short balls: gilt gets big and three boys make big (and different) decisions

Hockey (player) for homos: As New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo amps up his serious push for a marriage equality bill in Albany, the Human Rights Campaign scored a big win in the fight for equal rights: a major sports league male. Sean Avery of the New York Rangers is known as fashion-conscious (check out the glasses) and the 31-year-old NHL veteran isn’t shying away from being the first New York professional athlete to campaign from the cause. And this shouldn’t surprise anyone: he’s Canadian. The former Chelsea resident now lives in SoHo.

Gilty of it: One of our fave online shopping outlets, Gilt, is getting rather giant, actually. The member-based site was valued at $1 billion recently, according to a New York Times article. A new investor in the fashion-savvy site? Goldman Sachs. Guess the big boys are finally getting serious about this online shopping thing, eh? More: Venus’ EleVen on Gilt

Tattoo watch hide your eyes: We think it better to close your eyes on this one. The Utah Jazz’s Andrei Kirilenko (he’s Russian, but not related to Maria as far as we know) reveals his latest body art. And… are there any words? Nope. None at all. Just… nothing. TSF Vault: The (classier) tattoos of the tennis tours

Schockingly perfect: There really is only one word for Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock: HOT. Yep, the soon-to-be-30 Republican from the Midwest is giving you a corn-fed washboard stomach on the current cover of Men’s Health. His reasoning to go almost-shirtless on the cover of a national mag? To promote healthy living. Hey, we appreciate such things, Aaron! But we’re still waiting for Mrs. O’s abs on the cover of Shape – and that ain’t happening until January 2017 at the earliest.
Short(er) balls: While we may be a little late to the game (the event was tonight), ESPN the Mag teamed up with popular San Francisco-based Pop Up Magazine tonight on NYU’s campus in downtown Manhattan. That’s right — a live magazine. Regular This American Life-contributor Starlee Kine was going to be there, as were ESPN writers like Katie Baker and Alyssa Roenigk. The event featured artists and columnists as well, and we can’t wait to see/hear/smell/listen/touch what pieces of brilliance comes out from the evening after tonight. | In a strange story getting stranger, Nancy Kerrigan was due to testify at her brother’s trial today in the death of  her father. | And just in case you forgot about our friends at Tennishead.net, we’re loving their British-inspired tennis coverage.

short balls: march madness

by Benjamin Snyder

Maria got an eight seed and Caro a nine. Serena? Nowhere to be found. (Screengrab via Esquire.com)

Is tennis (and the world) suddenly in the palm of Maria Sharapova’s hand again? Esquire‘s battle of beauty and search for the sexiest woman alive has the web abuzz during the month of madness. In the brackets, seeded 8th, her first competition is none other than Caroline Wozniacki, the 9th seed. Step aside world no. 1 because against Masha you’re better as Miss Congeniality. Plus, it looks like Esquire’s made up its mind on which blonde to root for: “On the tennis court, we’d probably pick Wozniacki, but on whatever kind of court this competition occurs on, our hearts will always be with Sharapova.” Yeah, cuz she sells ads, y’all! Click here for Esquire’s entire bracket brilliance.

Don’t think we’re done there… a revamped Maria, a revamped website. Reports the WTA, Masha’s actually “the world’s most followed female athlete on Facebook with 3.85 million fans.” Who knew? (Serena must be pissed!) In a statement, Sharapova wrote, “One on one engagement is important to me as my fans continue to provide an honest voice for me.” How does fiancé Sasha Vujacic feel about playing second fiddle to the fans? We’ll find out as that part of Masha’s life becomes more prevalent… er, is that possible? Royal wedding, Russian edition, here we come!

Around the game: Indian Wells action continues to heat up in the California desert as Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer advanced over tough opponents in qualifier Somdev Devvarman and American up-and-comer Ryan Harrison. Will they clash in a much wanted and much rarer – at least these days – battle of the titans in the final? Novak Djokovic – with a stunning 15-0 record so far this year – will do his best to prevent it.

For the women, however, we’re left without fan-favorite Kim Clijsters who retired (from her match… not the sport) with a shoulder injury against the two-handed force – on both wings! – of France’s Marion Bartoli a la Monica Seles.

Williams Watch: It’s been tough following the medical drama from the Williams camp, especially Serena’s severe blood clots.  It seems her mental game has also taken a big hit, according to a recent USA Today article. The 13-time major champ revealed just how much the injuries have affected her emotionally. She said, “I definitely have not been happy, especially when I had that second surgery (on my foot), I was definitely depressed. I cried all the time. I was miserable to be around.” | Her Twitter, however, paints a brighter (Serena-fied) picture: “I am feeling Much better Guys thanks again for all the support. I hope to be working out soon. Very soon….  about 14 hours ago via web”

LOVE: We love ESPN the Magazine’s newest plot to distance itself from competitor Sports Illustrated: an annual fashion issue. Need tennis experts? We’re here, ETM.

(maria/sasha images via getty)

the rags want tennis riches: a media round-up

The mags and papers are finally picking up the scent of the 2010, which starts in less than a week. For the media nerds out there, here’s a quick look at what’s going on…

Bad boy goes good: At New York, writer Larry Platt profiles the homegrown John McEnroe, who’s currently entering a new phase in his tennis career with the opening of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy at Randall’s Island.

If you can’t beat them… Bloggers get a lot of love over at the New York Daily News website, where the newspaper’s coverage of the tournament will be supplemented with RSS feeds from the blogs. Thanks for the love, NYDN!

September is the January of Tennis: The September/October 2010 issue of Tennis is the largest in two years, buoyed by a new cross-platform focus for advertising. (via MinOnline)

It’s worth a shot: We’re excited to see if the re-imagined ESPN The Magazine — which’ll devote each issue to a sport or theme — can successefully sell a tennis-focused edition. (via FOLIO:)

Etc.: Nothing from The New Yorker‘s Sporting Scene yet, but we can’t wait!

(Mcenroe image via nymag.com)

from fed to fed cup (with a spadeator in between)

Roger Federer is on the cover of ESPN The Magazine with tagline: Who’s the World’s Greatest Athlete? Roger Federer Looks the Part.

Click the image above to see a quality video of the photo shoot Fed did with the sports mag.

After the cut: Spadea shows us his t-shirt design skills and The Birmingham News captures some Fed Cup draw images you don’t want to miss. [Read more…]

serena williams — in the buff — on the cover of espn the magazine

serena-naked-espn

Just when we thought we’d seen Serena as real as she could get — thanks to that U.S. Open semifinal — she ups the ante by appearing naked on one of six covers of ESPN The Magazine‘s “Body Issue”, on newsstands October 19.

The other five athletes are mixed martial artist Gina Carano, NASCAR driver Carl Edwards, triathlete (and amputee) Sarah Reinertsen, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, and Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic. Click on the photos above to enlarge.

(image via HuffPo)

serena and venus celebrate espn the magazine

Venus and Serena - Area - ESPN the magazine

Venus and Serena, free from SEWTA obligations this week since they’re continuing to boycott the Indian Wells tournament, attended last night’s 10th anniversary party for ESPN the Magazine at Area in West Hollywood.

Venus and Serena - Area - ESPN the magazine - shoes

Venus continues with the gold accessories.

Venus and Serena - Area - ESPN the magazine - cover

Here’s the cover for that issue. The copy reads: “For the power of their style and the style of their game… Venus and Serena are perfect 10s.” As you may remember, this photo shoot happened back in October.

More photos: See the rest of the party photos here.

(party photos via MediaOutrage)