Jump to content


Yo! You're not logged in. Why am I seeing this ad?

Photo
* * * * - 3 votes

Grantland


1622 replies to this topic

#1 drleather2001


  • given himself a skunk spot


  • 14,981 posts

Posted 12 June 2011 - 02:07 AM

So its on!

Here's a thread to talk about the content of Bill Simmons' brainchild, as opposed to discussing Bill Simmons.

If you have comments about Bill Simmons, and not the Grantland contributions of Bill Simmons, check for other threads.

Let's discuss the site, it's contents, and its evolution on its merits. Who knows, it might be a watershed moment in sports journalism.

#2 bowiac


  • I've been living a lie.


  • 9,746 posts

Posted 12 June 2011 - 02:42 AM

It's a little overly pretentious, but generally better than I expected. Maybe I just saw underappreciated the effort that would go into a launch project. I'm not generally a fan of Simmons' writing, but a faithful adherent of his podcasts, and the tone of all the pieces by him on the site (the NBA and NHL pieces) were very good. I also liked the thing about Alec Baldwin.

I thought the piece about the National was pretty terrible for all the worst reasons a piece of sports journalism can be terrible - it needlessly lionized the medium and presumed that it was just lousy implementation rather than a potentially needless product which killed it. I'm not a big fan of journalism or journalists though in general, so maybe the bias is mine here.

The biggest disappointment was the piece about self-aware NBA players. There is something to be noted about the topic - NBA players and personalities are more self aware than almost anyone else, and thats's interesting. Separating it into categories as he did just didn't seem to hit the right marks for why it's interesting. I'm more curious as to why this is now a phenomenon as opposed to before and why it's limited to the NBA.

In a similar vein of why I hate journalists, this line nauseated me:

I want to root for an athlete who accepts that he has a genetic gift that enabled him to make more money than me, even though I potentially do something that is more valuable to my city’s local economy.



#3 JBill

  • 1,944 posts

Posted 12 June 2011 - 06:51 PM

Thanks for starting a new thread.

I thought the piece about the National was pretty terrible for all the worst reasons a piece of sports journalism can be terrible - it needlessly lionized the medium and presumed that it was just lousy implementation rather than a potentially needless product which killed it. I'm not a big fan of journalism or journalists though in general, so maybe the bias is mine here.


The oral history or the Pierce piece? I think the oral history is my favorite thing Grantland produced the first week, but the the Pierce one was overkill. I also didn't like the Alec Baldwin twitter one, it ended abruptly and I just sort of skimmed through it.

Judging by the responses from the last thread, it seems people had different favorite and most disliked pieces and, if the site continues to produce as much content as the first week, there will be enough to attract most everyone. I'm really looking forward to when they add the podcast network.

TheYellowDart5 said in the locked thread:

Also, I agree with the fact that the PRR guy could've made a nice addition to the site. I also find myself wondering if they ever considered Bethlehem Shoals of the dearly departed Free Darko.


Shoals said on twitter or his blog or somewhere that he put some feelers out when he heard about the site but they weren't interested (I'm sure a lot of bloggers did the same). I'm not a big fan of his, although to be fair I've only really read his stuff for Deadspin, and not the freedarko books and was not a devoted reader of their blog.

#4 donutogre

  • 1,108 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:58 AM

Chris Jones takes on the John Lackey experience this morning, and almost makes me not hate the bastard. It's not an exceptionally bold or innovative column, but it is well written and worth reading.

Klosterman writes on the absurdity of the basketball rule about getting the ball at half court after a timeout. Right in his wheelhouse - finding weird, random things that most people don't think about.

I'm really enjoying the site so far. There have been misses, but I'm finding an article or two worth reading every day.

#5 nattysez

  • 1,619 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 10:32 AM

Two things:

(1) Is Chris Jones's beat a Brian Windhorst-type one-team follow? If so, kudos to Simmons for realizing that the Sox merit this kind of coverage because they are really good this year and further kudos for realizing that noone wants to read his thoughts about the Sox.

