Grantland

JimBoSox9

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As someone who is never going to spend time watching reality shows but enjoys mocking them, I actually enjoy the Reality Show Fantasy League. It's not art but he's pretty good at ripping the stars apart and making me chuckle.

I think the layout of the site does create a bit of an illusion sometimes that the smaller and pop-culture pieces are the entirety of the content. Sort of like a Facebook news feed where a couple of great status updates are swallowed up by the one friend you have that narrates every action of his day through updates.
 

DJnVa

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Tonight would seem to be a perfect time for one of SG's diaries. With all that is swirling around the Celts-Heat he could touch on a lot of things tonight--LBJ and his "clutchiness", the refs, Rondo, Big 3 era, etc....
 

JBill

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Cool new gig for Klosterman. He'll still be around Grantland apparently, although I would guess not writing that much.

Will you continue your work with Grantland?

Klosterman: Yes. I will remain a consultant at Grantland, unless Bill [Simmons, its editor-in-chief] decides to have me poisoned. That’s always his option. It’s actually in my contract.
http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/176506/new-york-times-new-ethicist-chuck-klosterman-i-always-prefer-discussing-other-peoples-problems/
 

NatetheGreat

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Its strange. Simmons article today discusses the Celtics-Heat game, and he mentions walking out with 3 minutes to go to get away from Lebron, and how his overwhelming impression was of crushing silence. Only, every video I've seen shows a ton of fans staying behind and chanting "Lets Go Celtics" on their feet. How did Simmons miss that happening? Did he just want to fudge things to fit his "every crushing sports loss ends with the fans going silent" theme?
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Because it happened after he left.

And BTW, he can't give Los Angelenos shit any more about leaving early or coming to games late any more.
 

Leather

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So I downshifted a few notches. And even though I prepared her before that Bruins game — Look, this is Daddy's team, just like the Kings are your team, and if I ever teach you anything in life other than "stay off the pole," "don't date a Lakers fan" and "don't text naked pictures of yourself under any circumstances ever," it's that you only have one team for every sport — she couldn't handle it when it happened
Unless you're Bill Simmons, when you get to decide when to be a Hockey fan, and can be a fan of the Clippers in addition to the Celtics, because why not. The irony is that his daughter is already a better sports fan than he's been for 10 years.

Also, it creeps me out when he pretends (because we all know he doesn't really talk like this to his kid, right?) to talk to his little girl about "being on the pole". It's fucking gross.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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Unless you're Bill Simmons, when you get to decide when to be a Hockey fan, and can be a fan of the Clippers in addition to the Celtics, because why not. The irony is that his daughter is already a better sports fan than he's been for 10 years.

Also, it creeps me out when he pretends (because we all know he doesn't really talk like this to his kid, right?) to talk to his little girl about "being on the pole". It's fucking gross.
Relax, its just him rehashing a classic Chris Rock joke...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tojBadSr2zI
 

nattysez

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The fans were so shell-shocked that many (including me and my father) filed out with three minutes remaining, not because we were lousy fans, not to beat the traffic, but because we didn't want to be there anymore. We wanted to get away from LeBron. He ruined what should have been a magical night. We never really had a chance to cheer, swing the game, rally our guys, anything. He pointed a remote control at us and pressed "MUTE." It was like being in a car accident. LeBron James ran over 18,000 people.

Leaving the arena, I noticed that same relentlessly eerie silence from the previous night in Los Angeles.
This is everything that's wrong with Simmons in a nutshell. First, he can't just leave the game to beat traffic, he has to invent excuses so he doesn't look like a chump -- lots of people were also leaving early and he was leaving because he couldn't take it anymore. Second, because he left early, he was totally unaware of the stirring "Let's Go Celtics" chant at the end of the game. Of course, there was no editor to tell him about this so he could add it to his article, because his articles are incredibly under-edited (if they're edited at all). Finally, he says "We never really had a chance to cheer, swing the game, rally our guys, anything." Actually, you did Bill, but you decided to leave early.
 

johnmd20

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All that said, I thought it was a pretty good column, his explaining her reaction to the Kings loss was at least compelling. His daughter at no point considered the possibility that the Kings could lose. We've all been there and when the opposite happens, everything cracks. Tears flow.

