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23.09.2018 16:42
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For more from the 2016 Body Issue, check out espn.com/bodyissue! And pick up a copy on newsstands starting July 8.Antonio Brown is not an easy man to track down -- on the field or off it. Between Dancing With the Stars rehearsals, offseason workouts and more FaceTiming and Snapchatting than you can imagine, the four-time Pro Bowler sat down with ESPNs Morty Ain on the set of the Body Issue to discuss his training regimen, his candy habit and the beauty of mango season.ON CHANGING THE PERCEPTION OF SMALL RECEIVERS Being passed up by teams because of my size made me hungry. Ive seen a lot of first-round guys who come in and never really do nothing because they may not appreciate the opportunity because everything has been given to them. I think guys who come from the bottom understand how hard it is, so they appreciate the opportunities more.I dont think of myself as a small receiver, but you cant control what somebody says about you. It hasnt held me back -- actually, I think Ive changed the perception of smaller receivers. My being able to do what I do at my size, being able to create opportunities for other guys ... I used to play with Bruce Arians [in Pittsburgh, when he was offensive coordinator], who is now head coach for Arizona, and he went on to draft T.Y. Hilton in the third round [as the Colts OC]. He drafted John Brown, who starts for the Cardinals, in the third round. So I think guys like myself have been able to create opportunities for these guys who may be my size.ON HIS BODY EVOLUTION (AND MANGO SEASON) I was real skinny in high school. I was real fast and explosive. I just didnt really have a good nutrition plan, I didnt understand how important it was to be healthy. I was eating hot fries, potato chips in the morning, Capri Sun. That was like my breakfast. That changed when I got to college -- I put on 20 pounds of muscle. Now I like everything about my body. My calves are developing and getting strong -- its definitely mango season. Mangoes have a nice, strong shape when theyre growing on the trees around this time, when they start plumping -- just like my calves. Also, Ive got a lot of kids, so my sperm count is good.ON SURVIVING TRAINING CAMP When I was a rookie in training camp, Id have two-a-days and I was like, Damn, Im about to die. I came up with a quote: The first day of training camp, I thought I was going to die. The second day, I was afraid because I didnt die. And the third day it was like I couldnt die. Life is a fight. Youve got good and evil forces constantly battling each other, and if you want to set out to do something positive, theres going to be distractions, theres going to be adversity, theres going to be some things that are going to hit you in life, and youve got to fight the good fight in regards to staying true to your goals and staying on that path of what you want.ON HOW DANCING WITH THE STARS WILL HELP HIM ON THE FIELD Ive been doing a lot of dancing, and each dance has its own footwork that can be compared to football. The karaoke movement can be used with lateral movement; the quick step is great when taking off on the line. Dancing helps with the changing of directions, transferring of weight with your shock absorbers, which makes your ankles a lot stronger. As a dancer, youve got to be able to point your feet and bend your knees and push through your knees. Ill maybe add a couple dances for some extra cardio or for stretching or feet strengthening.ON HIS SLEEP SCHEDULE During the season, sleep is definitely important, which is why I got a nice spot closer to the facility so I can get more rest. With training and working out, you need to get more sleep and recovery so your muscles can do what you want them to do. During the season, I try to get the most sleep that I can get. But in the offseason, I only get four or five hours -- its hard to sleep when youre having a lot of fun.ON TAKING CARE OF HIS BODY Nutrition is important, training is important -- but so are rest and recovery, massages, acupuncture. Your body is your temple, and youve got to take care of it. In the NFL, youve got to lift weights. With guys hitting you and all the falling on the ground, youve got to have the muscles to protect the shoulders when youre hitting the ground. But I also do Pilates to work on the deeper core and to stretch. I lift weights in the offseason about four times a week; during the season Ill lift three times a week. The weight training is key because most guys come in during the summertime as strong as they are going to get and they fizzle down as the year starts. Im 7 percent body fat -- thats all right for right now, but by the time we get to training camp, it should be about 5 percent. I always try to maintain what I bring in, so Ill hire a trainer to make sure that I lift and do the appropriate workouts the whole year.ON HIS STARBURST HABIT At the end of every year, I always get a blood test to see whats on the inside of my body. Youve got to see what you put into your body, not just care about the outside of your body -- make sure you get in all the supplements and all the protein and all the carbs and the low cholesterol. Last year I was able to see that I could have more durability in my muscles if I would take some more amino acids and do some stuff that would help with recovery. It also told me to stay away from the Starbursts -- I was eating too much candy last year.ON HIS WORKOUT REGIMEN I like to work out my legs after a game because that speeds up the recovery process and the blood flow. I hit them the next day, not right after. Postgame on Monday will be a big leg day, and Ill make Thursday my single leg day. But Monday is definitely a big legs day because you get the day off and it gives your legs a chance to recover for a long week of practice. Ill do squats, single leg lunges. It just gives you that fresh blood after a hard-fought game.I also do a lot of swimming during the year. I try to swim once or twice a week. I basically hold my breath for like 12 laps, down and back, to kind of expand my lungs so that I can have better breathing when it comes down to two-minute drives where youve got to play a lot of plays all in one series and youre hurrying up. I want to know that I have the right oxygen that I can be able to maintain.ON WHAT DROVE HIM TO SUCCEED Even though I was drafted late [sixth round in 2010], Ive just been way hungrier than these guys. Im smarter and I just outworked them. Theres this Muhammad Ali quote: Champions arent made in gyms. They are made from something they have deep inside themselves. Im striving to be the best player I can