(2) I was with Jones until he ended the article by implying that Lackey does not discuss his personal life with his teammates. I am not sure that Jones ever established that Lackey doesn't do so, which undercuts his whole conclusion.. This could have been better.

#6 Kevin Jewkilis

  • 1,222 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 10:47 AM

(1) Is Chris Jones's beat a Brian Windhorst-type one-team follow? If so, kudos to Simmons for realizing that the Sox merit this kind of coverage because they are really good this year and further kudos for realizing that noone wants to read his thoughts about the Sox.

No. From the bottom of the column:

Chris Jones is a Writer at Large for Esquire; he covers the American League East for Grantland.



#7 PBDWake

  • 2,816 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 10:47 AM

Jones covers the AL East as a whole, not just the Sox

#8 nattysez

  • 1,619 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:15 AM

Thanks - poor attention to detail on my part.

#9 valentinscycle

  • 158 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:46 AM

Curious to hear what others think. Much of it I've enjoyed-- even the Lackey piece, which was closer to traditional profile-writing than I think the site is aiming for. Klosterman is quirky-fun as always, and Simmons seems to be writing less on autopilot than the last year or so.

Where I have my doubts is with the celeb writers outside of sports journalism. The Eggers blog entry on Wrigley was boring, predictable, and hit every cliche about the park that everyone who knows the park, or the club, has been tired of for a couple of decades at least. (The 'Wrigley is so much fun that no one cares about winning' angle was first raised, I think, way back in the early 80s, even before the Tribune Company bought the team, and may not even be that true anymore-- or if it is true, it's boring-true.) Then again, that may be the occasional irritation that's the price of something like Grantland: when otherwise interesting writers cross over into strange territory with poor results.

#10 dolomite133


  • everything I write, think and feel is stupid


  • 5,920 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 12:30 PM

I just stumbled upon Grantland. Aside of the terrible name ... wtf wouldn't Simmons just name it Bill Simmons SportsWorld or whatever? ... I thought the site offered very little. I see no reason to choose that site over SOSH, and no reason to read it in addition to SOSH. I think Simmons starting his own web site was a good idea and the right move. I think the direction he took, however, is a bit odd.

#11 johnmd20


  • voice of soccer


  • 17,126 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 12:38 PM

I just stumbled upon Grantland. Aside of the terrible name ... wtf wouldn't Simmons just name it Bill Simmons SportsWorld or whatever? ... I thought the site offered very little. I see no reason to choose that site over SOSH, and no reason to read it in addition to SOSH. I think Simmons starting his own web site was a good idea and the right move. I think the direction he took, however, is a bit odd.

Completely ridiculous, SoSH and Grant land couldn't be more different. And how did you only just stumble upon Grant land, this has been in the works for months. And I'm glad they didn't name it after Simmons, that would have been embarrassing.

The site is bold and interesting and it has had an incredible first week. I am unsure what you are talking about.

#12 dolomite133


  • everything I write, think and feel is stupid


  • 5,920 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:02 PM

Completely ridiculous, SoSH and Grant land couldn't be more different. And how did you only just stumble upon Grant land, this has been in the works for months. And I'm glad they didn't name it after Simmons, that would have been embarrassing.

The site is bold and interesting and it has had an incredible first week. I am unsure what you are talking about.


It doesn't interest me, completely subjective. I don't follow Bill Simmons closely and only heard of Grantland through some Tweets. I didn't fully know what it was until today. I think they *should* have named it after Simmons in order to capitalize on his cult of personality. Grantland sounds like a capital investment corp. Or a spec suburban housing development. The site's somber, reverential tone and plain Jane layout give the impression that its creators are trying to hard to seem serious and, simultaneously, appears designed to lull the reader to sleep.

I'd expect Bill Simmons to push something exciting and fresh, not fall back into some classical "ink stained wretch" tropes designed to mask his pop culture leanings and give him added intellectual weight.

#13 bowiac


  • I've been living a lie.


  • 9,746 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:02 PM

The name is pretty terrible. I agree naming it after Simmons would have been the wrong way to go, but Grantland wasn't a great 2nd choice either.

