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Young Ninja Group (ages 3-5)

Eric Sysoev
Eric Sysoev

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The 2009 edition had six alternative covers featuring Serena Williams (tennis), Carl Edwards (NASCAR), Adrian Peterson (NFL), Dwight Howard (NBA), Gina Carano (mixed martial arts) and Sarah Reinertsen (triathlons).[2] The Serena Williams edition sold the most copies.[3] The 2009 issue was a financial success, achieving double the normal edition sales, greater sales than any bi-weekly issue in over two years and 35 percent more ad sales than comparable issues, which led to plans for extended marketing of the 2010 edition.[3]

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The 30 covers were made for ESPN the Magazine and focused on the biggest NBA stories going on at the very interesting time: LeBron taking his talents to South Beach, Melo leaving the Nuggets, Michael Jordan running the Bobcats, if Greg Oden can be repaired, if Blake Griffin can be contained and if the Warriors should build around Steph Curry or Monta Ellis (seriously).

It's the most wonderful day of the year, ESPN The Magazine released all eight covers for this year's Body Issue. The Body Issue features some of the most toned, and chiseled athletes baring it all and showing off their gorgeous physiques. It's really a work of art.

At 77 golfer Gary Player is the oldest athlete to make the cover. Also gracing the cover are Nuggets big man Kenneth Faried, Olympic volleyball star Kerri Walsh Jennings, 49ers quarterback Colin Kapernick, U.S. women's soccer player Sydney LeRoux, NHRA car driver Courtney Force, Motocross racer Tarah Gieger, and Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. ESPN The Magazine kindly sent us a few covers to show you, click here to see the other photos from the issue >

The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) is holding its annual Best Cover Contest. Because editors at national and regional magazines across the country have nominated their own work in a handful of categories, the "Most Delicious" category is filled with food porn and, somewhat unexpectedly, also contains covers that feature nude human bodies.

Sid Holt, chief executive of ASME, explained the nominees: "Magazines decide where to enter covers. The meaning of Most Delicious is open to interpretation (another example is the Brainiest category). Some magazines interpret the category names more metaphorically than others."

The Body Issue actually has six covers, three men and three women, all of whom are pictured nude. (You can see four more covers at HuffPo.) The photos in the magazine are also about equally male and female.

That doesn't mean the response to the Issue hasn't been sexist, objectifying or degrading. (I did a google image search for "ESPN Magazine The Body Issue covers" and didn't see any of the male athletes until the bottom of the second page--methinks some of those viewing the images had a different aim in mind than appreciation.) But overall, I think the purpose of this issue--to show strong, powerful, beautiful, athletic bodies--was realized.

In isolation, I did think the Serena covered seemed unnecessarily sexualized, especially the way she is all made up and styled. However, now that I have looked at the other covers, it doesn't seem that is the overall intention of the series, so perhaps that was Serena's preference? No matter, I think that as a series these covers seem to represent males and females as strong and/or sexual in varying degrees. I think that Dwight Howard's arm positioning is reminiscent of a nude female model covering her breasts. I am impressed with the Sarah Reinertsen cover because she looks happy, confident and unapologetic that her prosthetic is crossed OVER her other leg. And even though she is naked, the relaxed posture and dangling arms do not come across as overly sexualized. I think that individually a lot could be said about each cover, but I think as a whole, they are balanced and do convey the varying concepts with which a "body issue" can deal.

Looking at this in the greater context (the other covers, which feature two black men and three white women, all of whom are at least partly naked: -body-issue-of-naked_n_311168.html?slidenumber=2), I don't have a problem with it at all, and in fact, I'm guessing Serena probably had some say in how she was portrayed.

Could ESPN could rectify this sexist context by committing to put more non-nude images of women on their covers in the future? (They'd have to follow it up with action of course.) I'm curious about what people think about this.

ESPN magazine has a feature selling previous magazine covers, where you can look at all the covers they have put out each year: Although women very rarely appear on the cover, outside of the body issue to women wear clothes. They seem to be wearing dresses more often than athletic clothing, as this :3291718/?o=37is as close as I can find to a woman in athletic clothing for the past few years - at least she has sports equipment in her picture. Men are pictured both in sports clothing and in street or formal clothing.

After checking out the other covers, I still feel like there's a mix of racism and sexism to the way Serena is posed. Of all of the athletes, she is the only one who isn't either confronting the viewer with a strong, confident gaze, or ignoring the viewer as she goes about her business. I also think that her pose looks the most uncomfortable and unnatural of them all. She has a very strong, powerful body, and it's weird to me to see her posed that way.

An era has come to an end. ESPN the Magazine came into this world in March of 1998, and since then it has showcased some of the best writing the worldwide leader in sports has had to offer. However, in an increasingly digital world, ESPN felt that the magazine no longer served a purpose. Publication of ESPN the Magazine has been discontinued after 21 years. Over that time, there has been a litany of covers, many of them quite memorable. Here are some of our favorite ESPN the Magazine covers. May it rest in peace.

Some covers are quirky and some are artistic, while some are simple. This is one of the simple ones. A retiring Michael Jordan celebrating some on-court glory leaps, his arms extended. That's all we needed to see.

This is maybe the most famous of the "ESPN the Magazine" covers. After Mike Ditka traded his entire cadre of draft picks away to select Ricky Williams, the two appeared on the cover together. For the whole "for better or worse" motif, Williams wore a wedding dress. Take that, Dennis Rodman!

We didn't want to put too many "Next" covers on here, but we had to have one more. After all, this was LeBron James' first "ESPN the Magazine" cover. He would have many more, but it all started here. This was a pretty easy call for a "Next" issue, to be fair.

Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby became the faces of the NHL when they were drafted. However, Ovechkin always had more personality. Hockey never got much love from ESPN, at least after the network stopped showing it, but the sport was still featured on a few covers. This is the most memorable of the bunch, thanks largley to Ovi.

This is one of the artsier covers the magazine ever did. That makes it stand out, and also fortunately the image is striking. Sometimes, all you need is black and white and an image that grabs you. This is a powerful cover that isn't showy.

This is where it ends. We like this cover as is, with Baker Mayfield walking a bunch of dogs. However, the fact that this is one of the final covers the magazine ever had makes it momentous. "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone." 041b061a72


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