p><p><strong>2b.</strong> ESPN jettisoned Sean McDonough out of the Monday Night Football booth despite public votes of confidence from management as recent as just a few months ago. On a positive note for viewers, McDonough signed a new multi-year extension and will rejoin ESPN’s college football team this fall. His assignments will include weekly college football games, as well as a College Football Playoff Semifinal. He will continue to call the CFP National Championship on ESPN Radio, marquee college basketball games, The Masters Par 3 contest and more.</p><p><strong>3.</strong> <a href="https://www.si.com/tech-media/2018/03/07/winter-paralympics-2018-nbc-coverage-pyeongchang" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:How to Watch—And What to Expect From—the Winter Paralympics 2018 on NBC." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">How to Watch—And What to Expect From—the Winter Paralympics 2018 on NBC.</a></p><p><strong>4.</strong> <strong>Sports pieces of note:</strong></p><p>• From <em>Indianapolis Star</em> reporters Tim Evans, Joe Guillen, Gina Kaufman, Marisa Kwiatkowski, Matt Mencarini and Mark Alesia: <a href="https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2018/03/08/larry-nassar-sexually-abused-gymnasts-michigan-state-university-usa-gymnastics/339051002/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:How Larry Nassar abused hundreds of gymnasts and eluded justice for decades." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">How Larry Nassar abused hundreds of gymnasts and eluded justice for decades.</a></p><p>• A remarkable thread on the KHL from reporter Slava Malamud: </p><p>• From Juliet Macur of <em>The New York Times</em>: <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/08/sports/opioids-suicide.html?smid=tw-nytsports&#38;smtyp=cur" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Suicides, Drug Addiction and High School Football." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Suicides, Drug Addiction and High School Football.</a></p><p>• <a href="https://www.theringer.com/2018/3/6/17072332/cody-rhodes-dusty-rhodes-all-in" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Cody Rhodes is carving his own path in memory of his father" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Cody Rhodes is carving his own path in memory of his father</a>, &quot;The American Dream&quot; Dusty Rhodes, from Mike Piellucci of The Ringer.</p><p>• Kevin Love, for The Players Tribune, <a href="https://www.theplayerstribune.com/kevin-love-everyone-is-going-through-something/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:on suffering panic attacks." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">on suffering panic attacks.</a></p><p>• <em>New York Times</em> writer Harvey Araton <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/06/sports/ncaabasketball/big-east-st-johns-mullin.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fsports&#38;action=click&#38;contentCollection=sports&#38;region=rank&#38;module=package&#38;version=highlights&#38;contentPlacement=1&#38;pgtype=sectionfront" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:profiled St. John’s coach Chris Mullin." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">profiled St. John’s coach Chris Mullin.</a></p><p>• ESPN’s <a href="http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/22624561/ichiro-suzuki-return-seattle-mariners-resolve-internal-battle" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Wright Thompson on Ichiro" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Wright Thompson on Ichiro</a>.</p><p>• SI’s Lee Jenkins profiled <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/03/06/dwane-casey-raptors-kyle-lowry-demar-derozan-kentucky-ncaa" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey</a>.</p><p>• Steve Francis, for The Players Tribune, on <a href="https://www.theplayerstribune.com/steve-francis-i-got-a-story-to-tell/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:his unlikely journey to the NBA." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">his unlikely journey to the NBA.</a></p><p>• The Athletic’s Levi Weaver on <a href="https://theathletic.com/264535/2018/03/07/tim-lincecum-and-the-weird-gremlin-of-grief/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Tim Lincecum." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Tim Lincecum.</a></p><p>• From ESPN.com’s Susan Ninan: <a href="http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/22667359/in-india-rugby-helps-women-find-level-playing-field?utm_source=The+Sunday+Long+Read+subscribers&#38;utm_campaign=fa5fa24f7d-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_03_09&#38;utm_medium=email&#38;utm_term=0_67e6e8a504-fa5fa24f7d-273522061" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:India&#39;s Rugby Revolution." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">India&#39;s Rugby Revolution.</a></p><p><strong>Non-sports pieces of note</strong></p><p>• <em>The New Yorker</em>’s Jane Mayer on <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/03/12/christopher-steele-the-man-behind-the-trump-dossier" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Christopher Steele" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Christopher Steele</a>.</p><p>• Via The Atlantic’s Rachel Monroe: <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/04/our-time-com-con-man/554057/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:The Perfect Man Who Wasn&#39;t." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">The Perfect Man Who Wasn&#39;t.</a></p><p>• Via Farhad Manjoo of <em>The New York Times</em>: <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/07/technology/two-months-news-newspapers.html?smid=tw-share" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers. Here’s What I Learned." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers. Here’s What I Learned.</a></p><p>• <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/obituaries/overlooked.html?smid=tw-nytimes&#38;smtyp=cur" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Fifteen women The New York Times overlooked for obituaries" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Fifteen women <em>The New York Times</em> overlooked for obituaries</a>.</p><p>• From Josh Dean of <em>Bloomberg Businessweek</em>: <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/obituaries/overlooked.html?smid=tw-nytimes&#38;smtyp=cur" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:America Is Giving Away the $30 Billion Medical Marijuana Industry." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">America Is Giving Away the $30 Billion Medical Marijuana Industry.</a></p><p>• From Eric Adler of <em>The Kansas City Star</em>: <a href="http://www.kansascity.com/news/state/missouri/article204287484.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Missouri is a destination wedding spot—for 15-year-old brides." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Missouri is a destination wedding spot—for 15-year-old brides.</a></p><p>This is my final piece (at least for awhile) for <em>Sports Illustrated</em>. It is a weird sentence to write. This was the singular place I dreamed of working for as a young person and to have worked here for two decades has been an immense professional privilege. SI paid for me to travel the world—I covered seven Olympic Games—and trusted me with assignments that meant a great deal to me, including the Women’s Final Four and the U.S. Open. I was able to work for every part of the editorial brand, from Swimsuit to SI.com to SI Commemoratives, and spent two years helping edit SI For Women (RIP).</p><p>It has been an amazing place to work and I leave feeling as close to the brand as I did when <a href="https://www.si.com/vault/1998/06/15/244478/howie-young-red-wings-defenseman-january-28-1963" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:SI published my first byline" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">SI published my first byline</a> in 1998 about Howie Young, an NHL defenseman for the Red Wings who drank himself out of professional sports before sobering up and finding a second life in Thoreau, N.M., a predominantly Navajo community two hours west of Albuquerque, as a mild-mannered bus driver for the McKinley County public schools.</p><p>There are many colleagues that I want to cite publicly for helping and educating me along the journey but I’ll do that in a post on my own social channels. I’ll announce soon enough what’s next but thank you for reading me here, for listening to the podcast and for having an interest in what my SI colleagues and I do professionally.</p>
Media Circus: 22 Well-Known Sports Media Members Give Advice to Their Younger Selves

TORONTO – The “Letters To My Younger Self” series from the Players Tribune has been among the most interesting things the digital publication has done. While the editorial conceit existed long before The Players Tribune, the publication has received well-deserved praise for the series, including very thoughtful pieces bylined by Quentin Richardson, Mike Bossy and Damon Stoudamire. For the column below, I swiped the concept to ask a number of people in the sports media the following question: What specific career advice would you give your younger self and why? Here’s how they answered:

Ian Eagle, CBS Sports play-by-play announcer

“I would start off by giving the younger version of myself some practical advice. Don't eat at a suspect Chinese restaurant in San Francisco before flying on a red-eye with a window seat (trust me on this one).

If you're fortunate enough to make it in this highly competitive business, don't take for granted the chair that you occupy. Take the time to truly appreciate the unique moments along the way—a spectacular NFL Sunday in Foxboro, a raucous crowd at Phog Allen Fieldhouse, or the electricity inside Air Canada Centre in Toronto. It's easy to get caught up in the preparation and minutia of your assignment, but don't forget to be present and soak up the atmosphere.

When you're young you tend to focus on just your role in the broadcast, as you get older and gain experience you begin to value every person on the crew and the sheer enormity of the production you're working on. The announcer is a small piece of the puzzle and although you may be front and center, you won't be successful without the hard work and dedication of others. In addition, be a well rounded person with knowledge that extends beyond the two teams you're covering—pop culture, world news, social issues may be topics of conversation during a broadcast when you least expect it, be prepared for anything. I would also advise my younger self that nobody cares if your flight was delayed or the people in the hotel room next to you traveled a small chicuacua with them—all that matters is being totally focused and locked-in the moment you go on the air. And have fun!! This isn't brain surgery (but if you're a well-rounded person you'd be able to perform that if necessary).”

Joe Buck, Fox Sports play-by-play announcer

“Keep on your path. Don't let the ‘noise’ creep in as the years go by. Social media will be both a blessing and a curse. Take it for what it is and be you. Don't let the ‘he tries to be funny too much’ criticism from a certain columnist from the New York Post affect what you do. Be you. See a therapist before your late 30s—you have a lot of issues to work through. And for the love of God, sleep through your eighth hair transplant appointment in 2011. Trust me, it's for the best.”

Marty Smith, ESPN host and reporter

“Dear Younger Me...

Offering you advice seems ungrateful and haughty, as if you need a different direction. Listen up: You don’t. You don’t know it yet, but you’re blessed with a life beyond the craziest fantasy world you could ever conjure. So let it ride.

Live the Golden Rule.

Be kind. Work hard.

Head up. Nose down.

Heart full. Always.

Even when it's empty.

Passion never loses. You’ll meet folks with better looks and more talent and a fancier degree.

You’ll never meet anybody with more passion. It’s the one thing you can control. Own it. It'll take you awhile to gain comfort in that space, but your gut is correct—it’s the right way.

Momma always said every man is equal, and deserves respect when he gives it. She’s right. Keep treating people well. It matters.

Status is fleeting. It’s a drug. It’s a fake title. Authenticity and loyalty are eternal—and hard to come by. Embrace them.

Just do you. It’s unorthodox and it’s different, and I know some of the traditional cats are giving you a big ol' ration of s*** for it right now. It hurts, but don’t let on. They'll come around.

You liked to be liked. That will never leave you. You’ll eventually be able to admit it openly and be cool with the admittance.

Champion your wife and include her in your triumphs and experiences. They’re so much richer when you share them together.

Walk your Faith. This will be a boomerang for you. You'll let it fly away for a time, but when you seek it, it'll come back.

So the advice: Don’t concern yourself with awards. You’ll never win any.

Raise some hell, you’re pretty good at it. (Just maybe not as much as you’re raising right now.)

Go home and spend some of those hours with Momma and Daddy. You won’t have them for long.

And just so you know, Marty: All those eye-roll lessons Daddy preaches constantly about accountability and respect and hard work and the indescribable privilege of being American, and the pride of your last name?

Write them down. He’s right.”

Rebecca Lowe, NBC Sports host

“I could sit my younger self down for an entire day and give advice. But three of the biggest pieces I would impart are...firstly, never believe anyone who tells you they don’t see you in a specific role. If that’s where you see yourself and where you believe you can shine then stick at it and prove the doubters wrong. No one knows you better than you know yourself and use the doubt to drive you on.

Secondly, know that not every job is perfect and they tend to be less perfect in the early stages of your career when you’re trying to carve your path. It might be that you can’t stand your job, or your boss or the people around you but if it’s a job that will help you get to the next stage then head down and power through. Always remember it is a lucky person who gets to enjoy their job. So if it takes some years of disgruntlement and dissatisfaction to get to where you’re happy, that’s the sacrifice you have to pay. I always suggest asking yourself: ‘What’s your alternative choice?’ Often the alternatives are not as good. And, finally, over prepare. In everything you do. If you do this, you’ll never come unstuck.”

Shea Serrano, writer and best-selling author, The Ringer

I would tell my younger self three things:

1. Always say yes. If someone asks you to do a work thing, just say yes. It doesn't matter if you know how to do it or not. Just say yes and then trust yourself to figure it out. I remember one time MTV asked me to make some pop culture postcards for them for the holidays one year. I had no idea how to do it, but what I did know was that they were gonna pay me several hundred dollars to them. So when they called and asked if it was something I knew how to do, I was just like, ‘Yup. I got you. I do it all the time.’ That's how I tried to handle everything. I didn't know how to write a book until I wrote a book, you know what I'm saying?

2. Don't be late. There are absolutely some people who were born with a natural gift for writing and storytelling; just brilliant, exceptional people birthed with brilliant, exceptional talent in their bones. Not me, though. And that being the case, I knew I was never going to be able to keep up with those type of people if I was just depending on my own tiny amount of talent. So, as a way to supplement that, I just decided to try to never, ever, ever be late with an assignment. I would always turn my stuff in early, answer emails quickly, respond to phone calls immediately, so on and so forth. You can't control talent, but you can control work ethic is what I'm telling you. And in my experience, an editor is more likely to choose working with someone who's a decent writer but is super dependable over choosing to work with someone who is an exceptional writer but is unreliable.

3. Know that everyone gets kicked in the teeth a billion times before they ‘make it.’ This was the hardest thing to learn, and something that I'm still dealing with today. A lot of being a writer is pitching stories and ideas and then either a) never hearing back, or b) hearing back but it's a no. It's hard not to take it personal when it happens, because it always seems to feel like they're turning you down, not like they're turning your ideas down. But, as I've come to learn, it happens to everyone all the time. I mean, just think on it like, I'm a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author. That's a real and true thing. And still, it doesn't matter. I get turned down for things literally every week. It's just the way it goes. You gotta just keep going. Because that's really the main difference that separates someone who makes it from someone who doesn't. The person who made it was the one who kept getting up after getting kicked in the teeth. The person who didn't make it didn't get up.

Erika Nardini, Barstool Sports CEO

“You do not look good with short hair, don’t try it. Don’t work away your 20s. Bigger companies don’t necessarily give you bigger chances for success. Don’t worry about how one job relates to the next. There’s a thru-line in there somewhere and the right person/company will see it.”

Adam Schefter, ESPN NFL insider and podcast host

“What I would tell my younger self is the exact advice I did try to tell my younger self; I just couldn't listen to it, not in the way I wanted because I was so consumed with trying to land a sports reporting job or advancing once I had it.

Back when I was at the University of Michigan in the late 1980s, my college roommates and I discovered this poem called The Station, by Robert J. Hastings. We would read it and remind each other of it, and we even put it at the end of a video we made at the end of our senior year, as we were graduating, one final reminder of lessons we all should learn. It's good advice for any young person in any young field—better than anything I can offer. I never like when people lean on a poem to try to convey thoughts, but I believe it's valuable advice for anyone just getting started—or even finishing up.”

The Station, by Robert J. Hastings

Tucked away in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We’re traveling by train and, from the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of smoke pouring from power plants, of row upon row upon row of cotton and corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of city skylines and village halls.

But uppermost in our conscious minds is our final destination—for at a certain hour and on a given day, our train will finally pull into the Station with bells ringing, flags waving, and bands playing. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So restlessly, we pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, waiting, waiting for the Station.

“Yes, when we reach the Station, that will be it!” we promise ourselves. “When we’re eighteen. . . win that promotion. . . put the last kid through college. . . buy that 450SL Mercedes-Benz. . . have a nest egg for retirement!” From that day on we will all live happily ever after.

Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no Station in this life, no one earthly place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The Station is an illusion—it constantly outdistances us. Yesterday’s a memory, tomorrow’s a dream. Yesterday belongs to a history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday’s a fading sunset, tomorrow’s a faint sunrise. Only today is there light enough to love and live.

So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad, but rather the regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.

“Relish the moment” is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener. Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we go along. The Station will come soon enough.

Amy Trask, NFL analyst, CBS Sports

“I would tell my younger self: listen to your mom. The best advice I have ever been given was imparted to me by my mom: to thine own self be true. (As an aside, I will note that it wasn’t until I was almost out of college that I learned that these wise words were those spoken by Polonius to Laertes in Hamlet. While one might then say that my advice to my younger self would be to follow the words of Shakespeare, I shall always consider this the advice my mom shared with me.)

My mom repeated this advice (over and over), as moms are wont to do. I sometimes rolled my eyes, as kids are wont to do.

While it is unequivocally the best advice I have ever received, I didn’t always follow it. I heeded this advice for the most part and when I did I was my strongest and my most capable. I am my best when I am myself, as my mom advised me to be. But there were times I didn’t follow this advice and instead tried to be something or someone I was not and in those instances not only was I not my best, I stumbled and bumbled and fumbled. It just doesn’t work for me to try to be what I am not.

So my advice to my younger self is quite simple: listen to your mom even (or especially) in those instances in which you may be tempted to ignore or don’t believe you need to follow her advice and ‘to thine own self be true.’”

Beth Mowins, ESPN and CBS Sports play-by-play announcer

“I would tell my younger self to keep a journal. I wish I had the ability to look back over the years and recall where I have been and what I have done. It doesn't have to be much...even just a few sentences about games and places and people. So many great stories have been lost in my memory banks and I wish I could bring some back. We are lucky to spend time with amazing players and coaches and it would be nice to have a journal to reflect on the good times with the people in this business. Enjoy the journey...and jot it down. It's important because you want to pass on knowledge to the younger people in this business. It's always nice to have a story to tell about ‘when I was your age,’ or be able to say, ‘I went through something similar’ and here's what happened. It can also help you do your job better by providing some historical perspective to the games you are covering. I enjoy a good quote or a funny anecdote as much as the next person. Sportscasting is still about relationships with people and the more connections you can make the better off you will be.”

Don Van Natta Jr., ESPN senior writer and investigative reporter

“Relax, kid. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And what’s ‘the small stuff,’ you ask? The highlight reel of all the indignities and idiocy that will comprise a 30-year journalism career: the published mistakes (yours and others); the big-footing colleagues; the years (or decades) of no raises; the editors who merrily drive lawn mowers through your copy; the slammed doors and the hung-up phones; the grounded late-night flights and canceled summer vacations; the sources who lie to you or about you; the Christmas Eve calls from long-winded bosses; the scoops that get away; the ‘fake news’-spewing ‘readers’ who don’t read a word of what you write; the rabid fans who will only hear fraudulent, bumper-sticker characterizations of your stories on WEEI in Boston; the omnipresent drumbeat of job cuts.

In the wide-open canvas of a career, nearly all of it amounts to small stuff. Trust me, it’s true. So keep reminding yourself of that. And don’t frown so damn much.

Being a journalist in America is still one of the best jobs in the world, despite everything. Think about it: you get paid to find the truth and report it to an audience starving for it. When things go wrong—and they often will—don’t let those moments trip you up. Just roll with it, cold-call the next would-be source and chase the next scoop with as much as confidence and swagger as you mustered the day before.

You don’t know this now but the friends you make in this business will last far longer than the best stories you’ll write and the best prizes you’ll win. And all the fun you’re going to have will far eclipse the days of failure and frustration. Remember, kid: 10,000 writers would give anything to have your nickels-paying, out-in-the-boondocks job. So…

Count your blessings. Embrace the good. Savor every moment. And smile.”

Candace Buckner, The Washington Post Wizards writer

“When I talk to young journalists, I always tell them to read more than just the sports page, network, and write daily—three things I should’ve done better when I was their age. But if I could give my younger self some advice, it would be pointed and simple: don’t bury your head into journalism, get out and experience life.

I was a focused kid when I arrived at Mizzou, with set-in-stone goals that centered on getting into J-School then becoming the next Willow Bay or Robin Roberts. I worked my tail off, held down a couple jobs and ran a floor in my dorm. I didn’t mess around and while I dig that about young Candace, I wish I would’ve told myself: Chill, homie, and go do real life. Go spend a summer abroad and learn something about the world outside of your perfectly-crafted tiny universe you have at Columbia, Mo. I needed more experience. While I don’t dare to think that if I would’ve gone to Thailand at 22 years old, then I would have this whole life thing all figured out (people who do that are the worst), I do believe that traveling and experiencing other cultures would’ve opened up a lifetime of learning, which in turn would make me a better writer and reporter. When I was younger, I was racing. But it would’ve OK to slow down and live.”

Mike Arnold, CBS Sports lead NFL director

“I guess the advice I'd give my younger self is to keep working hard and eventually things will work out. I remember first starting out in television as a runner with ABC Sports and was so disappointed when I didn't get a full time job with them after spending about 3-4 years working countless weekends trying to land a position. I figured I'd end up back home in Scottsdale working somewhere but probably not in television. I even applied to the city of Phoenix to work in the public information office and didn't get a response. Luckily, I had some young ABC production assistants in my corner because when Terry O'Neil left ABC Sports and came over to CBS Sports, David Dinkins, Jr. and Peter Lasser (those two production assistants) told O'Neil that I should be the first production assistant hired at CBS Sports. O'Neil hired me. That was 1981 and I'm still here at CBS.”

Kerith Burke, Warriors reporter, NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California

“I’d like to tell my younger self, ‘you’re on the right path, and your path is your own.’ I fall back on this advice in many situations to calm the worry hamster in my head who likes to hop on its wheel and churn the night away. I try to remind myself that when it comes to jobs on this path, talent, timing, and luck all play a role. Only one of those I can control.

This advice overlaps with something else: Jealousy is a useless emotion. Coming out of college, I was too concerned with others. I was envious about not working for the No. 1 station, or wondered why a colleague got an assignment I knew I could do well. This stemmed from my insecurity, and not knowing healthy ways to aim my ambition. I had to grow up. As I grew up, my path braided with friends in the industry to make us stronger. Don’t compete against your colleagues, befriend them. There’s plenty of room for all of us. It feels best to walk together.”

Dianna Russini, ESPN NFL reporter and studio host

“Don’t lose touch with those who have helped you grow both professionally and personally. You hear it all the time, ‘be good to everyone,’ but the reality is life gets busy and we all get consumed. It isn’t until you are in a tough spot professionally or maybe even without a job that you start realizing you should have built stronger relationships with those who have put themselves out for your own benefit. Just a few years ago, I was unemployed, living with my parents and looking for work in local sports. I was miserable and the market was worse. About seven years prior, when I was in college at George Mason University, I had reached out to random news directors in the NY/NJ/CT area looking for internships during my summer break. One news director was kind enough to write back to share that he had no openings but to stay in touch. I didn’t. Fast forward to the year I was looking for work and that same news director, Mike St. Peter, who was still the news director at NBC Connecticut, kindly answered my email once again. I always regretted I never sent him a note or even checked in on him over the years since he didn’t have to write back to a college student with zero experience, and I needed him now.

This time he brought me in for an interview, and days later, he hired me as a sports/news reporter. That was the start of my career. Under his leadership, he allowed me to be part of breaking news coverage at Sandy Hook Elementary and the Boston Marathon bombings. It turned out he wasn’t just a good e-mailer but a superb newsroom leader. He took a really big chance on me when in reality I had done nothing to give him security that I was a good reporter or even a decent human being. Every year since I don’t make the same mistake. I send Mike, who has now moved on to become President and General Manager of NBC Boston, a note to just say, thanks for giving me a chance when nobody would take a call. He usually responds with something that lets me know he’s proud. Work hard at your craft but you can’t do it alone. Appreciate those who help because you never know.”

Andrea Kremer, NFL Network reporter and HBO Real Sports correspondent

“I would tell my younger self to try and enjoy the moment more. For decades, I was so focused on what’s the next story...the next game...the next big interview....the next important issue that I rarely enjoyed ‘the moment.’ This is not one of these New Age epiphanies but there have been seminal moments of my career that I wish I had relished more. In retrospect, I think it felt anathema to me to ‘enjoy’ the moment as though I equated that with being a fan and not a serious journalist but that is wrong. After more than two decades in television my realization came in 2008 as I prepared to cover the single greatest event in my career (to date)—Michael Phelps’ quest for his eighth gold medal. I specifically thought about the historical aspect of the day and my small role in it as I was headed to the pool deck. It was meaningful for what it taught me at that time and moving forward. Now it’s a learning lesson I try to impart to younger broadcasters in lieu of my younger self.”

J.A. Adande, director of sports journalism at Northwestern University

“On a practical level, I'd tell myself to invest in the company 401k at the earliest opportunity and to the maximum tax-exempt amounts. And if not eligible, open an IRA. The last thing a 21-year-old thinks about is retirement planning.

I am curious what would have happened if I had told my younger self to stick with my original goal of being a play-by-play announcer. I got a taste of working game broadcasts while doing sidelines the past few years and it kind of made me wish I had charted a course toward sitting in that No. 1 seat. Still, I doubt it would have led to me working 20 NBA Finals in addition to just about every other major sporting event, so I think younger me got it right.”

Suzanne Smith, CBS Sports director and the first woman to direct NFL games fulltime

Dear Suzanne,

You are about to embark on an amazing journey. One full of adventure, excitement and challenges. Hard work, your attitude, respect and integrity will be the cornerstones.

Some basic rules

Treat EVERYONE equally, from your runners to the CEO. Work as hard as you can. Tackle each task like it’s the last, then work harder. Understand that every job is important. Speak up. Your ideas have value, even in a room of people with more experience. Take risks, don’t be afraid to fail. Send handwritten thank you notes. If you’re not early, you’re late.

Take advantage of the skills you’ve gained as an athlete

Be a leader and a team player. Be competitive while working with your colleagues. First to arrive, last to leave. Inspire others. Rise to the occasion when the pressure is on.

On the practical side

Invest in a good piece of luggage, one with wheels! Dress like a professional, not like you are in your college dorm. Keep a journal, keep your credentials, photos. Don’t be in a rush to get from one event to the next. Take the time to soak it all in. Don’t assume your boss knows what you want to do. Be proactive about your assignments and the events you want to be a part of.

The boys club

Be yourself. You will never be one of the boys, stop trying. The day you accept this, things will be easier. The day you realize you don’t WANT to be part of ‘the club,’ your world will change.

Family and friends

Balancing your career and life will be challenging at times. You will have to make sacrifices to be successful in this industry. Remember, your family, partner and friends are affected as well.

You got this

It’s not enough to dream your dreams. You’ve got to pursue your dreams. No, it’s not always easy but if it was easy, anybody could do it. Always remember and remind those around you that it is a privilege to be a part of some of the most coveted sporting events in the world. Believe in yourself and let your passions be your guide. Enjoy your amazing journey.”

Tim Brando, Fox Sports play-by-play announcer

“Many times as sportscasters we talk about players that sometimes force it, or press their efforts as opposed to letting the game come to them. Ours is a totally subjective craft and for everyone that loves your work there will always be those that don’t. I’m blessed to have had a career that’s spanned four decades with ESPN as its starting point, then a quick transition to Turner, and then an 18-year run at CBS, before joining FOX four years ago. Honestly, only now do I personally believe I’m as grateful and feel as privileged as I always should have to do what I love for a living. Type A’s are littered throughout sports television and most of us want to get the top assignments in live sports television. I wouldn’t change my path, but I would recommend if I had the chance to start over to have enjoyed the journey by living more in the moment than I did. Breaking into syndicated play-by-play in 1982-83 with Raycom/Jefferson Pilot and making ESPN freelance appearances as a play-by-play man in my mid 20’s in 1985 had me thinking that was my calling. But upon my arrival to Bristol in late 1986 the suits saw me as a studio talent first! I fought that and I probably should have embraced it far more; it did help me later in securing a gig at the ‘Tiffany’ Network, CBS. I loved what I was doing, but shouldn’t have been so concerned with what’s next!

‘Tim, slow down, you’re in a great spot, don’t worry so much about what’s next,’ my old departed friend John Saunders would say. He was right. I tell young broadcasters all the time to enjoy the journey and the relationships that come with it. A wonderful collection of people that could put me in places to succeed have always been there for me. They (the suits) want to know how privileged you feel. I would tell myself if I were younger, to let them know that, and stop worrying about chasing the next great gig. You’ve already got a really good one. Keep loving it, performing it and good things will come your way. I’ve found that understanding your role, and giving the employer your best in that role is not only better, but allows for greater fullness of life.”

Nancy Armour, sports columnist, USA Today

“Develop your own voice.

Find writers whose work—and work ethic—you admire, and study what they do and how they do it. Learn from them and make use of any tips or guidance they share, but don’t make the mistake of trying to be them. There will only be one Dave Anderson or Jim Litke or Jackie MacMullan or Leonard Pitts, and trying to write in a voice or style that isn’t your own will come across as forced and inauthentic. Find your voice, your style and the writing will flow better.

Learn from your mistakes.

Mistakes are going to happen, it’s human nature. You will beat yourself up something awful and forever cringe at the memory of it. But make sure you learn from it, too. Recognizing how and why the mistake occurred is the surest way to avoid doing it again in the future.

Expand your world.

Read books and listen to podcasts about things that have nothing to do with your job or the sport(s) you cover. Have friends and interests outside the business. There’s a risk of getting stale and jaded when you are immersed in the same thing day after day, week after week, year after year. Getting outside your bubble is the best way of guarding against that—and also a reminder that what we do is pretty damn cool.

Don’t be afraid to fail.

When I was 13, my father gave me some advice that influences me to this day. I won’t bore you with the whole story, but the gist was that you should never let the fear of failure, or fear in general, stop you from doing something. Wondering ‘What if?’ after you’ve let an opportunity pass will haunt you longer than any embarrassment you might have suffered, and nothing empowers you quite like tackling your fears head on.

Enjoy the ride.

We have fun, interesting jobs that most people envy when they hear about them. It’s easy to forget that with deadlines, the stress over the state of the business and the pressure of always having to do more. But every once in a while, take a breather and remember what drew you to the profession in the first place.”

Kenny Albert, Fox Sports and NBC Sports play-by-play announcer

“Work, work, work! Preparation will be the key to a career in sports broadcasting. Read everything you can get your hands on. Look into internships during your high school and college years, but also get as many reps as you can on-air. If a local cable station happens to visit your high school to film a girls basketball game, volunteer to do the play-by-play. Perhaps they will offer you hundreds of other games in all sports over the next three years, which could prove to be the most invaluable experience you could ever ask for.

Practice makes perfect! Also be sure to learn other positions—producing, editing, writing, keeping statistics, etc. Watch and listen to as many games as possible—to absorb both announcing styles and information via osmosis. If your initial goal is hockey radio play-by-play, send tapes out to as many teams as possible all over North America. Don't be afraid of 10-hour bus rides. Working in the minor leagues could wind up among the most important and memorable years of your professional career.”

Adnan Virk, ESPN studio host and play-by-play announcer

“I would tell myself to ignore all the trolls. When people ask me for advice in this business it can be epitomized in two words: thick skin. No matter what people may tweet at you, no matter how disparaging or hateful it may be, don’t let it affect you emotionally, or your performance in any manner. I would also tell my younger self to pay more attention to the 1984 Orange Bowl between Nebraska and Miami since one day improbably I would be the studio host for CFB and such background would be more helpful rather than watching the Gretzky-era Oilers dynasty in bloom.”

Mina Kimes, ESPN reporter and columnist

"I would have told my younger self to take more creative risks. At the beginning of my career, I was terrified of failure, so I always pursued projects that I knew I could execute. But I've since learned that the best stories are the ones that seem insurmountable—not just when the reporting is difficult, but also when an idea feels murky at the outset. I wish I had been more daring early on, because my greatest experiences as a writer have been ones that teetered on the edge."

THE NOISE REPORT

1a. As expected, there was immense pushback from viewers on the decision by Turner Sports to buck longstanding Selection Sunday tradition and reveal all the teams in the NCAA tournament field prior to the bracket itself. The phrase “Selection Show” trended on Twitter long after the show ended and Twitter compiled reaction from an angry crowd of sports viewers. The most notable response, from all places, was this laugh-out-loud tweet from the Lawrence (Ks.) Police. What I wrote in 2016 holds true today: “Front-load the program so that all the brackets are revealed within the first 35 minutes and spend the next 85 minutes going heavy on analysis and interviews. If the analysis is good, people are not going to abandon your channel just because the brackets are in. Obviously, this is a high profile property and CBS is in the business of keeping you around to make money but the pacing on Sunday was a huge miss. Viewers will revolt if they think you are stringing them along, which is how it felt watching.” This from the Kansas City Star and this from SI’s Jimmy Traina cover the reactions.

1b. ESPN NFL analyst Louis Riddick is not a man of moderate opinions and goals. He wants to be part of Monday Night Football and has no problem letting the world know of his interest, including his bosses at ESPN.

“This is something that has been a goal of mind and ESPN is very well aware that I am very interested in it,” said Riddick, this week’s guest on the SI Media Podcast. “It is the pinnacle of broadcasting as far as I am concerned, the most iconic position in broadcasting. To be involved with Monday Night Football either as a play-by-play person or analyst is something I am hoping I can achieve.”

Asked what ESPN management’s response has been to Riddick’s interest, Riddick said, “It has been very favorable. They are well aware of it. I think you saw my interest in being a part of a live broadcast, a live game, with my involvement with the Pro Bowl this year and that only scratched the surface of what I think I am capable of doing with that kind of platform. I am fired up about the possibility of being involved with the brand of Monday Night Football in any way shape or form and I think the next couple of weeks and months as ESPN figures out where they want to go with that are going to be awfully exciting for me personally.”

As the guest on Episode 168 of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, Riddick addressed many topics including what separates a good NFL broadcaster versus an average one; how he has attempted to improve as a broadcaster; his candidness on issues and why too often former players pull punches on the air; how he navigates being a candidate for NFL general manager jobs versus working at ESPN; his thoughts when someone does not report on him accurately; how he approaches discussing social issues or politics on social media; playing under Nick Saban and Bill Belichick in Cleveland; Saban’s attention to detail and what makes him different than other coaches; how the Browns should approach holding the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the NFL Draft, and much more. To listen to the podcast in full, check it out on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.

PODCAST BREAKDOWN:

• 1:00: What separates a good NFL broadcaster from an average one.

• 2:50: How has Riddick improved as a broadcaster and how much film he watches on his own work.

• 6:40: The aesthetics of sports broadcasting.

• 9:30: Being candid about NFL personnel people and trying to take people behind the curtain of the NFL

• 14:15: Playing for Bill Bellichick and Nick Saban and what separates Saban from other coaches.

• 20:20: Interviewing for general manager jobs while working for ESPN.

• 24:30: Other media writing about him, and his reaction to what he says is incorrect reporting.

• 33:00: What would happen if a mid-season GM job came up.

• 35:20: His approach to social media when it comes to social issues and politics.

• 36:40 His interest in being on Monday Night Football.

• 41:00: Tony Romo’s work this year on CBS and Riddick's preparation for the NFL Draft.

• 47:20: How he believes the Browns will approach the No. 1 and No. 4 overall pick.

• 51:00: How he would approach the end of Tom Brady’s career if he were Patriots management.

2. SI legal analyst Michael McCann analyzed Adrienne Lawrence’s lawsuit against ESPN and the company’s possible defenses.

2a. As SI first reported, Michael Smith’s last day as an ESPN SportsCenter host was Friday.

2b. ESPN jettisoned Sean McDonough out of the Monday Night Football booth despite public votes of confidence from management as recent as just a few months ago. On a positive note for viewers, McDonough signed a new multi-year extension and will rejoin ESPN’s college football team this fall. His assignments will include weekly college football games, as well as a College Football Playoff Semifinal. He will continue to call the CFP National Championship on ESPN Radio, marquee college basketball games, The Masters Par 3 contest and more.

3. How to Watch—And What to Expect From—the Winter Paralympics 2018 on NBC.

4. Sports pieces of note:

• From Indianapolis Star reporters Tim Evans, Joe Guillen, Gina Kaufman, Marisa Kwiatkowski, Matt Mencarini and Mark Alesia: How Larry Nassar abused hundreds of gymnasts and eluded justice for decades.

• A remarkable thread on the KHL from reporter Slava Malamud:

• From Juliet Macur of The New York Times: Suicides, Drug Addiction and High School Football.

Cody Rhodes is carving his own path in memory of his father, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, from Mike Piellucci of The Ringer.

• Kevin Love, for The Players Tribune, on suffering panic attacks.

New York Times writer Harvey Araton profiled St. John’s coach Chris Mullin.

• ESPN’s Wright Thompson on Ichiro.

• SI’s Lee Jenkins profiled Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey.

• Steve Francis, for The Players Tribune, on his unlikely journey to the NBA.

• The Athletic’s Levi Weaver on Tim Lincecum.

• From ESPN.com’s Susan Ninan: India's Rugby Revolution.

Non-sports pieces of note

The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer on Christopher Steele.

• Via The Atlantic’s Rachel Monroe: The Perfect Man Who Wasn't.

• Via Farhad Manjoo of The New York Times: For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers. Here’s What I Learned.

Fifteen women The New York Times overlooked for obituaries.

• From Josh Dean of Bloomberg Businessweek: America Is Giving Away the $30 Billion Medical Marijuana Industry.

• From Eric Adler of The Kansas City Star: Missouri is a destination wedding spot—for 15-year-old brides.

This is my final piece (at least for awhile) for Sports Illustrated. It is a weird sentence to write. This was the singular place I dreamed of working for as a young person and to have worked here for two decades has been an immense professional privilege. SI paid for me to travel the world—I covered seven Olympic Games—and trusted me with assignments that meant a great deal to me, including the Women’s Final Four and the U.S. Open. I was able to work for every part of the editorial brand, from Swimsuit to SI.com to SI Commemoratives, and spent two years helping edit SI For Women (RIP).

It has been an amazing place to work and I leave feeling as close to the brand as I did when SI published my first byline in 1998 about Howie Young, an NHL defenseman for the Red Wings who drank himself out of professional sports before sobering up and finding a second life in Thoreau, N.M., a predominantly Navajo community two hours west of Albuquerque, as a mild-mannered bus driver for the McKinley County public schools.

There are many colleagues that I want to cite publicly for helping and educating me along the journey but I’ll do that in a post on my own social channels. I’ll announce soon enough what’s next but thank you for reading me here, for listening to the podcast and for having an interest in what my SI colleagues and I do professionally.