#14 th@tkid

  • 312 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:12 PM

Deadspin has an article about the namesake of the site, Grantland Rice a sportwriter from the early 1900's. So the name has meaning on some level of course the Deadspin article leads you to believe Grantland Rice was a terrible writer at least the first couple of lines do, I did not read it admittedly.

http://en.wikipedia..../Grantland_Rice

Edited by th@tkid, 13 June 2011 - 01:40 PM.


#15 The Allented Mr Ripley


  • holden


  • 9,246 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:19 PM

Grantland sounds like a capital investment corp. Or a spec suburban housing development.


If you can't make the connection between a website focused on sportswriting and the name Grantland you're a raging dipshit.

#16 Stevie1der

  • 482 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:30 PM

It doesn't interest me, completely subjective. I don't follow Bill Simmons closely and only heard of Grantland through some Tweets. I didn't fully know what it was until today. I think they *should* have named it after Simmons in order to capitalize on his cult of personality. Grantland sounds like a capital investment corp. Or a spec suburban housing development. The site's somber, reverential tone and plain Jane layout give the impression that its creators are trying to hard to seem serious and, simultaneously, appears designed to lull the reader to sleep.

I'd expect Bill Simmons to push something exciting and fresh, not fall back into some classical "ink stained wretch" tropes designed to mask his pop culture leanings and give him added intellectual weight.


I'm curious to know how many of the articles you read before coming to your conclusions, because your criticisms seem a bit vague and superficial. In this first week I've already seen a wide sampling of content, most of which doesn't reflect this "somber, reverential tone" that you seem to think they're cultivating. Pieces have run the gamut from nostalgic tribute type pieces, to traditional beat reporter and sports columnist fare, to quirky thought exercises and quick hits on pop culture and sports. Yes, the layout is a bit bare bones, but I think that's intentional because they want to be a site driven by the writing content, not one where the content is distracted by polls and embedded videos and banner ads everywhere (though w/ Simmons and Disney that could change over time). I also find the SOSH/Grantland comparisons odd because they're not even close to the same thing in any way. Time will tell if they can continue this output, but I think it would be a mistake to wash your hands of this site so early.

#17 BucketOBalls


  • SoSH Member


  • 5,644 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:31 PM

If you can't make the connection between a website focused on sportswriting and the name Grantland you're a raging dipshit.


Or born after 1980.

#18 Burt Reynoldz

  • 1,859 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 02:34 PM

I'd expect Bill Simmons to push something exciting and fresh, not fall back into some classical "ink stained wretch" tropes designed to mask his pop culture leanings and give him added intellectual weight.



This statement makes so much more sense to me when I read your tagline first.

#19 dirtynine

  • 3,147 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 02:40 PM

The content is predominately worthy, but I can't get past the sidenotes/footnotes thing. It's just way too pretentious for my taste. I get a sense that baking them into the site's template is tantamount to suggesting to Grantland's writers that they should use them. Which most do/have. And in most cases, it's leading to poorer writing - not poor writing at all, just writing that's less concise or well-crafted than it could be. This could branch into a larger discussion about the evolution of the footnote as style, but a) I dislike that particular style very much, b) only very, very few writers have had the chops to make it work, and c) it takes places where a footnote would actually be appropriate (to cite a source, or to list a fact like a salary or a date) and completely washes them away. I know they're not being used by everybody at Grantland, but the specter of them is bothersome to me.

There's also an undercurrent of the "Cool Writers Clubhouse" going on - I get the sense that Grantland is trying to cultivate an aura where if they publish you, or better yet, invite you to contribute regularly, you're somehow more valid than other sportswriters or bloggers.

Edited by dirtynine, 13 June 2011 - 02:42 PM.


#20 4 6 3 DP

  • 1,306 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 03:41 PM

The Klosterman halfcourt piece was at least...thought provoking. Most of the rest of it was amateur hour, stuff I dont even know why they wrote - the Barea piece, the Canucks piece, even the Lebron piece - I dont even know why they bothered writing it, the thesis wasnt interesting nor the conclusions.

