Every now and then, we step back from an issue that we’re getting ready for you and say, “Hey, there’s some good stuff in here!” This is one of those issues. And we want to be sure you don’t miss any of it.
The cover says it all: Usher. He’s been a mainstay judge on “The Voice,” and one of the music industry’s biggest stars. He has sold more than 50 million records worldwide, and his last tour in 2010–2011 grossed $75 million. You will be seeing him soon in a movie titled Hands of Stone, a biopic about Roberto Duran, in which he portrays Sugar Ray Leonard. And, he’s a true cigar lover. Not bad for a kid from the South. Written by Marshall Fine, a 30-year veteran of covering Hollywood, film and celebrities, the story brings you into Usher’s life.
The golf commentators story is super unique too. We watch as much golf on TV as we play, and Jeff Williams’ story takes us behind the scenes of how golf tournaments are covered by the people on camera, and how decisions are made to decide which shots to show and which players to follow. If you’re a fan of golf, you know the commentator’s names and faces, but this story reveals why they love the game.
Our NFL preview is also a staple of our annual coverage. Danny Sheridan gives us his best shot on who’s going to pick up the Super Bowl trophy in February. He follows the NFL teams through the off-season, and has some insights into who has made good roster additions, and which teams still need help.
And, the issue’s hits just keep coming: ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank.” If you’re not watching one of TV’s hottest reality shows, you’re missing great dramatic moments where entrepreneurs try to sell the Sharks on their products or plans. This story, by veteran writer Mervyn Rothstein, will turn you into a fan, or if you already are one, give you a behind-the-scenes look at the show.
There are also stories on the best tournament strategies for games like blackjack, bacarrat and poker. Michael Kaplan understands the gambling world as well as any writer on the planet, and he takes you through some of the different ways the pros handle themselves in the big-money contests. Paul Eisenstein takes a look at new standards of luxury in the automotive world that aren’t just for the top, well-known brands anymore. The best watches from the 2014 shows are on display in this issue with assessments by Laurie Kahle, and our editors have taken a look at some of the great things coming into men’s clothing stores this fall.
Another of our favorite stories is about one of our favorite families in the cigar world: the Padróns. It’s their 50th anniversary this year. David Savona walks us through the entire history of this family’s rise in the cigar world, which includes an unprecedented three No. 1 Cigars of the Year from Cigar Aficionado. They are a great family who produce great cigars.
We also profile another sports commentator, Dan Patrick, who is an avid cigar smoker, and one of the most prominent faces in the world of sports announcing.
And, of course, our tasting report is filled with great cigars that once you see the scores, and read the notes, you’re going to want to hit your tobacconist and buy them for yourself.
So, enjoy. We’ve had a blast putting this issue together, and we hope you have a blast reading it.