<p>TORONTO – The “Letters To My Younger Self” series from the Players Tribune has been among the most interesting things the digital publication has done. While the editorial conceit <a href="http://www.oprah.com/spirit/celebrities-letters-to-younger-selves/all" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:existed long before The Players Tribune" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">existed long before The Players Tribune</a>, the publication has received well-deserved praise for the series, including very thoughtful pieces bylined by <a href="https://www.theplayerstribune.com/letter-to-my-younger-self-quentin-richardson/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Quentin Richardson" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Quentin Richardson</a>, <a href="https://www.theplayerstribune.com/author/mike-bossy/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Mike Bossy" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Mike Bossy</a> and <a href="https://www.theplayerstribune.com/damon-stoudamire-nba-letter-to-my-younger-self/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Damon Stoudamire" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Damon Stoudamire</a>. For the column below, I swiped the concept to ask a number of people in the sports media the following question: <em>What specific career advice would you give your younger self and why?</em> Here’s how they answered:</p><h3><strong>Ian Eagle, CBS Sports play-by-play announcer</strong></h3><p>“I would start off by giving the younger version of myself some practical advice. Don&#39;t eat at a suspect Chinese restaurant in San Francisco before flying on a red-eye with a window seat (trust me on this one). </p><p>If you&#39;re fortunate enough to make it in this highly competitive business, don&#39;t take for granted the chair that you occupy. Take the time to truly appreciate the unique moments along the way—a spectacular NFL Sunday in Foxboro, a raucous crowd at Phog Allen Fieldhouse, or the electricity inside Air Canada Centre in Toronto. It&#39;s easy to get caught up in the preparation and minutia of your assignment, but don&#39;t forget to be present and soak up the atmosphere.</p><p>When you&#39;re young you tend to focus on just your role in the broadcast, as you get older and gain experience you begin to value every person on the crew and the sheer enormity of the production you&#39;re working on. The announcer is a small piece of the puzzle and although you may be front and center, you won&#39;t be successful without the hard work and dedication of others. In addition, be a well rounded person with knowledge that extends beyond the two teams you&#39;re covering—pop culture, world news, social issues may be topics of conversation during a broadcast when you least expect it, be prepared for anything. I would also advise my younger self that nobody cares if your flight was delayed or the people in the hotel room next to you traveled a small chicuacua with them—all that matters is being totally focused and locked-in the moment you go on the air. And have fun!! This isn&#39;t brain surgery (but if you&#39;re a well-rounded person you&#39;d be able to perform that if necessary).”</p><h3><strong>Joe Buck, Fox Sports play-by-play announcer</strong></h3><p>“Keep on your path. Don&#39;t let the ‘noise’ creep in as the years go by. Social media will be both a blessing and a curse. Take it for what it is and be you. Don&#39;t let the ‘he tries to be funny too much’ criticism from a certain columnist from the <em>New York Post</em> affect what you do. Be you. See a therapist before your late 30s—you have a lot of issues to work through. And for the love of God, sleep through your eighth hair transplant appointment in 2011. Trust me, it&#39;s for the best.”</p><h3><strong>Marty Smith, ESPN host and reporter</strong></h3><p><em>“Dear Younger Me...</em></p><p><em>Offering you advice seems ungrateful and haughty, as if you need a different direction. Listen up: You don’t. </em><em>You don’t know it yet, but you’re blessed with a life beyond the craziest fantasy world you could ever conjure. </em><em>So let it ride.</em></p><p><em>Live the Golden Rule. </em></p><p><em>Be kind. Work hard. </em></p><p><em>Head up. Nose down. </em></p><p><em>Heart full. Always. </em></p><p><em>Even when it&#39;s empty.</em></p><p><em>Passion never loses. You’ll meet folks with better looks and more talent and a fancier degree. </em></p><p><em>You’ll never meet anybody with more passion. It’s the one thing you can control. Own it. It&#39;ll take you awhile to gain comfort in that space, but your gut is correct—it’s the right way.</em></p><p><em>Momma always said every man is equal, and deserves respect when he gives it. She’s right. </em><em>Keep treating people well. It matters.</em></p><p><em>Status is fleeting. It’s a drug. It’s a fake title. Authenticity and loyalty are eternal—and hard to come by. Embrace them. </em></p><p><em>Just do you. It’s unorthodox and it’s different, and I know some of the traditional cats are giving you a big ol&#39; ration of s*** for it right now. It hurts, but don’t let on. They&#39;ll come around. </em></p><p><em>You liked to be liked. That will never leave you. You’ll eventually be able to admit it openly and be cool with the admittance.</em></p><p><em>Champion your wife and include her in your triumphs and experiences. They’re so much richer when you share them together. </em></p><p><em>Walk your Faith. This will be a boomerang for you. You&#39;ll let it fly away for a time, but when you seek it, it&#39;ll come back.</em></p><p><em>So the advice: </em><em>Don’t concern yourself with awards. You’ll never win any.</em></p><p><em>Raise some hell, you’re pretty good at it. (Just maybe not as much as you’re raising right now.) </em></p><p><em>Go home and spend some of those hours with Momma and Daddy. You won’t have them for long. </em></p><p><em>And just so you know, Marty: All those eye-roll lessons Daddy preaches constantly about accountability and respect and hard work and the indescribable privilege of being American, and the pride of your last name? </em></p><p><em>Write them down. </em><em>He’s right.”</em></p><h3><strong>Rebecca Lowe, NBC Sports host</strong></h3><p>“I could sit my younger self down for an entire day and give advice. But three of the biggest pieces I would impart are...firstly, never believe anyone who tells you they don’t see you in a specific role. If that’s where you see yourself and where you believe you can shine then stick at it and prove the doubters wrong. No one knows you better than you know yourself and use the doubt to drive you on.</p><p>Secondly, know that not every job is perfect and they tend to be less perfect in the early stages of your career when you’re trying to carve your path. It might be that you can’t stand your job, or your boss or the people around you but if it’s a job that will help you get to the next stage then head down and power through. Always remember it is a lucky person who gets to enjoy their job. So if it takes some years of disgruntlement and dissatisfaction to get to where you’re happy, that’s the sacrifice you have to pay. I always suggest asking yourself: ‘What’s your alternative choice?’ Often the alternatives are not as good. And, finally, over prepare. In everything you do. If you do this, you’ll never come unstuck.”</p><h3><strong>Shea Serrano, writer and best-selling author, <em>The Ringer</em></strong></h3><p><em>“</em>I would tell my younger self three things:</p><p><strong>1. Always say yes.</strong> If someone asks you to do a work thing, just say yes. It doesn&#39;t matter if you know how to do it or not. Just say yes and then trust yourself to figure it out. I remember one time MTV asked me to make some pop culture postcards for them for the holidays one year. I had no idea how to do it, but what I did know was that they were gonna pay me several hundred dollars to them. So when they called and asked if it was something I knew how to do, I was just like, ‘Yup. I got you. I do it all the time.’ That&#39;s how I tried to handle everything. I didn&#39;t know how to write a book until I wrote a book, you know what I&#39;m saying?</p><p><strong>2. Don&#39;t be late.</strong> There are absolutely some people who were born with a natural gift for writing and storytelling; just brilliant, exceptional people birthed with brilliant, exceptional talent in their bones. Not me, though. And that being the case, I knew I was never going to be able to keep up with those type of people if I was just depending on my own tiny amount of talent. So, as a way to supplement that, I just decided to try to never, ever, ever be late with an assignment. I would always turn my stuff in early, answer emails quickly, respond to phone calls immediately, so on and so forth. You can&#39;t control talent, but you can control work ethic is what I&#39;m telling you. And in my experience, an editor is more likely to choose working with someone who&#39;s a decent writer but is super dependable over choosing to work with someone who is an exceptional writer but is unreliable.</p><p><strong>3. Know that everyone gets kicked in the teeth a billion times before they ‘make it.’ </strong>This was the hardest thing to learn, and something that I&#39;m still dealing with today. A lot of being a writer is pitching stories and ideas and then either a) never hearing back, or b) hearing back but it&#39;s a no. It&#39;s hard not to take it personal when it happens, because it always seems to feel like they&#39;re turning you down, not like they&#39;re turning your ideas down. But, as I&#39;ve come to learn, it happens to everyone all the time. I mean, just think on it like, I&#39;m a No. 1 <em>New York Times</em> bestselling author. That&#39;s a real and true thing. And still, it doesn&#39;t matter. I get turned down for things literally every week. It&#39;s just the way it goes. You gotta just keep going. Because that&#39;s really the main difference that separates someone who makes it from someone who doesn&#39;t. The person who made it was the one who kept getting up after getting kicked in the teeth. The person who didn&#39;t make it didn&#39;t get up.</p><h3><strong>Erika Nardini, Barstool Sports CEO</strong></h3><p>“You do not look good with short hair, don’t try it. Don’t work away your 20s. Bigger companies don’t necessarily give you bigger chances for success. Don’t worry about how one job relates to the next. There’s a thru-line in there somewhere and the right person/company will see it.”</p><h3><strong>Adam Schefter, ESPN NFL insider and podcast host</strong></h3><p>“What I would tell my younger self is the exact advice I did try to tell my younger self; I just couldn&#39;t listen to it, not in the way I wanted because I was so consumed with trying to land a sports reporting job or advancing once I had it.</p><p>Back when I was at the University of Michigan in the late 1980s, my college roommates and I discovered this poem called <em>The Station</em>, by Robert J. Hastings. We would read it and remind each other of it, and we even put it at the end of a video we made at the end of our senior year, as we were graduating, one final reminder of lessons we all should learn. It&#39;s good advice for any young person in any young field—better than anything I can offer. I never like when people lean on a poem to try to convey thoughts, but I believe it&#39;s valuable advice for anyone just getting started—or even finishing up.”</p><p>The Station, by Robert J. Hastings</p><p><em>Tucked away in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We’re traveling by train and, from the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of smoke pouring from power plants, of row upon row upon row of cotton and corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of city skylines and village halls.</em></p><p><em>But uppermost in our conscious minds is our final destination—for at a certain hour and on a given day, our train will finally pull into the Station with bells ringing, flags waving, and bands playing. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So restlessly, we pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, waiting, waiting for the Station.</em></p><p><em>“Yes, when we reach the Station, that will be it!” we promise ourselves. “When we’re eighteen. . . win that promotion. . . put the last kid through college. . . buy that 450SL Mercedes-Benz. . . have a nest egg for retirement!” From that day on we will all live happily ever after.</em></p><p><em>Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no Station in this life, no one earthly place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The Station is an illusion—it constantly outdistances us. Yesterday’s a memory, tomorrow’s a dream. Yesterday belongs to a history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday’s a fading sunset, tomorrow’s a faint sunrise. Only today is there light enough to love and live.</em></p><p><em>So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad, but rather the regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.</em></p><p><em>“Relish the moment” is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”</em></p><p><em>So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener. Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we go along. The Station will come soon enough.</em></p><h3><strong>Amy Trask, NFL analyst, CBS Sports</strong></h3><p>“I would tell my younger self: listen to your mom. The best advice I have ever been given was imparted to me by my mom: to thine own self be true. (As an aside, I will note that it wasn’t until I was almost out of college that I learned that these wise words were those spoken by Polonius to Laertes in Hamlet. While one might then say that my advice to my younger self would be to follow the words of Shakespeare, I shall always consider this the advice my mom shared with me.) </p><p>My mom repeated this advice (over and over), as moms are wont to do. I sometimes rolled my eyes, as kids are wont to do.</p><p>While it is unequivocally the best advice I have ever received, I didn’t always follow it. I heeded this advice for the most part and when I did I was my strongest and my most capable. I am my best when I am myself, as my mom advised me to be. But there were times I didn’t follow this advice and instead tried to be something or someone I was not and in those instances not only was I not my best, I stumbled and bumbled and fumbled. It just doesn’t work for me to try to be what I am not.</p><p>So my advice to my younger self is quite simple: listen to your mom even (or especially) in those instances in which you may be tempted to ignore or don’t believe you need to follow her advice and ‘to thine own self be true.’”</p><h3><strong>Beth Mowins, ESPN and CBS Sports play-by-play announcer</strong></h3><p>“I would tell my younger self to keep a journal. I wish I had the ability to look back over the years and recall where I have been and what I have done. It doesn&#39;t have to be much...even just a few sentences about games and places and people. So many great stories have been lost in my memory banks and I wish I could bring some back. We are lucky to spend time with amazing players and coaches and it would be nice to have a journal to reflect on the good times with the people in this business. Enjoy the journey...and jot it down. It&#39;s important because you want to pass on knowledge to the younger people in this business. It&#39;s always nice to have a story to tell about ‘when I was your age,’ or be able to say, ‘I went through something similar’ and here&#39;s what happened. It can also help you do your job better by providing some historical perspective to the games you are covering. I enjoy a good quote or a funny anecdote as much as the next person. Sportscasting is still about relationships with people and the more connections you can make the better off you will be.”</p><h3><strong>Don Van Natta Jr., ESPN senior writer and investigative reporter</strong></h3><p>“Relax, kid. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And what’s ‘the small stuff,’ you ask? The highlight reel of all the indignities and idiocy that will comprise a 30-year journalism career: the published mistakes (yours and others); the big-footing colleagues; the years (or decades) of no raises; the editors who merrily drive lawn mowers through your copy; the slammed doors and the hung-up phones; the grounded late-night flights and canceled summer vacations; the sources who lie to you or about you; the Christmas Eve calls from long-winded bosses; the scoops that get away; the ‘fake news’-spewing ‘readers’ who don’t read a word of what you write; the rabid fans who will only hear fraudulent, bumper-sticker characterizations of your stories on WEEI in Boston; the omnipresent drumbeat of job cuts.</p><p>In the wide-open canvas of a career, nearly all of it amounts to small stuff. Trust me, it’s true. So keep reminding yourself of that. And don’t frown so damn much.</p><p>Being a journalist in America is still one of the best jobs in the world, despite everything. Think about it: you get paid to find the truth and report it to an audience starving for it. When things go wrong—and they often will—don’t let those moments trip you up. Just roll with it, cold-call the next would-be source and chase the next scoop with as much as confidence and swagger as you mustered the day before.</p><p>You don’t know this now but the friends you make in this business will last far longer than the best stories you’ll write and the best prizes you’ll win. And all the fun you’re going to have will far eclipse the days of failure and frustration. Remember, kid: 10,000 writers would give anything to have your nickels-paying, out-in-the-boondocks job. So…</p><p>Count your blessings. Embrace the good. Savor every moment. And smile.”</p><h3><strong>Candace Buckner, <em>The Washington Post</em> Wizards writer</strong></h3><p>“When I talk to young journalists, I always tell them to read more than just the sports page, network, and write daily—three things I should’ve done better when I was their age. But if I could give my younger self some advice, it would be pointed and simple: don’t bury your head into journalism, get out and experience life.</p><p>I was a focused kid when I arrived at Mizzou, with set-in-stone goals that centered on getting into J-School then becoming the next Willow Bay or Robin Roberts. I worked my tail off, held down a couple jobs and ran a floor in my dorm. I didn’t mess around and while I dig that about young Candace, I wish I would’ve told myself: <em>Chill, homie, and go do real life.</em> Go spend a summer abroad and learn something about the world outside of your perfectly-crafted tiny universe you have at Columbia, Mo. I needed more experience. While I don’t dare to think that if I would’ve gone to Thailand at 22 years old, then I would have this whole life thing all figured out (people who do that are the worst), I do believe that traveling and experiencing other cultures would’ve opened up a lifetime of learning, which in turn would make me a better writer and reporter. When I was younger, I was racing. But it would’ve OK to slow down and live.”</p><h3><strong>Mike Arnold, CBS Sports lead NFL director</strong></h3><p>“I guess the advice I&#39;d give my younger self is to keep working hard and eventually things will work out. I remember first starting out in television as a runner with ABC Sports and was so disappointed when I didn&#39;t get a full time job with them after spending about 3-4 years working countless weekends trying to land a position. I figured I&#39;d end up back home in Scottsdale working somewhere but probably not in television. I even applied to the city of Phoenix to work in the public information office and didn&#39;t get a response. Luckily, I had some young ABC production assistants in my corner because when Terry O&#39;Neil left ABC Sports and came over to CBS Sports, David Dinkins, Jr. and Peter Lasser (those two production assistants) told O&#39;Neil that I should be the first production assistant hired at CBS Sports. O&#39;Neil hired me. That was 1981 and I&#39;m still here at CBS.”</p><h3><strong>Kerith Burke, Warriors reporter, NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California</strong></h3><p>“I’d like to tell my younger self, ‘you’re on the right path, and your path is your own.’ I fall back on this advice in many situations to calm the worry hamster in my head who likes to hop on its wheel and churn the night away. I try to remind myself that when it comes to jobs on this path, talent, timing, and luck all play a role. Only one of those I can control.</p><p>This advice overlaps with something else: Jealousy is a useless emotion. Coming out of college, I was too concerned with others. I was envious about not working for the No. 1 station, or wondered why a colleague got an assignment I knew I could do well. This stemmed from my insecurity, and not knowing healthy ways to aim my ambition. I had to grow up. As I grew up, my path braided with friends in the industry to make us stronger. Don’t compete against your colleagues, befriend them. There’s plenty of room for all of us. It feels best to walk together.”</p><h3><strong>Dianna Russini, ESPN NFL reporter and studio host</strong></h3><p>“Don’t lose touch with those who have helped you grow both professionally and personally. You hear it all the time, ‘be good to everyone,’ but the reality is life gets busy and we all get consumed. It isn’t until you are in a tough spot professionally or maybe even without a job that you start realizing you should have built stronger relationships with those who have put themselves out for your own benefit. Just a few years ago, I was unemployed, living with my parents and looking for work in local sports. I was miserable and the market was worse. About seven years prior, when I was in college at George Mason University, I had reached out to random news directors in the NY/NJ/CT area looking for internships during my summer break. One news director was kind enough to write back to share that he had no openings but to stay in touch. I didn’t. Fast forward to the year I was looking for work and that same news director, Mike St. Peter, who was still the news director at NBC Connecticut, kindly answered my email once again. I always regretted I never sent him a note or even checked in on him over the years since he didn’t have to write back to a college student with zero experience, and I needed him now.</p><p>This time he brought me in for an interview, and days later, he hired me as a sports/news reporter. That was the start of my career. Under his leadership, he allowed me to be part of breaking news coverage at Sandy Hook Elementary and the Boston Marathon bombings. It turned out he wasn’t just a good e-mailer but a superb newsroom leader. He took a really big chance on me when in reality I had done nothing to give him security that I was a good reporter or even a decent human being. Every year since I don’t make the same mistake. I send Mike, who has now moved on to become President and General Manager of NBC Boston, a note to just say, thanks for giving me a chance when nobody would take a call. He usually responds with something that lets me know he’s proud. Work hard at your craft but you can’t do it alone. Appreciate those who help because you never know.”</p><h3><strong>Andrea Kremer, NFL Network reporter and HBO Real Sports correspondent</strong></h3><p>“I would tell my younger self to try and enjoy the moment more. For decades, I was so focused on what’s the next story...the next game...the next big interview....the next important issue that I rarely enjoyed ‘the moment.’ This is not one of these New Age epiphanies but there have been seminal moments of my career that I wish I had relished more. In retrospect, I think it felt anathema to me to ‘enjoy’ the moment as though I equated that with being a fan and not a serious journalist but that is wrong. After more than two decades in television my realization came in 2008 as I prepared to cover the single greatest event in my career (to date)—Michael Phelps’ quest for his eighth gold medal. I specifically thought about the historical aspect of the day and my small role in it as I was headed to the pool deck. It was meaningful for what it taught me at that time and moving forward. Now it’s a learning lesson I try to impart to younger broadcasters in lieu of my younger self.”</p><h3><strong>J.A. Adande, director of sports journalism at Northwestern University</strong></h3><p>“On a practical level, I&#39;d tell myself to invest in the company 401k at the earliest opportunity and to the maximum tax-exempt amounts. And if not eligible, open an IRA. The last thing a 21-year-old thinks about is retirement planning.</p><p>I am curious what would have happened if I had told my younger self to stick with my original goal of being a play-by-play announcer. I got a taste of working game broadcasts while doing sidelines the past few years and it kind of made me wish I had charted a course toward sitting in that No. 1 seat. Still, I doubt it would have led to me working 20 NBA Finals in addition to just about every other major sporting event, so I think younger me got it right.”</p><h3><strong>Suzanne Smith, CBS Sports director and the first woman to direct NFL games fulltime</strong></h3><p><em>“</em>Dear Suzanne,</p><p>You are about to embark on an amazing journey. One full of adventure, excitement and challenges. Hard work, your attitude, respect and integrity will be the cornerstones.</p><p><strong>Some basic rules</strong></p><p>Treat EVERYONE equally, from your runners to the CEO. Work as hard as you can. Tackle each task like it’s the last, then work harder. Understand that every job is important. Speak up. Your ideas have value, even in a room of people with more experience. Take risks, don’t be afraid to fail. Send handwritten thank you notes. If you’re not early, you’re late.</p><p><strong>Take advantage of the skills you’ve gained as an athlete</strong></p><p>Be a leader and a team player. Be competitive while working with your colleagues. First to arrive, last to leave. Inspire others. Rise to the occasion when the pressure is on.</p><p><strong>On the practical side</strong></p><p>Invest in a good piece of luggage, one with wheels! Dress like a professional, not like you are in your college dorm. Keep a journal, keep your credentials, photos. Don’t be in a rush to get from one event to the next. Take the time to soak it all in. Don’t assume your boss knows what you want to do. Be proactive about your assignments and the events you want to be a part of.</p><p><strong>The boys club</strong></p><p>Be yourself. You will never be one of the boys, stop trying. The day you accept this, things will be easier. The day you realize you don’t WANT to be part of ‘the club,’ your world will change.</p><p><strong>Family and friends</strong></p><p>Balancing your career and life will be challenging at times. You will have to make sacrifices to be successful in this industry. Remember, your family, partner and friends are affected as well.</p><p><strong>You got this</strong></p><p>It’s not enough to dream your dreams. You’ve got to pursue your dreams. No, it’s not always easy but if it was easy, anybody could do it. Always remember and remind those around you that it is a privilege to be a part of some of the most coveted sporting events in the world. Believe in yourself and let your passions be your guide. Enjoy your amazing journey.”</p><h3><strong>Tim Brando, Fox Sports play-by-play announcer</strong></h3><p>“Many times as sportscasters we talk about players that sometimes force it, or press their efforts as opposed to letting the game come to them. Ours is a totally subjective craft and for everyone that loves your work there will always be those that don’t. I’m blessed to have had a career that’s spanned four decades with ESPN as its starting point, then a quick transition to Turner, and then an 18-year run at CBS, before joining FOX four years ago. Honestly, only now do I personally believe I’m as grateful and feel as privileged as I always should have to do what I love for a living. Type A’s are littered throughout sports television and most of us want to get the top assignments in live sports television. I wouldn’t change my path, but I would recommend if I had the chance to start over to have enjoyed the journey by living more in the moment than I did. Breaking into syndicated play-by-play in 1982-83 with Raycom/Jefferson Pilot and making ESPN freelance appearances as a play-by-play man in my mid 20’s in 1985 had me thinking that was my calling. But upon my arrival to Bristol in late 1986 the suits saw me as a studio talent first! I fought that and I probably should have embraced it far more; it did help me later in securing a gig at the ‘Tiffany’ Network, CBS. I loved what I was doing, but shouldn’t have been so concerned with what’s next!</p><p>‘Tim, slow down, you’re in a great spot, don’t worry so much about what’s next,’ my old departed friend John Saunders would say. He was right. I tell young broadcasters all the time to enjoy the journey and the relationships that come with it. A wonderful collection of people that could put me in places to succeed have always been there for me. They (the suits) want to know how privileged you feel. I would tell myself if I were younger, to let them know that, and stop worrying about chasing the next great gig. You’ve already got a really good one. Keep loving it, performing it and good things will come your way. I’ve found that understanding your role, and giving the employer your best in that role is not only better, but allows for greater fullness of life.”</p><h3><strong>Nancy Armour, sports columnist, <em>USA Today</em></strong></h3><p><strong>“Develop your own voice.</strong></p><p>Find writers whose work—and work ethic—you admire, and study what they do and how they do it. Learn from them and make use of any tips or guidance they share, but don’t make the mistake of trying to be them. There will only be one Dave Anderson or Jim Litke or Jackie MacMullan or Leonard Pitts, and trying to write in a voice or style that isn’t your own will come across as forced and inauthentic. Find your voice, your style and the writing will flow better.</p><p><strong>Learn from your mistakes.</strong></p><p>Mistakes are going to happen, it’s human nature. You will beat yourself up something awful and forever cringe at the memory of it. But make sure you learn from it, too. Recognizing how and why the mistake occurred is the surest way to avoid doing it again in the future.</p><p><strong>Expand your world.</strong></p><p>Read books and listen to podcasts about things that have nothing to do with your job or the sport(s) you cover. Have friends and interests outside the business. There’s a risk of getting stale and jaded when you are immersed in the same thing day after day, week after week, year after year. Getting outside your bubble is the best way of guarding against that—and also a reminder that what we do is pretty damn cool.</p><p><strong>Don’t be afraid to fail.</strong></p><p>When I was 13, my father gave me some advice that influences me to this day. I won’t bore you with the whole story, but the gist was that you should never let the fear of failure, or fear in general, stop you from doing something. Wondering ‘What if?’ after you’ve let an opportunity pass will haunt you longer than any embarrassment you might have suffered, and nothing empowers you quite like tackling your fears head on.</p><p><strong>Enjoy the ride.</strong></p><p>We have fun, interesting jobs that most people envy when they hear about them. It’s easy to forget that with deadlines, the stress over the state of the business and the pressure of always having to do more. But every once in a while, take a breather and remember what drew you to the profession in the first place.”</p><h3><strong>Kenny Albert, Fox Sports and NBC Sports play-by-play announcer</strong></h3><p>“Work, work, work! Preparation will be the key to a career in sports broadcasting. Read everything you can get your hands on. Look into internships during your high school and college years, but also get as many reps as you can on-air. If a local cable station happens to visit your high school to film a girls basketball game, volunteer to do the play-by-play. Perhaps they will offer you hundreds of other games in all sports over the next three years, which could prove to be the most invaluable experience you could ever ask for.</p><p>Practice makes perfect! Also be sure to learn other positions—producing, editing, writing, keeping statistics, etc. Watch and listen to as many games as possible—to absorb both announcing styles and information via osmosis. If your initial goal is hockey radio play-by-play, send tapes out to as many teams as possible all over North America. Don&#39;t be afraid of 10-hour bus rides. Working in the minor leagues could wind up among the most important and memorable years of your professional career.”</p><h3><strong>Adnan Virk, ESPN studio host and play-by-play announcer</strong></h3><p>“I would tell myself to ignore all the trolls. When people ask me for advice in this business it can be epitomized in two words: thick skin. No matter what people may tweet at you, no matter how disparaging or hateful it may be, don’t let it affect you emotionally, or your performance in any manner. I would also tell my younger self to pay more attention to the 1984 Orange Bowl between Nebraska and Miami since one day improbably I would be the studio host for CFB and such background would be more helpful rather than watching the Gretzky-era Oilers dynasty in bloom.”</p><h3><strong>Mina Kimes, ESPN reporter and columnist</strong></h3><p>&quot;I would have told my younger self to take more creative risks. At the beginning of my career, I was terrified of failure, so I always pursued projects that I knew I could execute. But I&#39;ve since learned that the best stories are the ones that seem insurmountable—not just when the reporting is difficult, but also when an idea feels murky at the outset. I wish I had been more daring early on, because my greatest experiences as a writer have been ones that teetered on the edge.&quot;</p><h3>THE NOISE REPORT</h3><p><strong>1a.</strong> As expected, there was immense pushback from viewers on the decision by Turner Sports to buck longstanding Selection Sunday tradition and reveal all the teams in the NCAA tournament field prior to the bracket itself. The phrase “Selection Show” trended on Twitter long after the show ended and <a href="https://twitter.com/i/moments/972960904143888384" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Twitter compiled reaction from an angry crowd of sports viewers" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Twitter compiled reaction from an angry crowd of sports viewers</a>. The most notable response, from all places, was <a href="https://twitter.com/LawrenceKS_PD/status/972957250506641411" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:this laugh-out-loud tweet from the Lawrence (Ks.) Police" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">this laugh-out-loud tweet from the Lawrence (Ks.) Police</a>. What I wrote in 2016 holds true today: “Front-load the program so that all the brackets are revealed within the first 35 minutes and spend the next 85 minutes going heavy on analysis and interviews. If the analysis is good, people are not going to abandon your channel just because the brackets are in. Obviously, this is a high profile property and CBS is in the business of keeping you around to make money but the pacing on Sunday was a huge miss. Viewers will revolt if they think you are stringing them along, which is how it felt watching.” This from the <em><a href="http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/for-petes-sake/article204614759.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Kansas City Star" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Kansas City Star</a></em> and <a href="https://www.si.com/extra-mustard/2018/03/12/ncaa-tournament-selection-show-twitter-reaction" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:this from SI’s Jimmy Traina" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">this from SI’s Jimmy Traina</a> cover the reactions.</p><p><strong>1b.</strong> ESPN NFL analyst Louis Riddick is not a man of moderate opinions and goals. He wants to be part of Monday Night Football and has no problem letting the world know of his interest, including his bosses at ESPN.</p><p>“This is something that has been a goal of mind and ESPN is very well aware that I am very interested in it,” said Riddick, this week’s guest on the SI Media Podcast. “It is the pinnacle of broadcasting as far as I am concerned, the most iconic position in broadcasting. To be involved with Monday Night Football either as a play-by-play person or analyst is something I am hoping I can achieve.”</p><p>Asked what ESPN management’s response has been to Riddick’s interest, Riddick said, “It has been very favorable. They are well aware of it. I think you saw my interest in being a part of a live broadcast, a live game, with my involvement with the Pro Bowl this year and that only scratched the surface of what I think I am capable of doing with that kind of platform. I am fired up about the possibility of being involved with the brand of Monday Night Football in any way shape or form and I think the next couple of weeks and months as ESPN figures out where they want to go with that are going to be awfully exciting for me personally.”</p><p>As the guest on Episode 168 of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, Riddick addressed many topics including what separates a good NFL broadcaster versus an average one; how he has attempted to improve as a broadcaster; his candidness on issues and why too often former players pull punches on the air; how he navigates being a candidate for NFL general manager jobs versus working at ESPN; his thoughts when someone does not report on him accurately; how he approaches discussing social issues or politics on social media; playing under Nick Saban and Bill Belichick in Cleveland; Saban’s attention to detail and what makes him different than other coaches; how the Browns should approach holding the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the NFL Draft, and much more. To listen to the podcast in full, check it out on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.</p><p><strong>PODCAST BREAKDOWN:</strong></p><p><strong>• 1:00: </strong>What separates a good NFL broadcaster from an average one.</p><p><strong>• 2:50:</strong> How has Riddick improved as a broadcaster and how much film he watches on his own work.</p><p><strong>• 6:40: </strong>The aesthetics of sports broadcasting.</p><p><strong>• 9:30:</strong> Being candid about NFL personnel people and trying to take people behind the curtain of the NFL</p><p><strong>• 14:15: </strong>Playing for Bill Bellichick and Nick Saban and what separates Saban from other coaches.</p><p><strong>• 20:20: </strong>Interviewing for general manager jobs while working for ESPN.</p><p><strong>• 24:30:</strong> Other media writing about him, and his reaction to what he says is incorrect reporting.</p><p><strong>• 33:00:</strong> What would happen if a mid-season GM job came up.</p><p><strong>• 35:20:</strong> His approach to social media when it comes to social issues and politics.</p><p><strong>• 36:40 </strong>His interest in being on Monday Night Football.</p><p><strong>• 41:00: </strong>Tony Romo’s work this year on CBS and Riddick&#39;s preparation for the NFL Draft.</p><p><strong>• 47:20: </strong>How he believes the Browns will approach the No. 1 and No. 4 overall pick.</p><p><strong>• 51:00: </strong>How he would approach the end of Tom Brady’s career if he were Patriots management.</p><p><strong>2.</strong> SI legal analyst Michael McCann <a href="https://www.si.com/tech-media/2018/03/05/adrienne-lawrence-espn-lawsuit-john-buccigross" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:analyzed Adrienne Lawrence’s lawsuit against ESPN" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">analyzed Adrienne Lawrence’s lawsuit against ESPN</a> and the company’s possible defenses.</p><p><strong>2a.</strong> As SI first reported, <a href="https://www.si.com/tech-media/2018/03/08/michael-smith-espn-leaving-sportscenter-sc6" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Michael Smith’s last day as an ESPN SportsCenter host" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Michael Smith’s last day as an ESPN SportsCenter host</a> was Friday.</p><p><strong>2b.</strong> ESPN jettisoned Sean McDonough out of the Monday Night Football booth despite public votes of confidence from management as recent as just a few months ago. On a positive note for viewers, McDonough signed a new multi-year extension and will rejoin ESPN’s college football team this fall. His assignments will include weekly college football games, as well as a College Football Playoff Semifinal. He will continue to call the CFP National Championship on ESPN Radio, marquee college basketball games, The Masters Par 3 contest and more.</p><p><strong>3.</strong> <a href="https://www.si.com/tech-media/2018/03/07/winter-paralympics-2018-nbc-coverage-pyeongchang" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:How to Watch—And What to Expect From—the Winter Paralympics 2018 on NBC." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">How to Watch—And What to Expect From—the Winter Paralympics 2018 on NBC.</a></p><p><strong>4.</strong> <strong>Sports pieces of note:</strong></p><p>• From <em>Indianapolis Star</em> reporters Tim Evans, Joe Guillen, Gina Kaufman, Marisa Kwiatkowski, Matt Mencarini and Mark Alesia: <a href="https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2018/03/08/larry-nassar-sexually-abused-gymnasts-michigan-state-university-usa-gymnastics/339051002/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:How Larry Nassar abused hundreds of gymnasts and eluded justice for decades." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">How Larry Nassar abused hundreds of gymnasts and eluded justice for decades.</a></p><p>• A remarkable thread on the KHL from reporter Slava Malamud: </p><p>• From Juliet Macur of <em>The New York Times</em>: <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/08/sports/opioids-suicide.html?smid=tw-nytsports&#38;smtyp=cur" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Suicides, Drug Addiction and High School Football." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Suicides, Drug Addiction and High School Football.</a></p><p>• <a href="https://www.theringer.com/2018/3/6/17072332/cody-rhodes-dusty-rhodes-all-in" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Cody Rhodes is carving his own path in memory of his father" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Cody Rhodes is carving his own path in memory of his father</a>, &quot;The American Dream&quot; Dusty Rhodes, from Mike Piellucci of The Ringer.</p><p>• Kevin Love, for The Players Tribune, <a href="https://www.theplayerstribune.com/kevin-love-everyone-is-going-through-something/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:on suffering panic attacks." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">on suffering panic attacks.</a></p><p>• <em>New York Times</em> writer Harvey Araton <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/06/sports/ncaabasketball/big-east-st-johns-mullin.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fsports&#38;action=click&#38;contentCollection=sports&#38;region=rank&#38;module=package&#38;version=highlights&#38;contentPlacement=1&#38;pgtype=sectionfront" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:profiled St. John’s coach Chris Mullin." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">profiled St. John’s coach Chris Mullin.</a></p><p>• ESPN’s <a href="http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/22624561/ichiro-suzuki-return-seattle-mariners-resolve-internal-battle" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Wright Thompson on Ichiro" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Wright Thompson on Ichiro</a>.</p><p>• SI’s Lee Jenkins profiled <a href="https://www.si.com/nba/2018/03/06/dwane-casey-raptors-kyle-lowry-demar-derozan-kentucky-ncaa" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey</a>.</p><p>• Steve Francis, for The Players Tribune, on <a href="https://www.theplayerstribune.com/steve-francis-i-got-a-story-to-tell/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:his unlikely journey to the NBA." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">his unlikely journey to the NBA.</a></p><p>• The Athletic’s Levi Weaver on <a href="https://theathletic.com/264535/2018/03/07/tim-lincecum-and-the-weird-gremlin-of-grief/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Tim Lincecum." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Tim Lincecum.</a></p><p>• From ESPN.com’s Susan Ninan: <a href="http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/22667359/in-india-rugby-helps-women-find-level-playing-field?utm_source=The+Sunday+Long+Read+subscribers&#38;utm_campaign=fa5fa24f7d-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_03_09&#38;utm_medium=email&#38;utm_term=0_67e6e8a504-fa5fa24f7d-273522061" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:India&#39;s Rugby Revolution." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">India&#39;s Rugby Revolution.</a></p><p><strong>Non-sports pieces of note</strong></p><p>• <em>The New Yorker</em>’s Jane Mayer on <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/03/12/christopher-steele-the-man-behind-the-trump-dossier" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Christopher Steele" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Christopher Steele</a>.</p><p>• Via The Atlantic’s Rachel Monroe: <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/04/our-time-com-con-man/554057/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:The Perfect Man Who Wasn&#39;t." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">The Perfect Man Who Wasn&#39;t.</a></p><p>• Via Farhad Manjoo of <em>The New York Times</em>: <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/07/technology/two-months-news-newspapers.html?smid=tw-share" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers. Here’s What I Learned." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers. Here’s What I Learned.</a></p><p>• <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/obituaries/overlooked.html?smid=tw-nytimes&#38;smtyp=cur" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Fifteen women The New York Times overlooked for obituaries" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Fifteen women <em>The New York Times</em> overlooked for obituaries</a>.</p><p>• From Josh Dean of <em>Bloomberg Businessweek</em>: <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/obituaries/overlooked.html?smid=tw-nytimes&#38;smtyp=cur" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:America Is Giving Away the $30 Billion Medical Marijuana Industry." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">America Is Giving Away the $30 Billion Medical Marijuana Industry.</a></p><p>• From Eric Adler of <em>The Kansas City Star</em>: <a href="http://www.kansascity.com/news/state/missouri/article204287484.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Missouri is a destination wedding spot—for 15-year-old brides." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Missouri is a destination wedding spot—for 15-year-old brides.</a></p><p>This is my final piece (at least for awhile) for <em>Sports Illustrated</em>. It is a weird sentence to write. This was the singular place I dreamed of working for as a young person and to have worked here for two decades has been an immense professional privilege. SI paid for me to travel the world—I covered seven Olympic Games—and trusted me with assignments that meant a great deal to me, including the Women’s Final Four and the U.S. Open. I was able to work for every part of the editorial brand, from Swimsuit to SI.com to SI Commemoratives, and spent two years helping edit SI For Women (RIP).</p><p>It has been an amazing place to work and I leave feeling as close to the brand as I did when <a href="https://www.si.com/vault/1998/06/15/244478/howie-young-red-wings-defenseman-january-28-1963" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:SI published my first byline" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">SI published my first byline</a> in 1998 about Howie Young, an NHL defenseman for the Red Wings who drank himself out of professional sports before sobering up and finding a second life in Thoreau, N.M., a predominantly Navajo community two hours west of Albuquerque, as a mild-mannered bus driver for the McKinley County public schools.</p><p>There are many colleagues that I want to cite publicly for helping and educating me along the journey but I’ll do that in a post on my own social channels. I’ll announce soon enough what’s next but thank you for reading me here, for listening to the podcast and for having an interest in what my SI colleagues and I do professionally.</p>
Media Circus: 22 Well-Known Sports Media Members Give Advice to Their Younger Selves

TORONTO – The “Letters To My Younger Self” series from the Players Tribune has been among the most interesting things the digital publication has done. While the editorial conceit existed long before The Players Tribune, the publication has received well-deserved praise for the series, including very thoughtful pieces bylined by Quentin Richardson, Mike Bossy and Damon Stoudamire. For the column below, I swiped the concept to ask a number of people in the sports media the following question: What specific career advice would you give your younger self and why? Here’s how they answered:

Ian Eagle, CBS Sports play-by-play announcer

“I would start off by giving the younger version of myself some practical advice. Don't eat at a suspect Chinese restaurant in San Francisco before flying on a red-eye with a window seat (trust me on this one).

If you're fortunate enough to make it in this highly competitive business, don't take for granted the chair that you occupy. Take the time to truly appreciate the unique moments along the way—a spectacular NFL Sunday in Foxboro, a raucous crowd at Phog Allen Fieldhouse, or the electricity inside Air Canada Centre in Toronto. It's easy to get caught up in the preparation and minutia of your assignment, but don't forget to be present and soak up the atmosphere.

When you're young you tend to focus on just your role in the broadcast, as you get older and gain experience you begin to value every person on the crew and the sheer enormity of the production you're working on. The announcer is a small piece of the puzzle and although you may be front and center, you won't be successful without the hard work and dedication of others. In addition, be a well rounded person with knowledge that extends beyond the two teams you're covering—pop culture, world news, social issues may be topics of conversation during a broadcast when you least expect it, be prepared for anything. I would also advise my younger self that nobody cares if your flight was delayed or the people in the hotel room next to you traveled a small chicuacua with them—all that matters is being totally focused and locked-in the moment you go on the air. And have fun!! This isn't brain surgery (but if you're a well-rounded person you'd be able to perform that if necessary).”

Joe Buck, Fox Sports play-by-play announcer

“Keep on your path. Don't let the ‘noise’ creep in as the years go by. Social media will be both a blessing and a curse. Take it for what it is and be you. Don't let the ‘he tries to be funny too much’ criticism from a certain columnist from the New York Post affect what you do. Be you. See a therapist before your late 30s—you have a lot of issues to work through. And for the love of God, sleep through your eighth hair transplant appointment in 2011. Trust me, it's for the best.”

Marty Smith, ESPN host and reporter

“Dear Younger Me...

Offering you advice seems ungrateful and haughty, as if you need a different direction. Listen up: You don’t. You don’t know it yet, but you’re blessed with a life beyond the craziest fantasy world you could ever conjure. So let it ride.

Live the Golden Rule.

Be kind. Work hard.

Head up. Nose down.

Heart full. Always.

Even when it's empty.

Passion never loses. You’ll meet folks with better looks and more talent and a fancier degree.

You’ll never meet anybody with more passion. It’s the one thing you can control. Own it. It'll take you awhile to gain comfort in that space, but your gut is correct—it’s the right way.

Momma always said every man is equal, and deserves respect when he gives it. She’s right. Keep treating people well. It matters.

Status is fleeting. It’s a drug. It’s a fake title. Authenticity and loyalty are eternal—and hard to come by. Embrace them.

Just do you. It’s unorthodox and it’s different, and I know some of the traditional cats are giving you a big ol' ration of s*** for it right now. It hurts, but don’t let on. They'll come around.

You liked to be liked. That will never leave you. You’ll eventually be able to admit it openly and be cool with the admittance.

Champion your wife and include her in your triumphs and experiences. They’re so much richer when you share them together.

Walk your Faith. This will be a boomerang for you. You'll let it fly away for a time, but when you seek it, it'll come back.

So the advice: Don’t concern yourself with awards. You’ll never win any.

Raise some hell, you’re pretty good at it. (Just maybe not as much as you’re raising right now.)

Go home and spend some of those hours with Momma and Daddy. You won’t have them for long.

And just so you know, Marty: All those eye-roll lessons Daddy preaches constantly about accountability and respect and hard work and the indescribable privilege of being American, and the pride of your last name?

Write them down. He’s right.”

Rebecca Lowe, NBC Sports host

“I could sit my younger self down for an entire day and give advice. But three of the biggest pieces I would impart are...firstly, never believe anyone who tells you they don’t see you in a specific role. If that’s where you see yourself and where you believe you can shine then stick at it and prove the doubters wrong. No one knows you better than you know yourself and use the doubt to drive you on.

Secondly, know that not every job is perfect and they tend to be less perfect in the early stages of your career when you’re trying to carve your path. It might be that you can’t stand your job, or your boss or the people around you but if it’s a job that will help you get to the next stage then head down and power through. Always remember it is a lucky person who gets to enjoy their job. So if it takes some years of disgruntlement and dissatisfaction to get to where you’re happy, that’s the sacrifice you have to pay. I always suggest asking yourself: ‘What’s your alternative choice?’ Often the alternatives are not as good. And, finally, over prepare. In everything you do. If you do this, you’ll never come unstuck.”

Shea Serrano, writer and best-selling author, The Ringer

I would tell my younger self three things:

1. Always say yes. If someone asks you to do a work thing, just say yes. It doesn't matter if you know how to do it or not. Just say yes and then trust yourself to figure it out. I remember one time MTV asked me to make some pop culture postcards for them for the holidays one year. I had no idea how to do it, but what I did know was that they were gonna pay me several hundred dollars to them. So when they called and asked if it was something I knew how to do, I was just like, ‘Yup. I got you. I do it all the time.’ That's how I tried to handle everything. I didn't know how to write a book until I wrote a book, you know what I'm saying?

2. Don't be late. There are absolutely some people who were born with a natural gift for writing and storytelling; just brilliant, exceptional people birthed with brilliant, exceptional talent in their bones. Not me, though. And that being the case, I knew I was never going to be able to keep up with those type of people if I was just depending on my own tiny amount of talent. So, as a way to supplement that, I just decided to try to never, ever, ever be late with an assignment. I would always turn my stuff in early, answer emails quickly, respond to phone calls immediately, so on and so forth. You can't control talent, but you can control work ethic is what I'm telling you. And in my experience, an editor is more likely to choose working with someone who's a decent writer but is super dependable over choosing to work with someone who is an exceptional writer but is unreliable.

3. Know that everyone gets kicked in the teeth a billion times before they ‘make it.’ This was the hardest thing to learn, and something that I'm still dealing with today. A lot of being a writer is pitching stories and ideas and then either a) never hearing back, or b) hearing back but it's a no. It's hard not to take it personal when it happens, because it always seems to feel like they're turning you down, not like they're turning your ideas down. But, as I've come to learn, it happens to everyone all the time. I mean, just think on it like, I'm a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author. That's a real and true thing. And still, it doesn't matter. I get turned down for things literally every week. It's just the way it goes. You gotta just keep going. Because that's really the main difference that separates someone who makes it from someone who doesn't. The person who made it was the one who kept getting up after getting kicked in the teeth. The person who didn't make it didn't get up.

Erika Nardini, Barstool Sports CEO

“You do not look good with short hair, don’t try it. Don’t work away your 20s. Bigger companies don’t necessarily give you bigger chances for success. Don’t worry about how one job relates to the next. There’s a thru-line in there somewhere and the right person/company will see it.”

Adam Schefter, ESPN NFL insider and podcast host

“What I would tell my younger self is the exact advice I did try to tell my younger self; I just couldn't listen to it, not in the way I wanted because I was so consumed with trying to land a sports reporting job or advancing once I had it.

Back when I was at the University of Michigan in the late 1980s, my college roommates and I discovered this poem called The Station, by Robert J. Hastings. We would read it and remind each other of it, and we even put it at the end of a video we made at the end of our senior year, as we were graduating, one final reminder of lessons we all should learn. It's good advice for any young person in any young field—better than anything I can offer. I never like when people lean on a poem to try to convey thoughts, but I believe it's valuable advice for anyone just getting started—or even finishing up.”

The Station, by Robert J. Hastings

Tucked away in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We’re traveling by train and, from the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of smoke pouring from power plants, of row upon row upon row of cotton and corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of city skylines and village halls.

But uppermost in our conscious minds is our final destination—for at a certain hour and on a given day, our train will finally pull into the Station with bells ringing, flags waving, and bands playing. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So restlessly, we pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, waiting, waiting for the Station.

“Yes, when we reach the Station, that will be it!” we promise ourselves. “When we’re eighteen. . . win that promotion. . . put the last kid through college. . . buy that 450SL Mercedes-Benz. . . have a nest egg for retirement!” From that day on we will all live happily ever after.

Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no Station in this life, no one earthly place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The Station is an illusion—it constantly outdistances us. Yesterday’s a memory, tomorrow’s a dream. Yesterday belongs to a history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday’s a fading sunset, tomorrow’s a faint sunrise. Only today is there light enough to love and live.

So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad, but rather the regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.

“Relish the moment” is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener. Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we go along. The Station will come soon enough.

Amy Trask, NFL analyst, CBS Sports

“I would tell my younger self: listen to your mom. The best advice I have ever been given was imparted to me by my mom: to thine own self be true. (As an aside, I will note that it wasn’t until I was almost out of college that I learned that these wise words were those spoken by Polonius to Laertes in Hamlet. While one might then say that my advice to my younger self would be to follow the words of Shakespeare, I shall always consider this the advice my mom shared with me.)

My mom repeated this advice (over and over), as moms are wont to do. I sometimes rolled my eyes, as kids are wont to do.

While it is unequivocally the best advice I have ever received, I didn’t always follow it. I heeded this advice for the most part and when I did I was my strongest and my most capable. I am my best when I am myself, as my mom advised me to be. But there were times I didn’t follow this advice and instead tried to be something or someone I was not and in those instances not only was I not my best, I stumbled and bumbled and fumbled. It just doesn’t work for me to try to be what I am not.

So my advice to my younger self is quite simple: listen to your mom even (or especially) in those instances in which you may be tempted to ignore or don’t believe you need to follow her advice and ‘to thine own self be true.’”

Beth Mowins, ESPN and CBS Sports play-by-play announcer

“I would tell my younger self to keep a journal. I wish I had the ability to look back over the years and recall where I have been and what I have done. It doesn't have to be much...even just a few sentences about games and places and people. So many great stories have been lost in my memory banks and I wish I could bring some back. We are lucky to spend time with amazing players and coaches and it would be nice to have a journal to reflect on the good times with the people in this business. Enjoy the journey...and jot it down. It's important because you want to pass on knowledge to the younger people in this business. It's always nice to have a story to tell about ‘when I was your age,’ or be able to say, ‘I went through something similar’ and here's what happened. It can also help you do your job better by providing some historical perspective to the games you are covering. I enjoy a good quote or a funny anecdote as much as the next person. Sportscasting is still about relationships with people and the more connections you can make the better off you will be.”

