Grantland Rice and Ring Lardner basically invented sports writing in this country. I might be being unfair in assuming most people who care about sports writing would know that, though.
I think it depends on how broadly you define "people who care about sports writing." I probably wouldn't classify myself that way, I just like reading the occasional interesting and/or informative (preferably both) sports article when I am looking for something to fill a few spare moments. Do you define everyone who likes to read about sports "people who care about sports writing", and if so, what does that have to do with the intended audience of the Grantland site?
I think my self-description puts me more in line with what the target audience of the site is than your higher bar of "people who care about sports writing" does, but I don't know that for a fact. I suppose it's pointless to try to analyze how well the site was named in or to appeal to their target audience if we don't know for certain what the target audience is. I will grant (ha!) that it's certainly not a stupid name for the site, it's just a slightly obscure one for the population of internet sports writing consumers.
I do know that I had not heard of Ring Lardner before this thread.
Getting back to impressions/discussion of the actual content of Grantland, I enjoyed Kang's piece on Ichiro/Immigrants and Baseball. The author realizing it is somewhat inappropriate in his case to identify with Ichiro or Jackie Robinson while still doing so emotionally made for an interesting read. He described his conflicting thoughts and feelings well enough for me to get where he was coming from, when I really have no personal frame of reference for comparison. The article seemed to have plenty of opportunity to be overly maudlin, but I didn't think that it was, it was well-executed.
Weinreb's piece on the Fox Box, and the consequences of it, was somewhat interesting, but a tad over the top. I personally still ask or answer the question "What's the score?" on a semi-regular basis, because not all TVs are large enough to make the Fox/Score Line viewable at a distance. Plus one is not always facing the TV/smart device/computer screen, so one asks somebody else to relay the information. It seemed like a stretch to me for Weinreb to try to make an innovation in the presentation of sports scores into a larger statement about 21st century society.
I enjoyed Barnwell's piece, if only for the fact that it is a writer actually acknowledging and emphasizing that Moneyball was NOT about on-base percentage. Any ESPN-related entity that puts that information out there gets a small check mark in my book. It didn't break any new ground, but it gave me some numbers to chew on that I would not have bothered to look up on my own, and his line about not becoming a Mets fan was amusing enough for me.
The site has enough interesting pieces for me to hit up once I've caught up on SoSH, perhaps once or twice a week. It's not an everyday thing for me, but I'm not sure that it is supposed to be.
Edited by JMDurron, 15 June 2011 - 12:21 PM.