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Long, Lost Eden

The stars felt so close it’d be easy to think God Himself had come down from His throne.

He knelt below them, his heart heavy, his mind swallowed by sorrow and sin. He stared up at the sky, the heavens his only comfort to his understanding. His skin bore a drop of blood. It slowly fell from his wound and swam down his cheek.

He was dying, and he knew it… Continue reading

The Art of Letting Go

Look past the call-girl cards that litter the street like confetti at Times Square on New Years, or the erotic billboards on the sides of trucks going down the neon-lit Strip, and you’ll see Las Vegas in its grace.

You’ll see the fountains in front of the Bellagio dancing beneath the dry, Nevada sky, or the city calling your name as you look at it atop the Stratosphere, wooing you from below into an evening that never ends, where the casinos make promises and the liquor makes you believe them… Continue reading

Duck Dynasty, How It Almost Never Happened

Phil sits in Willie’s office at the Duck Commander warehouse. He’s telling a story, like Phil usually does.

Being with him in person is kind of surreal, like you’re having coffee with a cartoon. It looks like he came straight out of your television and sat in your living room—sunglasses resting on his head, camouflage bandana and pants, as if he’s been hunting all day, and a nest of a beard you could probably turn into a winter scarf… Continue reading

Invisible No More

If you could have stood in the locker room before the fight, you would have thought an army was about to charge into battle. The energy gave you chills. The noise made your head throb.

As Robert Guerrero’s team, family and friends gathered around him, howling and chanting, Bob Santos stood quietly, questioning their naivety, nervously wondering if this would go down as the biggest mistake of Robert Guerrero’s career… Continue reading

The Heart Of A Man

On Tuesday, Ben Crane and the “Golf Boys” released their second single, “2.Oh,” as they continue to revolutionize the image of the PGA Tour. Our feature on Crane, “The Heart Of A Man,” was published in the Summer 2012 issue of Sports Spectrum.

Ben Crane was walking off the green after a birdie on the par-5 15th in the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, NC… Continue reading

The Year That Changed Him

Blessings tend to make life’s imperfections dissipate like a cloud of smoke. That is, if you let them, if you focus on them, if you realize you’re blessed. If not, you’ll end up like most people, trapped in the smoky thickness with bloodshot eyes, probably coughing and complaining, your vision clouded, lacking sufficient depth and perspective… Continue reading

Beauty Unseen

The drive from Lake Tahoe to Seattle is about 13 hours.

The road, like a river, winds its way through an array of landscapes—mountains, valleys, forests, desert, and high plains—as if God is showcasing His most beautiful paintings.

Nick Visconti is on the road, the river. He doesn’t second-guess his direction, just as water doesn’t question its current… Continue reading

Drowning Doubt

There’s a mother driving her white Ford Thunderbird down a California freeway.

It’s 1994 and it’s lunch hour. It’s Orange County and it’s sunny. She’s on her way to Costco to buy groceries for her family, just a mile from her exit, when she realizes something.

But it’s too late… Continue reading

The Void

That summer, John Morris would sit in church every Sunday and feel his eyes well up. His wife would look at him, concerned.

“It’s okay,” he’d say. Then she would hold his hand.

But he wasn’t okay. How could he be?

How can you be okay when a player kills—kills—another player? When the town you’ve lived in for 25 years—Waco, Texas—is a media circus, the center of one of the most catastrophic scandals in college basketball history? When the school you love—your employer for the last eight years—is like an exploding building, collapsing in slow motion for the entire nation to see… Continue reading

One Year Gone

There’s a stairwell that leads to a lonely apartment on Hinesley Avenue, down the street from Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Rotnei Clarke, one of the nation’s top college basketball players, used to crawl up the stairs to the second floor, casts on his feet, questions on his mind, doubts flying like arrows over the walls of his soul… Continue reading

Uncommon Challenge