Single page view By Rachel Nichols
Page 2

EDITOR'S NOTE: On occasion, we all need help. But where to turn? Fortunately, Rachel Nichols is here to bring us the special kind of advice that only the world's greatest athletes can dole out. Whether to take it or not ... well, that's up to you. Today's Ill-Advised expert: Steve Francis, Orlando Magic guard.

RACHEL: You have a lot of good nicknames. The Franchise. Wink. After this, which would you prefer – "Dear Abby" or "Ann Landers"?

STEVE: I'm going to have to stick to what I've got. But I'm still here to offer my help.

RACHEL: That's all we ask. Well, we also always ask each week, what's the best advice anyone ever gave you?

STEVE: Probably just don't let anything get in your way or let anyone tell you that you can't do something. But I'm sure everyone has said that.

Steve Francis
Stevie Franchise, without his lucky hat.

RACHEL: Actually, that's definitely what guys say the most often. Why is that?

STEVE: There are just so many obstacles to being an athlete. There are so many times you just get down on yourself and you want to quit or not practice or whatever, but you have to stick to your guns.

RACHEL: Good advice for athletes then. But what about the rest of us? Marc Borger from D.C. writes, "I have a Roethlisberger jersey that I wore for a week in a row and great things kept happening, I aced a test I barely studied for, my alma mater beat UConn, and my beloved Washington Wizards beat the Pacers and Raptors. Unfortunately the luck of the jersey hasn't been carrying over lately. Do you think I used up all the luck in the jersey and now it's worn out, or should I wear it again?"

STEVE: I have a message for you, Marc. Open the barn door. Check the stables. That horse you're trying to ride is dead. Time to get a new one. Time to change it up.

RACHEL: Yeah, but do you practice what you preach? Don't you have something lucky you wear?

STEVE: I have a hat I wear for home games – wear it in the locker room, get taped, stretch, everything until about 20 minutes before the game, then I take it off.

RACHEL: That sounds like a smelly hat.

STEVE: Oh I put it on when I get out of the shower. But it's been a while, yeah. You wouldn't want to wear it, trust me.

RACHEL: I'll take your word. So will Adrian from Boston, Mass. He writes, "I play soccer in high school, and lately I've been getting a lot of heat from my coach and league officials because I play dirty. But I'm just playing the way the professionals in Europe play, which is why I'm effective in my position. Should I listen to the coach and not play as well, or do my own thing and keep dominating?"

STEVE: You gotta do your own thing, because if you're really good, you can go play in Europe yourself. That's what's making you successful, so stick with it. A little dirty play here and there never hurt anyone.

RACHEL: Dirtiest player in the NBA?

STEVE: Well, it was Karl Malone.

RACHEL: And now?

STEVE: Raja Bell from Utah. He's really dirty.

RACHEL: And you, you're a boy scout?

STEVE: Oh, certain situations, I can get down and grind it out. Sometimes you do what you have to do.


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