be. Not just physically, but mentally, spiritually and to give it all I got. If you want to be the best, you cant take the path of least resistance. Every morning you wake up and your mind tells you its too early, and your body tells you youre a little too sore, but youve got to look deep within yourself and know what you want and what youre striving for. Tim Beckham Jersey . General manager Jarmo Kekalainen told Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch on Friday that he wants to see Gaboriks contributions go beyond the scoresheet before considering a long-term deal for the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent. J.J. Hardy Jersey .com) - The Pittsburgh Penguins placed forward James Neal on injured reserve Tuesday. http://www.theoriolesteamshop.com/Orioles-Jonathan-Schoop-Kids-Jersey/ . Its an influence in football and a big part of the game. Manny Machado Jersey . A statement from the worlds top-ranked player says all checks "were satisfactory and showed positive evolution" regarding the injury, which contributed to his loss to Stanislas Wawrinka in the final in Melbourne. Caleb Joseph Jersey . - Levi Browns tenure at left tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers is over before it even began. The stage floor lit up with purple clouds and lightning. There were four screens, composed in the shape of a square and hanging over the entire stage showcasing the action below. The Mortal Kombat XL character select screen emanated out to the incoming crowd of the Mandalay Bay Events Center.The Evolution Championship Series (Evo) was the biggest fighting game tournament in the world, and Mortal Kombat XL was one of its headliners. In the middle of it all was Sayed Tekken Master Hashem, who had ascended from the losers bracket to the grand finals. He took his seat next to the best Mortal Kombat player in the world, Dominique SonicFox McLean, and did not flinch. His stoic expression never changed when the lights dimmed and his seat became center stage.When asked about the grand finals, Hashem merely said, I expected to reach the top three at Evo, and was confident enough to [achieve] it. My only concerns, when it came to rivals or players in the tournament, were Brad Scar Vaughn, Denom A F0xy Grampa Jones, and SonicFox.When Hashem won 3-1 in the first series to reset the bracket during the grand finals at Evo, he finally showed emotion. He stood up and pumped his fists. But he never broke his focus or altered the expression on his face, even with so much riding on this tournament. A victory for him would mean recognition for an entire region. It could catalyze a new generation of players at home. That would validate the entire journey.Nobody in the crowd saw this coming, MK commentator Aris Bakhtanians said to the audience.A big fish on a small islandHashem is from the Kingdom of Bahrain, an island near the western shores of the Persian Gulf in the Middle East. Although he hails from a small nation, Hashem did not come out of nowhere; he was already well known to the top players in the community. His success began with a victory in a Bahrain qualifier for the Mortal Kombat X Cup during Animania Bahrain in 2015. From there, he was the Middle East Finals champion (a feat hes accomplished twice) and then the runner-up for the Mortal Kombat X Cup in 2015 and 2016 before the breakout at Evo.Hashem remembers playing video games when he was six. Fighting games caught his attention when his older brothers played The King of Fighters 96 and Tekken Tag Tournament. He chose to compete in fighting games because of the emotional aspect and reward for fast thinking.But his island was hardly a fighting game hotbed. Mortal Kombat, especially, was a not a popular pastime. Hashem cites one training partner, Abdulaziz X-Azeez Aljowder, as his only consistent practice for the game. This solitary role still comes with high praise, however. He considers Aljowder a top 10 player in the world for the game and credits him for much of his Mortal Kombat success.Our community here in the Kingdom of Bahrain consists of Street Fighter, Super Smash Brothers, and King of Fighters players.dddddddddddd We have really good players who excel at Street Fighter V, Hashem said. Sadly, our Mortal Kombat community is quite small, but I personally play and train with X-Azeez.His current sponsor, Middle Eastern esports organization Power League Gaming (PLG), has hosted the majority of the tournaments and cups that Hashem has played in. Aljowder also plays for PLG.If it was not for PLG then the scene for Mortal Kombat in our region would have died out completely and I would not have made it to Evo, Hashem said. They ran professional tournaments in the Middle East since Mortal Kombat 9, and now with X and XL, things were really big. Everyone knows the PLG tournaments are the ones where you can prove yourself. When you do, theyll support you and fund you to go to the global competitions. They are passionate and they understand how difficult it is for the community.The final stepBack at Evo, Hashems grand finals opponent McLean took the lead 2-1 in the ultimate series, turning the tables. Hashem started to show a little concern. He rested his chin on his hand, deep in thought. After a moment, he selected a different character variation and played the fourth game. The change worked; the set was tied.McLean took a deep breath and adjusted his headset before changing his character. The two clashed in one final game, Alien against Kotal Khan. McLean took advantage of his characters tools: overheads, safe chip setups, and pressure on pressure. Hashem took everything in stride and struggled to fight back. A missed combo and another missed opportunity for a punish from Hashem and McLean finally took the tournament down. He rose from his seat in excitement as Hashem slumped in his chair. He had fallen just short of arguably the largest upset in Mortal Kombat history.Even though he didnt take home the gold, Hashems run at Evo was inspiring. A lone representative from his community, he nearly took down the biggest Mortal Kombat tournament ever against the best player on the planet. The Middle East and PLG have a fighting game superhero, thanks to his amazing Evo weekend.It would be an honor for me if other players in the little island of Bahrain or the Middle East would consider me as an inspiration, Hashem said. I feel a sense of responsibility to raise awareness for my local and regional community. I was very happy to represent my country at Evo on that stage, especially coming from the smallest country in the Middle East; I was more than 8000 miles away from home. It was an indescribable feeling. 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