We aren't just dick jokes and cock shots. We also do our best to publish as much quality longform sports journalism as we can. Here are the best longish stories we published this year, many of which you probably didn't have time to read the first time around.

How To Not Be The Biggest Asshole In Media: 4 Lessons I Learned From Meeting Jay Mariotti And Reading His Awful Book

"You want page hits?" he said, as if he had an idea of what that term meant. "I'll get you page hits." Read »

How ESPN Ditched Journalism And Followed Skip Bayless To The Bottom: A Tim Tebow Story

The story of how ESPN fell in love with Tim Tebow is really the story of a breakup, between ESPN and the business of reporting the news. Read »

Is An ESPN Columnist Scamming People On The Internet?

"Please contact Sarah Phillips from ESPN.com at Sarah.Phillips34@gmail.com. She is creating a sports humor site and I believe you would be great for it! Thanks." Read »

How The Song "Seven Nation Army" Conquered The Sports World

Eight years after reaching No. 1 on Billboard's alternative rock chart, the riff-turned-anthem is ubiquitous and seemingly inevitable, an organic part of global sports culture. Read »

Nate Silver's Braying Idiot Detractors Show That Being Ignorant About Politics Is Like Being Ignorant About Sports

It was only a matter of time before the war on expertise spilled over into the cells of Nate Silver's spreadsheets. In fact, in some ways it had already. Turns out that nothing could have prepared Silver better for the slings and arrows of a surly and willfully obtuse pundit class than working on the fringes of sportswriting over the past decade. Read »

Where Would The NHL Be If Bain Capital Had Bought The Whole League In 2005?

If you were to build a league from the ground up, it would probably look much like what Bain would have come up with-central control, with franchises located only in anchor cities. Read »

The Making Of "Homer At The Bat," The Episode That Conquered Prime Time 20 Years Ago Tonight

"Homer at the Bat" felt vaguely forbidden, like an animated addendum to Ball Four. This was the side of the sport we never saw. Read »

"Cut Back To A Wide Shot. Open The Skull": The Faces Of Death Guy Looks Back

It's hard to appreciate the impact now, at a time when death porn, like porn-porn, has become so easily made and even more easily procured. Read »

Geno Auriemma, Mr. Women's Basketball

The male coach in the woman's game is like an immigrant in a new country, where different codes apply and mistrust comes easily. "Reverse sexism," Geno calls it. "There is a perception that men are trying to steal their game." Read »

"Pain Is A Gift, And Other Notes From A Terrified Father During A Seven-Week-Premature Birth

If you love something so much that the idea of losing it could bring you to a whole new dimension of suffering, well then that love is a blessing. Read »

How A Career Ends: Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Olympic Swimming Gold Medalist

I felt like I had done everything I could. I told him about my mother and how much she loved me. I told him I was pregnant. I told him I had a venereal disease. I told him everything I had read in Seventeen magazine about what you're supposed to do to get yourself out of this kind of situation. I was trying to make him see me as a person. But I was losing. I was batting zero. And then I wasn't wearing anything, and it got dark and cold out, and I started shivering, and he kept telling me if I kept shivering he was going to kill me. And I couldn't stop shivering. Read »

Twenty Citizens' Worth Of Blood Flowed Through Him: A Medic Confronts The Open Wounds Of Afghanistan

This spotter was odd in that she was female, and that she was approximately 6 years old. She pointed at the Marines and talked into a hand-held radio, and every time she talked, the rounds got closer. I heard myself say out loud, "Someone needs to smoke that little girl." Read »

Feet In Smoke: A Story About Electrified Near-Death

Like a lot of people, I'd always assumed, in a sort of cut-rate Hobbesian way, that the center of the brain, if you could ever find it, would inevitably be a pretty dark place, that whatever is good or beautiful about being human is a result of our struggles against everything innate, against physical nature. My brother changed my mind about all that. Read »

How Fred Gaudelli Turned NBC's Sunday Night Football Into The No. 1 Show On TV

Football is getting more nuanced, and fans are getting smarter. This is the broadcast that follows both trends. Read »

Who Is The Blurry Guy In This Photo, And Why Did Manny Ramirez Steal His Pants? The Long Baseball Life Of "The Machete"

Manny got up, walked over to the condo's table, and grabbed his car keys. "Don't drive this one," he said, jangling the keys to his black Impala. "Drive this one"-the white Mercedes. Read »

Democracy In The Raw: The WWE Comes To Post-Revolutionary Egypt

"Fuck you! No! Yeah! Yes! No! Fuck you!" shouted a moppy-headed 6-year-old boy, in English. He bounced up and down behind me. His father, a pilot, had paid multiple times the average monthly salary of his countrymen for prime seats. Read »

The Big Buck Hunter Is The Hunted: Stalking The Chance To Play For The Video-Deer-Shooting Championship

Michael Jastrzembski got no press. He didn't show up at the championships. Nobody had ever even seen Michael Jastrzembski. Read »

Uncivil: How Paul Finebaum Keeps The SEC's Dixie Aroused

Listening to Finebaum's show is a lot like watching Maury or Jerry Springer. An educated onetime journalist plays tickled ringmaster while crazies holler. Read »

What The Best Pitcher In Baseball Taught Me About Prep School, Socrates, And The Art Of Not Selling Out

No one ever told me I could grow up to be like R.A. Dickey, which is why I wanted to grow up to be like R.A. Dickey. Read »

Boom Or Bust: 48 Hours At Leadville's Treacherous Ultramarathon

They come to a fragile place built on fads and bubbles-from silver to molybdenum to distance running-to run a race that is ultimately about creating and sustaining your own unburstable bubble of hope and willpower. Read »

How Joe Redner Invented The Lap Dance, Built A Strip-Club Empire, Became A Model Citizen, Fought For Your Rights, And Beat Cancer

If the Constitution protected nudity in movies, he concluded, why not naked dancing, too? "Dance is speech," he says. "It's been speech since the beginning of time. Indians around the campfire. Ballet. Interpretive dance." Read »

There Is No Best Player In The NBA: The Problem With The Basketball Hero Industry

Basketball wants heroes, not effective interactions. Read »

Howard Schultz Gave Out $3.50 Starbucks Gift Cards: An Insider's Notes On The Shabby Death Of The Seattle SuperSonics

The demise of the Sonics was a slow implosion, and I watched it up close. Maybe I was too close, because it's only now dawning on me-four years after the Sonics became the Thunder-what really happened to our team. Read »

"Motherfuckin' Shit! Take Your Ass Home!" Or, Why The Baltimore Orioles Matter

Over the years, fewer of the ticket-holders have been Baltimore fans and more and more have been Red Sox and Yankees fans, who have come to treat Oriole Park as an auxiliary home field. The Orioles are there to get beaten. Read »

How To Build A 21st-Century Bullpen With Failed Hitting Prospects And A Radar Gun

Broken-down position players: the new market inefficiency? Read »

Don't Say "Colt 45" Or "Pearl Necklace": How To Avoid Being Busted By The Facebook Cops Of College Sports

The lesson, as always: There is money to be made in college sports, so long as you're not playing them. Read »