They should publish less stuff if it means getting good writing.

#21 Remagellan

  • 4,546 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 03:47 PM

I've liked a lot of what has appeared on the site, but after this past week,all I wanted from Bill was a podcast with Jacko (preferably after the sweep last week) and a column about Game 7. But then again, he's done both of those plenty of times before so I can't fault him for trying something new.

A friend of mine sent me this:

Deadspin on Grantland

The guy makes a good point about the narcissism on the site.

#22 dolomite133


  • everything I write, think and feel is stupid


  • 5,920 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 04:07 PM

This statement makes so much more sense to me when I read your tagline first.


What, you think of Bill Simmons as a stodgy old schooler? I certainly didn't before this. But maybe he's changed. Maybe he started smoking cigars, drinking bourbon and banging away 10,000 word columns on an old Remington typewriter.

If you can't make the connection between a website focused on sportswriting and the name Grantland you're a raging dipshit.


I've heard of him. Which is different than saying I've read a lot of his work (I was not buying newspapers in the first half of the 20th century). But I doubt many modern sports fans can place the name. Thus my criticism that the name is obscure to most. Thus my criticism that the site has an elitist and/or stodgy feel. It comes across as something out of the Bob Costas playbook. As this guy from Slate writes...

ESPN finally announced the name for the quality-sportswriting project that columnist/impresario Bill Simmons has been pulling together: it is "Grantland.com." God bless anyone who goes on an aggressive editor-and-writer hiring spree, and good luck to all involved, but really. "Grantland." As in Grantland Rice. What, was ErnestHemingway.com taken? (Yes, apparently, by Alberta Hot Rods, of High Prairie, Alberta.) In other news, Simmons' podcasts will henceforth be known as "Mercury Theatre on the Air" and his football gambling-picks columns will be retitled "A Fan's Notes."

Who is Simmons trying to win over with this? This is an actual mystery. Are the romantics who still worship Rice as the founder-saint of modern Quality Sportswriting going to appreciate the tribute, coming from a guy who carved out a niche writing about Teen Wolf and porn stars? Is the wised-up generation that sees Rice as a ponderous cornball, a huckster with a purple ribbon in his typewriter, supposed to be impressed? Outlined against a yellow-white June sky, the Three Consulting Editors rode again. In dramatic lore they are glibness, naivete, and ironic lowbrowism. Their real names are: Gladwell, Eggers, and Klosterman...


Edited by dolomite133, 13 June 2011 - 04:14 PM.


#23 JBill

  • 1,944 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 04:07 PM

Scocca is Deadspin's new managing editor. He's been killing Simmons/Grantland, even before it launched, when he was still at Slate. He also had some online feud with Chris Jones, the AL East guy for Grantland .

Scocca and Craggs even did an interview with Will Leitch (Deadspin founder) about Grantland in NY Mag. I think Deadspin is very carefully and deliberately going after the site. It's smart, and actually, might end up making Deadspin a stronger product, if the result is better writing (as snarky as Scocca is, that's a good media criticism piece. And Craggs, the best writer for Deadspin, said he's going to be writing more content for the site after almost leaving Deadspin for Grantland).

I don't know why I know so much about bloggers and their feuds.

#24 johnmd20


  • voice of soccer


  • 17,126 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 04:15 PM

I've liked a lot of what has appeared on the site, but after this past week,all I wanted from Bill was a podcast with Jacko (preferably after the sweep last week) and a column about Game 7. But then again, he's done both of those plenty of times before so I can't fault him for trying something new.

A friend of mine sent me this:

Deadspin on Grantland

The guy makes a good point about the narcissism on the site.

It's been a week and I think it's been a pretty damn good week thus far. It is the cool kids club, however, so it's bound to be masturbatory. That said, Elaine's was a dump and has been a dump for decades now. Yet, it's written about still like it's the most beautiful place ever to serve a martini. That Elaine's piece was my least favorite column thus far.

#25 thrawnqq

  • 778 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 04:28 PM

Didnt know who Grantland was before I read the Deadspin article, which tickled some neuron from some old best sportswriting of the 1920s book that Frank Deford edited, which I must have read sometime in my youth.

