An Unknown Pro

Matt Tullis profiles Brian Simmons, one of the world's top horseshoe pitchers:

Horseshoe pitchers, even the best in the world, don’t make a lot of money. The world champion will take home $3,500 this year. It cost Simmons somewhere around $3,000 just to travel from his home in Bristol, Vermont, to Knoxville, what with hotels and food and gas.

Because being the second-best horseshoe pitcher in the world is not a profit-making enterprise, Simmons has, in his lifetime, worked as a truck driver delivering everything from vinyl siding to beer, meat and seafood. He’s worked in machine shops and been a bartender. Now he is the night manager at a gas station and convenience store. He goes in at 4 p.m. every day through the week and stays until a little after midnight. The customers, they don’t know he is one of the best horseshoe pitchers in the world. His co-workers, though, they surely do.