's 10 most popular stories from the week ending June 5

Friday June 5th, 2015

Here is a roundup of's 10 most popular stories this week. Be sure to read to the bottom for a bonus story from the SI Vault.

My big, fat NFL career

Sports Illustrated/The MMQB

Football forced former San Diego Chargers center Nick Hardwick into a lifestyle of competitive eating. When he stopped playing, the pounds melted away—and so did part of his identity​. By Emily Kaplan.

No-no regrets for Johan Santana

Three years ago, Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in New York Mets history—but needed 134 pitches to do so. Did manager Terry Collins' decision to keep Santana in the game cost the pitcher his career? By Phil Taylor.

What's next for FIFA?

Valeriano Di Domenico/AFP/Getty Images

Now that FIFA president Sepp Blatter has resigned in the wake of indictments for 14 of the organization's officials and associates, SI's Grant Wahl shares his takeaways from a whirlwind week in world soccer.

Yzerman's influence lingers

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Steve Yzerman, long removed from the NHL trenches, won’t skate a single shift in the Stanley Cup finals. But the Hall of Famer’s imprint will be all over the two most important players in the series. By Allan Muir.

Oracle Arena brings the noise

​Greg Nelson for Sports Illustrated

The soon-to-be-abandoned Oracle Arena remains one of the best game experiences in the NBA, thanks to fans who are loyal, passionate and —especially— loudBy Lee Jenkins.

Alex Morgan has arrived

Alexis Cuarezma/For Sports Illustrated

Alex Morgan, the rising star of the U.S. Women's National Team has rapidly developed into one of the best forwards in the worldBy Gwendolyn Oxeham.

What is a verbal commitment?

Courtesy of

When a recruit verbally commits to play at a school, the general understanding is he is declaring his intention to enroll. In many instances, though, this conclusion is far from accurate. By Chris Johnson.

How Kevin Love could decide the NBA Finals

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The league’s MVP plays for one team, and the best player in the world plays for the other, but the NBA Finals might hinge on a guy who doesn’t play at all: Kevin LoveBy Michael Rosenberg.

Abby Wambach's quest for World Cup glory

Alexis Cuarezma/For Sports Illustrated

As USWNT all-time leading scorer Abby Wambach learns to manage both the player and the person inside her, she remains focused on one elusive goal: winning the World CupBy Grant Wahl.

The UNC allegations and the NCAA's problematic model

Replay Photos/Getty Images

Use of the phrase "NCAA Collegiate Model" hints at how the organization will deal with North Carolina in the wake of a cheating scandal and also raises questions about the NCAA's fundamental principles. By Andy Staples.

SI Vault: Secret life of Mia Hamm

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

In the divided soul of the world's greatest female soccer player, the shy, self-critical athlete is locked in mortal combat with the relentlessly driven superstarBy Gary Smith.

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