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Notebook

Qiana Joy

I’m on deadline, but I gotta tell you about my shirt. And really, I just want to tell you about the shirt so I can tell you about Qiana. You say it “key-ah-na.” She’s this girl who works at our son’s daycare. Well, worked. She used to work there. She was diagnosed with this rare cancer a few months ago. Squamous cell carcinoma of the throat. They thought they’d be able to surgically remove it but they couldn’t, so …

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FeaturedJournalismProjects

Tim Tebow Can’t Help Himself

  What if a 29-year-old former quarterback was good enough to play pro baseball, too? What if we all tried the things that people told us we could not do? Inside the final comeback of a born-again star   Before he said yes to training Tim Tebow over the summer, former major league catcher Chad Moeller met with the recovering quarterback at his private baseball training facility in Scottsdale, Arizona, and had a couple of …

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In SanityLone Wolves

The Strikeout

Hey folks, here’s something that got cut from the Urban Meyer story that I think you’ll like …    One of the players involved on that crucial fourth-down play—Urban doesn’t want to use his name, so let’s call him Bill—ended up suffering a great deal of emotional fallout. Urban urged Bill to visit the team psychologist, and Bill did, and they did more than that, too. They checked in with each other constantly, often with …

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Lone Wolves

You’re Not the Lone Wolf, Part 3

  Hi again. You doing well this week? Hope so. I’m good. Here is Part 3 of the You’re Not the Lone Wolf series, a collection of notes and emails people have sent me after reading my Urban Meyer story for B/R Mag at Bleacher Report, “I’m Not the Lone Wolf.” James says: Thank you for telling the Urban story. More than you can imagine have similar issues. Hopefully I will take the lesson learned …

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Notebook

‘Born That Way’ Named a Best American Sports Writing Notable Selection

Hey everyone, cool news. The 2016 Best American Sports Writing anthology came out today, and “Born That Way,” my story about Greenville, N.C. coaching icon Marvin Jarman, was named a Notable Selection. Thanks again to everyone for your help with the story. By far one of my favorites in my career. You can read “Born That Way” here. Go buy the Best American Sports Writing book here.  

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Lone Wolves

You’re Not The Lone Wolf, Part 2

Hi again, everyone. How are you? I am well. Last week, I posted “You’re Not the Lone Wolf, Part 1,” sharing notes from people happy to hear Urban Meyer say he’s not the lone wolf when it comes to mental health problems, because that showed them that they are not lone wolves, either. So let’s jump right into Part 2. Bob says: Thank you to Urban Meyer for a generously candid look into his mental and spiritual …

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Projects

The Forever Comeback

B/R Mag at Bleacher Report asked me to profile Robert Griffin III. What started out a couple months ago as a story about his comeback changed after his Week 1 injury, rapidly pivoting into an exploration of what drives him and why, although the sports world on the whole believes he’s done, Griffin, his coaches, and his teammates have reason to believe otherwise. Read here.  

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Lone WolvesNotebook

You’re Not the Lone Wolf, Part 1

  The reaction to “I’m Not The Lone Wolf,” my B/R Mag story about Urban Meyer and his struggles with mental health has been overwhelming. I hoped, maybe even expected, that the story would touch a nerve with some folks. I had no idea it would reach as far as it did. I’ve received emails, messages, and phone calls from people all over the world telling me that Urban’s story hit them right in the heart. I …

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FeaturedProjects

‘I’m Not The Lone Wolf’

  My story about Urban Meyer and his struggle with mental health is out now at B/R Mag, the new magazine by Bleacher Report. I’ll post some stories and other notes that didn’t make the final cut over the next week or two. I’ll also share the story of how the interview came to happen. In short, I kind of bared my soul, and thankfully, that didn’t freak Urban out. For now, though, enjoy the …

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Projects

From MDMA to the NFL: Noah Spence’s Journey Isn’t Over

Bleacher Report asked me to write a thing about Noah Spence, the NFL prospect who was one of the best players in college football at Ohio State, got kicked off the team and banned from the Big Ten, then went in search of redemption at lil’ ol’ Eastern Kentucky University. Seems he found it, too, and everyone around him says he loves sharing his story, so as to educate and inspire. Contrary to what you …

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FeaturedProjects

What Killed the Bear Lady?

For 28 years, Kay Grayson lived side-by-side with wild black bears in North Carolina’s swampy coastal forests, hand-feeding them, defending them against poachers, and letting them in her home. When she went missing last year, the only thing the investigators could find were her clean-picked bones. And that’s just the start of the mystery. My latest story, for Outside magazine. Read it here: click.

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Notebook

Jason Silva on fear, perfectionism, love

Thought this Jason Silva video has some great thoughts worth chewing on, so I transcribed it. He touches on so many things that deeply affect us – the impossibility of knowing where all of this is really headed, the paralysis of freedom, fear, perfectionism. Enjoy: I once read an interview where a very successful curator of ideas and inspiration and media was asked, what is the future of your organization? And what he said was …

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Projects

New Story: “What Killed The Bear Lady?”

I’ve got a new feature out in the April 2016 issue of Outside magazine: “What Killed The Bear Lady?” It’s about Kay Grayson, who was known as The Bear Lady because she lived with a pack of bears and spent the last 25 years of her life or so fighting poachers trying to kill them, until she was found having died under mysterious circumstances last January. The story will be online sometime in the next few …

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Quotes

The Next Real Rebels

The next real literary “rebels” in this country might well emerge as some weird bunch of anti-rebels, born oglers who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse and instantiate single-entendre principles. Who treat of plain old untrendy human troubles and emotions in U.S. life with reverence and conviction. Who eschew self-consciousness and hip fatigue. These anti-rebels would be outdated, of course, before they even started. Dead …

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Notebook

He Never Would Have Made A Single Mark

  NATHAN: You know this guy, right? CALEB: Jackson Pollock. NATHAN: Jackson Pollock. The drip painter. He let his mind go blank, and his hand go where it wanted. Not deliberate, not random. Someplace in between. They called it automatic art. Nathan gazes at the canvas.  NATHAN: Let’s make this like Star Trek, okay? Engage intellect. CALEB: What? NATHAN: I’m Kirk. Your head is the warp drive. ‘Engage intellect’. What if Pollock had reversed the challenge? Instead of trying to make …

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Quotes

“There is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.” — Solomon

From Ecclesiastes, which scholars believe Solomon wrote toward the end of his life. And he lived an insane life. According to the Bible, he asked got for wisdom, got it, became incredibly wealthy, then married like a thousand wives and lived it up … and by the end of it all, this is what he had to say about life. This is what he said was the best way to live. Be happy. Do good. Love …

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Notebook

Something Something Blogging

You know Pocket? If not, it’s this great app that lets you save articles you want to read for later. Turns out I’m kind of an article hoarder — I probably save anywhere from five to fifty articles per day, even if I’ve already read them, because I want to do something with them. They’re just too cool and interesting to just read and then click away from, plus a lot of times they raise other questions that I …

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Cool PeopleFeaturedProjects

BORN THAT WAY: The Legend of Coach Marvin Jarman

On a Monday night in Greenville, North Carolina, the fever of high school football archrivalry sweeps over a field in the country. Almost everyone will lose their minds at some point over the next few hours, all except one man. J.H. Rose High School’s football team, after a 30-minute trip from Marvin Jarman Drive in central Greenville here to D.H. Conley High School, steps out of their buses wearing emerald-green pants with bright blue piping …

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