ESPN The Magazine merges sports and fiction in its new issue, on newsstands Friday, February 25. With traditional short fiction pieces produced in collaboration with the acclaimed publishing house McSweeney’s, the features explore alternate realities, myths and rumors that are hard to separate from truth. “The Fiction Issue” is the first full issue of a major sports magazine dedicated to literary fiction, and includes contributions from:
- Best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize-finalist Dave Eggers, who traces World Series greatness back to its roots, almost literally (“My Life In Baseball, By The Beard”).
- Fringe executive producer Jeff Pinkner, who imagines alternate realities for some of the most pivotal moments in recent sports history (“What If…”).
- MLB pitcher Miguel Batista, who shows how stickball kindles a grandmother’s memories in his piece “The Family Business.”
- Before Zack Greinke was traded from Kansas City to Milwaukee, rumors had him going to at least 10 other teams. Buster Olney looks inside the modern culture of misinformation (page 90).
- Does sex sap athletic strength? Did refs cost Notre Dame the 1991 Orange Bowl? Breaking down the most pervasive and boneheaded myths in sports (page 94).
- David Fleming presents the fantastical story of NFL rushing champ Arian Foster. Good luck separating fact from fiction (page 100).
Fiction Issue Features:
Tenerife had heard “Three’s a gang” since he was 12. But don’t ever go four. Never. He should’ve listened. By Susan Straight
Bleacher Couch Man
Cole Griffith is either a noble warrior or a middle-aged hoopster who doesn’t know when to quit. By Jess Walter
The world wasn’t right unless the Knockwoods were winning, A bike race changed everything. By Wells Tower
Garner is broke, unemployed, single, good to his mom and afraid of nothing but himself. By John Brandon
The Kudzu League
When Indy League ball hits a Nowhere League town. By Christopher Bachelder
A funny thing happened on the way to a Saints-Panthers game. By Michael Bible
John Brisker’s Greatest Game
The ABA hothead was as feared as he was cheered. Then he vanished. By Gare Joyce