Don Van Natta Jr., ESPN senior writer and investigative reporter

“Relax, kid. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And what’s ‘the small stuff,’ you ask? The highlight reel of all the indignities and idiocy that will comprise a 30-year journalism career: the published mistakes (yours and others); the big-footing colleagues; the years (or decades) of no raises; the editors who merrily drive lawn mowers through your copy; the slammed doors and the hung-up phones; the grounded late-night flights and canceled summer vacations; the sources who lie to you or about you; the Christmas Eve calls from long-winded bosses; the scoops that get away; the ‘fake news’-spewing ‘readers’ who don’t read a word of what you write; the rabid fans who will only hear fraudulent, bumper-sticker characterizations of your stories on WEEI in Boston; the omnipresent drumbeat of job cuts.

In the wide-open canvas of a career, nearly all of it amounts to small stuff. Trust me, it’s true. So keep reminding yourself of that. And don’t frown so damn much.

Being a journalist in America is still one of the best jobs in the world, despite everything. Think about it: you get paid to find the truth and report it to an audience starving for it. When things go wrong—and they often will—don’t let those moments trip you up. Just roll with it, cold-call the next would-be source and chase the next scoop with as much as confidence and swagger as you mustered the day before.

You don’t know this now but the friends you make in this business will last far longer than the best stories you’ll write and the best prizes you’ll win. And all the fun you’re going to have will far eclipse the days of failure and frustration. Remember, kid: 10,000 writers would give anything to have your nickels-paying, out-in-the-boondocks job. So…

Count your blessings. Embrace the good. Savor every moment. And smile.”

Candace Buckner, The Washington Post Wizards writer

“When I talk to young journalists, I always tell them to read more than just the sports page, network, and write daily—three things I should’ve done better when I was their age. But if I could give my younger self some advice, it would be pointed and simple: don’t bury your head into journalism, get out and experience life.

I was a focused kid when I arrived at Mizzou, with set-in-stone goals that centered on getting into J-School then becoming the next Willow Bay or Robin Roberts. I worked my tail off, held down a couple jobs and ran a floor in my dorm. I didn’t mess around and while I dig that about young Candace, I wish I would’ve told myself: Chill, homie, and go do real life. Go spend a summer abroad and learn something about the world outside of your perfectly-crafted tiny universe you have at Columbia, Mo. I needed more experience. While I don’t dare to think that if I would’ve gone to Thailand at 22 years old, then I would have this whole life thing all figured out (people who do that are the worst), I do believe that traveling and experiencing other cultures would’ve opened up a lifetime of learning, which in turn would make me a better writer and reporter. When I was younger, I was racing. But it would’ve OK to slow down and live.”

Mike Arnold, CBS Sports lead NFL director

“I guess the advice I'd give my younger self is to keep working hard and eventually things will work out. I remember first starting out in television as a runner with ABC Sports and was so disappointed when I didn't get a full time job with them after spending about 3-4 years working countless weekends trying to land a position. I figured I'd end up back home in Scottsdale working somewhere but probably not in television. I even applied to the city of Phoenix to work in the public information office and didn't get a response. Luckily, I had some young ABC production assistants in my corner because when Terry O'Neil left ABC Sports and came over to CBS Sports, David Dinkins, Jr. and Peter Lasser (those two production assistants) told O'Neil that I should be the first production assistant hired at CBS Sports. O'Neil hired me. That was 1981 and I'm still here at CBS.”

Kerith Burke, Warriors reporter, NBC Sports Bay Area and NBC Sports California

“I’d like to tell my younger self, ‘you’re on the right path, and your path is your own.’ I fall back on this advice in many situations to calm the worry hamster in my head who likes to hop on its wheel and churn the night away. I try to remind myself that when it comes to jobs on this path, talent, timing, and luck all play a role. Only one of those I can control.

This advice overlaps with something else: Jealousy is a useless emotion. Coming out of college, I was too concerned with others. I was envious about not working for the No. 1 station, or wondered why a colleague got an assignment I knew I could do well. This stemmed from my insecurity, and not knowing healthy ways to aim my ambition. I had to grow up. As I grew up, my path braided with friends in the industry to make us stronger. Don’t compete against your colleagues, befriend them. There’s plenty of room for all of us. It feels best to walk together.”

Dianna Russini, ESPN NFL reporter and studio host

“Don’t lose touch with those who have helped you grow both professionally and personally. You hear it all the time, ‘be good to everyone,’ but the reality is life gets busy and we all get consumed. It isn’t until you are in a tough spot professionally or maybe even without a job that you start realizing you should have built stronger relationships with those who have put themselves out for your own benefit. Just a few years ago, I was unemployed, living with my parents and looking for work in local sports. I was miserable and the market was worse. About seven years prior, when I was in college at George Mason University, I had reached out to random news directors in the NY/NJ/CT area looking for internships during my summer break. One news director was kind enough to write back to share that he had no openings but to stay in touch. I didn’t. Fast forward to the year I was looking for work and that same news director, Mike St. Peter, who was still the news director at NBC Connecticut, kindly answered my email once again. I always regretted I never sent him a note or even checked in on him over the years since he didn’t have to write back to a college student with zero experience, and I needed him now.

This time he brought me in for an interview, and days later, he hired me as a sports/news reporter. That was the start of my career. Under his leadership, he allowed me to be part of breaking news coverage at Sandy Hook Elementary and the Boston Marathon bombings. It turned out he wasn’t just a good e-mailer but a superb newsroom leader. He took a really big chance on me when in reality I had done nothing to give him security that I was a good reporter or even a decent human being. Every year since I don’t make the same mistake. I send Mike, who has now moved on to become President and General Manager of NBC Boston, a note to just say, thanks for giving me a chance when nobody would take a call. He usually responds with something that lets me know he’s proud. Work hard at your craft but you can’t do it alone. Appreciate those who help because you never know.”

Andrea Kremer, NFL Network reporter and HBO Real Sports correspondent

“I would tell my younger self to try and enjoy the moment more. For decades, I was so focused on what’s the next story...the next game...the next big interview....the next important issue that I rarely enjoyed ‘the moment.’ This is not one of these New Age epiphanies but there have been seminal moments of my career that I wish I had relished more. In retrospect, I think it felt anathema to me to ‘enjoy’ the moment as though I equated that with being a fan and not a serious journalist but that is wrong. After more than two decades in television my realization came in 2008 as I prepared to cover the single greatest event in my career (to date)—Michael Phelps’ quest for his eighth gold medal. I specifically thought about the historical aspect of the day and my small role in it as I was headed to the pool deck. It was meaningful for what it taught me at that time and moving forward. Now it’s a learning lesson I try to impart to younger broadcasters in lieu of my younger self.”

J.A. Adande, director of sports journalism at Northwestern University

“On a practical level, I'd tell myself to invest in the company 401k at the earliest opportunity and to the maximum tax-exempt amounts. And if not eligible, open an IRA. The last thing a 21-year-old thinks about is retirement planning.

I am curious what would have happened if I had told my younger self to stick with my original goal of being a play-by-play announcer. I got a taste of working game broadcasts while doing sidelines the past few years and it kind of made me wish I had charted a course toward sitting in that No. 1 seat. Still, I doubt it would have led to me working 20 NBA Finals in addition to just about every other major sporting event, so I think younger me got it right.”

Suzanne Smith, CBS Sports director and the first woman to direct NFL games fulltime

Dear Suzanne,

You are about to embark on an amazing journey. One full of adventure, excitement and challenges. Hard work, your attitude, respect and integrity will be the cornerstones.

Some basic rules

Treat EVERYONE equally, from your runners to the CEO. Work as hard as you can. Tackle each task like it’s the last, then work harder. Understand that every job is important. Speak up. Your ideas have value, even in a room of people with more experience. Take risks, don’t be afraid to fail. Send handwritten thank you notes. If you’re not early, you’re late.

Take advantage of the skills you’ve gained as an athlete

Be a leader and a team player. Be competitive while working with your colleagues. First to arrive, last to leave. Inspire others. Rise to the occasion when the pressure is on.

On the practical side

Invest in a good piece of luggage, one with wheels! Dress like a professional, not like you are in your college dorm. Keep a journal, keep your credentials, photos. Don’t be in a rush to get from one event to the next. Take the time to soak it all in. Don’t assume your boss knows what you want to do. Be proactive about your assignments and the events you want to be a part of.

The boys club

Be yourself. You will never be one of the boys, stop trying. The day you accept this, things will be easier. The day you realize you don’t WANT to be part of ‘the club,’ your world will change.

Family and friends

Balancing your career and life will be challenging at times. You will have to make sacrifices to be successful in this industry. Remember, your family, partner and friends are affected as well.

You got this

It’s not enough to dream your dreams. You’ve got to pursue your dreams. No, it’s not always easy but if it was easy, anybody could do it. Always remember and remind those around you that it is a privilege to be a part of some of the most coveted sporting events in the world. Believe in yourself and let your passions be your guide. Enjoy your amazing journey.”

Tim Brando, Fox Sports play-by-play announcer

“Many times as sportscasters we talk about players that sometimes force it, or press their efforts as opposed to letting the game come to them. Ours is a totally subjective craft and for everyone that loves your work there will always be those that don’t. I’m blessed to have had a career that’s spanned four decades with ESPN as its starting point, then a quick transition to Turner, and then an 18-year run at CBS, before joining FOX four years ago. Honestly, only now do I personally believe I’m as grateful and feel as privileged as I always should have to do what I love for a living. Type A’s are littered throughout sports television and most of us want to get the top assignments in live sports television. I wouldn’t change my path, but I would recommend if I had the chance to start over to have enjoyed the journey by living more in the moment than I did. Breaking into syndicated play-by-play in 1982-83 with Raycom/Jefferson Pilot and making ESPN freelance appearances as a play-by-play man in my mid 20’s in 1985 had me thinking that was my calling. But upon my arrival to Bristol in late 1986 the suits saw me as a studio talent first! I fought that and I probably should have embraced it far more; it did help me later in securing a gig at the ‘Tiffany’ Network, CBS. I loved what I was doing, but shouldn’t have been so concerned with what’s next!

‘Tim, slow down, you’re in a great spot, don’t worry so much about what’s next,’ my old departed friend John Saunders would say. He was right. I tell young broadcasters all the time to enjoy the journey and the relationships that come with it. A wonderful collection of people that could put me in places to succeed have always been there for me. They (the suits) want to know how privileged you feel. I would tell myself if I were younger, to let them know that, and stop worrying about chasing the next great gig. You’ve already got a really good one. Keep loving it, performing it and good things will come your way. I’ve found that understanding your role, and giving the employer your best in that role is not only better, but allows for greater fullness of life.”

Nancy Armour, sports columnist, USA Today

“Develop your own voice.

Find writers whose work—and work ethic—you admire, and study what they do and how they do it. Learn from them and make use of any tips or guidance they share, but don’t make the mistake of trying to be them. There will only be one Dave Anderson or Jim Litke or Jackie MacMullan or Leonard Pitts, and trying to write in a voice or style that isn’t your own will come across as forced and inauthentic. Find your voice, your style and the writing will flow better.

Learn from your mistakes.

Mistakes are going to happen, it’s human nature. You will beat yourself up something awful and forever cringe at the memory of it. But make sure you learn from it, too. Recognizing how and why the mistake occurred is the surest way to avoid doing it again in the future.

Expand your world.

Read books and listen to podcasts about things that have nothing to do with your job or the sport(s) you cover. Have friends and interests outside the business. There’s a risk of getting stale and jaded when you are immersed in the same thing day after day, week after week, year after year. Getting outside your bubble is the best way of guarding against that—and also a reminder that what we do is pretty damn cool.

Don’t be afraid to fail.

When I was 13, my father gave me some advice that influences me to this day. I won’t bore you with the whole story, but the gist was that you should never let the fear of failure, or fear in general, stop you from doing something. Wondering ‘What if?’ after you’ve let an opportunity pass will haunt you longer than any embarrassment you might have suffered, and nothing empowers you quite like tackling your fears head on.

Enjoy the ride.

We have fun, interesting jobs that most people envy when they hear about them. It’s easy to forget that with deadlines, the stress over the state of the business and the pressure of always having to do more. But every once in a while, take a breather and remember what drew you to the profession in the first place.”

Kenny Albert, Fox Sports and NBC Sports play-by-play announcer

“Work, work, work! Preparation will be the key to a career in sports broadcasting. Read everything you can get your hands on. Look into internships during your high school and college years, but also get as many reps as you can on-air. If a local cable station happens to visit your high school to film a girls basketball game, volunteer to do the play-by-play. Perhaps they will offer you hundreds of other games in all sports over the next three years, which could prove to be the most invaluable experience you could ever ask for.

Practice makes perfect! Also be sure to learn other positions—producing, editing, writing, keeping statistics, etc. Watch and listen to as many games as possible—to absorb both announcing styles and information via osmosis. If your initial goal is hockey radio play-by-play, send tapes out to as many teams as possible all over North America. Don't be afraid of 10-hour bus rides. Working in the minor leagues could wind up among the most important and memorable years of your professional career.”

Adnan Virk, ESPN studio host and play-by-play announcer

“I would tell myself to ignore all the trolls. When people ask me for advice in this business it can be epitomized in two words: thick skin. No matter what people may tweet at you, no matter how disparaging or hateful it may be, don’t let it affect you emotionally, or your performance in any manner. I would also tell my younger self to pay more attention to the 1984 Orange Bowl between Nebraska and Miami since one day improbably I would be the studio host for CFB and such background would be more helpful rather than watching the Gretzky-era Oilers dynasty in bloom.”

Mina Kimes, ESPN reporter and columnist

"I would have told my younger self to take more creative risks. At the beginning of my career, I was terrified of failure, so I always pursued projects that I knew I could execute. But I've since learned that the best stories are the ones that seem insurmountable—not just when the reporting is difficult, but also when an idea feels murky at the outset. I wish I had been more daring early on, because my greatest experiences as a writer have been ones that teetered on the edge."

THE NOISE REPORT

1a. As expected, there was immense pushback from viewers on the decision by Turner Sports to buck longstanding Selection Sunday tradition and reveal all the teams in the NCAA tournament field prior to the bracket itself. The phrase “Selection Show” trended on Twitter long after the show ended and Twitter compiled reaction from an angry crowd of sports viewers. The most notable response, from all places, was this laugh-out-loud tweet from the Lawrence (Ks.) Police. What I wrote in 2016 holds true today: “Front-load the program so that all the brackets are revealed within the first 35 minutes and spend the next 85 minutes going heavy on analysis and interviews. If the analysis is good, people are not going to abandon your channel just because the brackets are in. Obviously, this is a high profile property and CBS is in the business of keeping you around to make money but the pacing on Sunday was a huge miss. Viewers will revolt if they think you are stringing them along, which is how it felt watching.” This from the Kansas City Star and this from SI’s Jimmy Traina cover the reactions.

1b. ESPN NFL analyst Louis Riddick is not a man of moderate opinions and goals. He wants to be part of Monday Night Football and has no problem letting the world know of his interest, including his bosses at ESPN.

“This is something that has been a goal of mind and ESPN is very well aware that I am very interested in it,” said Riddick, this week’s guest on the SI Media Podcast. “It is the pinnacle of broadcasting as far as I am concerned, the most iconic position in broadcasting. To be involved with Monday Night Football either as a play-by-play person or analyst is something I am hoping I can achieve.”

Asked what ESPN management’s response has been to Riddick’s interest, Riddick said, “It has been very favorable. They are well aware of it. I think you saw my interest in being a part of a live broadcast, a live game, with my involvement with the Pro Bowl this year and that only scratched the surface of what I think I am capable of doing with that kind of platform. I am fired up about the possibility of being involved with the brand of Monday Night Football in any way shape or form and I think the next couple of weeks and months as ESPN figures out where they want to go with that are going to be awfully exciting for me personally.”

As the guest on Episode 168 of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, Riddick addressed many topics including what separates a good NFL broadcaster versus an average one; how he has attempted to improve as a broadcaster; his candidness on issues and why too often former players pull punches on the air; how he navigates being a candidate for NFL general manager jobs versus working at ESPN; his thoughts when someone does not report on him accurately; how he approaches discussing social issues or politics on social media; playing under Nick Saban and Bill Belichick in Cleveland; Saban’s attention to detail and what makes him different than other coaches; how the Browns should approach holding the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the NFL Draft, and much more. To listen to the podcast in full, check it out on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.

PODCAST BREAKDOWN:

• 1:00: What separates a good NFL broadcaster from an average one.

• 2:50: How has Riddick improved as a broadcaster and how much film he watches on his own work.

• 6:40: The aesthetics of sports broadcasting.

• 9:30: Being candid about NFL personnel people and trying to take people behind the curtain of the NFL

• 14:15: Playing for Bill Bellichick and Nick Saban and what separates Saban from other coaches.

• 20:20: Interviewing for general manager jobs while working for ESPN.

• 24:30: Other media writing about him, and his reaction to what he says is incorrect reporting.

• 33:00: What would happen if a mid-season GM job came up.

• 35:20: His approach to social media when it comes to social issues and politics.

• 36:40 His interest in being on Monday Night Football.

• 41:00: Tony Romo’s work this year on CBS and Riddick's preparation for the NFL Draft.

• 47:20: How he believes the Browns will approach the No. 1 and No. 4 overall pick.

• 51:00: How he would approach the end of Tom Brady’s career if he were Patriots management.

2. SI legal analyst Michael McCann analyzed Adrienne Lawrence’s lawsuit against ESPN and the company’s possible defenses.

2a. As SI first reported, Michael Smith’s last day as an ESPN SportsCenter host was Friday.

2b. ESPN jettisoned Sean McDonough out of the Monday Night Football booth despite public votes of confidence from management as recent as just a few months ago. On a positive note for viewers, McDonough signed a new multi-year extension and will rejoin ESPN’s college football team this fall. His assignments will include weekly college football games, as well as a College Football Playoff Semifinal. He will continue to call the CFP National Championship on ESPN Radio, marquee college basketball games, The Masters Par 3 contest and more.

3. How to Watch—And What to Expect From—the Winter Paralympics 2018 on NBC.

4. Sports pieces of note:

• From Indianapolis Star reporters Tim Evans, Joe Guillen, Gina Kaufman, Marisa Kwiatkowski, Matt Mencarini and Mark Alesia: How Larry Nassar abused hundreds of gymnasts and eluded justice for decades.

• A remarkable thread on the KHL from reporter Slava Malamud:

• From Juliet Macur of The New York Times: Suicides, Drug Addiction and High School Football.

Cody Rhodes is carving his own path in memory of his father, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, from Mike Piellucci of The Ringer.

• Kevin Love, for The Players Tribune, on suffering panic attacks.

New York Times writer Harvey Araton profiled St. John’s coach Chris Mullin.

• ESPN’s Wright Thompson on Ichiro.

• SI’s Lee Jenkins profiled Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey.

• Steve Francis, for The Players Tribune, on his unlikely journey to the NBA.

• The Athletic’s Levi Weaver on Tim Lincecum.

• From ESPN.com’s Susan Ninan: India's Rugby Revolution.

Non-sports pieces of note

The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer on Christopher Steele.

• Via The Atlantic’s Rachel Monroe: The Perfect Man Who Wasn't.

• Via Farhad Manjoo of The New York Times: For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers. Here’s What I Learned.

Fifteen women The New York Times overlooked for obituaries.

• From Josh Dean of Bloomberg Businessweek: America Is Giving Away the $30 Billion Medical Marijuana Industry.

• From Eric Adler of The Kansas City Star: Missouri is a destination wedding spot—for 15-year-old brides.

This is my final piece (at least for awhile) for Sports Illustrated. It is a weird sentence to write. This was the singular place I dreamed of working for as a young person and to have worked here for two decades has been an immense professional privilege. SI paid for me to travel the world—I covered seven Olympic Games—and trusted me with assignments that meant a great deal to me, including the Women’s Final Four and the U.S. Open. I was able to work for every part of the editorial brand, from Swimsuit to SI.com to SI Commemoratives, and spent two years helping edit SI For Women (RIP).

It has been an amazing place to work and I leave feeling as close to the brand as I did when SI published my first byline in 1998 about Howie Young, an NHL defenseman for the Red Wings who drank himself out of professional sports before sobering up and finding a second life in Thoreau, N.M., a predominantly Navajo community two hours west of Albuquerque, as a mild-mannered bus driver for the McKinley County public schools.

There are many colleagues that I want to cite publicly for helping and educating me along the journey but I’ll do that in a post on my own social channels. I’ll announce soon enough what’s next but thank you for reading me here, for listening to the podcast and for having an interest in what my SI colleagues and I do professionally.

Francesco Totti followed in the footsteps of Olympic great Michael Phelps by picking up the Laureus Exceptional Achievement award.
Totti's career recognised with Laureus award
Francesco Totti followed in the footsteps of Olympic great Michael Phelps by picking up the Laureus Exceptional Achievement award.
Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
Mikaela Shiffrin added silver to her medal tally in the alpine combined.
Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
Mikaela Shiffrin added silver to her medal tally in the alpine combined.
Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
Mikaela Shiffrin never had to be the Michael Phelps of skiing
<p>GANGNEUNG, South Korea – Journalists root for the story, not for any individual or team, which is why I went to the U.S.-Russia hockey game here Saturday. I thought it would be a great story if we beat the bastards. Look: I just don’t like other countries coming in to the United States to try to elect incompetent boobs. That’s our job.</p><p>Frankly, I wasn’t sure that this U.S.-Russia tilt would give me that warm Cold War feeling, but it was clear before the puck dropped that this was serious business. U.S. forward Ryan Donato said, “Even before the game there (was) a lot of tension.” That may have been an echo from 1980—this is the first Olympic tournament in a generation that features Russian pros and (mostly) American amateurs. And it may have been because hours earlier, the U.S. Justice Department indicted 13 Russian nationals for tampering with the 2016 election.</p><p>The Russians scored the first goal of the night, cutting the score to 13-1. The goal happened so quickly—instant passes from Alexander Barabanov to Sergei Mozyakin to Nikolai Prokhorkin, who scored—that it seemed like a magic trick.</p><p>It was pretty clear that the Americans can skate with the Russians, and the Americans can match the Russians’ physicality, but the Americans do not have the Russians’ skill. By the time Russia scored in the final second of the second period to take a 3-0 lead, it was clear that during the next intermission U.S. coach Tony Granato would need to make a major adjustment, like switching to baseball. The final score was 4-0.</p><p>Well, we all knew the Russians were better. And maybe it was weird to see <em>these </em>Russians as unfeeling and evil. Pavel Datsyuk, after all, played 14 dazzling seasons in the NHL without offending anybody. He even won the Lady Byng trophy for sportsmanship and gentlemanly play four times. But if you can’t lump an entire nation of people together using lazy stereotypes, why even have the Olympics?</p><p>This was nasty and it was fun, and man, was it chippy. Prokhorkin and enormous young American Jordan Greenway fought like a divorced couple—not an all-out brawl, just constant little disputes. Greenway said later: “I don’t know really what started it. He didn’t want to let me go. He wanted to do a little dance. I’m always down for a little dance.”</p><p>I think I know what started it. I think we all do. It all goes back to Lake Placid.</p><p>The story of the 1980 U.S. men’s hockey team often gets twisted and exaggerated for maximum dramatic effect, so let’s just stick to facts: A band of gritty American amateurs, wearing skates that had been handed down from their fathers and using sticks they carved themselves, stunned a mighty Soviet Union team, propelling the Americans to the gold medal and instantly cutting the Soviet nuclear arsenal in half. The Cold War did not officially end until a few years later, when Rocky Balboa beat Ivan Drago for the heavyweight championship, but the 1980 Olympic hockey tournament was the turning point.</p><p>Let’s face it: We have spent 38 years trying to create the Miracle on Ice. We can’t shut up about it. The world got tired of hearing about it 37 years ago. When we mention Mike Eruzione at bars, other countries leave before finishing their beers. And still we keep yapping.</p><p>There is a pretty simple reason for this, and it’s not just that the U.S. won the gold medal. The U.S. has won lots of gold medals. Michael Phelps has won so many, he leaves them as tips. The Miracle on Ice allowed America to be an underdog, and we don’t get too many chances like that. It was a lot more inspiring than Charles Barkley showing up in Barcelona and snapping an Angolan in two.</p><p>The Russians are tired of hearing that story. The U.S. is their rival on every possible level. This was reinforced four years ago in Sochi, when American T.J. Oshie scored the winning goal against Russia in a shootout.</p><p>Russia’s Ilya Kovalchuk, who scored two goals Friday and looked like he might score more, said afterward, “No anger. It’s sports. It’s emotions. After that last game in Sochi. I think you guys are still showing highlights of Oshie scoring in that shootout. Hopefully you will change it now.”</p><p>Of course we won’t. Kovalchuk knows that. But the Russians earned a bye in the quarterfinal round <em>and </em>forced the Americans to play an extra game, which meant this was like two wins for them.</p><p>The Russians are playing for so much here—a gold medal, but also a large helping of pride. Officially, this team isn’t playing for the Russian Federation, thanks to that country’s doping sanctions. They are Olympic Athletes From Russia. The Russians wore generic red uniforms with OLYMPIC ATHLETE FROM RUSSIA on them, which had to be embarrassing for everybody involved. They looked like the t-shirts your Aunt Harriet makes everybody wear when your extended family goes on a cruise. The Russians should have just worn uniforms that read I WENT TO PYEONGCHANG AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY HOCKEY JERSEY.</p><p>Nobody was fooled by the lousy outfit. These guys may not officially represent Russia, but they are undeniably <em>playing </em>for Russia.</p><p>There were Russian flags in the crowd, and rows of fans wearing shirts that spelled RUSSIA IN MY HEART and RED MACHINE, and there was Russian coach Oleg Znarok putting his stars on the power play with a four-goal lead late in the third period. U.S. Coach Tony Granato didn’t like it. The feisty Greenway —who said “I don’t see any reason why we’re not in the gold medal game”—didn’t seem to like it. Me, I loved it. Both teams can make nice when they play Switzerland. U.S.-Russia is no time to make friends.</p>
Nasty, Fun and Chippy: U.S.-Russia Hockey Rivalry Adds Another Chapter in Korea

GANGNEUNG, South Korea – Journalists root for the story, not for any individual or team, which is why I went to the U.S.-Russia hockey game here Saturday. I thought it would be a great story if we beat the bastards. Look: I just don’t like other countries coming in to the United States to try to elect incompetent boobs. That’s our job.

Frankly, I wasn’t sure that this U.S.-Russia tilt would give me that warm Cold War feeling, but it was clear before the puck dropped that this was serious business. U.S. forward Ryan Donato said, “Even before the game there (was) a lot of tension.” That may have been an echo from 1980—this is the first Olympic tournament in a generation that features Russian pros and (mostly) American amateurs. And it may have been because hours earlier, the U.S. Justice Department indicted 13 Russian nationals for tampering with the 2016 election.

The Russians scored the first goal of the night, cutting the score to 13-1. The goal happened so quickly—instant passes from Alexander Barabanov to Sergei Mozyakin to Nikolai Prokhorkin, who scored—that it seemed like a magic trick.

It was pretty clear that the Americans can skate with the Russians, and the Americans can match the Russians’ physicality, but the Americans do not have the Russians’ skill. By the time Russia scored in the final second of the second period to take a 3-0 lead, it was clear that during the next intermission U.S. coach Tony Granato would need to make a major adjustment, like switching to baseball. The final score was 4-0.

Well, we all knew the Russians were better. And maybe it was weird to see these Russians as unfeeling and evil. Pavel Datsyuk, after all, played 14 dazzling seasons in the NHL without offending anybody. He even won the Lady Byng trophy for sportsmanship and gentlemanly play four times. But if you can’t lump an entire nation of people together using lazy stereotypes, why even have the Olympics?

This was nasty and it was fun, and man, was it chippy. Prokhorkin and enormous young American Jordan Greenway fought like a divorced couple—not an all-out brawl, just constant little disputes. Greenway said later: “I don’t know really what started it. He didn’t want to let me go. He wanted to do a little dance. I’m always down for a little dance.”

I think I know what started it. I think we all do. It all goes back to Lake Placid.

The story of the 1980 U.S. men’s hockey team often gets twisted and exaggerated for maximum dramatic effect, so let’s just stick to facts: A band of gritty American amateurs, wearing skates that had been handed down from their fathers and using sticks they carved themselves, stunned a mighty Soviet Union team, propelling the Americans to the gold medal and instantly cutting the Soviet nuclear arsenal in half. The Cold War did not officially end until a few years later, when Rocky Balboa beat Ivan Drago for the heavyweight championship, but the 1980 Olympic hockey tournament was the turning point.

Let’s face it: We have spent 38 years trying to create the Miracle on Ice. We can’t shut up about it. The world got tired of hearing about it 37 years ago. When we mention Mike Eruzione at bars, other countries leave before finishing their beers. And still we keep yapping.

There is a pretty simple reason for this, and it’s not just that the U.S. won the gold medal. The U.S. has won lots of gold medals. Michael Phelps has won so many, he leaves them as tips. The Miracle on Ice allowed America to be an underdog, and we don’t get too many chances like that. It was a lot more inspiring than Charles Barkley showing up in Barcelona and snapping an Angolan in two.

The Russians are tired of hearing that story. The U.S. is their rival on every possible level. This was reinforced four years ago in Sochi, when American T.J. Oshie scored the winning goal against Russia in a shootout.

Russia’s Ilya Kovalchuk, who scored two goals Friday and looked like he might score more, said afterward, “No anger. It’s sports. It’s emotions. After that last game in Sochi. I think you guys are still showing highlights of Oshie scoring in that shootout. Hopefully you will change it now.”

Of course we won’t. Kovalchuk knows that. But the Russians earned a bye in the quarterfinal round and forced the Americans to play an extra game, which meant this was like two wins for them.

The Russians are playing for so much here—a gold medal, but also a large helping of pride. Officially, this team isn’t playing for the Russian Federation, thanks to that country’s doping sanctions. They are Olympic Athletes From Russia. The Russians wore generic red uniforms with OLYMPIC ATHLETE FROM RUSSIA on them, which had to be embarrassing for everybody involved. They looked like the t-shirts your Aunt Harriet makes everybody wear when your extended family goes on a cruise. The Russians should have just worn uniforms that read I WENT TO PYEONGCHANG AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY HOCKEY JERSEY.

Nobody was fooled by the lousy outfit. These guys may not officially represent Russia, but they are undeniably playing for Russia.

There were Russian flags in the crowd, and rows of fans wearing shirts that spelled RUSSIA IN MY HEART and RED MACHINE, and there was Russian coach Oleg Znarok putting his stars on the power play with a four-goal lead late in the third period. U.S. Coach Tony Granato didn’t like it. The feisty Greenway —who said “I don’t see any reason why we’re not in the gold medal game”—didn’t seem to like it. Me, I loved it. Both teams can make nice when they play Switzerland. U.S.-Russia is no time to make friends.

<p>PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — For a creature of routine like American skiing superstar Mikaela Shiffrin, the waiting and waiting for her Olympics racing schedule to start was borderline tortuous. She had to find ways to keep herself relaxed as bad weather kept delaying her events. She passed the time by watching episodes of <a href="http://www.cbs.com/shows/blue_bloods/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Blue Bloods" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Blue Bloods</a>, the <a href="http://fortune.com/fortune500/cbs/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:CBS" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">CBS</a> cop drama starring <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000633/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Tom Selleck" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Tom Selleck</a>, and her family’s favorite TV show. She texted with her sports psychologist, who urged her to stay patient and not fret about things she couldn’t control. The night before her giant slalom race on Thursday in South Korea—Wednesday evening New York time—older brother Taylor, on hand to support his sister, danced around a living room with Mikaela. “It was just like we are all together back in Colorado, goofing around and having fun,” says Taylor. “We knew it was best to keep her mind off the event.”</p><p>All the shimmying and texting and Tom Selleck paid off; Selleck, and his still excellent <a href="https://www.facebook.com/tomsellecksmustache/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:mustache" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">mustache</a>, should take a bow for entering Olympic lore. On a sun-baked day in the mountains of South Korea, Shiffrin, 22, the reigning World Cup all-around skiing champion and current top women’s skier in the world, won her first race of the <a href="http://time.com/4932670/2018-winter-olympics-when-where/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics Games" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics Games</a>, taking gold in the giant slalom Thursday afternoon at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre. The race was supposed to be be held on Monday, but <a href="http://time.com/5157372/winter-olympics-alpine-ski-race-delayed/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:wind gusts pushed the contest back" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">wind gusts pushed the contest back</a> until Thursday.</p><p>Shiffrin won’t have much time to celebrate. Her strongest event, the slalom, goes off on Friday (Thursday night in the U.S.; it was originally scheduled for Tuesday night). With a win in the slalom, Shiffrin would become the first American ski racer, woman or man, to own three Olympic gold medals. (Four years ago, she won the slalom gold in Sochi at 18 years old, becoming the youngest Olympian to ever win that race).</p><p>While Shiffrin has won four World Cup discipline titles in slalom, giant slalom—a faster technical race with less frequent turns than slalom—has proven tougher for her to master. So this gold is all that sweeter—and surprising. “Giant slalom is something I have a love-hate relationship with,” Shiffrin says. “It’s more difficult for me to find a good rhythm in GS, so I need to train it a lot, I need to be in a good mood, I need to be aggressive. I’m just starting to find some connection with that this year. To do that today was just amazing.”</p><p>Plus, for someone pursuing multiple golds like Shiffrin, a first win lifts a serious burden. “It’s really nice to know that no matter what I do, from today on, I will walk away from these Olympics with something,” she says. “I knew I could win medals in multiple disciplines, but I also knew I could have nothing, I have something now and that’s great. I can ski really for myself.”</p><p>The weather delays, however, have likely derailed her plans to pursue five Olympic medals; Shiffrin’s mother and coach, Eileen, says her daughter won’t race in Saturday’s Super-G event. A Super-G start would require completing three races in three days, a fatiguing undertaking. Eileen wants her daughter to rest, and start her training for next week’s downhill and combined events.</p><p>Shiffrin still has a chance, however, to break Janica Kostelic’s record for most gold medals won by a female alpine racer at a single Olympics. The Croatian skier took three golds at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. In short, Shiffrin’s pursuit of the Olympic skiing record book compares to what Michael Phelps accomplished in swimming.</p><p>Although the delays put a mental strain on Shiffrin, her preparation was on point. When fellow racer Sofia Goggia, of Italy, saw one of Shiffrin’s giant-slalom training runs earlier this week, her jaw dropped. The gold, Goggia told someone, was Shiffrin’s.</p><p>On the morning of the giant slalom race, her nerves didn’t feel frayed. “I was able to eat my breakfast,” says Shiffrin, “which normally on race day, is not so easy for me to do.” (Last season in particular, Shiffrin developed a nasty habit of throwing up before her races). Even though she trailed by .20 seconds after her first run, Shiffrin felt good just to be racing. “Yeah, you don’t even know!” Shiffin said after that run, with a laugh. “Last night I was like, are we ever going to race?” Weather delays can benefit a skier with Shiffrin’s skills.</p><p>Temperate conditions minimize the impact of luck; in unpredictable conditions, a sudden wind gust can propel an inferior racer forward. “It’s fair today, which is really, really important, especially at the Olympics,” Shiffrin said while the North Korean cheering squad sang its melodies from the stands at the bottom of the mountain. She felt loose in her first run, but not completely satisfied. “I feel like I can go a little bit harder,” Shiffrin said. “There’s nothing to hold back for in the second run. The nice thing about the Olympics, is you don’t hold back.”</p><p>Between runs, her mother reinforced this message: you’re skiing too well not to go for it. But some doubt crept in. “There were moments that were like, I don’t know if I’m good enough to do this,” Shiffrin says. “And there were moments that were like, ‘who cares, you’ve got to try, we’re here.&#39;” Shiffrin, who even as a middle schooler at the Burke Mountain Academy in Vermont appreciated the recuperative powers of sleep, tried napping between runs. Shiffrin didn’t completely doze off, she said after the race, but the relaxation helped.</p><p>The second-to-last racer in contention to go off, Shiffrin dug deep at the top: she needed to beat the top combined time of 2:20:41, set by Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway. She sizzled and swerved, building speed and a lead: though she slowed a bit at the bottom, Shiffrin took the top spot, by .39 seconds, and clinched at least a silver. If Italy’s Manuela Moelgg, the last racer, couldn’t keep up, Shiffrin would win the gold.</p><p>As Moelgg moved down the mountain, she kept losing pace. Shiffrin’s father Jeff, who first put his daughter on skis when she was around two, put his hands on his hat in the stands. “Oh my God!” he said. He knew Mikaela locked it up. “This is validation for all her effort,” a joyous Jeff said afterwards. His daughter’s famous for training longer and harder than her competitors, and spending hours breaking down video, like any obsessive coach. “That’s what matters!”</p><p>Another key to Shiffrin’s success: she never let the Olympics psych her out. During an interview at the condo she shares with her parents in Avon, Colorado—near Vail—in the fall, she was asked to show off her gold medal from Sochi. One problem: she had brought it to a media event in Park City, Utah, and didn’t pack it on her carry-on back home. What Olympic champion, in their right mind, would entrust a gold medal to the airlines in checked baggage?</p><p>The medal made it home, and on that fall morning it was stuffed into a huge red duffel bag, out in the garage. Later, the hardware just sat on her kitchen table, near a collection of candy wrappers. She often keeps it wrapped in a sock, rather than displaying it in a case. Her philosophy: don’t rest on past laurels. Or put too much stock in any trophy. “I’m not taking pictures with it every day,” Shiffrin said. “It’s not the most valuable part of my life.”</p><p>Still, it’s now time for Shiffrin to get more socks.</p>
Mikaela Shiffrin Takes Home Olympic Gold Medal in Giant Slalom

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — For a creature of routine like American skiing superstar Mikaela Shiffrin, the waiting and waiting for her Olympics racing schedule to start was borderline tortuous. She had to find ways to keep herself relaxed as bad weather kept delaying her events. She passed the time by watching episodes of Blue Bloods, the CBS cop drama starring Tom Selleck, and her family’s favorite TV show. She texted with her sports psychologist, who urged her to stay patient and not fret about things she couldn’t control. The night before her giant slalom race on Thursday in South Korea—Wednesday evening New York time—older brother Taylor, on hand to support his sister, danced around a living room with Mikaela. “It was just like we are all together back in Colorado, goofing around and having fun,” says Taylor. “We knew it was best to keep her mind off the event.”

All the shimmying and texting and Tom Selleck paid off; Selleck, and his still excellent mustache, should take a bow for entering Olympic lore. On a sun-baked day in the mountains of South Korea, Shiffrin, 22, the reigning World Cup all-around skiing champion and current top women’s skier in the world, won her first race of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics Games, taking gold in the giant slalom Thursday afternoon at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre. The race was supposed to be be held on Monday, but wind gusts pushed the contest back until Thursday.

Shiffrin won’t have much time to celebrate. Her strongest event, the slalom, goes off on Friday (Thursday night in the U.S.; it was originally scheduled for Tuesday night). With a win in the slalom, Shiffrin would become the first American ski racer, woman or man, to own three Olympic gold medals. (Four years ago, she won the slalom gold in Sochi at 18 years old, becoming the youngest Olympian to ever win that race).

While Shiffrin has won four World Cup discipline titles in slalom, giant slalom—a faster technical race with less frequent turns than slalom—has proven tougher for her to master. So this gold is all that sweeter—and surprising. “Giant slalom is something I have a love-hate relationship with,” Shiffrin says. “It’s more difficult for me to find a good rhythm in GS, so I need to train it a lot, I need to be in a good mood, I need to be aggressive. I’m just starting to find some connection with that this year. To do that today was just amazing.”

Plus, for someone pursuing multiple golds like Shiffrin, a first win lifts a serious burden. “It’s really nice to know that no matter what I do, from today on, I will walk away from these Olympics with something,” she says. “I knew I could win medals in multiple disciplines, but I also knew I could have nothing, I have something now and that’s great. I can ski really for myself.”

The weather delays, however, have likely derailed her plans to pursue five Olympic medals; Shiffrin’s mother and coach, Eileen, says her daughter won’t race in Saturday’s Super-G event. A Super-G start would require completing three races in three days, a fatiguing undertaking. Eileen wants her daughter to rest, and start her training for next week’s downhill and combined events.

Shiffrin still has a chance, however, to break Janica Kostelic’s record for most gold medals won by a female alpine racer at a single Olympics. The Croatian skier took three golds at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. In short, Shiffrin’s pursuit of the Olympic skiing record book compares to what Michael Phelps accomplished in swimming.

Although the delays put a mental strain on Shiffrin, her preparation was on point. When fellow racer Sofia Goggia, of Italy, saw one of Shiffrin’s giant-slalom training runs earlier this week, her jaw dropped. The gold, Goggia told someone, was Shiffrin’s.

On the morning of the giant slalom race, her nerves didn’t feel frayed. “I was able to eat my breakfast,” says Shiffrin, “which normally on race day, is not so easy for me to do.” (Last season in particular, Shiffrin developed a nasty habit of throwing up before her races). Even though she trailed by .20 seconds after her first run, Shiffrin felt good just to be racing. “Yeah, you don’t even know!” Shiffin said after that run, with a laugh. “Last night I was like, are we ever going to race?” Weather delays can benefit a skier with Shiffrin’s skills.

Temperate conditions minimize the impact of luck; in unpredictable conditions, a sudden wind gust can propel an inferior racer forward. “It’s fair today, which is really, really important, especially at the Olympics,” Shiffrin said while the North Korean cheering squad sang its melodies from the stands at the bottom of the mountain. She felt loose in her first run, but not completely satisfied. “I feel like I can go a little bit harder,” Shiffrin said. “There’s nothing to hold back for in the second run. The nice thing about the Olympics, is you don’t hold back.”

Between runs, her mother reinforced this message: you’re skiing too well not to go for it. But some doubt crept in. “There were moments that were like, I don’t know if I’m good enough to do this,” Shiffrin says. “And there were moments that were like, ‘who cares, you’ve got to try, we’re here.'” Shiffrin, who even as a middle schooler at the Burke Mountain Academy in Vermont appreciated the recuperative powers of sleep, tried napping between runs. Shiffrin didn’t completely doze off, she said after the race, but the relaxation helped.

The second-to-last racer in contention to go off, Shiffrin dug deep at the top: she needed to beat the top combined time of 2:20:41, set by Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway. She sizzled and swerved, building speed and a lead: though she slowed a bit at the bottom, Shiffrin took the top spot, by .39 seconds, and clinched at least a silver. If Italy’s Manuela Moelgg, the last racer, couldn’t keep up, Shiffrin would win the gold.

As Moelgg moved down the mountain, she kept losing pace. Shiffrin’s father Jeff, who first put his daughter on skis when she was around two, put his hands on his hat in the stands. “Oh my God!” he said. He knew Mikaela locked it up. “This is validation for all her effort,” a joyous Jeff said afterwards. His daughter’s famous for training longer and harder than her competitors, and spending hours breaking down video, like any obsessive coach. “That’s what matters!”

Another key to Shiffrin’s success: she never let the Olympics psych her out. During an interview at the condo she shares with her parents in Avon, Colorado—near Vail—in the fall, she was asked to show off her gold medal from Sochi. One problem: she had brought it to a media event in Park City, Utah, and didn’t pack it on her carry-on back home. What Olympic champion, in their right mind, would entrust a gold medal to the airlines in checked baggage?

The medal made it home, and on that fall morning it was stuffed into a huge red duffel bag, out in the garage. Later, the hardware just sat on her kitchen table, near a collection of candy wrappers. She often keeps it wrapped in a sock, rather than displaying it in a case. Her philosophy: don’t rest on past laurels. Or put too much stock in any trophy. “I’m not taking pictures with it every day,” Shiffrin said. “It’s not the most valuable part of my life.”