#26 gammoseditor


  • also had a stroke


  • 2,860 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 04:29 PM

It's been a week and I think it's been a pretty damn good week thus far. It is the cool kids club, however, so it's bound to be masturbatory. That said, Elaine's was a dump and has been a dump for decades now. Yet, it's written about still like it's the most beautiful place ever to serve a martini. That Elaine's piece was my least favorite column thus far.


I thought the Elaine's piece was excellent, and I think people who have been recently are having trouble getting past the fact that it was a crappy bar. That's not really the point. The article is about what it used to be and what it meant to the writer. These things can be true and interesting even if the bar was a rat hole for the last 5-10 years.

Edited by gammoseditor, 13 June 2011 - 04:32 PM.


#27 dolomite133


  • everything I write, think and feel is stupid


  • 5,920 posts

Posted 13 June 2011 - 04:32 PM

I guess I should cut Bill slack on the name. Craggs' Deadspin says it wasn't his idea....

Bill Simmons is on the record as saying the name wasn't his choice. The story goes that the site's designer had used "Grantland" as dummy text, Grantland Rice being the only sportswriter he could think of. Eventually the name caught on with certain ESPN executives, the suits who are in the mythmaking business just as surely as Rice ever was. And now the name of mainstream sportswriting's last best hope is an homage to so many of the bad impulses that helped snuff out mainstream sportswriting in the first place. Grantland has to be good, because Grantland Rice was so bad.



#28 FurthestfromtheCore

  • 144 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 05:51 AM

The Klosterman halfcourt piece was at least...thought provoking. Most of the rest of it was amateur hour, stuff I dont even know why they wrote - the Barea piece, the Canucks piece, even the Lebron piece - I dont even know why they bothered writing it, the thesis wasnt interesting nor the conclusions.


Agreed. The Lebron column seemed especially forced. A whole column about why its subject matter was not interesting?

This is a bad sign as far as quantity/quality is concerned.

#29 dirtynine

  • 3,147 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 09:36 AM

They should ratchet things down to 2 or 3 really well-conceived pieces a day - and give each regular writer a solid week or so to craft each one. If the aim is to evoke literary, Esquire / Vanity Fair / New Yorker style pieces, the gestation time has to be longer.

#30 Gravistar

  • 299 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 11:06 AM

They should ratchet things down to 2 or 3 really well-conceived pieces a day - and give each regular writer a solid week or so to craft each one. If the aim is to evoke literary, Esquire / Vanity Fair / New Yorker style pieces, the gestation time has to be longer.


Why not look at what the site has produced instead of speculating? The morning content so far has featured blog-length posts and, generally, one substantial piece like The National oral history or the Barnwell piece today. The afternoon content seems to flip the ratio - two substantial pieces and one blog-length one.

The site is basically Bill Simmons's expanded ego -- it's all the things he would want to do if he had the knowledge, skill, and time. The interesting fact is that, apparently, that's not a bad thing. Looking at the varied content so far, you can't say that Grantland has one particular aim. It wants to be all things to all people. The site has been fantastic so far (I don't know what people upthread are smoking) because, as the 30 for 30 series suggested and this site confirms, Simmons is actually a good judge of talent. Plus, it's not like the bar for sportswriting is so high that Grantland needs a strong thematic orientation.

If this turns out to be Deadspin Plus, minus the snark, I'll be happy.

#31 teddykgb

  • 3,706 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 11:17 AM

Yeah, i think the volume is one of the best things on the site. Especially since all these writers are capable of going down rat holes I have no particular interest in, it would probably be pretty difficult if they were deep diving on something i don't find interesting and that means grantland is just useless to me for the day

#32 nattysez

  • 1,619 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 11:21 AM

Bill Barnwell's piece today is a must-read. Nothing earth-shattering, but a nice summation of a lot of separate threads of thought I've seen in a number of places.