I wasn't a crier when I was in my low 10's and teens, but I was a thrower and wall kicker and whenever a stomach punch loss came about, things got thrown and hit. Those are memorable.

That said, the Celtics stuff was kind of lame b/c of the crowd's reaction to the end of Game 6 and Simmons' justifying why he left early is just cruddy and, yes, dishonest. He left because he ran away from Lebron? Ummm, ok.
 

Orel Miraculous

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That said, the Celtics stuff was kind of lame b/c of the crowd's reaction to the end of Game 6 and Simmons' justifying why he left early is just cruddy and, yes, dishonest. He left because he ran away from Lebron? Ummm, ok.
So I'm curious, since this is the second post that definitively says he lied about his reason for leaving, what was his actual reason? It wasn't traffic, since we read in the next paragraph that he walked from the Garden to his dad's house, so what was it? I'm sure you guys know.
 

mrsbeasley

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So I'm curious, since this is the second post that definitively says he lied about his reason for leaving, what was his actual reason? It wasn't traffic, since we read in the next paragraph that he walked from the Garden to his dad's house, so what was it? I'm sure you guys know.
IMO...because he's become one of those entitled fans who can't be bothered sticking around to watch his team lose. Or maybe it was traffic? There's more than just vehicle traffic at the Garden. He could have been trying to beat the foot traffic getting out of the building. It doesn't really matter, does it? Saying he "lied" is probably overkill. He's saying "I didn't leave because I'm a lousy fan" while many here would argue that's exactly why he left.
 

Leather

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I really don't like Hyden. That Sandler piece, and the piece on Japandroids before it, have no analysis behind them. He just makes bold conclusions and then backs them up with bold statements or comparisons that don't really make any sense if you stop and think about them for a minute, and all within a piece that never seems to have any structure. It's like "A...because B....but C....and D....and F, then G....oh B....yea...E."

Like, he titles his column "Adam Sandler's Inexorable March Toward Truth" and notes that comment Sandler made. Then he says he figured out what Sander's "truth" is. And what is it? Well, first we have to understand how Hyden has experienced Sandler. Then we get some plot summaries/Hyden's opinions of two Sandler movies that are supposed to be "analysis" that supports his argument. And that argument? That Sandler is getting older, so his characters are getting older too. Oh, and Jack Nicholson got old too, so Adam Sandler is his generation's Jack Nicholson (or something).

It's a fucking mess.

Then, with the Japandroids piece, he starts off talking about some of the best rock films ever made, by some of rock's biggest artists. Then he never talks about rock fiml again, and starts making these completely bombastic statements, comparing their latest album to The Who, Springsteen (I guess because they talk about being young and in a bar at one point). Then he compares them to Radiohead, a band that has nothing in common at all with The Who or Springsteen. Oh, and Guns and Roses and The Replacements, it's like them too! Then he goes back to "Thunder Road", referring to it as a "drinking song", calling it a "call to arms", and a "dream of future good times ahead" which is, like, completely not the point of the song.

Then he talks about The Beach Boys, but then abruptly goes back to the Japandroids to finish.

He writes like the worst kind of Hunter S. Thompson fanboy. Absolutely no structure.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I really don't like Hyden. That Sandler piece, and the piece on Japandroids before it, have no analysis behind them. He just makes bold conclusions and then backs them up with bold statements or comparisons that don't really make any sense if you stop and think about them for a minute, and all within a piece that never seems to have any structure. It's like "A...because B....but C....and D....and F, then G....oh B....yea...E."

Like, he titles his column "Adam Sandler's Inexorable March Toward Truth" and notes that comment Sandler made. Then he says he figured out what Sander's "truth" is. And what is it? Well, first we have to understand how Hyden has experienced Sandler. Then we get some plot summaries/Hyden's opinions of two Sandler movies that are supposed to be "analysis" that supports his argument. And that argument? That Sandler is getting older, so his characters are getting older too. Oh, and Jack Nicholson got old too, so Adam Sandler is his generation's Jack Nicholson (or something).

It's a fucking mess.

