By

Brandon

Shaun White, Esther Lee, and the Fence (Extras)

If you've read my B/R Mag story about Shaun White's return to the Winter Olympics following a disappointing 2014 in Sochi, you know that in 2015 he hired Esther Lee to be his personal physical therapist. Lee was previously the personal PT to Serena and Venus Williams. And she had a major impact on Shaun...
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Shaun White and Miley Cyrus Make S’mores (Extras)

One of my favorite stories Shaun told me while talking with him for my B/R Mag story that just dropped. (Go check that out, please!)  For a little while, this was the lead to that story, but felt too random, and it felt out of place at this length elsewhere in the story, so we cut...
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Urban Meyer, the Bear Lady, the Truth About Fear

Been meaning to do this for a while, but here’s a transcript (lightly edited) of the talk I gave to the incoming freshman class at my alma mater, Barton College. (There’s a video of the talk itself at the end of if you’d rather just skip ahead and watch that.)  There’s some advice in here that...
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The Conspiracy

“This isn’t just about sports. This is about the good of humanity. I mean, we’re getting into some next-level shit here.” — Dr. Andy Walshe, Director of Human Performance, Red Bull Adapted from HEAD IN THE GAME.    “‘Ello, mate!” Wearing a long, loose white T-shirt, black skinny jeans, and flip-flops, Andy Walshe, Ph.D., an...
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Cristiano Ronaldo Scores a Header in the Pitch Black Dark

Here’s a video mentioned in Chapter 13 of HEAD IN THE GAME, “Gaming the Brain,” wherein someone kicks a soccer ball at Cristiano Ronaldo‘s head, whereupon someone else kills the lights and all the world goes dark, whereafter, a thud, wherethen the lights come back on and we all see the ball in the net. NeuroTracker...
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Where Didn’t Eric Bledsoe Not Want To Be: A B/R Mag Investigation

Eric Bledsoe was cast aside by the Suns after a cryptic tweet he says they misunderstood. Was he right? Were there more sinister forces in the universe forcing his hand?
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GSP Back

The king of the fight game walked away a UFC champ. Then his mind got to racing. But Georges St-Pierre needed to become imperfect before returning to the Octagon.
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‘I’m Not The Lone Wolf’

Originally published 09.13.2016. Re-posted to celebrate: this story was just shortlisted for the 2017 Livingston Award for National Reporting, recognizing the best work by writers and journalists under 35.  A million thanks, all over again, to Urban and Shelley for opening up.  Chasing Ambien with beer to sleep. Forty-pound weight loss. Chest pains. To stay...
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The Psychology, Neuroscience, and Pure Magic of Being Killer in the Clutch

Down three in the final seconds of Game 5 during the Western Conference semifinals, James Harden juked left and then went right, burning past Manu Ginobili and then pulling up for the open three—and he got stuffed. Ginobili’s hand came from behind him like the Angel of Death. Game over. Clutch. Clutch like
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A Conspiracy of Comfort: Why It’s Time to Rethink What Coaches Wear

Stan Van Gundy is running away from me. OK, not running. But he is moving quickly across the parking lot of the Quest Multisport facility in Chicago, his forehead peppered by beads of sweat, strands of his thinning salt-and-pepper hair waving in the wind. (As always, his mustache is magnificent.) He makes for a black...
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MLB Prospect Casey Thomas’ Gym Rat Heart, Cool West Coast Vibe Lost at Just 24

  My latest for Bleacher Report is about the day Oakland A’s rookie prospect Casey Thomas dies a few weeks ago, and about the way he lived — all at once willing to work hard, but also according to his trademark phrase: “Own your flow.” When news broke of his death a few weeks ago, B/R editors...
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The Rock

  [ TK Post about DJ mentioning his depression in that Rolling Stone profile ]
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For Love of the Game: Chasing Big League Dreams For 12 Bucks an Hour

Kyle Johnson brought his wife and their two young daughters with him to spring training this year, here in Port St. Lucie, Florida. It was about $3,000 more expensive than in 2016, when he crashed on a friend’s couch in Jupiter, 35 miles south, to save money. A speedy 27-year-old outfielder, Kyle—like all baseball minor...
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NOT QUITE LIKE MIKE

Confetti, cracked dreams and crying in front of Jordan: what it feels like one year later for UNC's Marcus Paige, whose one shining moment got erased by the ultimate March Madness buzzer-beater.
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“We have decommissioned natural selection and must now look deep within ourselves and decide what we wish to become.” – E.O. Wilson (Via this convo between Steven Kotler and Jason Silva)  
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NO LOVE: A Fighter on his Way to Prison. A Kid with Cancer. A Promise that Saved Them Both.

  Cody Garbrandt walks down Third Street in tiny Dennison, Ohio, the gleaming UFC title belt slung over his shoulder. Decorated trucks and floats line the street. He’s flanked by his stepfather, his mom and his girlfriend, Danny, who carries her small white Chihuahua. A crowd swarms. People ask for pictures. Cody poses for a...
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The Performance Enhancer For Your Brain: How Elite Athletes are Using EEG to Get a Mental Edge

Many thanks to Sports Illustrated for running this excerpt from Head in the Game. It’s about how great athletes are using EEG technology to study and train their brains, much like they use film, personal trainers, and the like the study and train their bodies and their skills. Beyond their sports, too, it is having profound...
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