Still, it’s now time for Shiffrin to get more socks.

<p>American <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2018/02/10/mikaela-shiffrin-reluctant-star-winter-olympics-2018-pyeongchang-michael-phelps" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Mikaela Shiffrin" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Mikaela Shiffrin</a> captured the gold medal in the women&#39;s giant slalom at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.</p><p>Shiffrin was in second place after the first run in the final, sandwiched between Italians Manuela Moelgg (first) and Federica Brignone (third). Shiffrin&#39;s time of 1:10.82 in the first run was 0.2 seconds slower than Moelgg and 0.09 seconds faster than Brignone.</p><p>In the second run, Shiffrin posted a tome of 1:09.20, giving her a total time 2:20.02, which vaulted her into first place. Moelgg fell to eighth after a 1:10.58 second run gave her a total time of 2:21.20, while Norway&#39;s Ragnhild Mowinckel climbed into second and Brigone held onto third place.</p><p>This is Shiffrin&#39;s second career Olympic gold medal. In 2014 she captured the gold in women&#39;s slalom. She will defend that medal Thursday night.</p><p>• <strong><a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2018/01/29/mikaela-shiffrin-winter-olympics-2018-pyeongchang" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Guts Over Fear: An Aggressive State of Mind Helped Mikaela Shiffrin Conquer Her Anxiety On The Slopes" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Guts Over Fear: An Aggressive State of Mind Helped Mikaela Shiffrin Conquer Her Anxiety On The Slopes</a></strong></p><p>This medal brings the <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2018/team-usa-medal-tracker-pyeongchang-olympic-games-results-medals-won" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Team USA&#39;s total medal" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Team USA&#39;s total medal</a> count to eight and the gold medal count to five. You can check out a full medal count for the 2018 Winter Olympics <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/medals/country" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.</p>
Mikaela Shiffrin Gets Gold In Women's Giant Slalom

American Mikaela Shiffrin captured the gold medal in the women's giant slalom at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.

Shiffrin was in second place after the first run in the final, sandwiched between Italians Manuela Moelgg (first) and Federica Brignone (third). Shiffrin's time of 1:10.82 in the first run was 0.2 seconds slower than Moelgg and 0.09 seconds faster than Brignone.

In the second run, Shiffrin posted a tome of 1:09.20, giving her a total time 2:20.02, which vaulted her into first place. Moelgg fell to eighth after a 1:10.58 second run gave her a total time of 2:21.20, while Norway's Ragnhild Mowinckel climbed into second and Brigone held onto third place.

This is Shiffrin's second career Olympic gold medal. In 2014 she captured the gold in women's slalom. She will defend that medal Thursday night.

Guts Over Fear: An Aggressive State of Mind Helped Mikaela Shiffrin Conquer Her Anxiety On The Slopes

This medal brings the Team USA's total medal count to eight and the gold medal count to five. You can check out a full medal count for the 2018 Winter Olympics here.

American swimming superstar Michael Phelps and his wife, Nicole, announced the birth of Beckett Phelps their second child (AFP Photo/GABRIEL BOUYS )
American swimming superstar Michael Phelps and his wife, Nicole, announced the birth of Beckett Phelps their second child
American swimming superstar Michael Phelps and his wife, Nicole, announced the birth of Beckett Phelps their second child (AFP Photo/GABRIEL BOUYS )
Michael Phelps announces birth of second son (and posts a picture)
Michael Phelps announces birth of second son (and posts a picture)
Michael Phelps announces birth of second son (and posts a picture)
Michael Phelps announces birth of second son (and posts a picture)
Michael Phelps announces birth of second son (and posts a picture)
Michael Phelps announces birth of second son (and posts a picture)
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcome baby No. 2
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcome baby No. 2
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcome baby No. 2
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcome baby No. 2
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcome baby No. 2
Michael Phelps and Nicole Johnson welcome baby No. 2
<p>While the Winter Olympics are in full swing in PyeongChang, halfway across the globe the world&#39;s most decorated Olympian ever welcomed the birth of his second son. </p><p>Twenty-three time gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps announced on Instagram that his wife had given birth on Monday to the couple&#39;s second son, Beckett. The couple&#39;s other son, Boomer, was born in May 2016. </p><p>&quot;Magical moments yesterday...,&quot; Phelps, 32, wrote in the post&#39;s caption. &quot;Nicole and I would like to introduce Beckett Richard Phelps to the world! We had a healthy baby boy and a healthy mama. I truly do feel like the happiest man in the world. Being able to build our family to now 4 (6 with doggies) is so incredible! #familyof4now&quot;</p><p>?Phelps, who has 28 medals in total, won five golds and a silver at last year&#39;s Olympics in Rio before announcing his retirement shortly after the Games. He remains in swimming shape but has not given any indication that he&#39;s considering trying to qualify for Tokyo 2020. </p>
Michael Phelps Announces Birth of Second Son, Beckett

While the Winter Olympics are in full swing in PyeongChang, halfway across the globe the world's most decorated Olympian ever welcomed the birth of his second son.

Twenty-three time gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps announced on Instagram that his wife had given birth on Monday to the couple's second son, Beckett. The couple's other son, Boomer, was born in May 2016.

"Magical moments yesterday...," Phelps, 32, wrote in the post's caption. "Nicole and I would like to introduce Beckett Richard Phelps to the world! We had a healthy baby boy and a healthy mama. I truly do feel like the happiest man in the world. Being able to build our family to now 4 (6 with doggies) is so incredible! #familyof4now"

?Phelps, who has 28 medals in total, won five golds and a silver at last year's Olympics in Rio before announcing his retirement shortly after the Games. He remains in swimming shape but has not given any indication that he's considering trying to qualify for Tokyo 2020.

Michael Phelps finished his career with 23 Olympic gold medals and skiing champion Mikaela Shiffrin played down any comparisons.
Winter Olympics 2018: Mikaela Shiffrin dismisses Michael Phelps comparisons
Michael Phelps finished his career with 23 Olympic gold medals and skiing champion Mikaela Shiffrin played down any comparisons.
<p>Welcome back to SI’s Daily Olympic Digest! A lot happened while we were asleep here in the U.S., so let’s get caught up.</p><p>The first medals of PyeongChang have been awarded! Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla won the first gold medal of the games in women’s skiathlon. Kalla, 30, beat out Norwegian favorite Marit Bjorgen, but Bjorgen’s silver medal gives her 11 in her career, the most of any female in Winter Olympics history. Jessie Diggins was a hopeful to medal for the U.S., but finished fifth—still the best finish ever for a U.S. woman in an Olympic cross-country skiing event.</p><p>The highly anticipated debut of the unified Korean women’s hockey team didn’t go so well: it fell 8-0 to a speedy Switzerland squad, led by Alina Muller&#39;s four goals, which tied the women’s hockey Olympic record. Korean goalie Sojuing Shin made 44 saves in the loss, providing excitement for the packed and boisterous crowd, which included dignitaries from both North and South Korea.</p><p>Women’s short track speedskating is where all the action’s at! Speed skating is South Korea’s favorite Winter Olympics sport. Their star, Choi Min-jeong, set a new Olympic record, clocking in at 42.870 seconds, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 500m race. Maame Biney, U.S. first-time Olympian and our Athlete To Root For in <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2018/02/09/daily-olympic-digest-pyeongchang-day-one-opening-ceremony" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Friday&#39;s Daily Digest" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Friday&#39;s Daily Digest</a>, also moved on to the quarterfinals of the event.</p><p>The phenomenon that is mixed doubles curling has officially shuffled to a close for the U.S. in the inaugural event. Siblings Becca and Matt Hamilton, aka the Ham Fam, were eliminated from the round robin event on Saturday by China. The Hamiltons finished with a 1-4 record for the competition.</p><h3><strong>MUST-WATCH EVENTS</strong></h3><p><em>Team Event: Ice Dance Short Dance/ Ladies Single Skating Short Program/ Pairs Free Skating (8:00 PM ET Saturday on NBC)</em></p><p>The U.S. is ranked second in skating team events heading into Saturday&#39;s programs. Canada leads (17), followed by the U.S. (14), while Japan and Russia are tied for third (13). Married couple Chris Knierim and Alexa Scimeca-Knierim had a terrific skate Thursday night during the team short program but landed in fourth place. Look for them to continue their quest for a medal tonight. Also watch out for the popular ice dancing Shib sibs, Maia and Alex Shibutani, who will make their team event debut tonight. Bradie Tennell, 20, will step onto Olympic ice for the first time tonight for the U.S. in the ladies’ single short team program.</p><p><em>Men’s Slopestyle Snowboarding Finals (8:00 PM ET Saturday on NBC)</em></p><p>Move over Shaun White. While the 31-year-old chose to not compete in the slopestyle in PyeongChang, Red Gerard is ready to be the new face of the event. The 17-year-old and first-time Olympian secured a place in the finals. If he medals in this Olympics, Gerard would become the youngest American snowboarder to do so.</p><p><em>Women’s Ice Hockey Preliminary Round USA v. Finland (3:00 AM ET live on NBCSN)</em></p><p>Yes, I know this one is for the early risers. The U.S. women’s hockey team lost the gold medal to Canada in Sochi in 2014, but before the Americans get a rematch with their rivals from the north, they&#39;ll have to get through a tough Finnish team that&#39;s on the rise and would love nothing more than to score an early upset in the tournament. </p><p><em>Men’s Biathlon 10km Sprint Finals (5:00 AM ET Sunday; live on NBCSN. It will re-air in NBC’s coverage that begins at 3:00 PM ET Sunday.)</em></p><p>The U.S. has never won an Olympic medal in the biathlon event. Lowell Bailey leads the way for the Americans as he goes up against defending Olympic gold medalist Dario Cologna of Switzerland.</p><p><em>Men’s Luge Singles Finals (4:50 AM ET Sunday streaming live on NBCOlympics.com; Airing at 1:30 PM ET on NBCSN and again in NBC’s coverage beginning 7 PM ET Sunday night.)</em></p><p>Chris Mazdzer of the U.S. heads into the final two runs of luge competition in fourth place. The big contender to beat is German Felix Loch, who is looking to win his third straight gold medal in the event.</p><h3><strong>MEDAL COUNT</strong></h3><h3><strong>TWEET OF THE DAY</strong></h3><p>Apparently Lindsey Vonn’s dog, Lucy, had quite the trek to South Korea. All that travel wore her out. People were worried about Lucy’s jet lag when this photo of her with Vonn surfaced on Twitter.</p><p>Lucy captured how yearbook photo day at school often turns out for us humans. You think you look good... until you see the photo and realize you don’t. We’ve all been there, Lucy.</p><h3><strong>DAILY READING AND VIDEOS</strong></h3><p>Our intrepid staff on the ground in PyeongChang and in our New York office is already cranking away on the biggest stories so far from the games.</p><p>Our Michael Rosenberg <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2018/02/10/mikaela-shiffrin-reluctant-star-winter-olympics-2018-pyeongchang-michael-phelps" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:explores Mikaela Shiffrin’s rise" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">explores Mikaela Shiffrin’s rise</a> as a star He also took a look at <a href="https://edit.si.com/olympics/2018/02/10/lim-hyojun-speedskating-gold-medal-olympics-shared-experience" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:a perfect Olympic story" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">a perfect Olympic story</a> in Korean speedskater Lim Hyojun. Tim Layden <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2018/02/09/hermann-maier-nagano-olympic-crash-photo" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:tells the story" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">tells the story</a> of Hermann Maier&#39;s horrific 1998 crash, and the photographer who captured it Michael Blinn introduces us to the U.S. women’s hockey team, which features <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2018/02/08/usa-womens-hockey-scouting-knight-duggan-brandt" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:13 first-time Olympians" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">13 first-time Olympians</a>. Here&#39;s an Olympic curler that looks just like <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2018/02/09/internet-convinced-olympic-curler-looks-exactly-super-mario-0" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:everyone&#39;s favorite video game plumber" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">everyone&#39;s favorite video game plumber</a> The <a href="http://www.si.com/olympics/video/2018/02/09/true-comeback-story-shaun-white" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:true comeback story" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">true comeback story</a> for Shaun White Here&#39;s what you <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2018/02/09/pyeongchang-olympics-opening-ceremony-notes" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:didn&#39;t see" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">didn&#39;t see</a> at the Opening Ceremonies</p><h3><strong>ATHLETE(S) TO ROOT FOR</strong></h3><p><em>Alex and Maia Shibutani</em></p><p>The popular ice dancing Shib Sibs competed in Sochi but did not medal. They make their team debut tonight in the ice dancing event and are expected to do well for the U.S. throughout the games. Winning an Olympic medal would put them in rare company: no brother-sister duo has medaled since 1984 when American skaters Kitty and Peter Carruthers won silver.</p><p>Get to know more about the Shibutani siblings <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/video/2018/01/25/meet-team-usa-alex-and-maia-shibutani" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:in this fun video" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">in this fun video</a>.</p>
Daily Olympic Digest: We're Off and Running in PyeongChang!

Welcome back to SI’s Daily Olympic Digest! A lot happened while we were asleep here in the U.S., so let’s get caught up.

The first medals of PyeongChang have been awarded! Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla won the first gold medal of the games in women’s skiathlon. Kalla, 30, beat out Norwegian favorite Marit Bjorgen, but Bjorgen’s silver medal gives her 11 in her career, the most of any female in Winter Olympics history. Jessie Diggins was a hopeful to medal for the U.S., but finished fifth—still the best finish ever for a U.S. woman in an Olympic cross-country skiing event.

The highly anticipated debut of the unified Korean women’s hockey team didn’t go so well: it fell 8-0 to a speedy Switzerland squad, led by Alina Muller's four goals, which tied the women’s hockey Olympic record. Korean goalie Sojuing Shin made 44 saves in the loss, providing excitement for the packed and boisterous crowd, which included dignitaries from both North and South Korea.

Women’s short track speedskating is where all the action’s at! Speed skating is South Korea’s favorite Winter Olympics sport. Their star, Choi Min-jeong, set a new Olympic record, clocking in at 42.870 seconds, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 500m race. Maame Biney, U.S. first-time Olympian and our Athlete To Root For in Friday's Daily Digest, also moved on to the quarterfinals of the event.

The phenomenon that is mixed doubles curling has officially shuffled to a close for the U.S. in the inaugural event. Siblings Becca and Matt Hamilton, aka the Ham Fam, were eliminated from the round robin event on Saturday by China. The Hamiltons finished with a 1-4 record for the competition.

MUST-WATCH EVENTS

Team Event: Ice Dance Short Dance/ Ladies Single Skating Short Program/ Pairs Free Skating (8:00 PM ET Saturday on NBC)

The U.S. is ranked second in skating team events heading into Saturday's programs. Canada leads (17), followed by the U.S. (14), while Japan and Russia are tied for third (13). Married couple Chris Knierim and Alexa Scimeca-Knierim had a terrific skate Thursday night during the team short program but landed in fourth place. Look for them to continue their quest for a medal tonight. Also watch out for the popular ice dancing Shib sibs, Maia and Alex Shibutani, who will make their team event debut tonight. Bradie Tennell, 20, will step onto Olympic ice for the first time tonight for the U.S. in the ladies’ single short team program.

Men’s Slopestyle Snowboarding Finals (8:00 PM ET Saturday on NBC)

Move over Shaun White. While the 31-year-old chose to not compete in the slopestyle in PyeongChang, Red Gerard is ready to be the new face of the event. The 17-year-old and first-time Olympian secured a place in the finals. If he medals in this Olympics, Gerard would become the youngest American snowboarder to do so.

Women’s Ice Hockey Preliminary Round USA v. Finland (3:00 AM ET live on NBCSN)

Yes, I know this one is for the early risers. The U.S. women’s hockey team lost the gold medal to Canada in Sochi in 2014, but before the Americans get a rematch with their rivals from the north, they'll have to get through a tough Finnish team that's on the rise and would love nothing more than to score an early upset in the tournament.

Men’s Biathlon 10km Sprint Finals (5:00 AM ET Sunday; live on NBCSN. It will re-air in NBC’s coverage that begins at 3:00 PM ET Sunday.)

The U.S. has never won an Olympic medal in the biathlon event. Lowell Bailey leads the way for the Americans as he goes up against defending Olympic gold medalist Dario Cologna of Switzerland.

Men’s Luge Singles Finals (4:50 AM ET Sunday streaming live on NBCOlympics.com; Airing at 1:30 PM ET on NBCSN and again in NBC’s coverage beginning 7 PM ET Sunday night.)

Chris Mazdzer of the U.S. heads into the final two runs of luge competition in fourth place. The big contender to beat is German Felix Loch, who is looking to win his third straight gold medal in the event.

MEDAL COUNT

TWEET OF THE DAY

Apparently Lindsey Vonn’s dog, Lucy, had quite the trek to South Korea. All that travel wore her out. People were worried about Lucy’s jet lag when this photo of her with Vonn surfaced on Twitter.

Lucy captured how yearbook photo day at school often turns out for us humans. You think you look good... until you see the photo and realize you don’t. We’ve all been there, Lucy.

DAILY READING AND VIDEOS

Our intrepid staff on the ground in PyeongChang and in our New York office is already cranking away on the biggest stories so far from the games.

Our Michael Rosenberg explores Mikaela Shiffrin’s rise as a star He also took a look at a perfect Olympic story in Korean speedskater Lim Hyojun. Tim Layden tells the story of Hermann Maier's horrific 1998 crash, and the photographer who captured it Michael Blinn introduces us to the U.S. women’s hockey team, which features 13 first-time Olympians. Here's an Olympic curler that looks just like everyone's favorite video game plumber The true comeback story for Shaun White Here's what you didn't see at the Opening Ceremonies

ATHLETE(S) TO ROOT FOR

Alex and Maia Shibutani

The popular ice dancing Shib Sibs competed in Sochi but did not medal. They make their team debut tonight in the ice dancing event and are expected to do well for the U.S. throughout the games. Winning an Olympic medal would put them in rare company: no brother-sister duo has medaled since 1984 when American skaters Kitty and Peter Carruthers won silver.

Get to know more about the Shibutani siblings in this fun video.

<p>Welcome back to SI’s Daily Olympic Digest! A lot happened while we were asleep here in the U.S., so let’s get caught up.</p><p>The first medals of PyeongChang have been awarded! Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla won the first gold medal of the games in women’s skiathlon. Kalla, 30, beat out Norwegian favorite Marit Bjorgen, but Bjorgen’s silver medal gives her 11 in her career, the most of any female in Winter Olympics history. Jessie Diggins was a hopeful to medal for the U.S., but finished fifth—still the best finish ever for a U.S. woman in an Olympic cross-country skiing event.</p><p>The highly anticipated debut of the unified Korean women’s hockey team didn’t go so well: it fell 8-0 to a speedy Switzerland squad, led by Alina Muller&#39;s four goals, which tied the women’s hockey Olympic record. Korean goalie Sojuing Shin made 44 saves in the loss, providing excitement for the packed and boisterous crowd, which included dignitaries from both North and South Korea.</p><p>Women’s short track speedskating is where all the action’s at! Speed skating is South Korea’s favorite Winter Olympics sport. Their star, Choi Min-jeong, set a new Olympic record, clocking in at 42.870 seconds, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 500m race. Maame Biney, U.S. first-time Olympian and our Athlete To Root For in <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2018/02/09/daily-olympic-digest-pyeongchang-day-one-opening-ceremony" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Friday&#39;s Daily Digest" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Friday&#39;s Daily Digest</a>, also moved on to the quarterfinals of the event.</p><p>The phenomenon that is mixed doubles curling has officially shuffled to a close for the U.S. in the inaugural event. Siblings Becca and Matt Hamilton, aka the Ham Fam, were eliminated from the round robin event on Saturday by China. The Hamiltons finished with a 1-4 record for the competition.</p><h3><strong>MUST-WATCH EVENTS</strong></h3><p><em>Team Event: Ice Dance Short Dance/ Ladies Single Skating Short Program/ Pairs Free Skating (8:00 PM ET Saturday on NBC)</em></p><p>The U.S. is ranked second in skating team events heading into Saturday&#39;s programs. Canada leads (17), followed by the U.S. (14), while Japan and Russia are tied for third (13). Married couple Chris Knierim and Alexa Scimeca-Knierim had a terrific skate Thursday night during the team short program but landed in fourth place. Look for them to continue their quest for a medal tonight. Also watch out for the popular ice dancing Shib sibs, Maia and Alex Shibutani, who will make their team event debut tonight. Bradie Tennell, 20, will step onto Olympic ice for the first time tonight for the U.S. in the ladies’ single short team program.</p><p><em>Men’s Slopestyle Snowboarding Finals (8:00 PM ET Saturday on NBC)</em></p><p>Move over Shaun White. While the 31-year-old chose to not compete in the slopestyle in PyeongChang, Red Gerard is ready to be the new face of the event. The 17-year-old and first-time Olympian secured a place in the finals. If he medals in this Olympics, Gerard would become the youngest American snowboarder to do so.</p><p><em>Women’s Ice Hockey Preliminary Round USA v. Finland (3:00 AM ET live on NBCSN)</em></p><p>Yes, I know this one is for the early risers. The U.S. women’s hockey team lost the gold medal to Canada in Sochi in 2014, but before the Americans get a rematch with their rivals from the north, they&#39;ll have to get through a tough Finnish team that&#39;s on the rise and would love nothing more than to score an early upset in the tournament. </p><p><em>Men’s Biathlon 10km Sprint Finals (5:00 AM ET Sunday; live on NBCSN. It will re-air in NBC’s coverage that begins at 3:00 PM ET Sunday.)</em></p><p>The U.S. has never won an Olympic medal in the biathlon event. Lowell Bailey leads the way for the Americans as he goes up against defending Olympic gold medalist Dario Cologna of Switzerland.</p><p><em>Men’s Luge Singles Finals (4:50 AM ET Sunday streaming live on NBCOlympics.com; Airing at 1:30 PM ET on NBCSN and again in NBC’s coverage beginning 7 PM ET Sunday night.)</em></p><p>Chris Mazdzer of the U.S. heads into the final two runs of luge competition in fourth place. The big contender to beat is German Felix Loch, who is looking to win his third straight gold medal in the event.</p><h3><strong>MEDAL COUNT</strong></h3><h3><strong>TWEET OF THE DAY</strong></h3><p>Apparently Lindsey Vonn’s dog, Lucy, had quite the trek to South Korea. All that travel wore her out. People were worried about Lucy’s jet lag when this photo of her with Vonn surfaced on Twitter.</p><p>Lucy captured how yearbook photo day at school often turns out for us humans. You think you look good... until you see the photo and realize you don’t. We’ve all been there, Lucy.</p><h3><strong>DAILY READING AND VIDEOS</strong></h3><p>Our intrepid staff on the ground in PyeongChang and in our New York office is already cranking away on the biggest stories so far from the games.</p><p>Our Michael Rosenberg <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2018/02/10/mikaela-shiffrin-reluctant-star-winter-olympics-2018-pyeongchang-michael-phelps" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:explores Mikaela Shiffrin’s rise" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">explores Mikaela Shiffrin’s rise</a> as a star He also took a look at <a href="https://edit.si.com/olympics/2018/02/10/lim-hyojun-speedskating-gold-medal-olympics-shared-experience" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:a perfect Olympic story" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">a perfect Olympic story</a> in Korean speedskater Lim Hyojun. Tim Layden <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2018/02/09/hermann-maier-nagano-olympic-crash-photo" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:tells the story" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">tells the story</a> of Hermann Maier&#39;s horrific 1998 crash, and the photographer who captured it Michael Blinn introduces us to the U.S. women’s hockey team, which features <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2018/02/08/usa-womens-hockey-scouting-knight-duggan-brandt" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:13 first-time Olympians" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">13 first-time Olympians</a>. Here&#39;s an Olympic curler that looks just like <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2018/02/09/internet-convinced-olympic-curler-looks-exactly-super-mario-0" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:everyone&#39;s favorite video game plumber" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">everyone&#39;s favorite video game plumber</a> The <a href="http://www.si.com/olympics/video/2018/02/09/true-comeback-story-shaun-white" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:true comeback story" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">true comeback story</a> for Shaun White Here&#39;s what you <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2018/02/09/pyeongchang-olympics-opening-ceremony-notes" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:didn&#39;t see" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">didn&#39;t see</a> at the Opening Ceremonies</p><h3><strong>ATHLETE(S) TO ROOT FOR</strong></h3><p><em>Alex and Maia Shibutani</em></p><p>The popular ice dancing Shib Sibs competed in Sochi but did not medal. They make their team debut tonight in the ice dancing event and are expected to do well for the U.S. throughout the games. Winning an Olympic medal would put them in rare company: no brother-sister duo has medaled since 1984 when American skaters Kitty and Peter Carruthers won silver.</p><p>Get to know more about the Shibutani siblings <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/video/2018/01/25/meet-team-usa-alex-and-maia-shibutani" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:in this fun video" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">in this fun video</a>.</p>
Daily Olympic Digest: We're Off and Running in PyeongChang!

Welcome back to SI’s Daily Olympic Digest! A lot happened while we were asleep here in the U.S., so let’s get caught up.

The first medals of PyeongChang have been awarded! Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla won the first gold medal of the games in women’s skiathlon. Kalla, 30, beat out Norwegian favorite Marit Bjorgen, but Bjorgen’s silver medal gives her 11 in her career, the most of any female in Winter Olympics history. Jessie Diggins was a hopeful to medal for the U.S., but finished fifth—still the best finish ever for a U.S. woman in an Olympic cross-country skiing event.

The highly anticipated debut of the unified Korean women’s hockey team didn’t go so well: it fell 8-0 to a speedy Switzerland squad, led by Alina Muller's four goals, which tied the women’s hockey Olympic record. Korean goalie Sojuing Shin made 44 saves in the loss, providing excitement for the packed and boisterous crowd, which included dignitaries from both North and South Korea.

Women’s short track speedskating is where all the action’s at! Speed skating is South Korea’s favorite Winter Olympics sport. Their star, Choi Min-jeong, set a new Olympic record, clocking in at 42.870 seconds, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 500m race. Maame Biney, U.S. first-time Olympian and our Athlete To Root For in Friday's Daily Digest, also moved on to the quarterfinals of the event.

The phenomenon that is mixed doubles curling has officially shuffled to a close for the U.S. in the inaugural event. Siblings Becca and Matt Hamilton, aka the Ham Fam, were eliminated from the round robin event on Saturday by China. The Hamiltons finished with a 1-4 record for the competition.

MUST-WATCH EVENTS

Team Event: Ice Dance Short Dance/ Ladies Single Skating Short Program/ Pairs Free Skating (8:00 PM ET Saturday on NBC)

The U.S. is ranked second in skating team events heading into Saturday's programs. Canada leads (17), followed by the U.S. (14), while Japan and Russia are tied for third (13). Married couple Chris Knierim and Alexa Scimeca-Knierim had a terrific skate Thursday night during the team short program but landed in fourth place. Look for them to continue their quest for a medal tonight. Also watch out for the popular ice dancing Shib sibs, Maia and Alex Shibutani, who will make their team event debut tonight. Bradie Tennell, 20, will step onto Olympic ice for the first time tonight for the U.S. in the ladies’ single short team program.

Men’s Slopestyle Snowboarding Finals (8:00 PM ET Saturday on NBC)

Move over Shaun White. While the 31-year-old chose to not compete in the slopestyle in PyeongChang, Red Gerard is ready to be the new face of the event. The 17-year-old and first-time Olympian secured a place in the finals. If he medals in this Olympics, Gerard would become the youngest American snowboarder to do so.

Women’s Ice Hockey Preliminary Round USA v. Finland (3:00 AM ET live on NBCSN)

Yes, I know this one is for the early risers. The U.S. women’s hockey team lost the gold medal to Canada in Sochi in 2014, but before the Americans get a rematch with their rivals from the north, they'll have to get through a tough Finnish team that's on the rise and would love nothing more than to score an early upset in the tournament.

Men’s Biathlon 10km Sprint Finals (5:00 AM ET Sunday; live on NBCSN. It will re-air in NBC’s coverage that begins at 3:00 PM ET Sunday.)

The U.S. has never won an Olympic medal in the biathlon event. Lowell Bailey leads the way for the Americans as he goes up against defending Olympic gold medalist Dario Cologna of Switzerland.

Men’s Luge Singles Finals (4:50 AM ET Sunday streaming live on NBCOlympics.com; Airing at 1:30 PM ET on NBCSN and again in NBC’s coverage beginning 7 PM ET Sunday night.)

Chris Mazdzer of the U.S. heads into the final two runs of luge competition in fourth place. The big contender to beat is German Felix Loch, who is looking to win his third straight gold medal in the event.

MEDAL COUNT

TWEET OF THE DAY

Apparently Lindsey Vonn’s dog, Lucy, had quite the trek to South Korea. All that travel wore her out. People were worried about Lucy’s jet lag when this photo of her with Vonn surfaced on Twitter.

Lucy captured how yearbook photo day at school often turns out for us humans. You think you look good... until you see the photo and realize you don’t. We’ve all been there, Lucy.

DAILY READING AND VIDEOS

Our intrepid staff on the ground in PyeongChang and in our New York office is already cranking away on the biggest stories so far from the games.

Our Michael Rosenberg explores Mikaela Shiffrin’s rise as a star He also took a look at a perfect Olympic story in Korean speedskater Lim Hyojun. Tim Layden tells the story of Hermann Maier's horrific 1998 crash, and the photographer who captured it Michael Blinn introduces us to the U.S. women’s hockey team, which features 13 first-time Olympians. Here's an Olympic curler that looks just like everyone's favorite video game plumber The true comeback story for Shaun White Here's what you didn't see at the Opening Ceremonies

ATHLETE(S) TO ROOT FOR

Alex and Maia Shibutani

The popular ice dancing Shib Sibs competed in Sochi but did not medal. They make their team debut tonight in the ice dancing event and are expected to do well for the U.S. throughout the games. Winning an Olympic medal would put them in rare company: no brother-sister duo has medaled since 1984 when American skaters Kitty and Peter Carruthers won silver.

Get to know more about the Shibutani siblings in this fun video.

<p>PYEONGCHANG, South Korea—Mikaela Shiffrin made a crack about the enormous table she would sit behind for her press conference, sat down and tried to break the ice.</p><p>“Hi guys, how are you?” she said.</p><p>There was no way for a roomful of journalists to answer that question.</p><p>“Just wanted to say ‘Hey,’” Shiffrin said.</p><p>The Olympics produce many medalists but only a few stars. Winning a medal takes talent, dedication and sometimes a little luck. Becoming a star requires qualities that are harder to define. Usain Bolt is a star. Lindsey Vonn is a star—not just in the skiing world, but beyond. One interesting subplot of these Olympics is whether Shiffrin will join them.</p><p>Shiffrin held her pre-Olympics press conference here Saturday. It was scheduled for 30 minutes but cut down to 20 before it began. Shiffrin is poised and gives thoughtful answers to reporters’ questions, though she is a bit self-conscious in a public setting. If she were your sister or friend, you might get nervous watching her.</p><p>When her moderator mentioned that the media could come watch Shiffrin’s training runs, she cracked, “Or don’t come. Whatever.” She pointed out that “this is the biggest press conference I’ve done all season.” She said keeps her medals tucked away inside socks. (Be careful with your laundry, Mikaela). She said she does have a few mementos hanging in her home, but quickly added that was only because she had “dead space on my wall.” After relaying what she has done since arriving in Korea more than a week ago—mostly sleep, train and eat—she said, “I’m fairly boring. You guys will find that out throughout these games.” It is hard to build an ad campaign around that.</p><p>Shiffrin is an undeniable star on the slopes; her accomplishments before the age of 23 are unprecedented. She may win so many medals this week that she joins Bolt and Michael Phelps as an Olympian everybody recognizes. In the meantime, she is caught in this odd cultural place: she has not yet transcended her sport, but she might.</p><p>Vonn seems to have done it, and she seems to have wanted to do it. She is skilled at crafting an image without seeming like she is trying too hard to craft an image. She lets us in on her life and says just enough to keep fans wanting more. She kept her married name, Vonn, after her divorce, well-aware that <em>Lindsey Vonn</em> is not just her name. It is an internationally recognized brand. Her maiden name, Lindsey Kildow, is not.</p><p>Vonn is the downhill icon, always willing to go a little faster than a knee surgeon might recommend. She dated fellow star Tiger Woods, which (naturally) made her an even bigger star. Vonn brings sizzle wherever she goes.</p><p>Shiffrin is the slalom master who is still figuring out how to let loose on the downhill. She is dating fellow skier Mathieu Faivre. Shiffrin, so far, has brought mostly skill than sizzle. This is not a knock. Celebrity is not a reward for good behavior or impeccable character.</p><p>Shiffrin has handled her mercurial career so well, it is easy to forget how difficult it is to excel in more than one Olympic cycle. Swimmer Missy Franklin was on a Shiffrin-esque path after the 2012 London Olympics; four years later, she won one medal, in a relay. Vonn, the finest female skier ever, has only won two Olympic medals due to a combination of injuries and unfortunate timing. Shiffrin may win more than that this week.</p><p>Asked about any comparison to Phelps, Shiffrin said, “You’re crazy.” It was the polite and humble thing to say. But we are not crazy.</p><p>When Phelps first burst onto the Olympic stage in Athens in 2004, he was a well-packaged commodity but rarely said anything interesting. He didn’t have to. All anybody had to say was that Phelps was trying to surpass Mark Spitz’s record of seven gold medals. Every American sports fan knew about Spitz’s record. That was enough for us.</p><p>When Phelps won six golds in Athens, the hype for Beijing in 2008 began immediately; when he won eight golds there, he became a transcendent star. His subsequent personal struggles and recovery were compelling, and eventually Phelps became more comfortable and eloquent in public settings. But by that time, we already cared about him. He was embedded in our cultural consciousness.</p><p>Mikaela Shiffrin may become one of the biggest stars in American sports, but she will not crash through a fence to get there. She was asked Saturday how many events she will enter here; if she goes for five medals and succeeds, it would be one of the great achievements in Winter Olympic history. A lot of us wanted to hear her say she will enter all five. Shiffrin said she will race in the first two events, the slalom and giant slalom, and then see how she feels.</p>
Mikaela Shiffrin Is a (Reluctant) Star in the Making Who Can Make Her Mark in PyeongChang

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea—Mikaela Shiffrin made a crack about the enormous table she would sit behind for her press conference, sat down and tried to break the ice.

“Hi guys, how are you?” she said.

There was no way for a roomful of journalists to answer that question.

“Just wanted to say ‘Hey,’” Shiffrin said.

The Olympics produce many medalists but only a few stars. Winning a medal takes talent, dedication and sometimes a little luck. Becoming a star requires qualities that are harder to define. Usain Bolt is a star. Lindsey Vonn is a star—not just in the skiing world, but beyond. One interesting subplot of these Olympics is whether Shiffrin will join them.

Shiffrin held her pre-Olympics press conference here Saturday. It was scheduled for 30 minutes but cut down to 20 before it began. Shiffrin is poised and gives thoughtful answers to reporters’ questions, though she is a bit self-conscious in a public setting. If she were your sister or friend, you might get nervous watching her.

When her moderator mentioned that the media could come watch Shiffrin’s training runs, she cracked, “Or don’t come. Whatever.” She pointed out that “this is the biggest press conference I’ve done all season.” She said keeps her medals tucked away inside socks. (Be careful with your laundry, Mikaela). She said she does have a few mementos hanging in her home, but quickly added that was only because she had “dead space on my wall.” After relaying what she has done since arriving in Korea more than a week ago—mostly sleep, train and eat—she said, “I’m fairly boring. You guys will find that out throughout these games.” It is hard to build an ad campaign around that.

Shiffrin is an undeniable star on the slopes; her accomplishments before the age of 23 are unprecedented. She may win so many medals this week that she joins Bolt and Michael Phelps as an Olympian everybody recognizes. In the meantime, she is caught in this odd cultural place: she has not yet transcended her sport, but she might.

Vonn seems to have done it, and she seems to have wanted to do it. She is skilled at crafting an image without seeming like she is trying too hard to craft an image. She lets us in on her life and says just enough to keep fans wanting more. She kept her married name, Vonn, after her divorce, well-aware that Lindsey Vonn is not just her name. It is an internationally recognized brand. Her maiden name, Lindsey Kildow, is not.

Vonn is the downhill icon, always willing to go a little faster than a knee surgeon might recommend. She dated fellow star Tiger Woods, which (naturally) made her an even bigger star. Vonn brings sizzle wherever she goes.

Shiffrin is the slalom master who is still figuring out how to let loose on the downhill. She is dating fellow skier Mathieu Faivre. Shiffrin, so far, has brought mostly skill than sizzle. This is not a knock. Celebrity is not a reward for good behavior or impeccable character.

Shiffrin has handled her mercurial career so well, it is easy to forget how difficult it is to excel in more than one Olympic cycle. Swimmer Missy Franklin was on a Shiffrin-esque path after the 2012 London Olympics; four years later, she won one medal, in a relay. Vonn, the finest female skier ever, has only won two Olympic medals due to a combination of injuries and unfortunate timing. Shiffrin may win more than that this week.

Asked about any comparison to Phelps, Shiffrin said, “You’re crazy.” It was the polite and humble thing to say. But we are not crazy.

When Phelps first burst onto the Olympic stage in Athens in 2004, he was a well-packaged commodity but rarely said anything interesting. He didn’t have to. All anybody had to say was that Phelps was trying to surpass Mark Spitz’s record of seven gold medals. Every American sports fan knew about Spitz’s record. That was enough for us.

When Phelps won six golds in Athens, the hype for Beijing in 2008 began immediately; when he won eight golds there, he became a transcendent star. His subsequent personal struggles and recovery were compelling, and eventually Phelps became more comfortable and eloquent in public settings. But by that time, we already cared about him. He was embedded in our cultural consciousness.

Mikaela Shiffrin may become one of the biggest stars in American sports, but she will not crash through a fence to get there. She was asked Saturday how many events she will enter here; if she goes for five medals and succeeds, it would be one of the great achievements in Winter Olympic history. A lot of us wanted to hear her say she will enter all five. Shiffrin said she will race in the first two events, the slalom and giant slalom, and then see how she feels.

Michael Phelps finished his career with 23 Olympic gold medals and skiing champion Mikaela Shiffrin played down any comparisons.
Winter Olympics 2018: Shiffrin dismisses Phelps comparisons
Michael Phelps finished his career with 23 Olympic gold medals and skiing champion Mikaela Shiffrin played down any comparisons.
The women’s slalom gold medalist from Sochi is already halfway to Lindsey Vonn’s World Cup wins total - despite being eleven years younger. But could the 22-year-old Colorado native have her eye on another Olympic star?
Mikaela Shiffrin shakes off ‘crazy’ Michael Phelps comparisons
The women’s slalom gold medalist from Sochi is already halfway to Lindsey Vonn’s World Cup wins total - despite being eleven years younger. But could the 22-year-old Colorado native have her eye on another Olympic star?
The women’s slalom gold medalist from Sochi is already halfway to Lindsey Vonn’s World Cup wins total - despite being eleven years younger. But could the 22-year-old Colorado native have her eye on another Olympic star?
Mikaela Shiffrin shakes off ‘crazy’ Michael Phelps comparisons
The women’s slalom gold medalist from Sochi is already halfway to Lindsey Vonn’s World Cup wins total - despite being eleven years younger. But could the 22-year-old Colorado native have her eye on another Olympic star?
The women’s slalom gold medalist from Sochi is already halfway to Lindsey Vonn’s World Cup wins total - despite being eleven years younger. But could the 22-year-old Colorado native have her eye on another Olympic star?
Mikaela Shiffrin shakes off ‘crazy’ Michael Phelps comparisons
The women’s slalom gold medalist from Sochi is already halfway to Lindsey Vonn’s World Cup wins total - despite being eleven years younger. But could the 22-year-old Colorado native have her eye on another Olympic star?
The women’s slalom gold medalist from Sochi is already halfway to Lindsey Vonn’s World Cup wins total - despite being eleven years younger. But could the 22-year-old Colorado native have her eye on another Olympic star?
Mikaela Shiffrin shakes off ‘crazy’ Michael Phelps comparisons
The women’s slalom gold medalist from Sochi is already halfway to Lindsey Vonn’s World Cup wins total - despite being eleven years younger. But could the 22-year-old Colorado native have her eye on another Olympic star?
Could Mikaela Shiffrin become Michael Phelps of the slopes? &#39;Crazy,&#39; but maybe
Could Mikaela Shiffrin become Michael Phelps of the slopes? 'Crazy,' but maybe
Could Mikaela Shiffrin become Michael Phelps of the slopes? 'Crazy,' but maybe
Could Mikaela Shiffrin become Michael Phelps of the slopes? &#39;Crazy,&#39; but maybe
Could Mikaela Shiffrin become Michael Phelps of the slopes? 'Crazy,' but maybe
Could Mikaela Shiffrin become Michael Phelps of the slopes? 'Crazy,' but maybe
Could Mikaela Shiffrin become Michael Phelps of the slopes? &#39;Crazy,&#39; but maybe
Could Mikaela Shiffrin become Michael Phelps of the slopes? 'Crazy,' but maybe
Could Mikaela Shiffrin become Michael Phelps of the slopes? 'Crazy,' but maybe
<p>Two years ago, the U.S. nearly swept the women&#39;s artistic gymnastics competition at the Rio Olympics, winning gold in the team all-around and in three out of five individual events. But now, halfway through the four-year cycle to Tokyo 2020, the sport&#39;s governing body, USA Gymnastics, is in free fall, its very existence thrown into doubt by its handling of the cases of sexual assault perpetrated by its former national team doctor, Larry Nassar.</p><p>On Jan. 25, a day after Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in jail—in addition to a 60-year sentence handed down on Dec. 6 and another sentence of up to 125 years on Monday—an open letter by Scott Blackmun, CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, warned that if USA Gymnastics did not quickly implement a series of six reforms, &quot;the USOC will have no choice but to pursue termination of USAG&#39;s NGB [national governing body] status.&quot; Number 1 on that list was a requirement that the entire board of directors resign within a week. One day later all 21 members were on their way out. President and CEO Kerry Perry, who took on her role only on Dec. 1 after a 20-year career in multimedia sports branding, will now oversee an organization stripped of much of its institutional experience.</p><p>One-by-one, major sponsors have ended their support for USAG. In mid-December, Kellogg&#39;s and Procter &#38; Gamble decided not to renew their sponsorships. Hershey&#39;s opted to let its contract run out, while Under Armour announced, also in December, that it would end its association with the organization. On Jan. 23, in a Lansing, Mich., courtroom near the end of a week of victim impact statements—156 in total—that preceded Nassar&#39;s sentencing, AT&#38;T issued a statement saying it was cutting ties with USAG &quot;until it is re-built and we know that the athletes are in a safe environment.&quot;</p><p>Susanne Lyons, an independent member of the USOC board of directors and a former executive with Visa, has been assigned to work as a liaison between USAG and the USOC and with selecting an outside investigator to determine how Nassar&#39;s abuses went unchecked for decades. On Feb. 2, the USOC announced that the law firm of Ropes &#38; Gray would conduct the investigation. A thorough examination of the Nassar case is paramount of course, but with USAG essentially paralyzed and unsponsored, hopefuls for Tokyo 2020 are wondering not only how their sport got here but also where does American gymnastics go now?</p><p>National governing bodies are responsible for the day-to-day running of their sports. For USA Gymnastics, that includes setting rules and policies, organizing clubs, promoting the sport, developing athletes, training coaches and running as many as 4,000 events per year across the country. USAG is also responsible for nominating athletes for international competitions, including the Olympics.</p><p>While fans might pay little attention to gymnastics most of the time, the sport surges into the national consciousness during the Summer Games. On Day 4 of the Rio Games, U.S. swimmers Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky, and the U.S. women&#39;s gymnastics team combined for four gold medals, attracting an NBC audience of 33.6 million.</p><p>Since its founding in 1963, USA Gymnastics has become home to 148,000 athletes who train at more than 3,000 clubs across the country. In the NCAA, there are 62 Division I women&#39;s gymnastics programs, each allowed to issue as many as 12 scholarships, and 15 Division I men&#39;s teams, each with 6.3 scholarships available. Even for the thousands of gymnasts who won&#39;t make the U.S. national team, gymnastics can be a route to college. And the vast majority of those athletes will have risen through the ranks of USA Gymnastics. The USAG slogan: BEGIN HERE, GO ANYWHERE.</p><p>The organization&#39;s to-do list before Tokyo 2020 is long. USA Gymnastics needs to elect a new board, find a new training center (the Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville, Texas, site of some of Nassar&#39;s crimes, has been shuttered), attract new sponsors to raise money, select national teams and ensure those teams qualify for competition. And, of course, it must cooperate fully with all Nassar-related investigations and develop policies and procedures to give its athletes confidence that they will be better protected.</p><p>The first chance to qualify for the team competition in Tokyo will be at the 2018 world championships in Doha, Qatar, in October. Finishing on the podium qualifies a team for the 2020 Games. If the selection procedure were to follow that used before Rio 2016, the gymnasts for the team all-around competition would be chosen by a three-person committee following the U.S. Olympic trials in &#39;20. All members of that group will be new. Márta Károlyi, the former coach of the U.S. team, will be absent from that panel for the first time since &#39;00. With her husband, Béla, Márta is maybe most responsible for the current domination of the U.S. team, which has trained at the couple&#39;s ranch in Texas since &#39;01. Their absence leaves a power vacuum at the heart of American gymnastics.</p><p>Olympic medals brought sponsors. In August 2016, during the last Olympics, USA Gymnastics had 18 sponsors listed on its website. Actual contributions from each brand are not detailed in the organization&#39;s tax returns, but the total revenue that year, including more than $2 million from the USOC, was $34.5 million. Expenses added up to $32.4 million. The loss of sponsors will leave a hole in USAG&#39;s revenue, and no major company has indicated an intention to return to supporting USAG. In fact, USAG has deleted the sponsors page from its website. Finding companies that are willing to be linked to USA Gymnastics today may be extremely difficult.</p><p>Also, USA Gymnastics could be liable for significant damages from lawsuits brought by Nassar&#39;s victims, and current or former staff could face criminal charges. The cultural problems at USA Gymnastics run deep.</p><p>Deborah Daniels, a former federal prosecutor, was hired by USAG in November 2016 to review the organization&#39;s policies, and in June 2017 issued a report calling on USAG to better protect young athletes, recommending that &quot;USA Gymnastics needs to undergo a complete cultural change, permeating the entire organization and communicated to the field in all its actions.&quot; In his Jan. 25 open letter, Blackmun echoed the opinion: &quot;USAG culture needs fundamental rebuilding.&quot;</p><p>At Nassar&#39;s sentencing hearing on Jan. 19, two-time Olympian and triple gold medalist Aly Raisman read a statement petitioning judge Rosemarie Aquilina to give Nassar the harshest sentence possible and criticizing how USA Gymnastics and the USOC had failed her and others. She also criticized new USAG president Perry for leaving midway through the hearing, and the USOC for being absent entirely. &quot;For this sport to go on, we need to demand real change, and we need to be willing to fight for it,&quot; Raisman said. &quot;It&#39;s clear now that if we leave it up to these organizations, history is likely to repeat itself.&quot;</p><p>There have been calls for USAG to be decertified, but there is no comparable organization that could easily step in as a national governing body. Without USA Gymnastics, the USOC might struggle to develop young talent. In a statement addressed to Team USA on Jan. 24, Blackmun explained that the reason for not decertifying USA Gymnastics is that doing so might do more damage than trying to rebuild the organization. &quot;USA Gymnastics includes clubs and athletes who had no hand in this and who need to be supported,&quot; he wrote. &quot;We believe [decertifying] would hurt more than help the athletes and their sport. But we will pursue decertification if USA Gymnastics does not fully embrace the necessary changes.&quot;</p><p>USA Gymnastics is set to have an interim board of directors in place before the end of February. For an organization with hopes of defending its Olympic title in Tokyo, choosing at least one prominent former gymnast would make sense. The most decorated athlete on the previous board was Ivana Hong, who had been elected in December. Hong won team gold at the world championships in Stuttgart in 2007. For an organization that is struggling to overcome the worst sexual abuse scandal in sports history, seeking out the voices of Nassar&#39;s victims is also essential. Though neither has put her name forward for consideration, Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar, and Raisman would seem to be ideal candidates.</p><p>From 1936 to &#39;76, the United States picked up just one medal (bronze, London &#39;48) in team gymnastics competition at the Olympics. But then the Károlyis defected from Romania during an &#39;81 gymnastics tour of the U.S. Under their coaching guidance, Mary Lou Retton went on to win gold in the individual all-around in &#39;84, and her scores helped to lift the team to a silver medal. Over the next eight Olympiads, the paternal (and maternal) Károlyis played pivotal roles in the success of the U.S. team. In that period Team USA won a total of 39 team and individual medals, a dozen of them gold.</p><p>In the wake of the Károlyis&#39; departure and the complete turnover at the top, USA Gymnastics must begin again. Will we return to the days of being sixth-place also-rans? Or can we reach a point at which team success and athlete rights are no longer mutually exclusive?</p><p>Begin here, go where?</p>
After the Larry Nassar Scandal, Where Does USA Gymnastics Go From Here?

