This story appears in the Oct. 3, 2011 issue of ESPN The Magazine.
It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt -- or if you're Travis Pastrana, it's all fun and games when you're hurt. Since undergoing surgery in August to repair breaks in his right ankle and leg from a botched freestyle motocross trick at the X Games, Pastrana has been saddled with a knee-high pink cast. In his newfound free time, he picked up a plastic gun and started training for the Big Buck Hunter World Championship, an annual arcade game event that launched in 2008. "Never underestimate the determination and competitiveness of an injured athlete," says Pastrana, who placed eighth last year. To qualify for this year's event at the legendary Cubby Bear Bar (across the street from Wrigley Field on Sept. 23-24), 64 people in four regions logged their top score in an online tournament. Pastrana's doctors required that his foot remain elevated above his heart, so his buddies transported his basement La-Z-Boy to the Acme Bar & Grill in Annapolis, Md., where Pastrana qualified with the 12th-highest score in the East. "I rise to the level of the competition," he says, "but my chances of winning the whole thing are very slim." Hey, it beats watching the grass grow. Follow the championships here.
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