Then, with the Japandroids piece, he starts off talking about some of the best rock films ever made, by some of rock's biggest artists. Then he never talks about rock fiml again, and starts making these completely bombastic statements, comparing their latest album to The Who, Springsteen (I guess because they talk about being young and in a bar at one point). Then he compares them to Radiohead, a band that has nothing in common at all with The Who or Springsteen. Oh, and Guns and Roses and The Replacements, it's like them too! Then he goes back to "Thunder Road", referring to it as a "drinking song", calling it a "call to arms", and a "dream of future good times ahead" which is, like, completely not the point of the song.

Then he talks about The Beach Boys, but then abruptly goes back to the Japandroids to finish.

He writes like the worst kind of Hunter S. Thompson fanboy. Absolutely no structure.
You make better points than he did. I hate him now too. He's an anus.
 

Leather

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White [check]
Rich [check]
Rock and Roll Musicians [check]
Beloved in their prime by white teen-agers [check]
They all had penises, too, you forgot that. And were humans. And spoke English.

All of these things, or course, are not germane to a discussion of a particular rock and roll band's style and aesthetic when comparing them to other bands' styles and aesthetics.
 

jose melendez

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They all had penises, too, you forgot that. And were humans. And spoke English.

All of these things, or course, are not germane to a discussion of a particular rock and roll band's style and aesthetic when comparing them to other bands' styles and aesthetics.
None of them have ever beenin my kitchen.
 

Leather

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I don't know what this means:

More chilling is the way Rock of Ages treats the music of that era, which is to divorce it from any sense of context or intended meaning and instead use it to play Mad Libs. I have no particular reverence for Starship or Twisted Sister, but the scene in Rock of Ages in which two mobs face off by singing "We Built This City" and "We're Not Gonna Take It" at one another is somehow deeply depressing. (Imagine a version of this film in which a depressed group of Nirvana devotees chanting the lyrics to "Lithium" are brought back from the brink by a chorus of people singing LCD Soundsystem's "All My Friends.") It makes you feel like the destiny of every song you ever loved is to become a sock puppet in a movie musical starring Tom Cruise.
.

I agree that the prospect of simply seeing this movie seems depressing, but his parenthetical analogy makes no sense.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I didn't get that part either, Leather. But I thought it was because I didn't recognize "All My Friends". But even still the people in the real movie singing "We're Not Going to Take It" are in direct conflict with the people singing "We Built This City". I would think that in the example, the folks singing "Lithium" are attempting to kill themselves and the LCD people are trying to stop them from doing so?

It's a pretty convoluted analogy.
 

Leather

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Yea, it's mixed up.

First problem is that "All My Friends" came out roughly 15 years after "Lithium", so right off the bat the analogy falls apart. The reason "We Built This City" and "We're Not Gonna Take It" work (in the context of the film, which I haven't seen, but it seems pretty easy to surmise) is that they are from the same "era" of music. In fact, they were released only a year apart ('85 and '84, respectively). I mean, the fact that both songs came out in the 80s is the entire premise upon which the movie is built. How the author could not grasp this is mindboggling.

Second, the two 80's songs are schlocky almost (and perhaps deliberately) by design. That's, again, kind of an underlying premise of the movie: 80's music is over-the-top and ridiculous (Dee Snider dresses up like a woman and breaks down walls in the video, for christ's sake). The two songs the author mention are quite the opposite; they are brooding (in Nirvana's case) and cynically wistful (in LCD's case). There is no reason to place these two songs in a similar format that the 80s songs are used; it wouldn't make any sense. Again, this is such a fundamental mis-reading of the "point" of the movie that I wonder if the author really thought about the film at all before just bashing it. I'm not defending the film, it looks like a piece of shit, but instead of just making observations, the author would have been better served at doing more analysis of why the movie exists then telling us stuff we already know ("Oh, Tom Cruise, the biggest actor, plays the biggest rock star! What a fucking crazy connection!").
 

Dehere

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Although I know it's only of interest to a small audience, this piece on former Pavement drummer Bob Nastanovich is hands-down my favorite thing that Grantland has ever run: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8073884/indie-rock-legend-bob-nastanovich-pavement-silver-jews-horse-racing#footer-nav

Nastanovich is one of the guys who really got me hooked on horse racing. Back when Pavement was just getting rolling and I was a college radio dork I met him at the Derby and we bonded over horses. For a short time in the 90s the Kentucky Derby was a de facto indie rock festival, with great bands coming to Louisville to play and check out the races every year largely because of Bob's considerable charisma. One of the nicest guys you'll ever meet and as the article reveals a true authority on horse racing.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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This was a really nice piece on the end of Matt Groening's "Life in Hell" strips.