I suspect that the writer of this article will be getting a call from Simmons soon: http://www.gq.com/en...011-cover-story I expect this is exactly what Simmons is looking for in an entertainment writer, she's from Boston, and Bill won't have any hang-ups about a female writer using her looks to make a story interesting the way others might.

#33 dirtynine

  • 3,147 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 12:02 PM

Yeah, i think the volume is one of the best things on the site. Especially since all these writers are capable of going down rat holes I have no particular interest in, it would probably be pretty difficult if they were deep diving on something i don't find interesting and that means grantland is just useless to me for the day


I feel in order for the "deep dive" to have some substance, the writer needs time - research, spending time observing a subject or a scene, ruminating, connecting dots. This can take days, weeks, or more. The Ebert profile everybody loves (including me) by Chris Jones took weeks to come together, and relied on crucial character observations over that time. Even Klosterman's most successful essays were germinating for years in his head until he collected the thoughts and threads together.

The Simmons style, in contrast, is to rapidly expurge a high volume of content as a quick reaction to an event. This has worked in his favor when a) he writes something funny, or insightful, or delightful - and admittedly, especially early in his career, his batting average was very high in this regard, or b) a rapid reaction was the best way to capture the fan essence at a particular moment (like right before and right after the Super Bowl in '02). Rumination and long-form insight is not his game; snap emotional capture is. He obviously knows this - that's why even pieces where he could spend time to form nuanced, well-built opinions are often written as "retro-diaries" - he actually pretends to be rewatching a live event in order to make his style work even when the window for it has passed.

However, Simmons does have good taste for the stuff that he can't do - long-form, in-depth, well-researched, observed, and thought-out pieces of journalism that cross over into literature. He can't write it, but he gets it. He hired some of the best creators of it for Grantland. What I'm saying is, and this ties into the footnote critique earlier, my concern is that he's got this menagerie of talent that he's essentially instructing to produce content on his rapid schedule. And that's just not how to get the best content out of these guys. The Chris Jones Lackey article, for instance, didn't approach the Ebert piece. Now, the case can be made that Ebert is more compelling, but really, there are compelling human stories to be told about each. I would have loved to have seen a long-form character observation piece about John Lackey after few weeks of observation, some carefully taken interviews, and some digging. it could have been really deep. As it was, it just got to the first level beneath the surface regarding what makes him an interesting guy. It was of course well written, but it's not why you hire Chris Jones. If I want a beat blogger's take, I'd rather just have Simmons (or a Simmons clone) do that stuff.

I really want Grantland to be like the "Best Sportswriting Annual" paperbacks that come out each year. Instead, I'm seeing mostly good ideas without the time to make them great (and a few bad ideas executed as well as they could have been). I don't want to read good writers going down rat holes that end up with a little bit of subject study and a lot of Simmons-esque self-reference. I'd prefer the stuff that reads like literature. Just one guy's opinion.

Edited by dirtynine, 14 June 2011 - 02:04 PM.


#34 Corsi


  • isn't shy about blowing his wad early


  • 10,208 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 12:57 PM

Deadspin has an article about the namesake of the site, Grantland Rice a sportwriter from the early 1900's. So the name has meaning on some level of course the Deadspin article leads you to believe Grantland Rice was a terrible writer at least the first couple of lines do, I did not read it admittedly.

http://en.wikipedia..../Grantland_Rice


Can someone explain to me what exactly Deadspin means? I've always wondered.

#35 JimBoSox9


  • will you be my friend?


  • 12,880 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 01:01 PM

This is the stupidest part of the Deadspin piece:

And that, so far, is the single most baffling thing about Grantland: Who cares what Wright Thompson felt, in his sensitive, writerly heart, about this pointless and fading celebrity bar?


Here's the rub, Mr. Socca: writing is almost always better when the writer cares about the subject material. That, at the end of the day, seems to be the early mantra of Grantland. Hire young, talented writers with a connection to sports or pop culture, and give them space to breathe. Complaining that long-form pieces aren't focused on timely sports events of the week is totally and completely missing the point. Thompson's piece not your cup of tea? Great, fine. But infusing writing skill with passion seems like a long-term winning strategy to me.

