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Synopsis

Magic Johnson

As soon as the Los Angeles Dodgers were put up for sale last year, several billionaires who were competing to buy the storied franchise all wanted Earvin "Magic" Johnson to join their bid. His appeal went beyond his status as an NBA legend; prospective buyers were interested in his business savvy, money and leadership skills. The five-time NBA champion has been as successful in the business community as he was on the hardwood, amassing a fortune that puts him among the richest African-American businessmen in the country. After his HIV-positive diagnosis, most observers once doubted Johnson would even live to age 53, let alone thrive.  In this REAL SPORTS/Sports Illustrated collaboration, Jon Frankel learns how the longtime face of Los Angeles basketball plans to change the city's baseball landscape.

Fan-on-Fan Violence

The ballpark has always served as a refuge from the stresses of everyday life, but that sanctuary has been violated lately by fan-on-fan violence.  In recent years, headline-grabbing ballpark incidents have included everything from Taser attacks and fans intentionally throwing up on one another, to stabbings, beatings and even shootings. REAL SPORTS correspondent Bernard Goldberg looks into this troubling issue by speaking with some of the victims of these heinous attacks and attempts to find out what can be done to curb them.

Five-Ring Circus

Olympic athletes train for years to enjoy a few glorious weeks of competition at the center of the world's attention. Then what? As it turns out, some of them run off and join the circus. No fewer than 50 former Olympians, including gold medalists, perform for the highly acclaimed acrobatics franchise Cirque du Soleil. From swimmers to divers to gymnasts, these athletes have parlayed their talents into a second moment in the limelight.  REAL SPORTS correspondent Armen Keteyian hits the Las Vegas strip to meet some of these superb athletes, who have achieved a new type of stardom.

Sidelined

In the sports hotbed of Columbus, Ohio, Friday nights are traditionally all about high-school football.  But in 2009, Fridays in some areas in and around the city became eerily quiet:  no screaming crowds, no high school bands, no cheerleaders and no football.  Like so many others towns across the country, Grove City was squeezed to its breaking point following the economic collapse of 2008, and the town ran out of money to fund school sports. Three years after his original report, REAL SPORTS correspondent Jon Frankel returns to Grove City to find that scholastic sports have returned from the dead, but under a system known as "pay-to-play," which has some kids scrambling to gather funds. He reveals how the community is coping, who's back on the field, and who's still on the sidelines.

Posted 12:00 AM | Sep 12, 2012

186: September 18, 2012