Two years ago, the U.S. nearly swept the women's artistic gymnastics competition at the Rio Olympics, winning gold in the team all-around and in three out of five individual events. But now, halfway through the four-year cycle to Tokyo 2020, the sport's governing body, USA Gymnastics, is in free fall, its very existence thrown into doubt by its handling of the cases of sexual assault perpetrated by its former national team doctor, Larry Nassar.

On Jan. 25, a day after Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in jail—in addition to a 60-year sentence handed down on Dec. 6 and another sentence of up to 125 years on Monday—an open letter by Scott Blackmun, CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, warned that if USA Gymnastics did not quickly implement a series of six reforms, "the USOC will have no choice but to pursue termination of USAG's NGB [national governing body] status." Number 1 on that list was a requirement that the entire board of directors resign within a week. One day later all 21 members were on their way out. President and CEO Kerry Perry, who took on her role only on Dec. 1 after a 20-year career in multimedia sports branding, will now oversee an organization stripped of much of its institutional experience.

One-by-one, major sponsors have ended their support for USAG. In mid-December, Kellogg's and Procter & Gamble decided not to renew their sponsorships. Hershey's opted to let its contract run out, while Under Armour announced, also in December, that it would end its association with the organization. On Jan. 23, in a Lansing, Mich., courtroom near the end of a week of victim impact statements—156 in total—that preceded Nassar's sentencing, AT&T issued a statement saying it was cutting ties with USAG "until it is re-built and we know that the athletes are in a safe environment."

Susanne Lyons, an independent member of the USOC board of directors and a former executive with Visa, has been assigned to work as a liaison between USAG and the USOC and with selecting an outside investigator to determine how Nassar's abuses went unchecked for decades. On Feb. 2, the USOC announced that the law firm of Ropes & Gray would conduct the investigation. A thorough examination of the Nassar case is paramount of course, but with USAG essentially paralyzed and unsponsored, hopefuls for Tokyo 2020 are wondering not only how their sport got here but also where does American gymnastics go now?

National governing bodies are responsible for the day-to-day running of their sports. For USA Gymnastics, that includes setting rules and policies, organizing clubs, promoting the sport, developing athletes, training coaches and running as many as 4,000 events per year across the country. USAG is also responsible for nominating athletes for international competitions, including the Olympics.

While fans might pay little attention to gymnastics most of the time, the sport surges into the national consciousness during the Summer Games. On Day 4 of the Rio Games, U.S. swimmers Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky, and the U.S. women's gymnastics team combined for four gold medals, attracting an NBC audience of 33.6 million.

Since its founding in 1963, USA Gymnastics has become home to 148,000 athletes who train at more than 3,000 clubs across the country. In the NCAA, there are 62 Division I women's gymnastics programs, each allowed to issue as many as 12 scholarships, and 15 Division I men's teams, each with 6.3 scholarships available. Even for the thousands of gymnasts who won't make the U.S. national team, gymnastics can be a route to college. And the vast majority of those athletes will have risen through the ranks of USA Gymnastics. The USAG slogan: BEGIN HERE, GO ANYWHERE.

The organization's to-do list before Tokyo 2020 is long. USA Gymnastics needs to elect a new board, find a new training center (the Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville, Texas, site of some of Nassar's crimes, has been shuttered), attract new sponsors to raise money, select national teams and ensure those teams qualify for competition. And, of course, it must cooperate fully with all Nassar-related investigations and develop policies and procedures to give its athletes confidence that they will be better protected.

The first chance to qualify for the team competition in Tokyo will be at the 2018 world championships in Doha, Qatar, in October. Finishing on the podium qualifies a team for the 2020 Games. If the selection procedure were to follow that used before Rio 2016, the gymnasts for the team all-around competition would be chosen by a three-person committee following the U.S. Olympic trials in '20. All members of that group will be new. Márta Károlyi, the former coach of the U.S. team, will be absent from that panel for the first time since '00. With her husband, Béla, Márta is maybe most responsible for the current domination of the U.S. team, which has trained at the couple's ranch in Texas since '01. Their absence leaves a power vacuum at the heart of American gymnastics.

Olympic medals brought sponsors. In August 2016, during the last Olympics, USA Gymnastics had 18 sponsors listed on its website. Actual contributions from each brand are not detailed in the organization's tax returns, but the total revenue that year, including more than $2 million from the USOC, was $34.5 million. Expenses added up to $32.4 million. The loss of sponsors will leave a hole in USAG's revenue, and no major company has indicated an intention to return to supporting USAG. In fact, USAG has deleted the sponsors page from its website. Finding companies that are willing to be linked to USA Gymnastics today may be extremely difficult.

Also, USA Gymnastics could be liable for significant damages from lawsuits brought by Nassar's victims, and current or former staff could face criminal charges. The cultural problems at USA Gymnastics run deep.

Deborah Daniels, a former federal prosecutor, was hired by USAG in November 2016 to review the organization's policies, and in June 2017 issued a report calling on USAG to better protect young athletes, recommending that "USA Gymnastics needs to undergo a complete cultural change, permeating the entire organization and communicated to the field in all its actions." In his Jan. 25 open letter, Blackmun echoed the opinion: "USAG culture needs fundamental rebuilding."

At Nassar's sentencing hearing on Jan. 19, two-time Olympian and triple gold medalist Aly Raisman read a statement petitioning judge Rosemarie Aquilina to give Nassar the harshest sentence possible and criticizing how USA Gymnastics and the USOC had failed her and others. She also criticized new USAG president Perry for leaving midway through the hearing, and the USOC for being absent entirely. "For this sport to go on, we need to demand real change, and we need to be willing to fight for it," Raisman said. "It's clear now that if we leave it up to these organizations, history is likely to repeat itself."

There have been calls for USAG to be decertified, but there is no comparable organization that could easily step in as a national governing body. Without USA Gymnastics, the USOC might struggle to develop young talent. In a statement addressed to Team USA on Jan. 24, Blackmun explained that the reason for not decertifying USA Gymnastics is that doing so might do more damage than trying to rebuild the organization. "USA Gymnastics includes clubs and athletes who had no hand in this and who need to be supported," he wrote. "We believe [decertifying] would hurt more than help the athletes and their sport. But we will pursue decertification if USA Gymnastics does not fully embrace the necessary changes."

USA Gymnastics is set to have an interim board of directors in place before the end of February. For an organization with hopes of defending its Olympic title in Tokyo, choosing at least one prominent former gymnast would make sense. The most decorated athlete on the previous board was Ivana Hong, who had been elected in December. Hong won team gold at the world championships in Stuttgart in 2007. For an organization that is struggling to overcome the worst sexual abuse scandal in sports history, seeking out the voices of Nassar's victims is also essential. Though neither has put her name forward for consideration, Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar, and Raisman would seem to be ideal candidates.

From 1936 to '76, the United States picked up just one medal (bronze, London '48) in team gymnastics competition at the Olympics. But then the Károlyis defected from Romania during an '81 gymnastics tour of the U.S. Under their coaching guidance, Mary Lou Retton went on to win gold in the individual all-around in '84, and her scores helped to lift the team to a silver medal. Over the next eight Olympiads, the paternal (and maternal) Károlyis played pivotal roles in the success of the U.S. team. In that period Team USA won a total of 39 team and individual medals, a dozen of them gold.

In the wake of the Károlyis' departure and the complete turnover at the top, USA Gymnastics must begin again. Will we return to the days of being sixth-place also-rans? Or can we reach a point at which team success and athlete rights are no longer mutually exclusive?

Begin here, go where?

<p>Two years ago, the U.S. nearly swept the women&#39;s artistic gymnastics competition at the Rio Olympics, winning gold in the team all-around and in three out of five individual events. But now, halfway through the four-year cycle to Tokyo 2020, the sport&#39;s governing body, USA Gymnastics, is in free fall, its very existence thrown into doubt by its handling of the cases of sexual assault perpetrated by its former national team doctor, Larry Nassar.</p><p>On Jan. 25, a day after Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in jail—in addition to a 60-year sentence handed down on Dec. 6 and another sentence of up to 125 years on Monday—an open letter by Scott Blackmun, CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, warned that if USA Gymnastics did not quickly implement a series of six reforms, &quot;the USOC will have no choice but to pursue termination of USAG&#39;s NGB [national governing body] status.&quot; Number 1 on that list was a requirement that the entire board of directors resign within a week. One day later all 21 members were on their way out. President and CEO Kerry Perry, who took on her role only on Dec. 1 after a 20-year career in multimedia sports branding, will now oversee an organization stripped of much of its institutional experience.</p><p>One-by-one, major sponsors have ended their support for USAG. In mid-December, Kellogg&#39;s and Procter &#38; Gamble decided not to renew their sponsorships. Hershey&#39;s opted to let its contract run out, while Under Armour announced, also in December, that it would end its association with the organization. On Jan. 23, in a Lansing, Mich., courtroom near the end of a week of victim impact statements—156 in total—that preceded Nassar&#39;s sentencing, AT&#38;T issued a statement saying it was cutting ties with USAG &quot;until it is re-built and we know that the athletes are in a safe environment.&quot;</p><p>Susanne Lyons, an independent member of the USOC board of directors and a former executive with Visa, has been assigned to work as a liaison between USAG and the USOC and with selecting an outside investigator to determine how Nassar&#39;s abuses went unchecked for decades. On Feb. 2, the USOC announced that the law firm of Ropes &#38; Gray would conduct the investigation. A thorough examination of the Nassar case is paramount of course, but with USAG essentially paralyzed and unsponsored, hopefuls for Tokyo 2020 are wondering not only how their sport got here but also where does American gymnastics go now?</p><p>National governing bodies are responsible for the day-to-day running of their sports. For USA Gymnastics, that includes setting rules and policies, organizing clubs, promoting the sport, developing athletes, training coaches and running as many as 4,000 events per year across the country. USAG is also responsible for nominating athletes for international competitions, including the Olympics.</p><p>While fans might pay little attention to gymnastics most of the time, the sport surges into the national consciousness during the Summer Games. On Day 4 of the Rio Games, U.S. swimmers Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky, and the U.S. women&#39;s gymnastics team combined for four gold medals, attracting an NBC audience of 33.6 million.</p><p>Since its founding in 1963, USA Gymnastics has become home to 148,000 athletes who train at more than 3,000 clubs across the country. In the NCAA, there are 62 Division I women&#39;s gymnastics programs, each allowed to issue as many as 12 scholarships, and 15 Division I men&#39;s teams, each with 6.3 scholarships available. Even for the thousands of gymnasts who won&#39;t make the U.S. national team, gymnastics can be a route to college. And the vast majority of those athletes will have risen through the ranks of USA Gymnastics. The USAG slogan: BEGIN HERE, GO ANYWHERE.</p><p>The organization&#39;s to-do list before Tokyo 2020 is long. USA Gymnastics needs to elect a new board, find a new training center (the Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville, Texas, site of some of Nassar&#39;s crimes, has been shuttered), attract new sponsors to raise money, select national teams and ensure those teams qualify for competition. And, of course, it must cooperate fully with all Nassar-related investigations and develop policies and procedures to give its athletes confidence that they will be better protected.</p><p>The first chance to qualify for the team competition in Tokyo will be at the 2018 world championships in Doha, Qatar, in October. Finishing on the podium qualifies a team for the 2020 Games. If the selection procedure were to follow that used before Rio 2016, the gymnasts for the team all-around competition would be chosen by a three-person committee following the U.S. Olympic trials in &#39;20. All members of that group will be new. Márta Károlyi, the former coach of the U.S. team, will be absent from that panel for the first time since &#39;00. With her husband, Béla, Márta is maybe most responsible for the current domination of the U.S. team, which has trained at the couple&#39;s ranch in Texas since &#39;01. Their absence leaves a power vacuum at the heart of American gymnastics.</p><p>Olympic medals brought sponsors. In August 2016, during the last Olympics, USA Gymnastics had 18 sponsors listed on its website. Actual contributions from each brand are not detailed in the organization&#39;s tax returns, but the total revenue that year, including more than $2 million from the USOC, was $34.5 million. Expenses added up to $32.4 million. The loss of sponsors will leave a hole in USAG&#39;s revenue, and no major company has indicated an intention to return to supporting USAG. In fact, USAG has deleted the sponsors page from its website. Finding companies that are willing to be linked to USA Gymnastics today may be extremely difficult.</p><p>Also, USA Gymnastics could be liable for significant damages from lawsuits brought by Nassar&#39;s victims, and current or former staff could face criminal charges. The cultural problems at USA Gymnastics run deep.</p><p>Deborah Daniels, a former federal prosecutor, was hired by USAG in November 2016 to review the organization&#39;s policies, and in June 2017 issued a report calling on USAG to better protect young athletes, recommending that &quot;USA Gymnastics needs to undergo a complete cultural change, permeating the entire organization and communicated to the field in all its actions.&quot; In his Jan. 25 open letter, Blackmun echoed the opinion: &quot;USAG culture needs fundamental rebuilding.&quot;</p><p>At Nassar&#39;s sentencing hearing on Jan. 19, two-time Olympian and triple gold medalist Aly Raisman read a statement petitioning judge Rosemarie Aquilina to give Nassar the harshest sentence possible and criticizing how USA Gymnastics and the USOC had failed her and others. She also criticized new USAG president Perry for leaving midway through the hearing, and the USOC for being absent entirely. &quot;For this sport to go on, we need to demand real change, and we need to be willing to fight for it,&quot; Raisman said. &quot;It&#39;s clear now that if we leave it up to these organizations, history is likely to repeat itself.&quot;</p><p>There have been calls for USAG to be decertified, but there is no comparable organization that could easily step in as a national governing body. Without USA Gymnastics, the USOC might struggle to develop young talent. In a statement addressed to Team USA on Jan. 24, Blackmun explained that the reason for not decertifying USA Gymnastics is that doing so might do more damage than trying to rebuild the organization. &quot;USA Gymnastics includes clubs and athletes who had no hand in this and who need to be supported,&quot; he wrote. &quot;We believe [decertifying] would hurt more than help the athletes and their sport. But we will pursue decertification if USA Gymnastics does not fully embrace the necessary changes.&quot;</p><p>USA Gymnastics is set to have an interim board of directors in place before the end of February. For an organization with hopes of defending its Olympic title in Tokyo, choosing at least one prominent former gymnast would make sense. The most decorated athlete on the previous board was Ivana Hong, who had been elected in December. Hong won team gold at the world championships in Stuttgart in 2007. For an organization that is struggling to overcome the worst sexual abuse scandal in sports history, seeking out the voices of Nassar&#39;s victims is also essential. Though neither has put her name forward for consideration, Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar, and Raisman would seem to be ideal candidates.</p><p>From 1936 to &#39;76, the United States picked up just one medal (bronze, London &#39;48) in team gymnastics competition at the Olympics. But then the Károlyis defected from Romania during an &#39;81 gymnastics tour of the U.S. Under their coaching guidance, Mary Lou Retton went on to win gold in the individual all-around in &#39;84, and her scores helped to lift the team to a silver medal. Over the next eight Olympiads, the paternal (and maternal) Károlyis played pivotal roles in the success of the U.S. team. In that period Team USA won a total of 39 team and individual medals, a dozen of them gold.</p><p>In the wake of the Károlyis&#39; departure and the complete turnover at the top, USA Gymnastics must begin again. Will we return to the days of being sixth-place also-rans? Or can we reach a point at which team success and athlete rights are no longer mutually exclusive?</p><p>Begin here, go where?</p>
After the Larry Nassar Scandal, Where Does USA Gymnastics Go From Here?

Two years ago, the U.S. nearly swept the women's artistic gymnastics competition at the Rio Olympics, winning gold in the team all-around and in three out of five individual events. But now, halfway through the four-year cycle to Tokyo 2020, the sport's governing body, USA Gymnastics, is in free fall, its very existence thrown into doubt by its handling of the cases of sexual assault perpetrated by its former national team doctor, Larry Nassar.

On Jan. 25, a day after Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in jail—in addition to a 60-year sentence handed down on Dec. 6 and another sentence of up to 125 years on Monday—an open letter by Scott Blackmun, CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, warned that if USA Gymnastics did not quickly implement a series of six reforms, "the USOC will have no choice but to pursue termination of USAG's NGB [national governing body] status." Number 1 on that list was a requirement that the entire board of directors resign within a week. One day later all 21 members were on their way out. President and CEO Kerry Perry, who took on her role only on Dec. 1 after a 20-year career in multimedia sports branding, will now oversee an organization stripped of much of its institutional experience.

One-by-one, major sponsors have ended their support for USAG. In mid-December, Kellogg's and Procter & Gamble decided not to renew their sponsorships. Hershey's opted to let its contract run out, while Under Armour announced, also in December, that it would end its association with the organization. On Jan. 23, in a Lansing, Mich., courtroom near the end of a week of victim impact statements—156 in total—that preceded Nassar's sentencing, AT&T issued a statement saying it was cutting ties with USAG "until it is re-built and we know that the athletes are in a safe environment."

Susanne Lyons, an independent member of the USOC board of directors and a former executive with Visa, has been assigned to work as a liaison between USAG and the USOC and with selecting an outside investigator to determine how Nassar's abuses went unchecked for decades. On Feb. 2, the USOC announced that the law firm of Ropes & Gray would conduct the investigation. A thorough examination of the Nassar case is paramount of course, but with USAG essentially paralyzed and unsponsored, hopefuls for Tokyo 2020 are wondering not only how their sport got here but also where does American gymnastics go now?

National governing bodies are responsible for the day-to-day running of their sports. For USA Gymnastics, that includes setting rules and policies, organizing clubs, promoting the sport, developing athletes, training coaches and running as many as 4,000 events per year across the country. USAG is also responsible for nominating athletes for international competitions, including the Olympics.

While fans might pay little attention to gymnastics most of the time, the sport surges into the national consciousness during the Summer Games. On Day 4 of the Rio Games, U.S. swimmers Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky, and the U.S. women's gymnastics team combined for four gold medals, attracting an NBC audience of 33.6 million.

Since its founding in 1963, USA Gymnastics has become home to 148,000 athletes who train at more than 3,000 clubs across the country. In the NCAA, there are 62 Division I women's gymnastics programs, each allowed to issue as many as 12 scholarships, and 15 Division I men's teams, each with 6.3 scholarships available. Even for the thousands of gymnasts who won't make the U.S. national team, gymnastics can be a route to college. And the vast majority of those athletes will have risen through the ranks of USA Gymnastics. The USAG slogan: BEGIN HERE, GO ANYWHERE.

The organization's to-do list before Tokyo 2020 is long. USA Gymnastics needs to elect a new board, find a new training center (the Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville, Texas, site of some of Nassar's crimes, has been shuttered), attract new sponsors to raise money, select national teams and ensure those teams qualify for competition. And, of course, it must cooperate fully with all Nassar-related investigations and develop policies and procedures to give its athletes confidence that they will be better protected.

The first chance to qualify for the team competition in Tokyo will be at the 2018 world championships in Doha, Qatar, in October. Finishing on the podium qualifies a team for the 2020 Games. If the selection procedure were to follow that used before Rio 2016, the gymnasts for the team all-around competition would be chosen by a three-person committee following the U.S. Olympic trials in '20. All members of that group will be new. Márta Károlyi, the former coach of the U.S. team, will be absent from that panel for the first time since '00. With her husband, Béla, Márta is maybe most responsible for the current domination of the U.S. team, which has trained at the couple's ranch in Texas since '01. Their absence leaves a power vacuum at the heart of American gymnastics.

Olympic medals brought sponsors. In August 2016, during the last Olympics, USA Gymnastics had 18 sponsors listed on its website. Actual contributions from each brand are not detailed in the organization's tax returns, but the total revenue that year, including more than $2 million from the USOC, was $34.5 million. Expenses added up to $32.4 million. The loss of sponsors will leave a hole in USAG's revenue, and no major company has indicated an intention to return to supporting USAG. In fact, USAG has deleted the sponsors page from its website. Finding companies that are willing to be linked to USA Gymnastics today may be extremely difficult.

Also, USA Gymnastics could be liable for significant damages from lawsuits brought by Nassar's victims, and current or former staff could face criminal charges. The cultural problems at USA Gymnastics run deep.

Deborah Daniels, a former federal prosecutor, was hired by USAG in November 2016 to review the organization's policies, and in June 2017 issued a report calling on USAG to better protect young athletes, recommending that "USA Gymnastics needs to undergo a complete cultural change, permeating the entire organization and communicated to the field in all its actions." In his Jan. 25 open letter, Blackmun echoed the opinion: "USAG culture needs fundamental rebuilding."

At Nassar's sentencing hearing on Jan. 19, two-time Olympian and triple gold medalist Aly Raisman read a statement petitioning judge Rosemarie Aquilina to give Nassar the harshest sentence possible and criticizing how USA Gymnastics and the USOC had failed her and others. She also criticized new USAG president Perry for leaving midway through the hearing, and the USOC for being absent entirely. "For this sport to go on, we need to demand real change, and we need to be willing to fight for it," Raisman said. "It's clear now that if we leave it up to these organizations, history is likely to repeat itself."

There have been calls for USAG to be decertified, but there is no comparable organization that could easily step in as a national governing body. Without USA Gymnastics, the USOC might struggle to develop young talent. In a statement addressed to Team USA on Jan. 24, Blackmun explained that the reason for not decertifying USA Gymnastics is that doing so might do more damage than trying to rebuild the organization. "USA Gymnastics includes clubs and athletes who had no hand in this and who need to be supported," he wrote. "We believe [decertifying] would hurt more than help the athletes and their sport. But we will pursue decertification if USA Gymnastics does not fully embrace the necessary changes."

USA Gymnastics is set to have an interim board of directors in place before the end of February. For an organization with hopes of defending its Olympic title in Tokyo, choosing at least one prominent former gymnast would make sense. The most decorated athlete on the previous board was Ivana Hong, who had been elected in December. Hong won team gold at the world championships in Stuttgart in 2007. For an organization that is struggling to overcome the worst sexual abuse scandal in sports history, seeking out the voices of Nassar's victims is also essential. Though neither has put her name forward for consideration, Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar, and Raisman would seem to be ideal candidates.

From 1936 to '76, the United States picked up just one medal (bronze, London '48) in team gymnastics competition at the Olympics. But then the Károlyis defected from Romania during an '81 gymnastics tour of the U.S. Under their coaching guidance, Mary Lou Retton went on to win gold in the individual all-around in '84, and her scores helped to lift the team to a silver medal. Over the next eight Olympiads, the paternal (and maternal) Károlyis played pivotal roles in the success of the U.S. team. In that period Team USA won a total of 39 team and individual medals, a dozen of them gold.

In the wake of the Károlyis' departure and the complete turnover at the top, USA Gymnastics must begin again. Will we return to the days of being sixth-place also-rans? Or can we reach a point at which team success and athlete rights are no longer mutually exclusive?

Begin here, go where?

<p>This will be the sixth straight Olympics Bode Miller has attended, only this time the six-time medalist will be in the commentary booth for NBC. </p><p>He officially retired in October and now <a href="https://aztechmountain.com/pages/teaming-up-with-bode-miller" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:works as the chief innovation officer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">works as the chief innovation officer</a> for Aztech Mountain, a Colorado-based skiwear company. SI.com spoke with Miller about his new gig as an announcer, his thoughts on the upcoming Olympics, his Super Bowl pick and much more. </p><p>(<em>The following interview was lightly edited and condensed for clarity.</em>)</p><p><strong>Dan Gartland</strong>: <em>How helpful will your experience doing commentary for World Cup races be for you as you prepare to cover the Olympics with NBC?</em></p><p><strong>Bode Miller</strong>: It’s critical, actually. It’s not a terribly tough thing for me to figure out how to do but there’s still a certain cadence to it. There’s few things that it helps to be used to, like with the timing of things or when they talk in your ear while you’re trying to talk. Those are all things that take a little getting used to, so it definitely helps.</p><p><strong>DG</strong>: <em><a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/2017/12/13/bode-miller-says-sochi-olympic-venue-hurt-his-medal-chances-2014/948718001/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:You were critical of the venue in Sochi" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">You were critical of the venue in Sochi</a>. Do you think there will be anything about Korea and either the snow or the terrain there that will provide a challenge for the skiers at the Olympics?</em></p><p><strong>BM</strong>: That’s really the crux of the whole thing. Skiing is full of that. There’s always something that’s problematic for one skier or another, or all of them, or one particular brand of ski. The number of variables there are in that sport, it’s always that. There’s no easy way to talk about it beforehand but that definitely will be a factor. </p><p><strong>DG</strong>: <em>How do skiers try to get a scouting report of the venue?</em></p><p><strong>BM</strong>: A lot of that has to do with the specific weather patterns that come through, how the course track is—and that varies year to year. There’s a lot of variables. </p><p><strong>DG</strong>: <em>Obviously a lot of the focus this Olympics will be on Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin, two fantastic Americans. Are there any other potential breakout stars you’re looking forward to covering?</em></p><p><strong>BM</strong>: It’s a strange sport because the favorites don’t generally do that well. If Michael Phelps came out of an Olympics with no medals, that would be shocking, whereas in this sport seeing a favorite come out with no medals is not shocking at all. It happens every single Olympics. Aksel Svindal, who was massively favored going into the last Olympics—he was skiing great, had just won several races going in there, had just won Kitzbühel right before that—he came out with no medals.</p><p>So while you can’t speak highly enough of Mikaela and Lindsey, it’s just no guarantee. In swimming there’s no variables. You hop in the pool, you do your thing, you might miss a start by a little bit but if you’re good enough you’ll overcome that. In this, there are just so many variables that are outside the control of the athlete that it really is sometimes absolutely impossible for even the very best to make up enough to cover that spread. </p><p><strong>DG</strong>: <em>This will be the first Olympics since 1994 that you won’t be competing in. You’ve missed World Cup seasons in the past but do you anticipate covering the Olympics to feel any different than the World Cup?</em></p><p><strong>BM</strong>: I don’t know that it’ll be that different. The World Cup I would expect to be the bigger anomaly. If you think about it from my perspective, since I was born in 1977 there have been five Olympics that I didn’t compete in and five Olympics that I did compete in. The bigger difference is that I raced 438 World Cup races. To then commentate World Cups and not be a part of it, that was a much greater pool of races for me. The Olympics is still only five. But I also think the spectacle of the Olympics is so much more prevalent and much more culturally relevant for Americans. So to be able to experience that the way that the rest of country and friends and family have for the last five Olympics, I think that will be way more fun for me. </p><p><strong>DG</strong>: <em>I read that you’re selling one of your race suits from Sochi on eBay. What went into that decision?</em></p><p><strong>BM</strong>: Having four storage units full of old stuff that I’ll never use or touch again [laughs]. That’s actually probably not true. I probably have more like six storage units. Leading up to the Olympics I want to get the excitement up, I like to get people engaged. That’s really the majority of why I’m doing the commentary anyway. It’s not really cash intensive. It’s just that I want to help enhance the experience for everyone else if I can. </p><p><strong>DG</strong>: <em>You officially retired in October but you hadn’t raced since crashing in 2015 and severing a hamstring tendon. I know the basketball player Shaun Livingston has said he never watched the video of his gruesome knee injury. Have you gone back and watched the video of the crash that essentially ended your career?</em></p><p><strong>BM</strong>: Yeah, it wasn’t the injury that ended my career. (Editor’s note: <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/2016/12/29/bode-miller-olympics-return/95981412/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Miller also had a legal dispute with a ski manufacturer" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Miller also had a legal dispute with a ski manufacturer</a> that prevented him from racing on other skis for two years.) It’s not hard for me to watch crashes—I’ve watched so many of them. For a basketball player, they don’t get injured that often and when they do it’s not usually a visual injury. In ski racing, we crash all the time. We watch crashes because you have to figure out why you crashed. You really want to figure out what happened and not make that mistake again. </p><p>With the crash, I honestly could have continued racing that World Cup series even though I cut my hamstring. The cut was nasty but it’s the same as any other cut. If I was a hockey player and I was tougher I probably would have just sewed it up and gone right on skiing. But it was a small tendon that you can do without and in the end it’s gone anyway. Mine blew back out. It wasn’t really that serious of an injury. It looks gross and the crash was hard but it certainly wasn’t harder than a lot of other crashes I’ve had. </p><p><strong>DG</strong>: <em>You’re from New England (New Hampshire). Are you a football fan at all?</em></p><p><strong>BM</strong>:I am. This is the first year that I’m getting to go to the Super Bowl, so I’m excited. I watched the Super Bowls all the time from Europe but it’s a different experience over there and I’m glad I get to see a Super Bowl where Tom Brady will still be competing because he’s one of my favorite football players. </p><p><strong>DG</strong>: <em>Do you have a pick?</em></p><p><strong>BM</strong>: The Patriots. I think they’ll hold the Eagles pretty well. I think it’ll be 34–18, Patriots. </p>
Bode Miller Q&A: His Thoughts on the 2018 Olympics, His New Job as a Broadcaster and More

This will be the sixth straight Olympics Bode Miller has attended, only this time the six-time medalist will be in the commentary booth for NBC.

He officially retired in October and now works as the chief innovation officer for Aztech Mountain, a Colorado-based skiwear company. SI.com spoke with Miller about his new gig as an announcer, his thoughts on the upcoming Olympics, his Super Bowl pick and much more.

(The following interview was lightly edited and condensed for clarity.)

Dan Gartland: How helpful will your experience doing commentary for World Cup races be for you as you prepare to cover the Olympics with NBC?

Bode Miller: It’s critical, actually. It’s not a terribly tough thing for me to figure out how to do but there’s still a certain cadence to it. There’s few things that it helps to be used to, like with the timing of things or when they talk in your ear while you’re trying to talk. Those are all things that take a little getting used to, so it definitely helps.

DG: You were critical of the venue in Sochi. Do you think there will be anything about Korea and either the snow or the terrain there that will provide a challenge for the skiers at the Olympics?

BM: That’s really the crux of the whole thing. Skiing is full of that. There’s always something that’s problematic for one skier or another, or all of them, or one particular brand of ski. The number of variables there are in that sport, it’s always that. There’s no easy way to talk about it beforehand but that definitely will be a factor.

DG: How do skiers try to get a scouting report of the venue?

BM: A lot of that has to do with the specific weather patterns that come through, how the course track is—and that varies year to year. There’s a lot of variables.

DG: Obviously a lot of the focus this Olympics will be on Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin, two fantastic Americans. Are there any other potential breakout stars you’re looking forward to covering?

BM: It’s a strange sport because the favorites don’t generally do that well. If Michael Phelps came out of an Olympics with no medals, that would be shocking, whereas in this sport seeing a favorite come out with no medals is not shocking at all. It happens every single Olympics. Aksel Svindal, who was massively favored going into the last Olympics—he was skiing great, had just won several races going in there, had just won Kitzbühel right before that—he came out with no medals.

So while you can’t speak highly enough of Mikaela and Lindsey, it’s just no guarantee. In swimming there’s no variables. You hop in the pool, you do your thing, you might miss a start by a little bit but if you’re good enough you’ll overcome that. In this, there are just so many variables that are outside the control of the athlete that it really is sometimes absolutely impossible for even the very best to make up enough to cover that spread.

DG: This will be the first Olympics since 1994 that you won’t be competing in. You’ve missed World Cup seasons in the past but do you anticipate covering the Olympics to feel any different than the World Cup?

BM: I don’t know that it’ll be that different. The World Cup I would expect to be the bigger anomaly. If you think about it from my perspective, since I was born in 1977 there have been five Olympics that I didn’t compete in and five Olympics that I did compete in. The bigger difference is that I raced 438 World Cup races. To then commentate World Cups and not be a part of it, that was a much greater pool of races for me. The Olympics is still only five. But I also think the spectacle of the Olympics is so much more prevalent and much more culturally relevant for Americans. So to be able to experience that the way that the rest of country and friends and family have for the last five Olympics, I think that will be way more fun for me.

DG: I read that you’re selling one of your race suits from Sochi on eBay. What went into that decision?

BM: Having four storage units full of old stuff that I’ll never use or touch again [laughs]. That’s actually probably not true. I probably have more like six storage units. Leading up to the Olympics I want to get the excitement up, I like to get people engaged. That’s really the majority of why I’m doing the commentary anyway. It’s not really cash intensive. It’s just that I want to help enhance the experience for everyone else if I can.

DG: You officially retired in October but you hadn’t raced since crashing in 2015 and severing a hamstring tendon. I know the basketball player Shaun Livingston has said he never watched the video of his gruesome knee injury. Have you gone back and watched the video of the crash that essentially ended your career?

BM: Yeah, it wasn’t the injury that ended my career. (Editor’s note: Miller also had a legal dispute with a ski manufacturer that prevented him from racing on other skis for two years.) It’s not hard for me to watch crashes—I’ve watched so many of them. For a basketball player, they don’t get injured that often and when they do it’s not usually a visual injury. In ski racing, we crash all the time. We watch crashes because you have to figure out why you crashed. You really want to figure out what happened and not make that mistake again.

With the crash, I honestly could have continued racing that World Cup series even though I cut my hamstring. The cut was nasty but it’s the same as any other cut. If I was a hockey player and I was tougher I probably would have just sewed it up and gone right on skiing. But it was a small tendon that you can do without and in the end it’s gone anyway. Mine blew back out. It wasn’t really that serious of an injury. It looks gross and the crash was hard but it certainly wasn’t harder than a lot of other crashes I’ve had.

DG: You’re from New England (New Hampshire). Are you a football fan at all?

BM:I am. This is the first year that I’m getting to go to the Super Bowl, so I’m excited. I watched the Super Bowls all the time from Europe but it’s a different experience over there and I’m glad I get to see a Super Bowl where Tom Brady will still be competing because he’s one of my favorite football players.

DG: Do you have a pick?

BM: The Patriots. I think they’ll hold the Eagles pretty well. I think it’ll be 34–18, Patriots.

<p>With the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea fast approaching, here’s everything you need to know about speed skating.</p><p>The Olympics begin Thursday, Feb. 8 and conclude Sunday, Feb. 25. Speed skating will be contested from Feb. 10 to 24 with medals on the line for 14 different events. At the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, the Netherlands won eight out of 12 available gold medals but did manage to claim a medal in every event.</p><p>Check out the full speed skating schedule <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2017/10/20/2018-winter-olympics-speed-skating-schedule" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.</p><p>In December, Sports Illustrated published a <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2017/12/20/2018-winter-olympics-rookies-guide-speed-skating-pyeongchang" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Rookie&#39;s Guide to Speed Skating" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Rookie&#39;s Guide to Speed Skating</a> with information about the background, selection process, rules and format of the sport. I challenge you to read that guide and not want to watch speed skating at this year&#39;s Olympics. The competition is going to be a lot of fun.</p><p>In the January 29-February 5 Olympic Preview issue of <em>Sports Illustrated</em>’s magazine, our expert Brian Cazeneuve gave his medal predictions. Here are his picks for speed skating:</p><h3>Speedskating</h3><h3><b>MEN</b></h3><p><strong>500 Meters</strong></p><p>Gold: Ronald Mulder, Netherlands</p><p>Silver: Kai Verbij, Netherlands</p><p>Bronze: Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen, Norway</p><p><em>Mulder’s twin, Michel, won the 500-meter long-track event in Sochi and came in third at 1,000 meters.</em></p><p><strong>1,000 Meters</strong></p><p>Gold: Kjeld Nuis, Netherlands</p><p>Silver: Kai Verbij, Netherlands</p><p>Bronze: Vincent De Haître, Canada</p><p><em>De Haître was Canada’s 1,000-meter track cycling champ in 2013.</em></p><p><strong>1,500 Meters</strong></p><p>Gold: Denis Yuskov, Russia</p><p>Silver: Koen Verweij, Netherlands</p><p>Bronze: Kjeld Nuis, Netherlands</p><p><em>Born in Moscow, Yuskov, who thought he was going to soccer practice at his first training session, grew up in Moldova.</em></p><p><strong>5,000 Meters</strong></p><p>Gold: Sven Kramer, Netherlands</p><p>Silver: Ted-Jan Bloemen, Canada</p><p>Bronze: Nicola Tumolero, Italy</p><p><em>Dual citizen Bloemen is a Dutch native.</em></p><p><strong>10,000 Meters</strong></p><p>Gold: Sven Kramer, Netherlands</p><p>Silver: Jorrit Bergsma, Netherlands</p><p>Bronze: Patrick Beckert, Germany</p><p><em>Kramer’s girlfriend, Naomi van As, won two Olympic golds in field hockey.</em></p><p><strong>Team Pursuit</strong></p><p>Gold: Netherlands</p><p>Silver: Norway</p><p>Bronze: Canada</p><p><em>Dutch skaters won eight of 12 races in Sochi.</em></p><p><strong>Mass Start</strong></p><p>Gold: Lee Seung-hoon, South Korea</p><p>Silver: Joey Mantia, U.S.</p><p>Bronze: Sven Kramer, Netherlands</p><p><em>Mantia twice won Pan-Am Games golds in in-line skating.</em></p><p><b>WOMEN</b></p><p><strong>500 Meters</strong></p><p>Gold: Nao Kodaira, Japan</p><p>Silver: Lee Sang-hwa, South Korea</p><p>Bronze: Arisa Go, Japan</p><p><em>Two-time Olympic champ Lee turns 29 on the day of the closing ceremony.</em></p><p><strong>1,000 Meters</strong></p><p>Gold: Nao Kodaira, Japan</p><p>Silver: Miho Takagi, Japan</p><p>Bronze: Heather Bergsma, U.S.</p><p><em>Bergsma and her Dutch husband, Jorrit, have combined for 23 worlds medals.</em></p><p><strong>1,500 Meters</strong></p><p>Gold: Miho Takagi, Japan</p><p>Silver: Marrit Leenstra, Netherlands</p><p>Bronze: Ireen Wüst, Netherlands</p><p><em>Takagi was a 2010 Olympian at age 15.</em></p><p><strong>3,000 Meters</strong></p><p>Gold: Martina Sábliková, Czech Republic</p><p>Silver: Claudia Pechstein, Germany</p><p>Bronze: Antoinette de Jong, Netherlands</p><p><em>European 3K champ Esmee Visser made the Dutch team only at 5K.</em></p><p><strong>5,000 Meters</strong></p><p>Gold: Martina Sábliková, Czech Republic</p><p>Silver: Natalia Voronina, Russia</p><p>Bronze: Claudia Pechstein, Germany</p><p>Sábliková is a former national cycling champ in the time trial.</p><p><strong>Mass Start</strong></p><p>Gold: Francesca Lollobrigida, Italy</p><p>Silver: Kim Bo-reum, South Korea</p><p>Bronze: Guo Dan, China</p><p><em>The mass start returns to the Olympics after an 86-year layoff.</em></p><p><strong>Team Pursuit</strong></p><p>Gold: Netherlands</p><p>Silver: Japan</p><p>Bronze: Germany</p><p><em>Dutch skaters won 23 medals in Sochi; Poland was next with three.</em></p><h3>Short Track</h3><h3>MEN</h3><p><strong>500 Meters</strong></p><p>Gold: Wu Dajing, China</p><p>Silver: Shaolin Sándor Liu, Hungary</p><p>Bronze: Samuel Girard, Canada</p><p><em>Wu says his sports hero is Michael Phelps.</em></p><p><strong>1,000 Meters</strong></p><p>Gold: Shaolin Sándor Liu, Hungary</p><p>Silver: Wu Dajing, China</p><p>Bronze: Hwang Dae-heon, South Korea</p><p><em>Sándor’s girlfriend is Elise Christie.</em></p><p><strong>1,500 Meters</strong></p><p>Gold: Hwang Dae-heon, South Korea</p><p>Silver: Charles Hamelin, Canada</p><p>Bronze: Sjinkie Knegt, Netherlands</p><p><em>In 2014, Knegt became the first Dutch person to win a short-track medal.</em></p><p><strong>5,000-Meter Relay</strong></p><p>Gold: South Korea</p><p>Silver: Canada</p><p>Bronze: Netherlands</p><p><em>The U.S. team could nab a medal.</em></p><h3><b>WOMEN</b></h3><p><strong>500 Meters</strong></p><p>Gold: Choi Min-jeong, South Korea</p><p>Silver: Marianne St-Gelais, Canada</p><p>Bronze: Elise Christie, Great Britain</p><p><em>South Korea has never won gold or silver at 500.</em></p><p><strong>1,000 Meters</strong></p><p>Gold: Choi Min-jeong, South Korea</p><p>Silver: Kim Boutin, Canada</p><p>Bronze: Elise Christie, Great Britain</p><p><em>Christie has dyed her hair a dozen different colors before events.</em></p><p><strong>1,500 Meters</strong></p><p>Gold: Choi Min-jeong, South Korea</p><p>Silver: Shim Suk-hee, South Korea</p><p>Bronze: Kim Boutin, Canada</p><p><em>In 2015, Choi was world champ at age 16.</em></p><p><strong>3,000-Meter Relay</strong></p><p>Gold: South Korea</p><p>Silver: China</p><p>Bronze: Canada</p><p><em>All but five of South Korea’s 26 winter golds have come in short track.</em></p><p>Check out Brian’s medal predictions for all 102 events in the magazine.</p>
2018 Winter Olympics: Speed Skating Guide and Preview for PyeongChang

With the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea fast approaching, here’s everything you need to know about speed skating.