Deadspin was great at puncturing stupidity in the sports media world, but too often now it devolves into tearing things down for the sake of the tearing.

Edit: the Deadspin piece was also based on the premise that Thompson's article was stupid because the Socca thought Elaine's sucked. Why is one opinion more valid than the other?

Edited by JimBoSox9, 14 June 2011 - 01:03 PM.


#36 Dehere

  • 2,444 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 01:53 PM

Bill Barnwell's piece today is a must-read. Nothing earth-shattering, but a nice summation of a lot of separate threads of thought I've seen in a number of places.

Think that piece illustrates the difficulty of writing about advanced stats. To the readership that cares there's really nothing in there that's particularly new or interesting. And to the readership that doesn't care, well, they don't care.

#37 dirtynine

  • 3,147 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 02:07 PM

Can someone explain to me what exactly Deadspin means? I've always wondered.


Given the font they use, I always thought it was a fractured takeoff on "ESPN". (One of those half-jokes, half, "look, this domain is available!" kind of things)

#38 JimBoSox9


  • will you be my friend?


  • 12,880 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 02:31 PM

Can someone explain to me what exactly Deadspin means? I've always wondered.


Will Leitch:

We struggled for weeks to come up with one, and finally Nick Denton said, “Let’s call it Deadspin.” I asked him why. He said, “Dead and Spin are short, easy to remember words. Everyone will make fun of it and be confused for the first week, and then they’ll just accept it as the name and move on.” And he was right



#39 Shelterdog


  • SoSH Member


  • 8,881 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 03:52 PM

I thought the Elaine's piece was excellent, and I think people who have been recently are having trouble getting past the fact that it was a crappy bar. That's not really the point. The article is about what it used to be and what it meant to the writer. These things can be true and interesting even if the bar was a rat hole for the last 5-10 years.



hasn't it been a rat hole for more like 25 years? I'm not sure any writer currently under age 60 actually hung out there.

#40 JohntheBaptist


  • SoSH Member


  • 8,254 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 03:57 PM

hasn't it been a rat hole for more like 25 years? I'm not sure any writer currently under age 60 actually hung out there.

Yes, which was the exact point of Deadspin's criticism, not, as JimboSox mentioned, the passion with which it was written. To me, that's a legit claim to elitism, not so much the site layout or font.

Even if you were old enough to have seen it at its peak it feels like someone regaling you with the wonders of something you both know you can't experience, but in this case the person doing the condescending didn't really experience it either.

Don't know if I buy it, especially from Deadspin, but that was the gist of it, not a debate over opinion or the relative joie de vivre of their writers.

#41 Bdanahy14

  • 1,805 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 05:16 PM

Yes, which was the exact point of Deadspin's criticism, not, as JimboSox mentioned, the passion with which it was written. To me, that's a legit claim to elitism, not so much the site layout or font.

Even if you were old enough to have seen it at its peak it feels like someone regaling you with the wonders of something you both know you can't experience, but in this case the person doing the condescending didn't really experience it either.

Don't know if I buy it, especially from Deadspin, but that was the gist of it, not a debate over opinion or the relative joie de vivre of their writers.


I took the article to be less about how good of a bar/restaurant Eliane's was... but instead it was a place that caused him to stop in his tracks and look back. It was a piece about a decade passing, finding yourself somewhere very different than where you started... and being reminded of the journey..

If people read that article as a tribute to Elaine's, or putting a shitty, over-hyped bar on a pedestal... I think they missed the point. To me, it was about a persons "pursuit of their path" and realizing much later - that the only way to can see the path is to turn around and look back on your steps. It was about memories, and time, and change, and circumstance.

It actually reminded me of Joe Pos's Goodbye to KC article a bit. Joe was searching for his goodbye, something to put a period at the end of that chapter. This was sort of the inverse. Something happened that forced him to stop, turn around, and take a second to realize where he came from, where he is, how he got there. It could have been any bar, it happened to be Eliane's.

