Commentary

Patently unique

The best inventions by sports fans, from new sports to a unique helment

Updated: July 18, 2011, 12:29 PM ET
By Shaun Assael | ESPN The Magazine
Illustation: Chris O'RileyThe Rocket Racing league has two patents approved and a dozen pending.

This story appears in the July 25 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

Since 1790, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has approved nearly eight million inventions. We mined its online database of applications to find fans who don't just fantasize about sports of the future. They create them.

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• Author of "Wide Open: Days and Nights on the NASCAR Tour"; the New York Times best-selling "Sex, Lies and Headlocks"; and "Steroid Nation"