To be honest, I was a bit surprised to see it on the site because I know how Simmons feels about "The Simpsons" and cartoons in general.
 

cromulence

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This was a really nice piece on the end of Matt Groening's "Life in Hell" strips.

To be honest, I was a bit surprised to see it on the site because I know how Simmons feels about "The Simpsons" and cartoons in general.
Whoa whoa whoa - how does he feel about The Simpsons? I'm familiar with his hated-it-before-he-loved-it attitude towards The Wire, but not giving classic Simpsons its proper respect is absolute blasphemy.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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This is going back a number of years, so I'm not quite certain if he feels the same way, but he used to say that he didn't like "The Simpsons" and couldn't get into it because it "was just a cartoon". Every once in awhile (and this was back during his old DC days) people would get on him and tell him to give it a shot, especially the older ones, and he wouldn't do it. He wasn't a dick about it, but it was typical Bill Simmons where if someone told him a show was really funny (like "Arrested Development") but if he didn't "discover" it, it wasn't worth his time.
 

PBDWake

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He's getting better, I think. Despite a lot of prodding from Sepinwall, he would always insist HBO had no good programming since the Sopranos, and when presented with Sepinwalls retort of "Game of Thrones", he'd always say that the show had a forest, so it wasn't something he could watch (The implication being he has zero interest in non-urban shows). But he recently I guess plowed through Season 1 and admitted he was wrong.
 

johnmd20

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He's getting better, I think. Despite a lot of prodding from Sepinwall, he would always insist HBO had no good programming since the Sopranos, and when presented with Sepinwalls retort of "Game of Thrones", he'd always say that the show had a forest, so it wasn't something he could watch (The implication being he has zero interest in non-urban shows). But he recently I guess plowed through Season 1 and admitted he was wrong.
You are correct, his turnaround towards Game of Thrones was a record for him. At least he's not being totally obstinate.

They question is, "Why is it such a battle for him to take a suggestion?" I have no idea. JMOH is correct on The Simpson's, he did make a lot of comments over the years about how he doesn't like cartoons. That's his loss, he's obviously missing out. It seems petty but it's not a big deal, Simmons like to find things and when he doesn't, he has no interest.
 

NatetheGreat

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He's getting better, I think. Despite a lot of prodding from Sepinwall, he would always insist HBO had no good programming since the Sopranos, and when presented with Sepinwalls retort of "Game of Thrones", he'd always say that the show had a forest, so it wasn't something he could watch (The implication being he has zero interest in non-urban shows). But he recently I guess plowed through Season 1 and admitted he was wrong.
what made even less sense about this was that maybe 5% of Game of Thrones could be described as taking place in anything resembling a "forest"
 

SidelineCameras

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His "forest" hangup was always more about fantasy then about preferring urban shows. Even though he's anti-forest, he's on the record as pro-mountain. For real. He mentioned on a podcast that he was all excited to see "The Grey," because he loved mountain movies.

I think he's just not into much sci-fi fantasy. I can't ever remember him quoting "Star Wars," for example. There might be a handful of examples out there but it's obviously not one of his regular go-to quotes like Shawshank, A Few Good Men, Shawshank, THe White Shadow, Shawshank, etc.
 

AcevesSaves

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The article on Youk by Michael Schur (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8093512/red-sox-nation-says-good-bye-kevin-youkilis) was fantastic. I particularly enjoyed this paragraph:

Kevin Youkilis is one of the most oddly shaped human beings in professional athletics. His torso is giant and cylindrical — he looks like a cartoon poor person wearing a barrel. He is completely bald — like, aggressively bald, like he hates hair — except for a fiery red goatee bush that tumbles out of his face like Play-Doh from a fun factory. When he hits, he stands with his feet so close together the ump could tip him over with one quick index-finger jab to the sternum — an action that must have been tempting for many umps over the years — and as he raises the bat above his head and aims the barrel back toward the pitcher in a manner any Little League coach would surely curtail ("No, Kevin, not like that, that's all wrong … just … is your dad here? I need to talk to him"), his hands are a foot apart on the handle of the bat, and he then slowly slides them toward each other as the pitcher moves through his delivery. It's fucking insane. ("Kevin? Buddy? Hands together, buddy. See? Like this? … Is your dad here?") From this stevedore's frame, alopecic head, and just completely goofy stance came a truly elite ballplayer. Who is also kind of a dick.
 