The Olympics begin Thursday, Feb. 8 and conclude Sunday, Feb. 25. Speed skating will be contested from Feb. 10 to 24 with medals on the line for 14 different events. At the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, the Netherlands won eight out of 12 available gold medals but did manage to claim a medal in every event.

Check out the full speed skating schedule here.

In December, Sports Illustrated published a Rookie's Guide to Speed Skating with information about the background, selection process, rules and format of the sport. I challenge you to read that guide and not want to watch speed skating at this year's Olympics. The competition is going to be a lot of fun.

In the January 29-February 5 Olympic Preview issue of Sports Illustrated’s magazine, our expert Brian Cazeneuve gave his medal predictions. Here are his picks for speed skating:

Speedskating

MEN

500 Meters

Gold: Ronald Mulder, Netherlands

Silver: Kai Verbij, Netherlands

Bronze: Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen, Norway

Mulder’s twin, Michel, won the 500-meter long-track event in Sochi and came in third at 1,000 meters.

1,000 Meters

Gold: Kjeld Nuis, Netherlands

Silver: Kai Verbij, Netherlands

Bronze: Vincent De Haître, Canada

De Haître was Canada’s 1,000-meter track cycling champ in 2013.

1,500 Meters

Gold: Denis Yuskov, Russia

Silver: Koen Verweij, Netherlands

Bronze: Kjeld Nuis, Netherlands

Born in Moscow, Yuskov, who thought he was going to soccer practice at his first training session, grew up in Moldova.

5,000 Meters

Gold: Sven Kramer, Netherlands

Silver: Ted-Jan Bloemen, Canada

Bronze: Nicola Tumolero, Italy

Dual citizen Bloemen is a Dutch native.

10,000 Meters

Gold: Sven Kramer, Netherlands

Silver: Jorrit Bergsma, Netherlands

Bronze: Patrick Beckert, Germany

Kramer’s girlfriend, Naomi van As, won two Olympic golds in field hockey.

Team Pursuit

Gold: Netherlands

Silver: Norway

Bronze: Canada

Dutch skaters won eight of 12 races in Sochi.

Mass Start

Gold: Lee Seung-hoon, South Korea

Silver: Joey Mantia, U.S.

Bronze: Sven Kramer, Netherlands

Mantia twice won Pan-Am Games golds in in-line skating.

WOMEN

500 Meters

Gold: Nao Kodaira, Japan

Silver: Lee Sang-hwa, South Korea

Bronze: Arisa Go, Japan

Two-time Olympic champ Lee turns 29 on the day of the closing ceremony.

1,000 Meters

Gold: Nao Kodaira, Japan

Silver: Miho Takagi, Japan

Bronze: Heather Bergsma, U.S.

Bergsma and her Dutch husband, Jorrit, have combined for 23 worlds medals.

1,500 Meters

Gold: Miho Takagi, Japan

Silver: Marrit Leenstra, Netherlands

Bronze: Ireen Wüst, Netherlands

Takagi was a 2010 Olympian at age 15.

3,000 Meters

Gold: Martina Sábliková, Czech Republic

Silver: Claudia Pechstein, Germany

Bronze: Antoinette de Jong, Netherlands

European 3K champ Esmee Visser made the Dutch team only at 5K.

5,000 Meters

Gold: Martina Sábliková, Czech Republic

Silver: Natalia Voronina, Russia

Bronze: Claudia Pechstein, Germany

Sábliková is a former national cycling champ in the time trial.

Mass Start

Gold: Francesca Lollobrigida, Italy

Silver: Kim Bo-reum, South Korea

Bronze: Guo Dan, China

The mass start returns to the Olympics after an 86-year layoff.

Team Pursuit

Gold: Netherlands

Silver: Japan

Bronze: Germany

Dutch skaters won 23 medals in Sochi; Poland was next with three.

Short Track

MEN

500 Meters

Gold: Wu Dajing, China

Silver: Shaolin Sándor Liu, Hungary

Bronze: Samuel Girard, Canada

Wu says his sports hero is Michael Phelps.

1,000 Meters

Gold: Shaolin Sándor Liu, Hungary

Silver: Wu Dajing, China

Bronze: Hwang Dae-heon, South Korea

Sándor’s girlfriend is Elise Christie.

1,500 Meters

Gold: Hwang Dae-heon, South Korea

Silver: Charles Hamelin, Canada

Bronze: Sjinkie Knegt, Netherlands

In 2014, Knegt became the first Dutch person to win a short-track medal.

5,000-Meter Relay

Gold: South Korea

Silver: Canada

Bronze: Netherlands

The U.S. team could nab a medal.

WOMEN

500 Meters

Gold: Choi Min-jeong, South Korea

Silver: Marianne St-Gelais, Canada

Bronze: Elise Christie, Great Britain

South Korea has never won gold or silver at 500.

1,000 Meters

Gold: Choi Min-jeong, South Korea

Silver: Kim Boutin, Canada

Bronze: Elise Christie, Great Britain

Christie has dyed her hair a dozen different colors before events.

1,500 Meters

Gold: Choi Min-jeong, South Korea

Silver: Shim Suk-hee, South Korea

Bronze: Kim Boutin, Canada

In 2015, Choi was world champ at age 16.

3,000-Meter Relay

Gold: South Korea

Silver: China

Bronze: Canada

All but five of South Korea’s 26 winter golds have come in short track.

Check out Brian’s medal predictions for all 102 events in the magazine.

<p>With the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea fast approaching, here’s everything you need to know about short track speed skating. </p><p>Short track speed skating is now one event, but an umbrella term that encompasses four men&#39;s and four women&#39;s races. Each race takes place on an oval track of ice that is 111.2 meters long, while the entire sheet of ice is 60 meters long and 30 meters wide. </p><p>In PyeongChang, short track competition begins with the men&#39;s 1500m qualification heats on Feb. 10 and wraps up with the men&#39;s 5000m relay finals on Feb. 23. </p><p>A full schedule of all 10 events can be seen <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2017/10/16/winter-olympics-2018-alpine-skiing-schedule" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>. </p><p>In December, SI.com published a <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2017/12/04/2018-Winter-Olympics-Rookies-Guide-Alpine-Skiing-PyeongChang" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Rookie’s Guide to Short Track Speed Skating" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Rookie’s Guide to Short Track Speed Skating</a> with information about each specific event, including the rules, history, 2014 medal winners and current world champion. </p><p>The short track races put a premium on explosiveness and strategy, but the skaters&#39; synchronized movements and long, smooth strides give the competition an element of elegance. Speed skating is the quintessential Winter Olympic sport—it&#39;s nearly impossible not to enjoy, but it&#39;s also highly unlikely that you&#39;ll watch any non-Olympic action. So now is the perfect time to brush up before you get your fill that&#39;ll last you four years.</p><p>In the January 29-February 5 Olympic Preview issue of <em>Sports Illustrated</em>’s magazine, our expert Brian Cazeneuve gave his medal predictions. Here are his picks for short track speed skating:</p><h3>MEN</h3><p><strong>500 Meters</strong><br>? Wu Dajing, China<br>? Shaolin Sándor Liu, Hungary<br>? Samuel Girard, Canada<br><em>Wu says his sports hero is Michael Phelps.</em></p><p><strong>1,000 Meters</strong><br>? Shaolin Sándor Liu, Hungary<br>? Wu Dajing, China<br>? Hwang Dae-heon, South Korea<br><em>Sándor’s girlfriend is Elise Christie.</em></p><p><strong>1,500 Meters</strong><br>? Hwang Dae-heon, South Korea<br>? Charles Hamelin, Canada<br>? Sjinkie Knegt, Netherlands<br><em>In 2014, Knegt became the first Dutch person to win a short-track medal.</em></p><p><strong>5,000-Meter Relay</strong><br>? South Korea<br>? Canada<br>? Netherlands<br><em>The U.S. team could nab a medal.</em></p><h3>WOMEN</h3><p><strong>500 Meters</strong><br>? Choi Min-jeong, South Korea<br>? Marianne St-Gelais, Canada<br>? Elise Christie, Great Britain<br><em>South Korea has never won gold or silver at 500.</em></p><p><strong>1,000 Meters</strong><br>? Choi Min-jeong, South Korea<br>? Kim Boutin, Canada<br>? Elise Christie, Great Britain<br><em>Christie has dyed her hair a dozen different colors before events.</em></p><p><strong>1,500 Meters</strong><br>? Choi Min-jeong, South Korea<br>? Shim Suk-hee, South Korea<br>? Kim Boutin, Canada<br><em>In 2015, Choi was world champ at age 16.</em></p><p><strong>3,000-Meter Relay</strong><br>? South Korea<br>? China<br>? Canada<br><em>All but five of South Korea’s 26 winter golds have come in short track.</em></p><p>Check out the rest of Brian’s medal predictions for all 102 events in the magazine.</p>
2018 Winter Olympics: Short Track Speed Skating Guide and Preview for PyeongChang

With the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea fast approaching, here’s everything you need to know about short track speed skating.

Short track speed skating is now one event, but an umbrella term that encompasses four men's and four women's races. Each race takes place on an oval track of ice that is 111.2 meters long, while the entire sheet of ice is 60 meters long and 30 meters wide.

In PyeongChang, short track competition begins with the men's 1500m qualification heats on Feb. 10 and wraps up with the men's 5000m relay finals on Feb. 23.

A full schedule of all 10 events can be seen here.

In December, SI.com published a Rookie’s Guide to Short Track Speed Skating with information about each specific event, including the rules, history, 2014 medal winners and current world champion.

The short track races put a premium on explosiveness and strategy, but the skaters' synchronized movements and long, smooth strides give the competition an element of elegance. Speed skating is the quintessential Winter Olympic sport—it's nearly impossible not to enjoy, but it's also highly unlikely that you'll watch any non-Olympic action. So now is the perfect time to brush up before you get your fill that'll last you four years.

In the January 29-February 5 Olympic Preview issue of Sports Illustrated’s magazine, our expert Brian Cazeneuve gave his medal predictions. Here are his picks for short track speed skating:

MEN

500 Meters
? Wu Dajing, China
? Shaolin Sándor Liu, Hungary
? Samuel Girard, Canada
Wu says his sports hero is Michael Phelps.

1,000 Meters
? Shaolin Sándor Liu, Hungary
? Wu Dajing, China
? Hwang Dae-heon, South Korea
Sándor’s girlfriend is Elise Christie.

1,500 Meters
? Hwang Dae-heon, South Korea
? Charles Hamelin, Canada
? Sjinkie Knegt, Netherlands
In 2014, Knegt became the first Dutch person to win a short-track medal.

5,000-Meter Relay
? South Korea
? Canada
? Netherlands
The U.S. team could nab a medal.

WOMEN

500 Meters
? Choi Min-jeong, South Korea
? Marianne St-Gelais, Canada
? Elise Christie, Great Britain
South Korea has never won gold or silver at 500.

1,000 Meters
? Choi Min-jeong, South Korea
? Kim Boutin, Canada
? Elise Christie, Great Britain
Christie has dyed her hair a dozen different colors before events.

1,500 Meters
? Choi Min-jeong, South Korea
? Shim Suk-hee, South Korea
? Kim Boutin, Canada
In 2015, Choi was world champ at age 16.

3,000-Meter Relay
? South Korea
? China
? Canada
All but five of South Korea’s 26 winter golds have come in short track.

Check out the rest of Brian’s medal predictions for all 102 events in the magazine.

<p>With the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea fast approaching, here’s everything you need to know about short track speed skating. </p><p>Short track speed skating is now one event, but an umbrella term that encompasses four men&#39;s and four women&#39;s races. Each race takes place on an oval track of ice that is 111.2 meters long, while the entire sheet of ice is 60 meters long and 30 meters wide. </p><p>In PyeongChang, short track competition begins with the men&#39;s 1500m qualification heats on Feb. 10 and wraps up with the men&#39;s 5000m relay finals on Feb. 23. </p><p>A full schedule of all 10 events can be seen <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2017/10/16/winter-olympics-2018-alpine-skiing-schedule" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>. </p><p>In December, SI.com published a <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2017/12/04/2018-Winter-Olympics-Rookies-Guide-Alpine-Skiing-PyeongChang" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Rookie’s Guide to Short Track Speed Skating" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Rookie’s Guide to Short Track Speed Skating</a> with information about each specific event, including the rules, history, 2014 medal winners and current world champion. </p><p>The short track races put a premium on explosiveness and strategy, but the skaters&#39; synchronized movements and long, smooth strides give the competition an element of elegance. Speed skating is the quintessential Winter Olympic sport—it&#39;s nearly impossible not to enjoy, but it&#39;s also highly unlikely that you&#39;ll watch any non-Olympic action. So now is the perfect time to brush up before you get your fill that&#39;ll last you four years.</p><p>In the January 29-February 5 Olympic Preview issue of <em>Sports Illustrated</em>’s magazine, our expert Brian Cazeneuve gave his medal predictions. Here are his picks for short track speed skating:</p><h3>MEN</h3><p><strong>500 Meters</strong><br>? Wu Dajing, China<br>? Shaolin Sándor Liu, Hungary<br>? Samuel Girard, Canada<br><em>Wu says his sports hero is Michael Phelps.</em></p><p><strong>1,000 Meters</strong><br>? Shaolin Sándor Liu, Hungary<br>? Wu Dajing, China<br>? Hwang Dae-heon, South Korea<br><em>Sándor’s girlfriend is Elise Christie.</em></p><p><strong>1,500 Meters</strong><br>? Hwang Dae-heon, South Korea<br>? Charles Hamelin, Canada<br>? Sjinkie Knegt, Netherlands<br><em>In 2014, Knegt became the first Dutch person to win a short-track medal.</em></p><p><strong>5,000-Meter Relay</strong><br>? South Korea<br>? Canada<br>? Netherlands<br><em>The U.S. team could nab a medal.</em></p><h3>WOMEN</h3><p><strong>500 Meters</strong><br>? Choi Min-jeong, South Korea<br>? Marianne St-Gelais, Canada<br>? Elise Christie, Great Britain<br><em>South Korea has never won gold or silver at 500.</em></p><p><strong>1,000 Meters</strong><br>? Choi Min-jeong, South Korea<br>? Kim Boutin, Canada<br>? Elise Christie, Great Britain<br><em>Christie has dyed her hair a dozen different colors before events.</em></p><p><strong>1,500 Meters</strong><br>? Choi Min-jeong, South Korea<br>? Shim Suk-hee, South Korea<br>? Kim Boutin, Canada<br><em>In 2015, Choi was world champ at age 16.</em></p><p><strong>3,000-Meter Relay</strong><br>? South Korea<br>? China<br>? Canada<br><em>All but five of South Korea’s 26 winter golds have come in short track.</em></p><p>Check out the rest of Brian’s medal predictions for all 102 events in the magazine.</p>
2018 Winter Olympics: Short Track Speed Skating Guide and Preview for PyeongChang

With the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea fast approaching, here’s everything you need to know about short track speed skating.

Short track speed skating is now one event, but an umbrella term that encompasses four men's and four women's races. Each race takes place on an oval track of ice that is 111.2 meters long, while the entire sheet of ice is 60 meters long and 30 meters wide.

In PyeongChang, short track competition begins with the men's 1500m qualification heats on Feb. 10 and wraps up with the men's 5000m relay finals on Feb. 23.

A full schedule of all 10 events can be seen here.

In December, SI.com published a Rookie’s Guide to Short Track Speed Skating with information about each specific event, including the rules, history, 2014 medal winners and current world champion.

The short track races put a premium on explosiveness and strategy, but the skaters' synchronized movements and long, smooth strides give the competition an element of elegance. Speed skating is the quintessential Winter Olympic sport—it's nearly impossible not to enjoy, but it's also highly unlikely that you'll watch any non-Olympic action. So now is the perfect time to brush up before you get your fill that'll last you four years.

In the January 29-February 5 Olympic Preview issue of Sports Illustrated’s magazine, our expert Brian Cazeneuve gave his medal predictions. Here are his picks for short track speed skating:

MEN

500 Meters
? Wu Dajing, China
? Shaolin Sándor Liu, Hungary
? Samuel Girard, Canada
Wu says his sports hero is Michael Phelps.

1,000 Meters
? Shaolin Sándor Liu, Hungary
? Wu Dajing, China
? Hwang Dae-heon, South Korea
Sándor’s girlfriend is Elise Christie.

1,500 Meters
? Hwang Dae-heon, South Korea
? Charles Hamelin, Canada
? Sjinkie Knegt, Netherlands
In 2014, Knegt became the first Dutch person to win a short-track medal.

5,000-Meter Relay
? South Korea
? Canada
? Netherlands
The U.S. team could nab a medal.

WOMEN

500 Meters
? Choi Min-jeong, South Korea
? Marianne St-Gelais, Canada
? Elise Christie, Great Britain
South Korea has never won gold or silver at 500.

1,000 Meters
? Choi Min-jeong, South Korea
? Kim Boutin, Canada
? Elise Christie, Great Britain
Christie has dyed her hair a dozen different colors before events.

1,500 Meters
? Choi Min-jeong, South Korea
? Shim Suk-hee, South Korea
? Kim Boutin, Canada
In 2015, Choi was world champ at age 16.

3,000-Meter Relay
? South Korea
? China
? Canada
All but five of South Korea’s 26 winter golds have come in short track.

Check out the rest of Brian’s medal predictions for all 102 events in the magazine.

<p><strong>1. She does not like, uh, snow.</strong></p><p>&quot;Actually, I hate it,&quot; Kim says. &quot;I grew up in Southern California. If it&#39;s snowing on a day I&#39;m supposed to train I&#39;ll just stare out the window in all my gear and be like, Hmmm, maybe not today. I hate being cold. If my hands get cold I&#39;ll go inside to warm them up and basically never come back out. I&#39;m a little wimp.&quot;</p><p><strong>2. Kim has strong feelings about highly specific things. </strong></p><p>&quot;I take my stuff seriously,&quot; she says. &quot;If you have the nerve to give me the orange Starburst, I will cut you. If you give me fro-yo without mangoes, you&#39;re dead to me. If you say that Hawaiian pizza is gross, we&#39;re done.&quot;</p><p><strong>3. She will not let romance get in the way of gold.</strong></p><p>Kim recently broke up with her boyfriend of a year and a half, a fellow competitive snowboarder who shall remain nameless. &quot;I was hearing a lot of rumors about him, and our relationship in general,&quot; she says. &quot;And I&#39;m just at a time where I didn&#39;t really want to worry about that. So I just broke it off.&quot;</p><p>It was a business decision?</p><p>&quot;Pretty much. That sounds kind of harsh, but it&#39;s true. We&#39;re still good friends, though. At least I&#39;d like to think so.&quot;</p><p><strong>4. She is already being called the Shaun White of women’s snowboarding. </strong></p><p>Like the fabled Flying Tomato, the 5&#39;2&quot;, 115-pound Kim is redefining what is considered possible in the halfpipe, having become the only woman to land back-to-back 1080s. (She did it for the first time at the 2016 U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix, joining White as the only riders to score a perfect 100 on a run at that event.) At the 2016 X Games, Kim won two gold medals at the tender age of 15 and ever since has been the presumptive golden girl in PyeongChang. In fact, Kim would have qualified for the U.S. Olympic team in 2014, but was too young.</p><p>&quot;She definitely reminds me of myself,&quot; White says with a laugh. &quot;But it&#39;s not about one big trick, it&#39;s about the way she connects the whole run. She does what I strived for: big air at the top, gnarly tricks in the middle, finish it great. I love watching her ride.&quot;</p><p><strong>5. Like all the young women in La La Land, Kim drives a Prius, but </strong>&quot;... my Prius is dope-ass,&quot; she says. &quot;I customized it and made it super sick. It&#39;s really fast. I just press down the pedal, it twitches a bit and then just blasts off. And then I&#39;m going 100 miles an hour.&quot;</p><p>Pause.</p><p>&quot;But please don&#39;t tell my parents that.&quot;</p><p><strong>6. Kim’s mom, Boran, was supposed to be the snowboarder in the family. </strong></p><p>&quot;I was just bait,&quot; Chloe says. &quot;My dad [Jong Jin] for some reason decided he and my mom should snowboard together. Maybe it was to add a little spice to their relationship? Anyway, he only brought little four-year-old me as a way to get her on the mountain. He was like, Your kid is doing a dangerous sport, and she doesn&#39;t have the support of her loving mother. What kind of parenting is this? But she hated it, and I hated it less, and so it wound up being just me and my dad. By the time I was six I would blow down the mountain and be sitting at the bottom of the lift, waiting for my dad to do all of his dainty turns and come meet me.&quot;</p><p>Back then the Kims lived in Torrance, just south of Los Angeles. (They now have a family home in La Habra, Calif., and Chloe recently bought herself a place in Las Vegas.) In the wee hours of Saturday mornings, Jong Jin would carry his daughter from her bed to the car, and she would awaken five or six hours later in the parking lot of Mammoth Mountain, 150 miles east of San Francisco in the Sierra Nevadas.</p><p>This origin story is similar to White&#39;s: He grew up in San Diego and learned to ride on weekend trips to Bear Mountain. &quot;Wait, what?&quot; says Kim, upon hearing this well-known tidbit of White&#39;s bio. &quot;This is weirding me out. Is that why everyone&#39;s like, &#39;Omigawd, your stories are so similar?&#39;&quot;</p><p>That is exactly why.</p><p>&quot;That&#39;s so crazy. O.K., yeah, I didn&#39;t know that.&quot;</p><p><strong>7. If you’re at a Starbucks in Park City Utah </strong>in December while Kim is in town working with the U.S. team, and a group of tweens who are supposed to be studying instead begin talking about Riverdale, the TV show based on the Archie comics, Kim will break off from a boring conversation about snowboarding, lean over toward these perfect strangers and chime in, &quot;Dude, Cole Sprouse is so hot.&quot;</p><p>&quot;Which one is he?&quot; a clueless middle-aged man might ask.</p><p>&quot;He&#39;s a babe,&quot; Kim says. &quot;Next question.&quot;</p><p><strong>8. Kim is not immune to the cresting hype around her Olympics debut but she remains, in fact, super chill. </strong></p><p>&quot;You can feel it in the air,&quot; she says. &quot;The Olympics are just different. I&#39;m not sure why; the pipe&#39;s the same size, the board you&#39;re riding is the same, you&#39;re competing against pretty much the same people. But the Olympics is the Olympics and I know it&#39;s a really big deal.&quot;</p><p>&quot;I worry about her a little bit,&quot; says Jake Burton, the patriarch of the sport who has been sponsoring Kim since she was 11 years old. &quot;It&#39;s like your whole existence can be defined by what happens in that minute and a half. It&#39;s very stressy. But the thing that always impresses me about Chloe is that no matter how big the event, she is always super chill. She&#39;s got a unique confidence and she puts the board down so effortless and smooth, and you can&#39;t fake that.&quot;</p><p>&quot;For whatever reason,&quot; Kim says, &quot;I&#39;m pretty good with pressure. I kinda just flip it over, and think of it as positive. &#39;Cause at the end of the day, people wouldn&#39;t expect me to win unless they really thought I could do it. So that&#39;s a good thing. Right?&quot;</p><p><strong>9. Gold or no gold, Kim is already the product of the American Dream. </strong></p><p>Jong Jin immigrated to Southern California from South Korea as a young man, arriving with $800 in cash. He bought a used car and found work at a gas station. On one of his first days, a coworker asked for a ride home and promptly stole the car and all of Jong Jin&#39;s remaining cash. He found another minimum-wage job and eventually matriculated at Long Beach State. Jong Jin earned his real estate license and saved enough money to buy a duplex, where the family lived while renting out the other floor. He would go on to amass substantial real estate holdings, including a condo in Mammoth Lakes.</p><p>Thanks to her burgeoning endorsement portfolio, Kim has already begun investing in real estate herself, with an apartment building in Korea and what she calls her &quot;bachelor pad&quot; in Vegas, which is also an attractive place of residence for tax reasons. For now her parents allow her a debit card with a $500 limit. &quot;I&#39;ve definitely learned the value of a dollar,&quot; Kim says. &quot;It&#39;s exactly 100 cents.&quot;</p><p><strong>10. Kim is still technically a high school student. </strong></p><p>She began homeschooling in the eighth grade to facilitate her training and competitive schedule. The following year she enrolled in an independent learning program through Mammoth High, using an Internet-based curriculum. &quot;I think I went [to campus] only once last year,&quot; she says. &quot;And it was just to drop off presents for my teachers. Like, here&#39;s some chocolate from Switzerland, please don&#39;t hate me.&quot;</p><p>Kim likes the idea of walking at graduation and maybe even attending the prom. &quot;But if I do really well at the Olympics I might not have time,&quot; she says. &quot;I&#39;m O.K. with that.&quot;</p><p><strong>11. An important part of Kim’s snowboarding education occurred in Switzerland. </strong></p><p>When she was eight her parents sent her to Geneva to live with her aunt Sun-hwa Kim for two years. &quot;They thought it would make me well-rounded to live overseas,&quot; she says. &quot;Or they were just sick of me. I&#39;m still not sure which.&quot;</p><p>Kim had embraced snowboarding mostly to please her dad, but it was on the vertiginous slopes of the Alps that Kim truly fell in love with the sport, in part because it brought respect from her peers that was otherwise elusive. &quot;I tried to play soccer,&quot; she says, &quot;because I wanted to be accepted by the community, but unfortunately I&#39;m not good at anything involving a ball. In fact, I&#39;m terrible. I&#39;d try to kick the ball as hard as I could and I&#39;d miss it and flip onto my back, like in cartoons. Eventually they made me the goalie and were like, Just stand there and be the chick who gets hit in the face by the ball. And I was like, I&#39;m totally down with that.&quot;</p><p><strong>12. Kim always listens to music on headphones during her runs, but uses a different song for ever competition. </strong></p><p>Ask her what she remembers about the first time she landed the 1080 and the first thing Kim says is, &quot;I was blasting Chainsmokers&#39; &#39;Roses&#39; so loud I couldn&#39;t hear the snow.&quot; Kim&#39;s tastes are eclectic: hip-hop, depressing Lana Del Rey ballads, even country. When will she decide on her tunes for PyeongChang? &quot;Like a day or two before it starts,&quot; she says. &quot;It just kind of happens, like magic.&quot;</p><p><strong>13. In the run-up to the Olympics…</strong> there will inevitably be talk of Kim&#39;s rivalry with Kelly Clark, 34, who will be competing in her fifth Winter Games, having won three previous medals. But this is about as friendly as rivalries get.</p><p>&quot;Kelly Clark has been my biggest inspiration since Day One and she&#39;s been so amazing to me,&quot; Kim says. &quot;She&#39;s always there for me. She&#39;s been through it all and there&#39;s literally nothing she doesn&#39;t know. She&#39;s a very comforting person to be around.&quot;</p><p>The (non)rivalry began in 2014, when Kim competed in her first X Games at 13. She dazzled the snowboarding world, but Clark held her off by .6 of a point to take the gold. &quot;I&#39;ve never felt like Kelly was competitive toward me,&quot; says Kim. &quot;I&#39;ve never felt that way toward her. I don&#39;t feel competitive toward anyone! The more you stress about what other people are doing, that just psychs you out. It was like the Brazilian guy obsessing over Michael Phelps in Rio—how did that work out for him?&quot;</p><p>As gracious as Clark is toward her protégé, she has her limits: She declined to be interviewed for this story, saying she wanted to focus on her training.</p><p><strong>14. Kim is afraid to watch video of herself … but not for the reason you might think.</strong></p><p>&quot;The thought of breaking my neck is not nearly as scary as having to watch myself do an interview,&quot; she says. &quot;I hate my voice. I don&#39;t think I have a Valley Girl accent, but everyone&#39;s like, &#39;You have the worst Valley Girl accent ever.&#39; And unfortunately my friends have caught on to this. I was hanging out at a buddy&#39;s house and to mess with me they cranked up the volume to 100 on the TV and played one of my interviews. I literally started screaming and ran to the bathroom upstairs and dug my face into towels and was covering my ears the whole time, while still screaming.&quot;</p><p>For the record, Kim has a perfectly pleasant voice. If she rides her best, the gold medal is her destiny, and Kim&#39;s perky interviews will be one of the soundtracks to these Games.</p><p>&quot;Oh, gawd,&quot; she groans, &quot;I can&#39;t believe you just said that. I think I just got nervous for the first time about the Olympics.&quot;</p>
Super Chill: Fourteen Things to Know About Snowboarding Prodigy Chloe Kim

1. She does not like, uh, snow.

"Actually, I hate it," Kim says. "I grew up in Southern California. If it's snowing on a day I'm supposed to train I'll just stare out the window in all my gear and be like, Hmmm, maybe not today. I hate being cold. If my hands get cold I'll go inside to warm them up and basically never come back out. I'm a little wimp."

2. Kim has strong feelings about highly specific things.

"I take my stuff seriously," she says. "If you have the nerve to give me the orange Starburst, I will cut you. If you give me fro-yo without mangoes, you're dead to me. If you say that Hawaiian pizza is gross, we're done."

3. She will not let romance get in the way of gold.

Kim recently broke up with her boyfriend of a year and a half, a fellow competitive snowboarder who shall remain nameless. "I was hearing a lot of rumors about him, and our relationship in general," she says. "And I'm just at a time where I didn't really want to worry about that. So I just broke it off."

It was a business decision?

"Pretty much. That sounds kind of harsh, but it's true. We're still good friends, though. At least I'd like to think so."

4. She is already being called the Shaun White of women’s snowboarding.

Like the fabled Flying Tomato, the 5'2", 115-pound Kim is redefining what is considered possible in the halfpipe, having become the only woman to land back-to-back 1080s. (She did it for the first time at the 2016 U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix, joining White as the only riders to score a perfect 100 on a run at that event.) At the 2016 X Games, Kim won two gold medals at the tender age of 15 and ever since has been the presumptive golden girl in PyeongChang. In fact, Kim would have qualified for the U.S. Olympic team in 2014, but was too young.

"She definitely reminds me of myself," White says with a laugh. "But it's not about one big trick, it's about the way she connects the whole run. She does what I strived for: big air at the top, gnarly tricks in the middle, finish it great. I love watching her ride."

5. Like all the young women in La La Land, Kim drives a Prius, but "... my Prius is dope-ass," she says. "I customized it and made it super sick. It's really fast. I just press down the pedal, it twitches a bit and then just blasts off. And then I'm going 100 miles an hour."

Pause.

"But please don't tell my parents that."

6. Kim’s mom, Boran, was supposed to be the snowboarder in the family.

"I was just bait," Chloe says. "My dad [Jong Jin] for some reason decided he and my mom should snowboard together. Maybe it was to add a little spice to their relationship? Anyway, he only brought little four-year-old me as a way to get her on the mountain. He was like, Your kid is doing a dangerous sport, and she doesn't have the support of her loving mother. What kind of parenting is this? But she hated it, and I hated it less, and so it wound up being just me and my dad. By the time I was six I would blow down the mountain and be sitting at the bottom of the lift, waiting for my dad to do all of his dainty turns and come meet me."

Back then the Kims lived in Torrance, just south of Los Angeles. (They now have a family home in La Habra, Calif., and Chloe recently bought herself a place in Las Vegas.) In the wee hours of Saturday mornings, Jong Jin would carry his daughter from her bed to the car, and she would awaken five or six hours later in the parking lot of Mammoth Mountain, 150 miles east of San Francisco in the Sierra Nevadas.

This origin story is similar to White's: He grew up in San Diego and learned to ride on weekend trips to Bear Mountain. "Wait, what?" says Kim, upon hearing this well-known tidbit of White's bio. "This is weirding me out. Is that why everyone's like, 'Omigawd, your stories are so similar?'"

That is exactly why.

"That's so crazy. O.K., yeah, I didn't know that."

7. If you’re at a Starbucks in Park City Utah in December while Kim is in town working with the U.S. team, and a group of tweens who are supposed to be studying instead begin talking about Riverdale, the TV show based on the Archie comics, Kim will break off from a boring conversation about snowboarding, lean over toward these perfect strangers and chime in, "Dude, Cole Sprouse is so hot."

"Which one is he?" a clueless middle-aged man might ask.

"He's a babe," Kim says. "Next question."

8. Kim is not immune to the cresting hype around her Olympics debut but she remains, in fact, super chill.

"You can feel it in the air," she says. "The Olympics are just different. I'm not sure why; the pipe's the same size, the board you're riding is the same, you're competing against pretty much the same people. But the Olympics is the Olympics and I know it's a really big deal."

"I worry about her a little bit," says Jake Burton, the patriarch of the sport who has been sponsoring Kim since she was 11 years old. "It's like your whole existence can be defined by what happens in that minute and a half. It's very stressy. But the thing that always impresses me about Chloe is that no matter how big the event, she is always super chill. She's got a unique confidence and she puts the board down so effortless and smooth, and you can't fake that."

"For whatever reason," Kim says, "I'm pretty good with pressure. I kinda just flip it over, and think of it as positive. 'Cause at the end of the day, people wouldn't expect me to win unless they really thought I could do it. So that's a good thing. Right?"

9. Gold or no gold, Kim is already the product of the American Dream.

Jong Jin immigrated to Southern California from South Korea as a young man, arriving with $800 in cash. He bought a used car and found work at a gas station. On one of his first days, a coworker asked for a ride home and promptly stole the car and all of Jong Jin's remaining cash. He found another minimum-wage job and eventually matriculated at Long Beach State. Jong Jin earned his real estate license and saved enough money to buy a duplex, where the family lived while renting out the other floor. He would go on to amass substantial real estate holdings, including a condo in Mammoth Lakes.

Thanks to her burgeoning endorsement portfolio, Kim has already begun investing in real estate herself, with an apartment building in Korea and what she calls her "bachelor pad" in Vegas, which is also an attractive place of residence for tax reasons. For now her parents allow her a debit card with a $500 limit. "I've definitely learned the value of a dollar," Kim says. "It's exactly 100 cents."

10. Kim is still technically a high school student.

She began homeschooling in the eighth grade to facilitate her training and competitive schedule. The following year she enrolled in an independent learning program through Mammoth High, using an Internet-based curriculum. "I think I went [to campus] only once last year," she says. "And it was just to drop off presents for my teachers. Like, here's some chocolate from Switzerland, please don't hate me."

Kim likes the idea of walking at graduation and maybe even attending the prom. "But if I do really well at the Olympics I might not have time," she says. "I'm O.K. with that."

11. An important part of Kim’s snowboarding education occurred in Switzerland.

When she was eight her parents sent her to Geneva to live with her aunt Sun-hwa Kim for two years. "They thought it would make me well-rounded to live overseas," she says. "Or they were just sick of me. I'm still not sure which."

Kim had embraced snowboarding mostly to please her dad, but it was on the vertiginous slopes of the Alps that Kim truly fell in love with the sport, in part because it brought respect from her peers that was otherwise elusive. "I tried to play soccer," she says, "because I wanted to be accepted by the community, but unfortunately I'm not good at anything involving a ball. In fact, I'm terrible. I'd try to kick the ball as hard as I could and I'd miss it and flip onto my back, like in cartoons. Eventually they made me the goalie and were like, Just stand there and be the chick who gets hit in the face by the ball. And I was like, I'm totally down with that."

12. Kim always listens to music on headphones during her runs, but uses a different song for ever competition.

Ask her what she remembers about the first time she landed the 1080 and the first thing Kim says is, "I was blasting Chainsmokers' 'Roses' so loud I couldn't hear the snow." Kim's tastes are eclectic: hip-hop, depressing Lana Del Rey ballads, even country. When will she decide on her tunes for PyeongChang? "Like a day or two before it starts," she says. "It just kind of happens, like magic."

13. In the run-up to the Olympics… there will inevitably be talk of Kim's rivalry with Kelly Clark, 34, who will be competing in her fifth Winter Games, having won three previous medals. But this is about as friendly as rivalries get.

"Kelly Clark has been my biggest inspiration since Day One and she's been so amazing to me," Kim says. "She's always there for me. She's been through it all and there's literally nothing she doesn't know. She's a very comforting person to be around."

The (non)rivalry began in 2014, when Kim competed in her first X Games at 13. She dazzled the snowboarding world, but Clark held her off by .6 of a point to take the gold. "I've never felt like Kelly was competitive toward me," says Kim. "I've never felt that way toward her. I don't feel competitive toward anyone! The more you stress about what other people are doing, that just psychs you out. It was like the Brazilian guy obsessing over Michael Phelps in Rio—how did that work out for him?"

As gracious as Clark is toward her protégé, she has her limits: She declined to be interviewed for this story, saying she wanted to focus on her training.

14. Kim is afraid to watch video of herself … but not for the reason you might think.

"The thought of breaking my neck is not nearly as scary as having to watch myself do an interview," she says. "I hate my voice. I don't think I have a Valley Girl accent, but everyone's like, 'You have the worst Valley Girl accent ever.' And unfortunately my friends have caught on to this. I was hanging out at a buddy's house and to mess with me they cranked up the volume to 100 on the TV and played one of my interviews. I literally started screaming and ran to the bathroom upstairs and dug my face into towels and was covering my ears the whole time, while still screaming."

For the record, Kim has a perfectly pleasant voice. If she rides her best, the gold medal is her destiny, and Kim's perky interviews will be one of the soundtracks to these Games.

"Oh, gawd," she groans, "I can't believe you just said that. I think I just got nervous for the first time about the Olympics."

