A handful of these pieces originally appeared in somewhat different form, and under different titles, as noted.
THE ULTIMATE BETTING MACHINE
ESPN THE MAGAZINE / MARCH 2013
How did Bob Voulgaris become the world's top NBA gambler? By building one very valuable black box.
THE DOCTOR WILL SAVE YOU NOW
ESPN THE MAGAZINE / SEP 2013
When their careers are hanging by a tendon, the pros turn to him. A profile of Dr. James Andrews in the twilight of his orthopedic career.
ESPN THE MAGAZINE / NOV 2012
He was a coach and a mentor. A trusted advisor. A mover in the college hoops scene. But when financial scams caught up with David Salinas, he had nowhere to go but down.
STROKE OF MADNESS
ESPN THE MAGAZINE / FEB 2013
The solitary act of swinging a golf club unites a hundred thoughts into one fluid second. So how, when the slightest glitch can destroy a career, has Tiger Woods managed to overhaul his swing three times? And, more important, why?
THE PIRATES' TOLL
THESTREET / MARCH 2010
The art of negotiating with Somali pirates. An award-winning chronicle of a ship owner's ordeal, and a reckoning of the global cost of the high-seas hijackings that continue to plague the world's busiest shipping lane.
ESPN THE MAGAZINE / DEC 2011 2010
On the highly peculiar relationship dynamics between a PGA golfer and his on-course manservant.
BUSH PILOT BLUES
PRIVATE AIR / MAY 2008
C.C. Pocock, African bush pilot, runs what has to be the zaniest, most dangerous flight school on the planet. But if you want to learn how to put your Cessna down into a streambed full of wildebeestsÃ¢â‚¬â€and survive to tell the tale over whiskeys with your matesÃ¢â‚¬â€you've got no other option.
A horde of tiny Chinese companies have gone public in the U.S. since the middle of the last decade, raising billions of dollars from American investors clamoring to get in on the world's fastest-growing economy. An award-winning investigation into the possibility that most of those companies are frauds.
The story of Yves Rossy, a Swiss fighter pilot who dreamed of flying like a bird.
CHICAGO READER / DEC 2006
Originally appeared as "The Team Plays, the Bar Pays."
For this semipro rugby club, the party never ends.
Among the two-wheel fetishists at an urban bike-polo tournament.
Youth football in Tampa's poorest neighborhood.
Bike couriers have the most exciting career it's possible to be totally exploited in. The founders of Chicago's first messenger collective think there's got to be a better way, and so they've braved the gritty streets to build a business in one of the most competitive, bare-knuckle industries around.
A salt aficionado searches the world for sodium terroir.
Brooklyn, Illinois, has one of the densest clusters of strip clubs and rubdown parlors anywhere in the country, drawing patrons from nearby St. Louis and its suburbs. Inside the clubs with the dancers, a strip-club scholar, the mayor, and the regulars whose dollars keep the depressed local economy afloat.
Is Tom Lemming the most powerful man in college football?
On mixing your father his favorite drink. "Gin rummy matches until sunrise; unspeakable weekends in places like the Bahamas. Epic times have been related to me in which these men would mix Stingers by the pitcher."
On the prowl with a Chicago huckster.
Three generations of legendary restaurateurs, and the way things always seem to end: badly.