Bryan Curtis was sitting in the stands of the Rose Bowl when Colt McCoy was injured during the national championship. “It was unthinkable,” says Curtis, who graduated from UT in 2000 and is now a senior editor at the Daily Beast. “I never saw Colt talk to ESPN after the game because I couldn’t bear towatch the highlights.” But Curtis did catch up with Colt and his father a few months later, getting the inside story on what happened that night—anddiscovering how Colt embodies the changes that have transformed Texas high school quarterbacks (“Arms Race”).
Senior editor Katy Vine was well into her second pregnancy when she reported her story on Dallas fried-food pioneer Abel Gonzales (“I Believe I can Fry”) and admits that her condition profoundly affected her objectivity as a journalist. “Everything I ate I loved,” she says of a group of dishes that included deep-fried pineapple and deep-fried butter. “When you’re pregnant, a lot of times the stuff that tastes good is the fatty stuff. A deep-fried pat of butter is something my doctor probably wouldn’t suggest I eat. But it really hit the spot.”
Given how oil has been on America’s collective brain recently, photographer Bryce Duffy jumped at the chance to get a close-up look at the industry for “That’s Oil, Folks!” There were no spills to record in this case, though: In Midland, incredibly, there is a new boom taking place, and it was Duffy’s job to capture the city’s restored vigor. “It opened my eyes to the amount of energy, both human and otherwise, that is required to extract these resources,” says the Malibu-based lensman. He even contemplated a second career in petroleum engineering. “But I’ve got too much wanderlust to commit,” he says.”