NatetheGreat

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The article on Youk by Michael Schur (http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8093512/red-sox-nation-says-good-bye-kevin-youkilis) was fantastic.
It really was. Not that I don't love Parks and Rec, but every time I read Michael Schur on baseball part of me just wishes he'd go back to writing about it all the time.
 

joyofsox

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As someone who does not go to Grantland unless something is posted here, I'll just add that the Schur piece was excellent. (Could relate totally to footnote 4.)
 

AcevesSaves

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I still think Brian Phillips is the best writer on Grantland. His first piece from Wimbledon: http://www.grantland...2012-tournament
I mean, some people will say Simmons, but opinions seem to be split on him; you either love him or you hate him. If we're talking non-Simmons writers though, I think it has to be Charles Pierce. Phillips has some great stuff, but Pierce is just absolutely phenomenal.
 

johnmd20

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I just read Molly Lambert's recap of Sunday's True Blood episode. Could her recaps be any more banal? There is nothing even remotely interesting in the way she lists down, point by point, what happened in the episode. I can't imagine that is very difficult to do. No insight, no analysis, just the facts ma'am. No thanks.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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On Grantland when I see an intereting headline, I immediately read the byline because if it's by Molly Lambert, I'm not reading it. God, she's horrible.
 

ifmanis5

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The byline I see is July 10.
Huh. It is now. They changed it.


EDIT: Reading this at work and it's quite good. They got Walsh to get some bites from Imus which is a big deal since he never gives interviews for these kinds of stories.

I thought this quote was kind of fascinating:
Imus: We liked Mike Francesa, I thought he was great, and I liked Chris "Mad Dog" Russo, I thought he was fabulous. Notice I said fabulous for Mad Dog and great for Francesa, but I like them equally, I should say.


And this is total sour grapes from Mike:


Francesa turned down repeated requests to be interviewed for this oral history. Grantland editor-in-chief bill simmons even spent 20 minutes on the phone with francesa to no avail, explaining afterward, "since espn doesn't allow its talent to be interviewed on mike's radio show, mike simply didn't want to be interviewed for a piece that would appear on a site owned by espn. He kept saying it was a 'matter of principle' for him."
 

NatetheGreat

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That oral history is a really fun read. Sort of reminds me of that ESPN oral history book, which was also surprisingly entertaining.
 

JBill

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And this is total sour grapes from Mike:
"That's a bad job by you, Mike."

Good read, especially loved the parts about the callers, and about Somers:

Boyle: There were nights where [Somers] would get a little bit edgy. His behavior was a little bit erratic on occasion. He had it in a cup. I think there might have been coffee in there. It wasn't like he was sitting back there throwing shots.
Scozzare: It was bourbon.
 

Remagellan

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I thought this was interesting, from one of the new footnotes in his 2006 running diary of a Yes broadcast of the Mike and the Mad Dog show:

Even stranger, Francesa called me a few days after the breakup — totally out of the blue — to gauge my interest in becoming his new co-host. (Apparently he approached me and Ian Eagle before deciding to do the show himself.) I couldn't do it because I was under contract with ESPN, and more important, because there was no f-ing way I was going to be "the new guy" after one of the most iconic radio shows ever had just disintegrated. But if I could have the complete audio tape of one phone call from my entire life, I think I'd pick that one. At one point, I told Mike that I thought following Dog was just a lose-lose proposition and Francesa interrupted me by bellowing, "I … don't … lose. You hear me? I … don't … lose." It was awesome. By the way, had I quit ESPN to succeed Russo on that show, I'm 95 percent positive I would have been murdered by an irate Yankee fan within six weeks.
Someone needs to work "I ... don't ... lose. You hear me? I ... don't ... lose." into a call to Mike after the MFYs are eliminated in the playoffs (or hopefully before).