<p><strong>1. She does not like, uh, snow.</strong></p><p>&quot;Actually, I hate it,&quot; Kim says. &quot;I grew up in Southern California. If it&#39;s snowing on a day I&#39;m supposed to train I&#39;ll just stare out the window in all my gear and be like, Hmmm, maybe not today. I hate being cold. If my hands get cold I&#39;ll go inside to warm them up and basically never come back out. I&#39;m a little wimp.&quot;</p><p><strong>2. Kim has strong feelings about highly specific things. </strong></p><p>&quot;I take my stuff seriously,&quot; she says. &quot;If you have the nerve to give me the orange Starburst, I will cut you. If you give me fro-yo without mangoes, you&#39;re dead to me. If you say that Hawaiian pizza is gross, we&#39;re done.&quot;</p><p><strong>3. She will not let romance get in the way of gold.</strong></p><p>Kim recently broke up with her boyfriend of a year and a half, a fellow competitive snowboarder who shall remain nameless. &quot;I was hearing a lot of rumors about him, and our relationship in general,&quot; she says. &quot;And I&#39;m just at a time where I didn&#39;t really want to worry about that. So I just broke it off.&quot;</p><p>It was a business decision?</p><p>&quot;Pretty much. That sounds kind of harsh, but it&#39;s true. We&#39;re still good friends, though. At least I&#39;d like to think so.&quot;</p><p><strong>4. She is already being called the Shaun White of women’s snowboarding. </strong></p><p>Like the fabled Flying Tomato, the 5&#39;2&quot;, 115-pound Kim is redefining what is considered possible in the halfpipe, having become the only woman to land back-to-back 1080s. (She did it for the first time at the 2016 U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix, joining White as the only riders to score a perfect 100 on a run at that event.) At the 2016 X Games, Kim won two gold medals at the tender age of 15 and ever since has been the presumptive golden girl in PyeongChang. In fact, Kim would have qualified for the U.S. Olympic team in 2014, but was too young.</p><p>&quot;She definitely reminds me of myself,&quot; White says with a laugh. &quot;But it&#39;s not about one big trick, it&#39;s about the way she connects the whole run. She does what I strived for: big air at the top, gnarly tricks in the middle, finish it great. I love watching her ride.&quot;</p><p><strong>5. Like all the young women in La La Land, Kim drives a Prius, but </strong>&quot;... my Prius is dope-ass,&quot; she says. &quot;I customized it and made it super sick. It&#39;s really fast. I just press down the pedal, it twitches a bit and then just blasts off. And then I&#39;m going 100 miles an hour.&quot;</p><p>Pause.</p><p>&quot;But please don&#39;t tell my parents that.&quot;</p><p><strong>6. Kim’s mom, Boran, was supposed to be the snowboarder in the family. </strong></p><p>&quot;I was just bait,&quot; Chloe says. &quot;My dad [Jong Jin] for some reason decided he and my mom should snowboard together. Maybe it was to add a little spice to their relationship? Anyway, he only brought little four-year-old me as a way to get her on the mountain. He was like, Your kid is doing a dangerous sport, and she doesn&#39;t have the support of her loving mother. What kind of parenting is this? But she hated it, and I hated it less, and so it wound up being just me and my dad. By the time I was six I would blow down the mountain and be sitting at the bottom of the lift, waiting for my dad to do all of his dainty turns and come meet me.&quot;</p><p>Back then the Kims lived in Torrance, just south of Los Angeles. (They now have a family home in La Habra, Calif., and Chloe recently bought herself a place in Las Vegas.) In the wee hours of Saturday mornings, Jong Jin would carry his daughter from her bed to the car, and she would awaken five or six hours later in the parking lot of Mammoth Mountain, 150 miles east of San Francisco in the Sierra Nevadas.</p><p>This origin story is similar to White&#39;s: He grew up in San Diego and learned to ride on weekend trips to Bear Mountain. &quot;Wait, what?&quot; says Kim, upon hearing this well-known tidbit of White&#39;s bio. &quot;This is weirding me out. Is that why everyone&#39;s like, &#39;Omigawd, your stories are so similar?&#39;&quot;</p><p>That is exactly why.</p><p>&quot;That&#39;s so crazy. O.K., yeah, I didn&#39;t know that.&quot;</p><p><strong>7. If you’re at a Starbucks in Park City Utah </strong>in December while Kim is in town working with the U.S. team, and a group of tweens who are supposed to be studying instead begin talking about Riverdale, the TV show based on the Archie comics, Kim will break off from a boring conversation about snowboarding, lean over toward these perfect strangers and chime in, &quot;Dude, Cole Sprouse is so hot.&quot;</p><p>&quot;Which one is he?&quot; a clueless middle-aged man might ask.</p><p>&quot;He&#39;s a babe,&quot; Kim says. &quot;Next question.&quot;</p><p><strong>8. Kim is not immune to the cresting hype around her Olympics debut but she remains, in fact, super chill. </strong></p><p>&quot;You can feel it in the air,&quot; she says. &quot;The Olympics are just different. I&#39;m not sure why; the pipe&#39;s the same size, the board you&#39;re riding is the same, you&#39;re competing against pretty much the same people. But the Olympics is the Olympics and I know it&#39;s a really big deal.&quot;</p><p>&quot;I worry about her a little bit,&quot; says Jake Burton, the patriarch of the sport who has been sponsoring Kim since she was 11 years old. &quot;It&#39;s like your whole existence can be defined by what happens in that minute and a half. It&#39;s very stressy. But the thing that always impresses me about Chloe is that no matter how big the event, she is always super chill. She&#39;s got a unique confidence and she puts the board down so effortless and smooth, and you can&#39;t fake that.&quot;</p><p>&quot;For whatever reason,&quot; Kim says, &quot;I&#39;m pretty good with pressure. I kinda just flip it over, and think of it as positive. &#39;Cause at the end of the day, people wouldn&#39;t expect me to win unless they really thought I could do it. So that&#39;s a good thing. Right?&quot;</p><p><strong>9. Gold or no gold, Kim is already the product of the American Dream. </strong></p><p>Jong Jin immigrated to Southern California from South Korea as a young man, arriving with $800 in cash. He bought a used car and found work at a gas station. On one of his first days, a coworker asked for a ride home and promptly stole the car and all of Jong Jin&#39;s remaining cash. He found another minimum-wage job and eventually matriculated at Long Beach State. Jong Jin earned his real estate license and saved enough money to buy a duplex, where the family lived while renting out the other floor. He would go on to amass substantial real estate holdings, including a condo in Mammoth Lakes.</p><p>Thanks to her burgeoning endorsement portfolio, Kim has already begun investing in real estate herself, with an apartment building in Korea and what she calls her &quot;bachelor pad&quot; in Vegas, which is also an attractive place of residence for tax reasons. For now her parents allow her a debit card with a $500 limit. &quot;I&#39;ve definitely learned the value of a dollar,&quot; Kim says. &quot;It&#39;s exactly 100 cents.&quot;</p><p><strong>10. Kim is still technically a high school student. </strong></p><p>She began homeschooling in the eighth grade to facilitate her training and competitive schedule. The following year she enrolled in an independent learning program through Mammoth High, using an Internet-based curriculum. &quot;I think I went [to campus] only once last year,&quot; she says. &quot;And it was just to drop off presents for my teachers. Like, here&#39;s some chocolate from Switzerland, please don&#39;t hate me.&quot;</p><p>Kim likes the idea of walking at graduation and maybe even attending the prom. &quot;But if I do really well at the Olympics I might not have time,&quot; she says. &quot;I&#39;m O.K. with that.&quot;</p><p><strong>11. An important part of Kim’s snowboarding education occurred in Switzerland. </strong></p><p>When she was eight her parents sent her to Geneva to live with her aunt Sun-hwa Kim for two years. &quot;They thought it would make me well-rounded to live overseas,&quot; she says. &quot;Or they were just sick of me. I&#39;m still not sure which.&quot;</p><p>Kim had embraced snowboarding mostly to please her dad, but it was on the vertiginous slopes of the Alps that Kim truly fell in love with the sport, in part because it brought respect from her peers that was otherwise elusive. &quot;I tried to play soccer,&quot; she says, &quot;because I wanted to be accepted by the community, but unfortunately I&#39;m not good at anything involving a ball. In fact, I&#39;m terrible. I&#39;d try to kick the ball as hard as I could and I&#39;d miss it and flip onto my back, like in cartoons. Eventually they made me the goalie and were like, Just stand there and be the chick who gets hit in the face by the ball. And I was like, I&#39;m totally down with that.&quot;</p><p><strong>12. Kim always listens to music on headphones during her runs, but uses a different song for ever competition. </strong></p><p>Ask her what she remembers about the first time she landed the 1080 and the first thing Kim says is, &quot;I was blasting Chainsmokers&#39; &#39;Roses&#39; so loud I couldn&#39;t hear the snow.&quot; Kim&#39;s tastes are eclectic: hip-hop, depressing Lana Del Rey ballads, even country. When will she decide on her tunes for PyeongChang? &quot;Like a day or two before it starts,&quot; she says. &quot;It just kind of happens, like magic.&quot;</p><p><strong>13. In the run-up to the Olympics…</strong> there will inevitably be talk of Kim&#39;s rivalry with Kelly Clark, 34, who will be competing in her fifth Winter Games, having won three previous medals. But this is about as friendly as rivalries get.</p><p>&quot;Kelly Clark has been my biggest inspiration since Day One and she&#39;s been so amazing to me,&quot; Kim says. &quot;She&#39;s always there for me. She&#39;s been through it all and there&#39;s literally nothing she doesn&#39;t know. She&#39;s a very comforting person to be around.&quot;</p><p>The (non)rivalry began in 2014, when Kim competed in her first X Games at 13. She dazzled the snowboarding world, but Clark held her off by .6 of a point to take the gold. &quot;I&#39;ve never felt like Kelly was competitive toward me,&quot; says Kim. &quot;I&#39;ve never felt that way toward her. I don&#39;t feel competitive toward anyone! The more you stress about what other people are doing, that just psychs you out. It was like the Brazilian guy obsessing over Michael Phelps in Rio—how did that work out for him?&quot;</p><p>As gracious as Clark is toward her protégé, she has her limits: She declined to be interviewed for this story, saying she wanted to focus on her training.</p><p><strong>14. Kim is afraid to watch video of herself … but not for the reason you might think.</strong></p><p>&quot;The thought of breaking my neck is not nearly as scary as having to watch myself do an interview,&quot; she says. &quot;I hate my voice. I don&#39;t think I have a Valley Girl accent, but everyone&#39;s like, &#39;You have the worst Valley Girl accent ever.&#39; And unfortunately my friends have caught on to this. I was hanging out at a buddy&#39;s house and to mess with me they cranked up the volume to 100 on the TV and played one of my interviews. I literally started screaming and ran to the bathroom upstairs and dug my face into towels and was covering my ears the whole time, while still screaming.&quot;</p><p>For the record, Kim has a perfectly pleasant voice. If she rides her best, the gold medal is her destiny, and Kim&#39;s perky interviews will be one of the soundtracks to these Games.</p><p>&quot;Oh, gawd,&quot; she groans, &quot;I can&#39;t believe you just said that. I think I just got nervous for the first time about the Olympics.&quot;</p>
Super Chill: Fourteen Things to Know About Snowboarding Prodigy Chloe Kim

1. She does not like, uh, snow.

"Actually, I hate it," Kim says. "I grew up in Southern California. If it's snowing on a day I'm supposed to train I'll just stare out the window in all my gear and be like, Hmmm, maybe not today. I hate being cold. If my hands get cold I'll go inside to warm them up and basically never come back out. I'm a little wimp."

2. Kim has strong feelings about highly specific things.

"I take my stuff seriously," she says. "If you have the nerve to give me the orange Starburst, I will cut you. If you give me fro-yo without mangoes, you're dead to me. If you say that Hawaiian pizza is gross, we're done."

3. She will not let romance get in the way of gold.

Kim recently broke up with her boyfriend of a year and a half, a fellow competitive snowboarder who shall remain nameless. "I was hearing a lot of rumors about him, and our relationship in general," she says. "And I'm just at a time where I didn't really want to worry about that. So I just broke it off."

It was a business decision?

"Pretty much. That sounds kind of harsh, but it's true. We're still good friends, though. At least I'd like to think so."

4. She is already being called the Shaun White of women’s snowboarding.

Like the fabled Flying Tomato, the 5'2", 115-pound Kim is redefining what is considered possible in the halfpipe, having become the only woman to land back-to-back 1080s. (She did it for the first time at the 2016 U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix, joining White as the only riders to score a perfect 100 on a run at that event.) At the 2016 X Games, Kim won two gold medals at the tender age of 15 and ever since has been the presumptive golden girl in PyeongChang. In fact, Kim would have qualified for the U.S. Olympic team in 2014, but was too young.

"She definitely reminds me of myself," White says with a laugh. "But it's not about one big trick, it's about the way she connects the whole run. She does what I strived for: big air at the top, gnarly tricks in the middle, finish it great. I love watching her ride."

5. Like all the young women in La La Land, Kim drives a Prius, but "... my Prius is dope-ass," she says. "I customized it and made it super sick. It's really fast. I just press down the pedal, it twitches a bit and then just blasts off. And then I'm going 100 miles an hour."

Pause.

"But please don't tell my parents that."

6. Kim’s mom, Boran, was supposed to be the snowboarder in the family.

"I was just bait," Chloe says. "My dad [Jong Jin] for some reason decided he and my mom should snowboard together. Maybe it was to add a little spice to their relationship? Anyway, he only brought little four-year-old me as a way to get her on the mountain. He was like, Your kid is doing a dangerous sport, and she doesn't have the support of her loving mother. What kind of parenting is this? But she hated it, and I hated it less, and so it wound up being just me and my dad. By the time I was six I would blow down the mountain and be sitting at the bottom of the lift, waiting for my dad to do all of his dainty turns and come meet me."

Back then the Kims lived in Torrance, just south of Los Angeles. (They now have a family home in La Habra, Calif., and Chloe recently bought herself a place in Las Vegas.) In the wee hours of Saturday mornings, Jong Jin would carry his daughter from her bed to the car, and she would awaken five or six hours later in the parking lot of Mammoth Mountain, 150 miles east of San Francisco in the Sierra Nevadas.

This origin story is similar to White's: He grew up in San Diego and learned to ride on weekend trips to Bear Mountain. "Wait, what?" says Kim, upon hearing this well-known tidbit of White's bio. "This is weirding me out. Is that why everyone's like, 'Omigawd, your stories are so similar?'"

That is exactly why.

"That's so crazy. O.K., yeah, I didn't know that."

7. If you’re at a Starbucks in Park City Utah in December while Kim is in town working with the U.S. team, and a group of tweens who are supposed to be studying instead begin talking about Riverdale, the TV show based on the Archie comics, Kim will break off from a boring conversation about snowboarding, lean over toward these perfect strangers and chime in, "Dude, Cole Sprouse is so hot."

"Which one is he?" a clueless middle-aged man might ask.

"He's a babe," Kim says. "Next question."

8. Kim is not immune to the cresting hype around her Olympics debut but she remains, in fact, super chill.

"You can feel it in the air," she says. "The Olympics are just different. I'm not sure why; the pipe's the same size, the board you're riding is the same, you're competing against pretty much the same people. But the Olympics is the Olympics and I know it's a really big deal."

"I worry about her a little bit," says Jake Burton, the patriarch of the sport who has been sponsoring Kim since she was 11 years old. "It's like your whole existence can be defined by what happens in that minute and a half. It's very stressy. But the thing that always impresses me about Chloe is that no matter how big the event, she is always super chill. She's got a unique confidence and she puts the board down so effortless and smooth, and you can't fake that."

"For whatever reason," Kim says, "I'm pretty good with pressure. I kinda just flip it over, and think of it as positive. 'Cause at the end of the day, people wouldn't expect me to win unless they really thought I could do it. So that's a good thing. Right?"

9. Gold or no gold, Kim is already the product of the American Dream.

Jong Jin immigrated to Southern California from South Korea as a young man, arriving with $800 in cash. He bought a used car and found work at a gas station. On one of his first days, a coworker asked for a ride home and promptly stole the car and all of Jong Jin's remaining cash. He found another minimum-wage job and eventually matriculated at Long Beach State. Jong Jin earned his real estate license and saved enough money to buy a duplex, where the family lived while renting out the other floor. He would go on to amass substantial real estate holdings, including a condo in Mammoth Lakes.

Thanks to her burgeoning endorsement portfolio, Kim has already begun investing in real estate herself, with an apartment building in Korea and what she calls her "bachelor pad" in Vegas, which is also an attractive place of residence for tax reasons. For now her parents allow her a debit card with a $500 limit. "I've definitely learned the value of a dollar," Kim says. "It's exactly 100 cents."

10. Kim is still technically a high school student.

She began homeschooling in the eighth grade to facilitate her training and competitive schedule. The following year she enrolled in an independent learning program through Mammoth High, using an Internet-based curriculum. "I think I went [to campus] only once last year," she says. "And it was just to drop off presents for my teachers. Like, here's some chocolate from Switzerland, please don't hate me."

Kim likes the idea of walking at graduation and maybe even attending the prom. "But if I do really well at the Olympics I might not have time," she says. "I'm O.K. with that."

11. An important part of Kim’s snowboarding education occurred in Switzerland.

When she was eight her parents sent her to Geneva to live with her aunt Sun-hwa Kim for two years. "They thought it would make me well-rounded to live overseas," she says. "Or they were just sick of me. I'm still not sure which."

Kim had embraced snowboarding mostly to please her dad, but it was on the vertiginous slopes of the Alps that Kim truly fell in love with the sport, in part because it brought respect from her peers that was otherwise elusive. "I tried to play soccer," she says, "because I wanted to be accepted by the community, but unfortunately I'm not good at anything involving a ball. In fact, I'm terrible. I'd try to kick the ball as hard as I could and I'd miss it and flip onto my back, like in cartoons. Eventually they made me the goalie and were like, Just stand there and be the chick who gets hit in the face by the ball. And I was like, I'm totally down with that."

12. Kim always listens to music on headphones during her runs, but uses a different song for ever competition.

Ask her what she remembers about the first time she landed the 1080 and the first thing Kim says is, "I was blasting Chainsmokers' 'Roses' so loud I couldn't hear the snow." Kim's tastes are eclectic: hip-hop, depressing Lana Del Rey ballads, even country. When will she decide on her tunes for PyeongChang? "Like a day or two before it starts," she says. "It just kind of happens, like magic."

13. In the run-up to the Olympics… there will inevitably be talk of Kim's rivalry with Kelly Clark, 34, who will be competing in her fifth Winter Games, having won three previous medals. But this is about as friendly as rivalries get.

"Kelly Clark has been my biggest inspiration since Day One and she's been so amazing to me," Kim says. "She's always there for me. She's been through it all and there's literally nothing she doesn't know. She's a very comforting person to be around."

The (non)rivalry began in 2014, when Kim competed in her first X Games at 13. She dazzled the snowboarding world, but Clark held her off by .6 of a point to take the gold. "I've never felt like Kelly was competitive toward me," says Kim. "I've never felt that way toward her. I don't feel competitive toward anyone! The more you stress about what other people are doing, that just psychs you out. It was like the Brazilian guy obsessing over Michael Phelps in Rio—how did that work out for him?"

As gracious as Clark is toward her protégé, she has her limits: She declined to be interviewed for this story, saying she wanted to focus on her training.

14. Kim is afraid to watch video of herself … but not for the reason you might think.

"The thought of breaking my neck is not nearly as scary as having to watch myself do an interview," she says. "I hate my voice. I don't think I have a Valley Girl accent, but everyone's like, 'You have the worst Valley Girl accent ever.' And unfortunately my friends have caught on to this. I was hanging out at a buddy's house and to mess with me they cranked up the volume to 100 on the TV and played one of my interviews. I literally started screaming and ran to the bathroom upstairs and dug my face into towels and was covering my ears the whole time, while still screaming."

For the record, Kim has a perfectly pleasant voice. If she rides her best, the gold medal is her destiny, and Kim's perky interviews will be one of the soundtracks to these Games.

"Oh, gawd," she groans, "I can't believe you just said that. I think I just got nervous for the first time about the Olympics."

Michael Phelps opened up about his experience with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts to CNN this week at the Kennedy Forum.
Michael Phelps opens up about depression and contemplating suicide
Michael Phelps opened up about his experience with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts to CNN this week at the Kennedy Forum.
Michael Phelps opened up about his experience with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts to CNN this week at the Kennedy Forum.
Michael Phelps opens up about depression and contemplating suicide
Michael Phelps opened up about his experience with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts to CNN this week at the Kennedy Forum.
Michael Phelps opens up about depression and contemplating suicide
Michael Phelps opens up about depression and contemplating suicide
Michael Phelps opens up about depression and contemplating suicide
Despite being the greatest Olympian of all-time and an American legend, 23-time gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps says he contemplated suicide shortly after the 2012 Games in London.
Michael Phelps Says He Contemplated Suicide After 2012 Olympics
Despite being the greatest Olympian of all-time and an American legend, 23-time gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps says he contemplated suicide shortly after the 2012 Games in London.
<p>Despite being the greatest Olympian of all-time and an American legend, 23-time gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps says he contemplated suicide shortly after the 2012 Games in London. </p><p>Phelps, 32, made the comments earlier this week in a discussion with political strategist David Axelrod at the fourth annual conference of the Kennedy Forum, a mental health advocacy group. </p><p>&quot;Really, after every Olympics I think I fell into a major state of depression,&quot; Phelps said, <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/19/health/michael-phelps-depression/index.html?sr=twCNN011918michael-phelps-depression0534PMVODtop" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:per CNN" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">per CNN</a>. He said his lowest point came after the 2012 Olympics—in which he won four gold medals and two silvers—and that he spent multiple days in his room, barely eating or sleeping. </p><p>&quot;I didn&#39;t want to be in the sport anymore,&quot; he said. &quot;I didn&#39;t want to be alive.&quot; He would later say, when asked about his darkest moments, &quot;You do contemplate suicide.&quot;</p><p>Phelps said his condition improved when he started to talk about his feelings. His Michael Phelps foundation now offers stress management programs and says his ability to help those struggling has been &quot;way more powerful&quot; than any of his athletic achievements. </p><p>&quot;Those moments and those feelings and those emotions for me are light years better than winning the Olympic gold medal,&quot; he said.<br>&quot;I am extremely thankful that I did not take my life.&quot;</p><p>Since his retirement after the 2016 Games in Rio, Phelps has been outspoken about his past battles with depression and anxiety. He said in August that he <a href="https://www.si.com/olympics/2017/08/30/michael-phelps-contemplated-suicide" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:also contemplated suicide after his second DUI arrest" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">also contemplated suicide after his second DUI arrest</a>, which came in 2014. </p>
Michael Phelps Says He Contemplated Suicide After 2012 Olympics

Despite being the greatest Olympian of all-time and an American legend, 23-time gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps says he contemplated suicide shortly after the 2012 Games in London.

Phelps, 32, made the comments earlier this week in a discussion with political strategist David Axelrod at the fourth annual conference of the Kennedy Forum, a mental health advocacy group.

"Really, after every Olympics I think I fell into a major state of depression," Phelps said, per CNN. He said his lowest point came after the 2012 Olympics—in which he won four gold medals and two silvers—and that he spent multiple days in his room, barely eating or sleeping.

"I didn't want to be in the sport anymore," he said. "I didn't want to be alive." He would later say, when asked about his darkest moments, "You do contemplate suicide."

Phelps said his condition improved when he started to talk about his feelings. His Michael Phelps foundation now offers stress management programs and says his ability to help those struggling has been "way more powerful" than any of his athletic achievements.

"Those moments and those feelings and those emotions for me are light years better than winning the Olympic gold medal," he said.
"I am extremely thankful that I did not take my life."

Since his retirement after the 2016 Games in Rio, Phelps has been outspoken about his past battles with depression and anxiety. He said in August that he also contemplated suicide after his second DUI arrest, which came in 2014.

<p>Surprise, surprise. Ray Allen sunk a shot from way out. </p><p>Allen teed it up Friday at the Diamond Resorts Invitational in Orlando and had what I can only assume is the shot of the day. With his third shot on the par-4 11th, Allen put it right in the jar from 122 yards out. </p><p>I like to imagine this is how Allen plays golf all the time, like he considers the green to be the golf equivalent of the paint and prefers to just bomb it from the perimeter. Still, when it comes to non-golfers hitting impressive golf shots, I’m still giving the nod to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4GgbWKcMVQ" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Michael Phelps’s 159-foot putt" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Michael Phelps’s 159-foot putt</a>. </p>
Ray Allen Is Still Good From Long Range in Retirement

Surprise, surprise. Ray Allen sunk a shot from way out.

Allen teed it up Friday at the Diamond Resorts Invitational in Orlando and had what I can only assume is the shot of the day. With his third shot on the par-4 11th, Allen put it right in the jar from 122 yards out.

I like to imagine this is how Allen plays golf all the time, like he considers the green to be the golf equivalent of the paint and prefers to just bomb it from the perimeter. Still, when it comes to non-golfers hitting impressive golf shots, I’m still giving the nod to Michael Phelps’s 159-foot putt.

<p>Katie Ledecky got her start in swimming because she just wanted to make friends. Her brother was eager to join a team at a pool near their house and as a 6-year-old, she tagged along.</p><p>By summer’s end, the Ledecky siblings had made 100 friends ranging in age from 6 to 18. Some of them remain good friends with Katie, who went on to become the world’s best swimmer in the post-Michael Phelps era.</p><p>She earned five golds and a silver at this year’s world championships in Budapest, maintaining the upward trajectory she first established as a surprise gold medalist at the 2012 London Olympics.</p><p>Her dominant performance in Hungary earned Ledecky Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year honors.</p><p>In balloting by U.S. editors and news directors announced Tuesday, Ledecky received 351 points, edging out Serena Williams with 343. Williams won the Australian Open for her Open era-record 23rd Grand Slam tennis title . Olympic track star Allyson Felix finished third in voting, with 248 points.</p><p>Last year, Ledecky was second to gymnast Simone Biles in the balloting.</p><p>The AP Male Athlete of the Year will be announced Wednesday.</p><p>Ledecky is the eighth female swimmer to win and the first since Amy Van Dyken in 1996. Among the others is 1969 winner Debbie Meyer. At last year’s Rio de Janeiro Games, Ledecky equaled Meyer’s feat of sweeping the 200, 400 and 800 freestyles in a single Olympics.</p><p>“It’s a really great history of women swimmers and freestylers,” Ledecky said of the AP honor roll. “I really look up to a lot of those women.”</p><p>She is the first active college athlete to win since UConn basketball player Rebecca Lobo in 1995.</p><p>Ledecky is a sophomore at Stanford, still debating whether to major in psychology or political science, and enjoying life in the dorms, where she lives with five other swimmers.</p><p>“Just being in the college environment has kind of added another layer of fun,” she said. “Being with teammates and working toward NCAA championships and having that team goal, that’s another thing that is fun.”</p><p>Ledecky heads to Colorado Springs, Colorado, for high-altitude training with her Stanford team this week. Her focus is on the collegiate season through the NCAAs in March.</p><p>In moving cross-country from her home in Bethesda, Maryland, to attend college in California, Ledecky left behind longtime coach Bruce Gemmell. But like some of those old summer league teammates, Ledecky has stayed in touch. She trains with Gemmell when she returns to visit her family.</p><p>She was a star to them in 2012 but a little-known 15-year-old to the rest of the world when she won the 800-meter freestyle in world-record time in London.</p><p>In 2013, Ledecky won four golds at the worlds in Barcelona, setting a pair of world records. Two years later in Kazan, she swept every freestyle from 200 to 1,500 meters, setting two more world records. Another two world records fell last year in Rio.</p><p>In her typically understated way, Ledecky said: “I really pride myself on the consistency I’ve had over the past couple years. Just being able to compete at the international level and come away with some gold medals each year.”</p><p>Ledecky didn’t set any personal bests or world records in Budapest, something she’s done with such frequency that people expect to witness something spectacular anytime she dives in the pool.</p><p>Her loss in the 200 free in Hungary was considered an upset.</p><p>“If they’re disappointed with me not breaking a world record, it’s an honor because it’s representative of what I’ve done in the past and a benchmark for myself,” she said. “I don’t focus on what anyone thinks of my goals or wants to see me do.”</p><p>Not yet halfway toward the 2020 Tokyo Games, Ledecky already is thinking ahead. Like Phelps, she never publicly reveals her target times or placements.</p><p>“I set big goals for myself and that’s always what has motivated me,” she said.</p><p>Despite living in a results-focused world, Ledecky enjoys the journey, something she learned between London and Rio.</p><p>“Trying to find those little things to improve on and the process of getting better,” she said. “Doing everything in practice to set yourself up well each year.”</p><p>Her sunny smile and friendly demeanor belie the competitor who is always plotting ahead and moving forward ever faster.</p><p>“I know the four years goes by very quickly,” Ledecky said, “and I want to do everything I can to prepare.”</p>
Katie Ledecky Swims to AP Female Athlete of the Year Honors

Katie Ledecky got her start in swimming because she just wanted to make friends. Her brother was eager to join a team at a pool near their house and as a 6-year-old, she tagged along.

By summer’s end, the Ledecky siblings had made 100 friends ranging in age from 6 to 18. Some of them remain good friends with Katie, who went on to become the world’s best swimmer in the post-Michael Phelps era.

She earned five golds and a silver at this year’s world championships in Budapest, maintaining the upward trajectory she first established as a surprise gold medalist at the 2012 London Olympics.

Her dominant performance in Hungary earned Ledecky Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year honors.

In balloting by U.S. editors and news directors announced Tuesday, Ledecky received 351 points, edging out Serena Williams with 343. Williams won the Australian Open for her Open era-record 23rd Grand Slam tennis title . Olympic track star Allyson Felix finished third in voting, with 248 points.

Last year, Ledecky was second to gymnast Simone Biles in the balloting.

The AP Male Athlete of the Year will be announced Wednesday.

Ledecky is the eighth female swimmer to win and the first since Amy Van Dyken in 1996. Among the others is 1969 winner Debbie Meyer. At last year’s Rio de Janeiro Games, Ledecky equaled Meyer’s feat of sweeping the 200, 400 and 800 freestyles in a single Olympics.

“It’s a really great history of women swimmers and freestylers,” Ledecky said of the AP honor roll. “I really look up to a lot of those women.”

She is the first active college athlete to win since UConn basketball player Rebecca Lobo in 1995.

Ledecky is a sophomore at Stanford, still debating whether to major in psychology or political science, and enjoying life in the dorms, where she lives with five other swimmers.

“Just being in the college environment has kind of added another layer of fun,” she said. “Being with teammates and working toward NCAA championships and having that team goal, that’s another thing that is fun.”

Ledecky heads to Colorado Springs, Colorado, for high-altitude training with her Stanford team this week. Her focus is on the collegiate season through the NCAAs in March.

In moving cross-country from her home in Bethesda, Maryland, to attend college in California, Ledecky left behind longtime coach Bruce Gemmell. But like some of those old summer league teammates, Ledecky has stayed in touch. She trains with Gemmell when she returns to visit her family.

She was a star to them in 2012 but a little-known 15-year-old to the rest of the world when she won the 800-meter freestyle in world-record time in London.

In 2013, Ledecky won four golds at the worlds in Barcelona, setting a pair of world records. Two years later in Kazan, she swept every freestyle from 200 to 1,500 meters, setting two more world records. Another two world records fell last year in Rio.

In her typically understated way, Ledecky said: “I really pride myself on the consistency I’ve had over the past couple years. Just being able to compete at the international level and come away with some gold medals each year.”

Ledecky didn’t set any personal bests or world records in Budapest, something she’s done with such frequency that people expect to witness something spectacular anytime she dives in the pool.

Her loss in the 200 free in Hungary was considered an upset.

“If they’re disappointed with me not breaking a world record, it’s an honor because it’s representative of what I’ve done in the past and a benchmark for myself,” she said. “I don’t focus on what anyone thinks of my goals or wants to see me do.”

Not yet halfway toward the 2020 Tokyo Games, Ledecky already is thinking ahead. Like Phelps, she never publicly reveals her target times or placements.

“I set big goals for myself and that’s always what has motivated me,” she said.

Despite living in a results-focused world, Ledecky enjoys the journey, something she learned between London and Rio.

“Trying to find those little things to improve on and the process of getting better,” she said. “Doing everything in practice to set yourself up well each year.”

Her sunny smile and friendly demeanor belie the competitor who is always plotting ahead and moving forward ever faster.

“I know the four years goes by very quickly,” Ledecky said, “and I want to do everything I can to prepare.”

For a blessed spell on the Albany course, it was 2007 all over again. Tiger Woods was out on his own on top of the leaderboard and the watching world was open-mouthed. Of all his comebacks this is already his most remarkable. Yes, there were a few late bogeys in his 68 for a seven-under total to take away a touch of the sparkle, but surely only the Grinch would put a downer on this resurrection. After all, this is his first competitive round in 10 months, following a spinal-fusion operation which was basically a make-of-break on his career. Add this rust to ridicule he suffered when being found slumped across his steering wheel in May, out of his mind on prescription drugs, and then you may approximate the scale of his achievement so far at the Hero World Challenge in Bahamas. This was his ninth round in 27 months and, after all he has been through, it must be doubted if many other of the game’s legends would have been similarly capable. He is ranked 1199th in the world and is more than holding his own in a field boasting eight of the world’s top 10. Typical Tiger, however, was refusing to follow everyone else and get carried away. “After a 31 on the front nine I could have done better on the back nine,” he said. “I struggled with the speed all day on the greens. But I’ve proved the surgery has been successful, the rehab has been fantastic, and now I have the chance to play golf again. I’m just getting back, though, and have a way to go.” Woods lines up a putt on the second green at the Hero World Challenge Credit: Getty Images Before Thursday’s round he had Steph Curry and Michael Phelps taking to social media to describe their excitement. This time it was Donovan Bailey, the former 100m world champion, and Niall Horan, the One Direction singer, expressing their feverish enthusiasm. Even for Woods this seemed surreal. Granted, the Hero World Challenge is essentially an end of season hit-and-giggle in which the lucky invitees get to fight it out for the honour of a $1 million winning cheque none of them really needs. But it boasts the best and the best do not appreciate losing. If the 41-year-old had stirred the memory bank with his first-round 69, then with three birdies in his first four holes, he switched on the mixer and made all the high points of his career suddenly pour over back into the consciousness. There was a fine approach to five feet on the first, a two-putt birdie from 30ft on the par-five third and a brilliant second shot to four feet on the third. And all the while, he was driving it in the style one of the celebrated young generation – long, straight. There was a lip-out for another birdie on the fifth and two of those six-foot knee-janglers on the sixth and seventh for par. It was on the par-five ninth where vintage Tiger leapt up and said “remember me?” The three-wood to 18ft set up the eagle putt and, inevitably, the fist pump. Why we are hooked on the Tiger Woods story At eight-under he was in the outright lead and for that moment, at least, golf was recalling its heyday. Yet perhaps the most satisfying factor for Woods was his chipping. In the first round there had been two “chunks” and the cynics had rolled their eyes and made the point that before his back completely cut out, Woods had been plagued by the chipping yips. On the 10th, there was a notable effort to a few feet and on the par-five 11th, after missing the green, his chip was exquisitely played to take him to nine-under. There was a three-putt bogey on the 12th, after charging his 50-footer almost 20 feet past the hole, and, once again, he failed to birdie a par five on the 15th. Woods played a wonderful par-saving pitch on the 17th, but a wayward drive on the 18th resulted in a five to finish the day in fifth, five behind Charley Hoffmann, on 12-under, with Tommy Fleetwood in a tie for second alongside Jordan Spieth on nine-under. No matter. It had been another stunning day.
Tiger Woods continues his remarkable comeback at the Hero World Challenge
For a blessed spell on the Albany course, it was 2007 all over again. Tiger Woods was out on his own on top of the leaderboard and the watching world was open-mouthed. Of all his comebacks this is already his most remarkable. Yes, there were a few late bogeys in his 68 for a seven-under total to take away a touch of the sparkle, but surely only the Grinch would put a downer on this resurrection. After all, this is his first competitive round in 10 months, following a spinal-fusion operation which was basically a make-of-break on his career. Add this rust to ridicule he suffered when being found slumped across his steering wheel in May, out of his mind on prescription drugs, and then you may approximate the scale of his achievement so far at the Hero World Challenge in Bahamas. This was his ninth round in 27 months and, after all he has been through, it must be doubted if many other of the game’s legends would have been similarly capable. He is ranked 1199th in the world and is more than holding his own in a field boasting eight of the world’s top 10. Typical Tiger, however, was refusing to follow everyone else and get carried away. “After a 31 on the front nine I could have done better on the back nine,” he said. “I struggled with the speed all day on the greens. But I’ve proved the surgery has been successful, the rehab has been fantastic, and now I have the chance to play golf again. I’m just getting back, though, and have a way to go.” Woods lines up a putt on the second green at the Hero World Challenge Credit: Getty Images Before Thursday’s round he had Steph Curry and Michael Phelps taking to social media to describe their excitement. This time it was Donovan Bailey, the former 100m world champion, and Niall Horan, the One Direction singer, expressing their feverish enthusiasm. Even for Woods this seemed surreal. Granted, the Hero World Challenge is essentially an end of season hit-and-giggle in which the lucky invitees get to fight it out for the honour of a $1 million winning cheque none of them really needs. But it boasts the best and the best do not appreciate losing. If the 41-year-old had stirred the memory bank with his first-round 69, then with three birdies in his first four holes, he switched on the mixer and made all the high points of his career suddenly pour over back into the consciousness. There was a fine approach to five feet on the first, a two-putt birdie from 30ft on the par-five third and a brilliant second shot to four feet on the third. And all the while, he was driving it in the style one of the celebrated young generation – long, straight. There was a lip-out for another birdie on the fifth and two of those six-foot knee-janglers on the sixth and seventh for par. It was on the par-five ninth where vintage Tiger leapt up and said “remember me?” The three-wood to 18ft set up the eagle putt and, inevitably, the fist pump. Why we are hooked on the Tiger Woods story At eight-under he was in the outright lead and for that moment, at least, golf was recalling its heyday. Yet perhaps the most satisfying factor for Woods was his chipping. In the first round there had been two “chunks” and the cynics had rolled their eyes and made the point that before his back completely cut out, Woods had been plagued by the chipping yips. On the 10th, there was a notable effort to a few feet and on the par-five 11th, after missing the green, his chip was exquisitely played to take him to nine-under. There was a three-putt bogey on the 12th, after charging his 50-footer almost 20 feet past the hole, and, once again, he failed to birdie a par five on the 15th. Woods played a wonderful par-saving pitch on the 17th, but a wayward drive on the 18th resulted in a five to finish the day in fifth, five behind Charley Hoffmann, on 12-under, with Tommy Fleetwood in a tie for second alongside Jordan Spieth on nine-under. No matter. It had been another stunning day.
For a blessed spell on the Albany course, it was 2007 all over again. Tiger Woods was out on his own on top of the leaderboard and the watching world was open-mouthed. Of all his comebacks this is already his most remarkable. Yes, there were a few late bogeys in his 68 for a seven-under total to take away a touch of the sparkle, but surely only the Grinch would put a downer on this resurrection. After all, this is his first competitive round in 10 months, following a spinal-fusion operation which was basically a make-of-break on his career. Add this rust to ridicule he suffered when being found slumped across his steering wheel in May, out of his mind on prescription drugs, and then you may approximate the scale of his achievement so far at the Hero World Challenge in Bahamas. This was his ninth round in 27 months and, after all he has been through, it must be doubted if many other of the game’s legends would have been similarly capable. He is ranked 1199th in the world and is more than holding his own in a field boasting eight of the world’s top 10. Typical Tiger, however, was refusing to follow everyone else and get carried away. “After a 31 on the front nine I could have done better on the back nine,” he said. “I struggled with the speed all day on the greens. But I’ve proved the surgery has been successful, the rehab has been fantastic, and now I have the chance to play golf again. I’m just getting back, though, and have a way to go.” Woods lines up a putt on the second green at the Hero World Challenge Credit: Getty Images Before Thursday’s round he had Steph Curry and Michael Phelps taking to social media to describe their excitement. This time it was Donovan Bailey, the former 100m world champion, and Niall Horan, the One Direction singer, expressing their feverish enthusiasm. Even for Woods this seemed surreal. Granted, the Hero World Challenge is essentially an end of season hit-and-giggle in which the lucky invitees get to fight it out for the honour of a $1 million winning cheque none of them really needs. But it boasts the best and the best do not appreciate losing. If the 41-year-old had stirred the memory bank with his first-round 69, then with three birdies in his first four holes, he switched on the mixer and made all the high points of his career suddenly pour over back into the consciousness. There was a fine approach to five feet on the first, a two-putt birdie from 30ft on the par-five third and a brilliant second shot to four feet on the third. And all the while, he was driving it in the style one of the celebrated young generation – long, straight. There was a lip-out for another birdie on the fifth and two of those six-foot knee-janglers on the sixth and seventh for par. It was on the par-five ninth where vintage Tiger leapt up and said “remember me?” The three-wood to 18ft set up the eagle putt and, inevitably, the fist pump. Why we are hooked on the Tiger Woods story At eight-under he was in the outright lead and for that moment, at least, golf was recalling its heyday. Yet perhaps the most satisfying factor for Woods was his chipping. In the first round there had been two “chunks” and the cynics had rolled their eyes and made the point that before his back completely cut out, Woods had been plagued by the chipping yips. On the 10th, there was a notable effort to a few feet and on the par-five 11th, after missing the green, his chip was exquisitely played to take him to nine-under. There was a three-putt bogey on the 12th, after charging his 50-footer almost 20 feet past the hole, and, once again, he failed to birdie a par five on the 15th. Woods played a wonderful par-saving pitch on the 17th, but a wayward drive on the 18th resulted in a five to finish the day in fifth, five behind Charley Hoffmann, on 12-under, with Tommy Fleetwood in a tie for second alongside Jordan Spieth on nine-under. No matter. It had been another stunning day.
Tiger Woods continues his remarkable comeback at the Hero World Challenge
For a blessed spell on the Albany course, it was 2007 all over again. Tiger Woods was out on his own on top of the leaderboard and the watching world was open-mouthed. Of all his comebacks this is already his most remarkable. Yes, there were a few late bogeys in his 68 for a seven-under total to take away a touch of the sparkle, but surely only the Grinch would put a downer on this resurrection. After all, this is his first competitive round in 10 months, following a spinal-fusion operation which was basically a make-of-break on his career. Add this rust to ridicule he suffered when being found slumped across his steering wheel in May, out of his mind on prescription drugs, and then you may approximate the scale of his achievement so far at the Hero World Challenge in Bahamas. This was his ninth round in 27 months and, after all he has been through, it must be doubted if many other of the game’s legends would have been similarly capable. He is ranked 1199th in the world and is more than holding his own in a field boasting eight of the world’s top 10. Typical Tiger, however, was refusing to follow everyone else and get carried away. “After a 31 on the front nine I could have done better on the back nine,” he said. “I struggled with the speed all day on the greens. But I’ve proved the surgery has been successful, the rehab has been fantastic, and now I have the chance to play golf again. I’m just getting back, though, and have a way to go.” Woods lines up a putt on the second green at the Hero World Challenge Credit: Getty Images Before Thursday’s round he had Steph Curry and Michael Phelps taking to social media to describe their excitement. This time it was Donovan Bailey, the former 100m world champion, and Niall Horan, the One Direction singer, expressing their feverish enthusiasm. Even for Woods this seemed surreal. Granted, the Hero World Challenge is essentially an end of season hit-and-giggle in which the lucky invitees get to fight it out for the honour of a $1 million winning cheque none of them really needs. But it boasts the best and the best do not appreciate losing. If the 41-year-old had stirred the memory bank with his first-round 69, then with three birdies in his first four holes, he switched on the mixer and made all the high points of his career suddenly pour over back into the consciousness. There was a fine approach to five feet on the first, a two-putt birdie from 30ft on the par-five third and a brilliant second shot to four feet on the third. And all the while, he was driving it in the style one of the celebrated young generation – long, straight. There was a lip-out for another birdie on the fifth and two of those six-foot knee-janglers on the sixth and seventh for par. It was on the par-five ninth where vintage Tiger leapt up and said “remember me?” The three-wood to 18ft set up the eagle putt and, inevitably, the fist pump. Why we are hooked on the Tiger Woods story At eight-under he was in the outright lead and for that moment, at least, golf was recalling its heyday. Yet perhaps the most satisfying factor for Woods was his chipping. In the first round there had been two “chunks” and the cynics had rolled their eyes and made the point that before his back completely cut out, Woods had been plagued by the chipping yips. On the 10th, there was a notable effort to a few feet and on the par-five 11th, after missing the green, his chip was exquisitely played to take him to nine-under. There was a three-putt bogey on the 12th, after charging his 50-footer almost 20 feet past the hole, and, once again, he failed to birdie a par five on the 15th. Woods played a wonderful par-saving pitch on the 17th, but a wayward drive on the 18th resulted in a five to finish the day in fifth, five behind Charley Hoffmann, on 12-under, with Tommy Fleetwood in a tie for second alongside Jordan Spieth on nine-under. No matter. It had been another stunning day.
<p>Sports Illustrated&#39;s Sportsperson of the Year has been awarded since 1954 to the &quot;athlete or team whose performance that year most embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement.&quot; The 2017 award has been given to Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve.</p><p>Watt is the first NFL player to win the honor since Peyton Manning was named the 2013 Sportsman of the Year. Watt earned the honor after he raised more than $37 million for Hurricane Harvey relief.</p><p>Altuve was named the American League&#39;s Most Valuable Player and helped deliver the Astros&#39; first World Series championship as the city continues to recover from the storm. He is the first baseball player to earn the honor since San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner in 2014. Altuve is the first international recipient of the award since Sammy Sosa shared the cover with Mark McGwire in 1998.</p><p>Last year, Cavaliers star LeBron James was named the Sportsperson of the Year after fulfilling his promise to win a championship for the city of Cleveland. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.si.com/sportsperson/2017/12/01/joel-mchale-host-sports-illustrated-sportsperson-awards" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:2017 Sportsman of the Year show" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">2017 Sportsman of the Year show</a> will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 5.</p><p><em>Here we examine notable numbers and notes from the past winners of the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Award:</em></p><h3><strong>Individual notes:</strong></h3><p>First male winner: Roger Bannister, 1954</p><p>First female winner: Billie Jean King, 1972</p><p>Last man to win: J.J. Watt and Jose Altuve, 2017</p><p>Last woman to win: Serena Williams, 2015</p><p>No. of individual men who have won the award: 6</p><p>No. of individual women who have won the award: 9</p><p>Teams that have won the award: 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, 1999 U.S. women&#39;s soccer team, 2004 Boston Red Sox</p><p>First African-American man to win: Rafer Johnson, 1958</p><p>First African-American woman to win: Judi Brown-King, 1987</p><p>Multiple-time champions: Tiger Woods (1996 &#38; 2000) and LeBron James (2012 &#38; 2016)</p><h3>Who was the last ...?</h3><p>Last NFL figure to win: J.J. Watt, 2017</p><p>Last NBA figure to win: LeBron James, 2016</p><p>Last tennis figure to win: Serena Williams, 2015</p><p>Last MLB figure to win: Jose Altuve, 2017</p><p>Last college basketball figures to win: Mike Krzyzewski and Pat Summitt, 2011</p><p>Last swimming figure to win: Michael Phelps, 2008</p><p>Last cycling figure to win: Lance Armstrong, 2002</p><p>Last golf figure to win: Tiger Woods, 2000</p><p>Last soccer figures to win: The 1999 U.S. women&#39;s soccer team, 1999</p><p>Last speed skating figures to win: Bonnie Blair and Johann Olav Koss, 1994</p><p>Last track and field figures to win: Kipchoge Keino and Judi Brown King, 1987</p><p>Last gymnastics figure to win: Mary Lou Retton, 1984</p><p>Last hockey figure to win: Wayne Gretzky, 1982</p><p>Last boxing figure to win: Sugar Ray Leonard, 1981</p><p>Last horse racing figure to win: Steve Cauthen, 1977</p><p>Last auto racing figure to win: Jackie Stewart, 1973</p><h3><strong>No. of winners by sport</strong></h3><p>Baseball: 18</p><p>NFL: 10</p><p>NBA: 9</p><p>Track and field: 8</p><p>Golf: 7</p><p>College basketball: 5</p><p>Tennis: 4</p><p>Hockey: 4</p><p>Boxing: 3</p><p>College football: 3</p><p>Speed skating: 2</p><p>Cycling: 2</p><p>Swimming: 1</p><p>Soccer: 1</p><p>Horse racing: 1</p><p>Gymnastics: 1</p><h3><strong>Winners by country</strong></h3><p>United States: 70</p><p>Great Britain: 2</p><p>Canada: 1</p><p>Dominican Republic: 1</p><p>Kenya: 1</p><p>Norway: 1</p><p>Sweden: 1</p><p>Venezuela: 1</p><p>First international winner: Roger Bannister (Great Britain) in 1954</p><p>Latest international winner: Jose Altuve (Venezuela) in 2017</p>
Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson Of The Year: By The Numbers

Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year has been awarded since 1954 to the "athlete or team whose performance that year most embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement." The 2017 award has been given to Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve.

