In 1993, three weeks after graduating from Indiana University, I moved to Manhattan. My dad flew out with me from Chicago and, as he finished moving me into a sublet apartment, he handed me a bartending manual, and then passed along this bit of wishful thinking: “I hope you don’t need it.” Three weeks later, as I was about to crack the book open, I got a call from Sports Illustrated. I spent five years at SI, as a reporter and a correspondent for its broadcast network, CNNSI, before joining ESPN The Magazine as an editor in 1998.
Except for an ill-advised, one-year absence to chase dot-com gold, I’ve been with ESPN ever since. In 2011, I became editor-in-chief of the magazine and, in 2016, I became Editorial Director of ESPN Domestic Digital. I also created the gambling beat for ESPN and contribute weekly podcasts and columns, in addition to making regular TV appearances to discuss the culture of sports betting. Along the way, I’ve written or co-authored seven books. Most recent works include: The 2010 national best-seller The Ones Who Hit the Hardest, about the blood feud between the 1970s Steelers and Cowboys, written with Shawn Coyne, and the New York Times best-seller They Call Me Baba Booey, with Gary Dell’Abate. In 2008, I worked with UFC fighter Chuck Liddell on his bio Iceman: My Fighting Life, which was also a Times best-seller. Other books include: Invincible, with Vince Papale; The Detonators: The Secret Plot to Destroy America and an Epic Hunt for Justice, the true story of a 1916 terrorist attack on New York Harbor; The Odds, about a trio of Vegas bookmakers and wiseguys; and Pickup Artists, co-authored with Lars Anderson, which examined the culture of playground basketball in America.