#42 Myt1


  • thinks tim thomas is a dick-fil-a


  • 19,916 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 05:38 PM

If you can't make the connection between a website focused on sportswriting and the name Grantland you're a raging dipshit.


Who hurt you? :)

#43 Curll

  • 4,918 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 07:14 PM

If you can't make the connection between a website focused on sportswriting and the name Grantland you're a raging dipshit.


You seriously think a sportswriter, who covered golf (an activity financially out of the reach of 90% of Americans, especially during his time, and that did not allow women or 'negros'), and who died in 1954 is on the mind of anyone under 70?

Edited by Curll, 14 June 2011 - 07:16 PM.


#44 Red(s)HawksFan


  • SoSH Member


  • 5,105 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 08:04 PM

You seriously think a sportswriter, who covered golf (an activity financially out of the reach of 90% of Americans, especially during his time, and that did not allow women or 'negros'), and who died in 1954 is on the mind of anyone under 70?

I'm under 70, and I had no trouble at all recognizing the name Grantland Rice. And what his covering golf has to do with anything is a bit baffling. He was known for a whole lot more than writing about golf. He coined the nickname "Four Horseman of Notre Dame". He's a JG Taylor Spink award winner. He was the first well known syndicated sports columnist in the country. He was a champion of professional sports in a time where sports professionals were looked down upon by the snooty elites of society (including and perhaps especially in the sport of golf).

I'm not saying I speak for everyone under the age of 70, but folks who are going to frequent Grantland.com are also folks who likely have an idea who Grantland Rice was. And if they don't know, I don't think they're going to be bothered or confused by the origins of the name of the site.

#45 LTF


  • Mailboxhead


  • 163 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 09:42 PM

Well, Dolomite is one of the ink-stained wretches, so he probably should know the name.

#46 Clears Cleaver


  • SoSH Member


  • 8,454 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 09:42 PM

anyone hear how the clicks or traffic has been on Grantland so far?

#47 dolomite133


  • everything I write, think and feel is stupid


  • 5,920 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 09:56 PM

Well, Dolomite is one of the ink-stained wretches, so he probably should know the name.


I know the name only because I'm in the industry. I don't think I've ever read anything of his outside of the occasional excerpt (mostly the "Four Horsemen" reference). From what I can tell, he's not someone most modern sports journalists look up to, imitate, model their careers after or generally care about. But maybe I just run in the wrong circles.

Edited by dolomite133, 14 June 2011 - 09:57 PM.


#48 Alcohol&Overcalls

  • 1,214 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 10:31 PM

I know the name only because I'm in the industry. I don't think I've ever read anything of his outside of the occasional excerpt (mostly the "Four Horsemen" reference). From what I can tell, he's not someone most modern sports journalists look up to, imitate, model their careers after or generally care about. But maybe I just run in the wrong circles.


Since Simmons' (apparent/stated) goal was to do something different than "most modern sports journalists" are currently doing, maybe it's more than just the circles?

Also, Simmons himself seems iffy on the name, so there's that, but also maybe it's the wrong circles.

#49 dolomite133


  • everything I write, think and feel is stupid


  • 5,920 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 10:41 PM

Since Simmons' (apparent/stated) goal was to do something different than "most modern sports journalists" are currently doing, maybe it's more than just the circles?

Also, Simmons himself seems iffy on the name, so there's that, but also maybe it's the wrong circles.


It appears the name was settled upon by the ESPN suits. Simmons said it was a filler name that the higher ups decided to keep. Personally I think they should have called it "Lupica."

#50 Freddy Linn


  • SoSH Member


  • 6,360 posts

Posted 14 June 2011 - 11:46 PM

You seriously think a sportswriter, who covered golf (an activity financially out of the reach of 90% of Americans, especially during his time, and that did not allow women or 'negros'), and who died in 1954 is on the mind of anyone under 70?


As for the women, the first US Women's Amateur took place in 1895, the same year that the first Men's Amateur and the first Open was held. As for racial integration, it took all of one year, in 1896, for the first black to play in the US Open.

Edited by Freddy Linn, 14 June 2011 - 11:48 PM.




Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users