Watt is the first NFL player to win the honor since Peyton Manning was named the 2013 Sportsman of the Year. Watt earned the honor after he raised more than $37 million for Hurricane Harvey relief.

Altuve was named the American League's Most Valuable Player and helped deliver the Astros' first World Series championship as the city continues to recover from the storm. He is the first baseball player to earn the honor since San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner in 2014. Altuve is the first international recipient of the award since Sammy Sosa shared the cover with Mark McGwire in 1998.

Last year, Cavaliers star LeBron James was named the Sportsperson of the Year after fulfilling his promise to win a championship for the city of Cleveland.

The 2017 Sportsman of the Year show will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

Here we examine notable numbers and notes from the past winners of the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Award:

Individual notes:

First male winner: Roger Bannister, 1954

First female winner: Billie Jean King, 1972

Last man to win: J.J. Watt and Jose Altuve, 2017

Last woman to win: Serena Williams, 2015

No. of individual men who have won the award: 6

No. of individual women who have won the award: 9

Teams that have won the award: 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, 1999 U.S. women's soccer team, 2004 Boston Red Sox

First African-American man to win: Rafer Johnson, 1958

First African-American woman to win: Judi Brown-King, 1987

Multiple-time champions: Tiger Woods (1996 & 2000) and LeBron James (2012 & 2016)

Who was the last ...?

Last NFL figure to win: J.J. Watt, 2017

Last NBA figure to win: LeBron James, 2016

Last tennis figure to win: Serena Williams, 2015

Last MLB figure to win: Jose Altuve, 2017

Last college basketball figures to win: Mike Krzyzewski and Pat Summitt, 2011

Last swimming figure to win: Michael Phelps, 2008

Last cycling figure to win: Lance Armstrong, 2002

Last golf figure to win: Tiger Woods, 2000

Last soccer figures to win: The 1999 U.S. women's soccer team, 1999

Last speed skating figures to win: Bonnie Blair and Johann Olav Koss, 1994

Last track and field figures to win: Kipchoge Keino and Judi Brown King, 1987

Last gymnastics figure to win: Mary Lou Retton, 1984

Last hockey figure to win: Wayne Gretzky, 1982

Last boxing figure to win: Sugar Ray Leonard, 1981

Last horse racing figure to win: Steve Cauthen, 1977

Last auto racing figure to win: Jackie Stewart, 1973

No. of winners by sport

Baseball: 18

NFL: 10

NBA: 9

Track and field: 8

Golf: 7

College basketball: 5

Tennis: 4

Hockey: 4

Boxing: 3

College football: 3

Speed skating: 2

Cycling: 2

Swimming: 1

Soccer: 1

Horse racing: 1

Gymnastics: 1

Winners by country

United States: 70

Great Britain: 2

Canada: 1

Dominican Republic: 1

Kenya: 1

Norway: 1

Sweden: 1

Venezuela: 1

First international winner: Roger Bannister (Great Britain) in 1954

Latest international winner: Jose Altuve (Venezuela) in 2017

<p>Comedian and actor Joel McHale will host this year’s Sportsperson of the Year event, which will be broadcast on television for the first time this year. The show will take place on Dec. 5 and will be televised on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET on Dec. 8, and on Univision Deportes at 8 p.m. ET on Dec. 9.</p><p>McHale is best known for his starring role on the hit comedy series “Community,” which ended its sixth season on Yahoo! after five seasons on NBC. For 12 seasons, he hosted E!’s “The Soup,” which satirized pop culture and current events. More recently, he starred in CBS’s “The Great Indoors” and was seen in FOX’s revival of “The X-Files.” He has also acted in numerous feature films including Seth MacFarlane’s “Ted” and Steven Soderbergh’s “The Informant.” Upcoming projects for McHale include STX’s “The Happytime Murders” and Netflix’s “A Futile &#38; Stupid Gesture.”</p><p>In addition to the Sportsperson of the Year, <a href="https://www.si.com/sportsperson/2017/11/30/colin-kaepernick-muhammad-ali-legacy-award" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Muhammad Ali Legacy Award" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Muhammad Ali Legacy Award</a>, SI Kids <a href="https://www.sikids.com/si-kids/2017/11/21/bunchie-young-our-2017-sportskid-year" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:SportsKid of the Year" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">SportsKid of the Year</a>, and <a href="https://www.si.com/sportsperson/2017/11/28/philadelphia-joel-embiid-sports-illustrated-rising-star-award" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Rising Star" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Rising Star</a>, two new categories make their debut this year: <a href="https://www.si.com/sportsperson/2017/11/29/minnesota-lynx-maya-moore-sports-illustrated-performer-year-award" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Performer of the Year" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Performer of the Year</a> and the <a href="https://www.si.com/sportsperson/2017/11/29/carlos-beltran-sports-illustrated-hope-award" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Hope Award" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Hope Award</a>, the latter of which honors athletes who continue to give back to their home communities as they find success across the globe.</p><p>The telecast is being produced by Time Inc. Productions, the company’s television production division, which has tapped JASH, a Group Nine company, to co-produce. Highly regarded producers Robert Morton and Daniel Kellison will serve as executive producers. Executive producers from Time Inc. are Steve Cannella, Ian Orefice and Josh Oshinsky.</p><p>NBCSN will air an encore presentation of Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year celebration on Sunday, Dec. 10 at 10 p.m. ET and Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 11:30 p.m. ET.</p><p>Presented annually since 1954, the SI Sportsperson of the Year award is bestowed upon the athlete, team or coach who transcended the year in sports by achieving the highest level of athletic excellence while demonstrating the ideals of sportsmanship. The 2016 selection, Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, was honored at the Sportsperson event last December, which was also attended by Ali Legacy recipients Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell, as well as Michael Phelps, who was honored for his five gold medals at the the &#39;16 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.</p><p>Comedian, actor and writer J.B. Smoove, best known for his role in &quot;Curb Your Enthusiasm&quot; and roles in movies such as &quot;Pootie Tang&quot; and &quot;Mr. Deeds,&quot; hosted last year&#39;s event.</p>
Comedian Joel McHale to Host Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year Show

Comedian and actor Joel McHale will host this year’s Sportsperson of the Year event, which will be broadcast on television for the first time this year. The show will take place on Dec. 5 and will be televised on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET on Dec. 8, and on Univision Deportes at 8 p.m. ET on Dec. 9.

McHale is best known for his starring role on the hit comedy series “Community,” which ended its sixth season on Yahoo! after five seasons on NBC. For 12 seasons, he hosted E!’s “The Soup,” which satirized pop culture and current events. More recently, he starred in CBS’s “The Great Indoors” and was seen in FOX’s revival of “The X-Files.” He has also acted in numerous feature films including Seth MacFarlane’s “Ted” and Steven Soderbergh’s “The Informant.” Upcoming projects for McHale include STX’s “The Happytime Murders” and Netflix’s “A Futile & Stupid Gesture.”

In addition to the Sportsperson of the Year, Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, SI Kids SportsKid of the Year, and Rising Star, two new categories make their debut this year: Performer of the Year and the Hope Award, the latter of which honors athletes who continue to give back to their home communities as they find success across the globe.

The telecast is being produced by Time Inc. Productions, the company’s television production division, which has tapped JASH, a Group Nine company, to co-produce. Highly regarded producers Robert Morton and Daniel Kellison will serve as executive producers. Executive producers from Time Inc. are Steve Cannella, Ian Orefice and Josh Oshinsky.

NBCSN will air an encore presentation of Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year celebration on Sunday, Dec. 10 at 10 p.m. ET and Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 11:30 p.m. ET.

Presented annually since 1954, the SI Sportsperson of the Year award is bestowed upon the athlete, team or coach who transcended the year in sports by achieving the highest level of athletic excellence while demonstrating the ideals of sportsmanship. The 2016 selection, Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, was honored at the Sportsperson event last December, which was also attended by Ali Legacy recipients Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell, as well as Michael Phelps, who was honored for his five gold medals at the the '16 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Comedian, actor and writer J.B. Smoove, best known for his role in "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and roles in movies such as "Pootie Tang" and "Mr. Deeds," hosted last year's event.

US swimmer Caeleb Dressel emerged from the shadow of his idol Michael Phelps in Budapest becoming the first swimmer to win three world championships gold medals in a single day (AFP Photo/Martin BUREAU)
US swimmer Caeleb Dressel emerged from the shadow of his idol Michael Phelps in Budapest becoming the first swimmer to win three world championships gold medals in a single day
US swimmer Caeleb Dressel emerged from the shadow of his idol Michael Phelps in Budapest becoming the first swimmer to win three world championships gold medals in a single day (AFP Photo/Martin BUREAU)
<p>“One year ago I had the privilege of marrying my best friend!” the Olympian wrote, sharing this kissy pic with his wife, Nicole. “Love you forever and ever @mrs.nicolephelps” (Photo: <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba1oh2_HUMQ/?taken-by=m_phelps00" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Michael Phelps via Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Michael Phelps via Instagram</a>) </p>
Michael Phelps

“One year ago I had the privilege of marrying my best friend!” the Olympian wrote, sharing this kissy pic with his wife, Nicole. “Love you forever and ever @mrs.nicolephelps” (Photo: Michael Phelps via Instagram)

With long-classified documents concerning the assassination of President John F Kennedy due to be released pending President Donald Trump&#39;s approval, conspiracy theories are running wild. The sporting world is not immune to such theories either, with a long history of alleged fixes, frame-ups, biased officiating, doped-up athletes and inside jobs filling the imagination of aggrieved and bitter fans. Let&#39;s ignore Ockham&#39;s Razor and entertain some of them. Did Sonny Liston take a dive? By 1965, Muhammad Ali was no longer Cassius Clay and had taken the world heavyweight title from the grasp of intimidating bruiser Sonny Liston. Their second title fight in Maine however, would be shrouded in controversy forevermore. Ali caught Liston with what looked an innocuous counter-punch in the first-round, but Liston hit the canvas. Referee Jersey Joe Walcott did not begin the count, and the after Liston stayed down for more than 10 seconds the fight was stopped after a brief resumption. Ali won on technical knockout, and the decisive blow was called &#39;The Phantom Punch&#39;. Rumours abound that Liston bet against on himself to pay off gambling debts, that the Nation of Islam made threats against his life or the Mafia fixed the result. Ali&#39;s punch did catch Liston a glancing blow to the temple however, and that would be the simplest explanation. Make your own mind up. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Sonny Liston&#39;s bookmaker&#39;s ledger. Did an Arsenal-supporting chef poison Tottenham? An episode that left the southern end of Seven Sisters Road in stitches for years. On the final day of the 2005-6 Premier League season, victory over West Ham would have assured Tottenham Hotspur of Champions League qualification at the expense of fierce local rivals Arsenal. At the time, Spurs had not finished above Arsene Wenger&#39;s side since 1995. However, on the eve of the final-day decider at Upton Park, the Spurs squad was plagued by a mysterious bout of food poisoning. There we even doubts about the match going ahead, with key Spurs players such as Michael Carrick, Robbie Keane and Jermain Jenas suffering. It was later revealed, that the Italian food at their Canary Wharf hotel was probably to blame. &quot;Lasagne and spaghetti Bolognese were on the menu, we ate, and then in the middle of the night we started dropping like flies,&quot; reflected Jenas. &quot;It was mayhem.&quot; Spurs lost at West Ham 2-1, while a Thierry Henry hat-trick fired Arsenal to a 4-2 victory over Wigan in the final match at Highbury. The day was a rich source of schadenfreude and mocking chants for several seasons. The secret document that could solve the mystery:The head chef&#39;s Arsenal season ticket. Martin Jol consoled Robbie Keane Credit: EPA Did Colonel Gaddafi organise the disappearance of Shergar? With the exception of the Lord Lucan mystery, no disappearing act has left such a lasting imprint on British folklore. One of the great flat-racing horses in history, Derby winner Shergar was taken by armed men in balaclavas from his stables in Co Kildare Ireland in 1983, and never seen again. His fate is still unknown, and the incident has been the source of several books and films since. One lurid conspiracy theory is that he was kidnapped by the IRA and given to Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi in exchange for arms. Another is that he was taken by the New Orleans Mafia. The secret document that could solve the mystery: The horse&#39;s dental records. Did Bobby Riggs rig the &#39;Battle of the Sexes&#39;? 2017 was the year of the sporting novelty event with Floyd Mayweather Jr and Conor McGregor&#39;s ludicrous bout in Las Vegas, but it was by no means sport&#39;s first publicity stunt. In 1973, professional tennis player Bobby Riggs challenged multiple Grand Slam winner Billie Jean King to a match. The implication of course, was that the match would decide whether or not the best of the women&#39;s game could keep up with their male counterparts. King wiped the floor with him, and many suggested that Riggs had bet against himself and organised the whole event as a hustle. The more likely explanation is that the premise of the event - female athletes having to prove they are &#39;as good&#39; as men- was nonsense to begin with. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Riggs&#39; bank statement before and after the event. Billie Jean King holds down the net as Bobby Riggs Credit: AP Did Michael Phelps actually lose at the Beijing Olympics? Few could dispute Michael Phelps&#39;s Olympic legacy, but some do dispute his seventh Olympic gold won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The American made an awful start to the 100-meter butterfly final, and trailed Serbian Milorad Cavic for most of the race until he chased him down on the final length. The human eye could not decipher who had triumphed, but Phelps was awarded gold by one-hundredth of a second. The race time is measured by swimmers touching an electronic pad when they reach the line, and many fans believe Cavic actually got their first - but did not hit the pad firmly enough to register his time. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Finger prints. Why did Ronaldo play in the 1998 World Cup final? The &#39;original&#39; Ronaldo was the most exciting footballer in the world in 1998, but hours the World Cup final between Brazil and France he mysteriously fell ill. Sources, including teammate Roberto Carlos, reported he suffered some form of seizure. He was quickly taken out of the starting line-up and whisked away to hospital. However, he made a gained recovery and was put back in the team. Ronaldo was a shadow of himself and, many thought, unfit to play, as France won 3-0. People have wondered ever since why he played. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Ronaldo&#39;s personal diary. Ronaldo was badly out-of-sorts against France Credit: AFP Did Uefa conspire to get Barcelona in the Champions League final? Nothing condones Chelsea players&#39; behaviour after their Champions League semi-final defeat to Barcelona in 2009, but they certainly were on the rough end of some bad decisions at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea had three plausible penalty shouts turned down by Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo, with Michael Ballack chasing after him shouting expletives in his face. The general secretary of Uefa, David Taylor, was forced to deny accusations of Uefa favouritism towards Barcelona. &quot;If anything it&#39;s a media conspiracy against Uefa,&quot; said Taylor. &quot;It does make me angry. It really annoys me because it&#39;s a load of rubbish.&quot; The number of red cards received by opponents of Barcelona fueled this spurious theory: Arsenal&#39;s Jens Lehman in the 2006 Champions League final, Inter&#39;s Thiago Motta in the 2009 semi-final, Arsenal&#39;s Robin van Persie in a 2011 last-16 tie and John Terry in a 2012 semi-final to name a few. The secret document that could solve the mystery: There are none. A mixture of human error and gamesmanship are to blame.
The secret documents that could shed light on sport's famous conspiracy theories
With long-classified documents concerning the assassination of President John F Kennedy due to be released pending President Donald Trump's approval, conspiracy theories are running wild. The sporting world is not immune to such theories either, with a long history of alleged fixes, frame-ups, biased officiating, doped-up athletes and inside jobs filling the imagination of aggrieved and bitter fans. Let's ignore Ockham's Razor and entertain some of them. Did Sonny Liston take a dive? By 1965, Muhammad Ali was no longer Cassius Clay and had taken the world heavyweight title from the grasp of intimidating bruiser Sonny Liston. Their second title fight in Maine however, would be shrouded in controversy forevermore. Ali caught Liston with what looked an innocuous counter-punch in the first-round, but Liston hit the canvas. Referee Jersey Joe Walcott did not begin the count, and the after Liston stayed down for more than 10 seconds the fight was stopped after a brief resumption. Ali won on technical knockout, and the decisive blow was called 'The Phantom Punch'. Rumours abound that Liston bet against on himself to pay off gambling debts, that the Nation of Islam made threats against his life or the Mafia fixed the result. Ali's punch did catch Liston a glancing blow to the temple however, and that would be the simplest explanation. Make your own mind up. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Sonny Liston's bookmaker's ledger. Did an Arsenal-supporting chef poison Tottenham? An episode that left the southern end of Seven Sisters Road in stitches for years. On the final day of the 2005-6 Premier League season, victory over West Ham would have assured Tottenham Hotspur of Champions League qualification at the expense of fierce local rivals Arsenal. At the time, Spurs had not finished above Arsene Wenger's side since 1995. However, on the eve of the final-day decider at Upton Park, the Spurs squad was plagued by a mysterious bout of food poisoning. There we even doubts about the match going ahead, with key Spurs players such as Michael Carrick, Robbie Keane and Jermain Jenas suffering. It was later revealed, that the Italian food at their Canary Wharf hotel was probably to blame. "Lasagne and spaghetti Bolognese were on the menu, we ate, and then in the middle of the night we started dropping like flies," reflected Jenas. "It was mayhem." Spurs lost at West Ham 2-1, while a Thierry Henry hat-trick fired Arsenal to a 4-2 victory over Wigan in the final match at Highbury. The day was a rich source of schadenfreude and mocking chants for several seasons. The secret document that could solve the mystery:The head chef's Arsenal season ticket. Martin Jol consoled Robbie Keane Credit: EPA Did Colonel Gaddafi organise the disappearance of Shergar? With the exception of the Lord Lucan mystery, no disappearing act has left such a lasting imprint on British folklore. One of the great flat-racing horses in history, Derby winner Shergar was taken by armed men in balaclavas from his stables in Co Kildare Ireland in 1983, and never seen again. His fate is still unknown, and the incident has been the source of several books and films since. One lurid conspiracy theory is that he was kidnapped by the IRA and given to Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi in exchange for arms. Another is that he was taken by the New Orleans Mafia. The secret document that could solve the mystery: The horse's dental records. Did Bobby Riggs rig the 'Battle of the Sexes'? 2017 was the year of the sporting novelty event with Floyd Mayweather Jr and Conor McGregor's ludicrous bout in Las Vegas, but it was by no means sport's first publicity stunt. In 1973, professional tennis player Bobby Riggs challenged multiple Grand Slam winner Billie Jean King to a match. The implication of course, was that the match would decide whether or not the best of the women's game could keep up with their male counterparts. King wiped the floor with him, and many suggested that Riggs had bet against himself and organised the whole event as a hustle. The more likely explanation is that the premise of the event - female athletes having to prove they are 'as good' as men- was nonsense to begin with. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Riggs' bank statement before and after the event. Billie Jean King holds down the net as Bobby Riggs Credit: AP Did Michael Phelps actually lose at the Beijing Olympics? Few could dispute Michael Phelps's Olympic legacy, but some do dispute his seventh Olympic gold won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The American made an awful start to the 100-meter butterfly final, and trailed Serbian Milorad Cavic for most of the race until he chased him down on the final length. The human eye could not decipher who had triumphed, but Phelps was awarded gold by one-hundredth of a second. The race time is measured by swimmers touching an electronic pad when they reach the line, and many fans believe Cavic actually got their first - but did not hit the pad firmly enough to register his time. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Finger prints. Why did Ronaldo play in the 1998 World Cup final? The 'original' Ronaldo was the most exciting footballer in the world in 1998, but hours the World Cup final between Brazil and France he mysteriously fell ill. Sources, including teammate Roberto Carlos, reported he suffered some form of seizure. He was quickly taken out of the starting line-up and whisked away to hospital. However, he made a gained recovery and was put back in the team. Ronaldo was a shadow of himself and, many thought, unfit to play, as France won 3-0. People have wondered ever since why he played. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Ronaldo's personal diary. Ronaldo was badly out-of-sorts against France Credit: AFP Did Uefa conspire to get Barcelona in the Champions League final? Nothing condones Chelsea players' behaviour after their Champions League semi-final defeat to Barcelona in 2009, but they certainly were on the rough end of some bad decisions at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea had three plausible penalty shouts turned down by Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo, with Michael Ballack chasing after him shouting expletives in his face. The general secretary of Uefa, David Taylor, was forced to deny accusations of Uefa favouritism towards Barcelona. "If anything it's a media conspiracy against Uefa," said Taylor. "It does make me angry. It really annoys me because it's a load of rubbish." The number of red cards received by opponents of Barcelona fueled this spurious theory: Arsenal's Jens Lehman in the 2006 Champions League final, Inter's Thiago Motta in the 2009 semi-final, Arsenal's Robin van Persie in a 2011 last-16 tie and John Terry in a 2012 semi-final to name a few. The secret document that could solve the mystery: There are none. A mixture of human error and gamesmanship are to blame.
With long-classified documents concerning the assassination of President John F Kennedy due to be released pending President Donald Trump&#39;s approval, conspiracy theories are running wild. The sporting world is not immune to such theories either, with a long history of alleged fixes, frame-ups, biased officiating, doped-up athletes and inside jobs filling the imagination of aggrieved and bitter fans. Let&#39;s ignore Ockham&#39;s Razor and entertain some of them. Did Sonny Liston take a dive? By 1965, Muhammad Ali was no longer Cassius Clay and had taken the world heavyweight title from the grasp of intimidating bruiser Sonny Liston. Their second title fight in Maine however, would be shrouded in controversy forevermore. Ali caught Liston with what looked an innocuous counter-punch in the first-round, but Liston hit the canvas. Referee Jersey Joe Walcott did not begin the count, and the after Liston stayed down for more than 10 seconds the fight was stopped after a brief resumption. Ali won on technical knockout, and the decisive blow was called &#39;The Phantom Punch&#39;. Rumours abound that Liston bet against on himself to pay off gambling debts, that the Nation of Islam made threats against his life or the Mafia fixed the result. Ali&#39;s punch did catch Liston a glancing blow to the temple however, and that would be the simplest explanation. Make your own mind up. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Sonny Liston&#39;s bookmaker&#39;s ledger. Did an Arsenal-supporting chef poison Tottenham? An episode that left the southern end of Seven Sisters Road in stitches for years. On the final day of the 2005-6 Premier League season, victory over West Ham would have assured Tottenham Hotspur of Champions League qualification at the expense of fierce local rivals Arsenal. At the time, Spurs had not finished above Arsene Wenger&#39;s side since 1995. However, on the eve of the final-day decider at Upton Park, the Spurs squad was plagued by a mysterious bout of food poisoning. There we even doubts about the match going ahead, with key Spurs players such as Michael Carrick, Robbie Keane and Jermain Jenas suffering. It was later revealed, that the Italian food at their Canary Wharf hotel was probably to blame. &quot;Lasagne and spaghetti Bolognese were on the menu, we ate, and then in the middle of the night we started dropping like flies,&quot; reflected Jenas. &quot;It was mayhem.&quot; Spurs lost at West Ham 2-1, while a Thierry Henry hat-trick fired Arsenal to a 4-2 victory over Wigan in the final match at Highbury. The day was a rich source of schadenfreude and mocking chants for several seasons. The secret document that could solve the mystery:The head chef&#39;s Arsenal season ticket. Martin Jol consoled Robbie Keane Credit: EPA Did Colonel Gaddafi organise the disappearance of Shergar? With the exception of the Lord Lucan mystery, no disappearing act has left such a lasting imprint on British folklore. One of the great flat-racing horses in history, Derby winner Shergar was taken by armed men in balaclavas from his stables in Co Kildare Ireland in 1983, and never seen again. His fate is still unknown, and the incident has been the source of several books and films since. One lurid conspiracy theory is that he was kidnapped by the IRA and given to Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi in exchange for arms. Another is that he was taken by the New Orleans Mafia. The secret document that could solve the mystery: The horse&#39;s dental records. Did Bobby Riggs rig the &#39;Battle of the Sexes&#39;? 2017 was the year of the sporting novelty event with Floyd Mayweather Jr and Conor McGregor&#39;s ludicrous bout in Las Vegas, but it was by no means sport&#39;s first publicity stunt. In 1973, professional tennis player Bobby Riggs challenged multiple Grand Slam winner Billie Jean King to a match. The implication of course, was that the match would decide whether or not the best of the women&#39;s game could keep up with their male counterparts. King wiped the floor with him, and many suggested that Riggs had bet against himself and organised the whole event as a hustle. The more likely explanation is that the premise of the event - female athletes having to prove they are &#39;as good&#39; as men- was nonsense to begin with. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Riggs&#39; bank statement before and after the event. Billie Jean King holds down the net as Bobby Riggs Credit: AP Did Michael Phelps actually lose at the Beijing Olympics? Few could dispute Michael Phelps&#39;s Olympic legacy, but some do dispute his seventh Olympic gold won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The American made an awful start to the 100-meter butterfly final, and trailed Serbian Milorad Cavic for most of the race until he chased him down on the final length. The human eye could not decipher who had triumphed, but Phelps was awarded gold by one-hundredth of a second. The race time is measured by swimmers touching an electronic pad when they reach the line, and many fans believe Cavic actually got their first - but did not hit the pad firmly enough to register his time. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Finger prints. Why did Ronaldo play in the 1998 World Cup final? The &#39;original&#39; Ronaldo was the most exciting footballer in the world in 1998, but hours the World Cup final between Brazil and France he mysteriously fell ill. Sources, including teammate Roberto Carlos, reported he suffered some form of seizure. He was quickly taken out of the starting line-up and whisked away to hospital. However, he made a gained recovery and was put back in the team. Ronaldo was a shadow of himself and, many thought, unfit to play, as France won 3-0. People have wondered ever since why he played. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Ronaldo&#39;s personal diary. Ronaldo was badly out-of-sorts against France Credit: AFP Did Uefa conspire to get Barcelona in the Champions League final? Nothing condones Chelsea players&#39; behaviour after their Champions League semi-final defeat to Barcelona in 2009, but they certainly were on the rough end of some bad decisions at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea had three plausible penalty shouts turned down by Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo, with Michael Ballack chasing after him shouting expletives in his face. The general secretary of Uefa, David Taylor, was forced to deny accusations of Uefa favouritism towards Barcelona. &quot;If anything it&#39;s a media conspiracy against Uefa,&quot; said Taylor. &quot;It does make me angry. It really annoys me because it&#39;s a load of rubbish.&quot; The number of red cards received by opponents of Barcelona fueled this spurious theory: Arsenal&#39;s Jens Lehman in the 2006 Champions League final, Inter&#39;s Thiago Motta in the 2009 semi-final, Arsenal&#39;s Robin van Persie in a 2011 last-16 tie and John Terry in a 2012 semi-final to name a few. The secret document that could solve the mystery: There are none. A mixture of human error and gamesmanship are to blame.
The secret documents that could shed light on sport's famous conspiracy theories
With long-classified documents concerning the assassination of President John F Kennedy due to be released pending President Donald Trump's approval, conspiracy theories are running wild. The sporting world is not immune to such theories either, with a long history of alleged fixes, frame-ups, biased officiating, doped-up athletes and inside jobs filling the imagination of aggrieved and bitter fans. Let's ignore Ockham's Razor and entertain some of them. Did Sonny Liston take a dive? By 1965, Muhammad Ali was no longer Cassius Clay and had taken the world heavyweight title from the grasp of intimidating bruiser Sonny Liston. Their second title fight in Maine however, would be shrouded in controversy forevermore. Ali caught Liston with what looked an innocuous counter-punch in the first-round, but Liston hit the canvas. Referee Jersey Joe Walcott did not begin the count, and the after Liston stayed down for more than 10 seconds the fight was stopped after a brief resumption. Ali won on technical knockout, and the decisive blow was called 'The Phantom Punch'. Rumours abound that Liston bet against on himself to pay off gambling debts, that the Nation of Islam made threats against his life or the Mafia fixed the result. Ali's punch did catch Liston a glancing blow to the temple however, and that would be the simplest explanation. Make your own mind up. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Sonny Liston's bookmaker's ledger. Did an Arsenal-supporting chef poison Tottenham? An episode that left the southern end of Seven Sisters Road in stitches for years. On the final day of the 2005-6 Premier League season, victory over West Ham would have assured Tottenham Hotspur of Champions League qualification at the expense of fierce local rivals Arsenal. At the time, Spurs had not finished above Arsene Wenger's side since 1995. However, on the eve of the final-day decider at Upton Park, the Spurs squad was plagued by a mysterious bout of food poisoning. There we even doubts about the match going ahead, with key Spurs players such as Michael Carrick, Robbie Keane and Jermain Jenas suffering. It was later revealed, that the Italian food at their Canary Wharf hotel was probably to blame. "Lasagne and spaghetti Bolognese were on the menu, we ate, and then in the middle of the night we started dropping like flies," reflected Jenas. "It was mayhem." Spurs lost at West Ham 2-1, while a Thierry Henry hat-trick fired Arsenal to a 4-2 victory over Wigan in the final match at Highbury. The day was a rich source of schadenfreude and mocking chants for several seasons. The secret document that could solve the mystery:The head chef's Arsenal season ticket. Martin Jol consoled Robbie Keane Credit: EPA Did Colonel Gaddafi organise the disappearance of Shergar? With the exception of the Lord Lucan mystery, no disappearing act has left such a lasting imprint on British folklore. One of the great flat-racing horses in history, Derby winner Shergar was taken by armed men in balaclavas from his stables in Co Kildare Ireland in 1983, and never seen again. His fate is still unknown, and the incident has been the source of several books and films since. One lurid conspiracy theory is that he was kidnapped by the IRA and given to Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi in exchange for arms. Another is that he was taken by the New Orleans Mafia. The secret document that could solve the mystery: The horse's dental records. Did Bobby Riggs rig the 'Battle of the Sexes'? 2017 was the year of the sporting novelty event with Floyd Mayweather Jr and Conor McGregor's ludicrous bout in Las Vegas, but it was by no means sport's first publicity stunt. In 1973, professional tennis player Bobby Riggs challenged multiple Grand Slam winner Billie Jean King to a match. The implication of course, was that the match would decide whether or not the best of the women's game could keep up with their male counterparts. King wiped the floor with him, and many suggested that Riggs had bet against himself and organised the whole event as a hustle. The more likely explanation is that the premise of the event - female athletes having to prove they are 'as good' as men- was nonsense to begin with. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Riggs' bank statement before and after the event. Billie Jean King holds down the net as Bobby Riggs Credit: AP Did Michael Phelps actually lose at the Beijing Olympics? Few could dispute Michael Phelps's Olympic legacy, but some do dispute his seventh Olympic gold won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The American made an awful start to the 100-meter butterfly final, and trailed Serbian Milorad Cavic for most of the race until he chased him down on the final length. The human eye could not decipher who had triumphed, but Phelps was awarded gold by one-hundredth of a second. The race time is measured by swimmers touching an electronic pad when they reach the line, and many fans believe Cavic actually got their first - but did not hit the pad firmly enough to register his time. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Finger prints. Why did Ronaldo play in the 1998 World Cup final? The 'original' Ronaldo was the most exciting footballer in the world in 1998, but hours the World Cup final between Brazil and France he mysteriously fell ill. Sources, including teammate Roberto Carlos, reported he suffered some form of seizure. He was quickly taken out of the starting line-up and whisked away to hospital. However, he made a gained recovery and was put back in the team. Ronaldo was a shadow of himself and, many thought, unfit to play, as France won 3-0. People have wondered ever since why he played. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Ronaldo's personal diary. Ronaldo was badly out-of-sorts against France Credit: AFP Did Uefa conspire to get Barcelona in the Champions League final? Nothing condones Chelsea players' behaviour after their Champions League semi-final defeat to Barcelona in 2009, but they certainly were on the rough end of some bad decisions at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea had three plausible penalty shouts turned down by Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo, with Michael Ballack chasing after him shouting expletives in his face. The general secretary of Uefa, David Taylor, was forced to deny accusations of Uefa favouritism towards Barcelona. "If anything it's a media conspiracy against Uefa," said Taylor. "It does make me angry. It really annoys me because it's a load of rubbish." The number of red cards received by opponents of Barcelona fueled this spurious theory: Arsenal's Jens Lehman in the 2006 Champions League final, Inter's Thiago Motta in the 2009 semi-final, Arsenal's Robin van Persie in a 2011 last-16 tie and John Terry in a 2012 semi-final to name a few. The secret document that could solve the mystery: There are none. A mixture of human error and gamesmanship are to blame.
With long-classified documents concerning the assassination of President John F Kennedy due to be released pending President Donald Trump&#39;s approval, conspiracy theories are running wild. The sporting world is not immune to such theories either, with a long history of alleged fixes, frame-ups, biased officiating, doped-up athletes and inside jobs filling the imagination of aggrieved and bitter fans. Let&#39;s ignore Ockham&#39;s Razor and entertain some of them. Did Sonny Liston take a dive? By 1965, Muhammad Ali was no longer Cassius Clay and had taken the world heavyweight title from the grasp of intimidating bruiser Sonny Liston. Their second title fight in Maine however, would be shrouded in controversy forevermore. Ali caught Liston with what looked an innocuous counter-punch in the first-round, but Liston hit the canvas. Referee Jersey Joe Walcott did not begin the count, and the after Liston stayed down for more than 10 seconds the fight was stopped after a brief resumption. Ali won on technical knockout, and the decisive blow was called &#39;The Phantom Punch&#39;. Rumours abound that Liston bet against on himself to pay off gambling debts, that the Nation of Islam made threats against his life or the Mafia fixed the result. Ali&#39;s punch did catch Liston a glancing blow to the temple however, and that would be the simplest explanation. Make your own mind up. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Sonny Liston&#39;s bookmaker&#39;s ledger. Did an Arsenal-supporting chef poison Tottenham? An episode that left the southern end of Seven Sisters Road in stitches for years. On the final day of the 2005-6 Premier League season, victory over West Ham would have assured Tottenham Hotspur of Champions League qualification at the expense of fierce local rivals Arsenal. At the time, Spurs had not finished above Arsene Wenger&#39;s side since 1995. However, on the eve of the final-day decider at Upton Park, the Spurs squad was plagued by a mysterious bout of food poisoning. There we even doubts about the match going ahead, with key Spurs players such as Michael Carrick, Robbie Keane and Jermain Jenas suffering. It was later revealed, that the Italian food at their Canary Wharf hotel was probably to blame. &quot;Lasagne and spaghetti Bolognese were on the menu, we ate, and then in the middle of the night we started dropping like flies,&quot; reflected Jenas. &quot;It was mayhem.&quot; Spurs lost at West Ham 2-1, while a Thierry Henry hat-trick fired Arsenal to a 4-2 victory over Wigan in the final match at Highbury. The day was a rich source of schadenfreude and mocking chants for several seasons. The secret document that could solve the mystery:The head chef&#39;s Arsenal season ticket. Martin Jol consoled Robbie Keane Credit: EPA Did Colonel Gaddafi organise the disappearance of Shergar? With the exception of the Lord Lucan mystery, no disappearing act has left such a lasting imprint on British folklore. One of the great flat-racing horses in history, Derby winner Shergar was taken by armed men in balaclavas from his stables in Co Kildare Ireland in 1983, and never seen again. His fate is still unknown, and the incident has been the source of several books and films since. One lurid conspiracy theory is that he was kidnapped by the IRA and given to Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi in exchange for arms. Another is that he was taken by the New Orleans Mafia. The secret document that could solve the mystery: The horse&#39;s dental records. Did Bobby Riggs rig the &#39;Battle of the Sexes&#39;? 2017 was the year of the sporting novelty event with Floyd Mayweather Jr and Conor McGregor&#39;s ludicrous bout in Las Vegas, but it was by no means sport&#39;s first publicity stunt. In 1973, professional tennis player Bobby Riggs challenged multiple Grand Slam winner Billie Jean King to a match. The implication of course, was that the match would decide whether or not the best of the women&#39;s game could keep up with their male counterparts. King wiped the floor with him, and many suggested that Riggs had bet against himself and organised the whole event as a hustle. The more likely explanation is that the premise of the event - female athletes having to prove they are &#39;as good&#39; as men- was nonsense to begin with. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Riggs&#39; bank statement before and after the event. Billie Jean King holds down the net as Bobby Riggs Credit: AP Did Michael Phelps actually lose at the Beijing Olympics? Few could dispute Michael Phelps&#39;s Olympic legacy, but some do dispute his seventh Olympic gold won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The American made an awful start to the 100-meter butterfly final, and trailed Serbian Milorad Cavic for most of the race until he chased him down on the final length. The human eye could not decipher who had triumphed, but Phelps was awarded gold by one-hundredth of a second. The race time is measured by swimmers touching an electronic pad when they reach the line, and many fans believe Cavic actually got their first - but did not hit the pad firmly enough to register his time. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Finger prints. Why did Ronaldo play in the 1998 World Cup final? The &#39;original&#39; Ronaldo was the most exciting footballer in the world in 1998, but hours the World Cup final between Brazil and France he mysteriously fell ill. Sources, including teammate Roberto Carlos, reported he suffered some form of seizure. He was quickly taken out of the starting line-up and whisked away to hospital. However, he made a gained recovery and was put back in the team. Ronaldo was a shadow of himself and, many thought, unfit to play, as France won 3-0. People have wondered ever since why he played. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Ronaldo&#39;s personal diary. Ronaldo was badly out-of-sorts against France Credit: AFP Did Uefa conspire to get Barcelona in the Champions League final? Nothing condones Chelsea players&#39; behaviour after their Champions League semi-final defeat to Barcelona in 2009, but they certainly were on the rough end of some bad decisions at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea had three plausible penalty shouts turned down by Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo, with Michael Ballack chasing after him shouting expletives in his face. The general secretary of Uefa, David Taylor, was forced to deny accusations of Uefa favouritism towards Barcelona. &quot;If anything it&#39;s a media conspiracy against Uefa,&quot; said Taylor. &quot;It does make me angry. It really annoys me because it&#39;s a load of rubbish.&quot; The number of red cards received by opponents of Barcelona fueled this spurious theory: Arsenal&#39;s Jens Lehman in the 2006 Champions League final, Inter&#39;s Thiago Motta in the 2009 semi-final, Arsenal&#39;s Robin van Persie in a 2011 last-16 tie and John Terry in a 2012 semi-final to name a few. The secret document that could solve the mystery: There are none. A mixture of human error and gamesmanship are to blame.
The secret documents that could shed light on sport's famous conspiracy theories
With long-classified documents concerning the assassination of President John F Kennedy due to be released pending President Donald Trump's approval, conspiracy theories are running wild. The sporting world is not immune to such theories either, with a long history of alleged fixes, frame-ups, biased officiating, doped-up athletes and inside jobs filling the imagination of aggrieved and bitter fans. Let's ignore Ockham's Razor and entertain some of them. Did Sonny Liston take a dive? By 1965, Muhammad Ali was no longer Cassius Clay and had taken the world heavyweight title from the grasp of intimidating bruiser Sonny Liston. Their second title fight in Maine however, would be shrouded in controversy forevermore. Ali caught Liston with what looked an innocuous counter-punch in the first-round, but Liston hit the canvas. Referee Jersey Joe Walcott did not begin the count, and the after Liston stayed down for more than 10 seconds the fight was stopped after a brief resumption. Ali won on technical knockout, and the decisive blow was called 'The Phantom Punch'. Rumours abound that Liston bet against on himself to pay off gambling debts, that the Nation of Islam made threats against his life or the Mafia fixed the result. Ali's punch did catch Liston a glancing blow to the temple however, and that would be the simplest explanation. Make your own mind up. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Sonny Liston's bookmaker's ledger. Did an Arsenal-supporting chef poison Tottenham? An episode that left the southern end of Seven Sisters Road in stitches for years. On the final day of the 2005-6 Premier League season, victory over West Ham would have assured Tottenham Hotspur of Champions League qualification at the expense of fierce local rivals Arsenal. At the time, Spurs had not finished above Arsene Wenger's side since 1995. However, on the eve of the final-day decider at Upton Park, the Spurs squad was plagued by a mysterious bout of food poisoning. There we even doubts about the match going ahead, with key Spurs players such as Michael Carrick, Robbie Keane and Jermain Jenas suffering. It was later revealed, that the Italian food at their Canary Wharf hotel was probably to blame. "Lasagne and spaghetti Bolognese were on the menu, we ate, and then in the middle of the night we started dropping like flies," reflected Jenas. "It was mayhem." Spurs lost at West Ham 2-1, while a Thierry Henry hat-trick fired Arsenal to a 4-2 victory over Wigan in the final match at Highbury. The day was a rich source of schadenfreude and mocking chants for several seasons. The secret document that could solve the mystery:The head chef's Arsenal season ticket. Martin Jol consoled Robbie Keane Credit: EPA Did Colonel Gaddafi organise the disappearance of Shergar? With the exception of the Lord Lucan mystery, no disappearing act has left such a lasting imprint on British folklore. One of the great flat-racing horses in history, Derby winner Shergar was taken by armed men in balaclavas from his stables in Co Kildare Ireland in 1983, and never seen again. His fate is still unknown, and the incident has been the source of several books and films since. One lurid conspiracy theory is that he was kidnapped by the IRA and given to Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi in exchange for arms. Another is that he was taken by the New Orleans Mafia. The secret document that could solve the mystery: The horse's dental records. Did Bobby Riggs rig the 'Battle of the Sexes'? 2017 was the year of the sporting novelty event with Floyd Mayweather Jr and Conor McGregor's ludicrous bout in Las Vegas, but it was by no means sport's first publicity stunt. In 1973, professional tennis player Bobby Riggs challenged multiple Grand Slam winner Billie Jean King to a match. The implication of course, was that the match would decide whether or not the best of the women's game could keep up with their male counterparts. King wiped the floor with him, and many suggested that Riggs had bet against himself and organised the whole event as a hustle. The more likely explanation is that the premise of the event - female athletes having to prove they are 'as good' as men- was nonsense to begin with. The secret document that could solve the mystery: Riggs' bank statement before and after the event. Billie Jean King holds down the net as Bobby Riggs Credit: AP Did Michael Phelps actually lose at the Beijing Olympics? Few cou