So far there are a few things that bug me so far about the ringer.
The first is that it's just not nearly as good as Grantland was. I know it's not trying to be Grantland 2.0, but it's hard not to draw the comparison. Who would you rather read on the NBA Finals, Jonathan Tjarks or Zach Lowe? Tjarks is ok, but it's not a fair right.
The second is that it seems way too pop culturey. Not so much in that they are writing about
pop culture, but that even the non-pop culture topics, like sports, get covered from a "how does this effect pop culture/what's a cute pop culture angle I can take." So e.g. after Game 7 of the NBA Finals, they have "Did Wrestling Help the Cavaliers Win the Championship?" and "The Warriors Went From Heroes to Villains in Record Time".
Third is that their soccer content has been obnoxiously condescending to anyone who actually follows soccer. I know American soccer fans are famously sensitive, but nobody would ever write about football/baseball/basketball like this. They just had their NFL writer write a story headlined, "Hey, USA, Go Watch Lionel Messi Before It’s Too Late", and it's basically a "soccer newbie went to a game and realized Messi is awesome and wants to tell everyone!" story. Hey buddy, no shit. Nearly every soccer piece has some horribly forced analogy to a traditional American sport, which stopped being clever and became an awful cliche like 15 years ago. So e.g (from 3 different articles):
- "Led by a prowling Javier Mascherano, Argentina’s defense is reminiscent of Kevin Love’s in Game 7
- "[Gareth Bale]'s not quite Steph Curry spotting up from 40 feet
, but he’s the closest thing that soccer has to it"
- "What’s most incredible about the Pogba Experience is how much it seems like he’s playing an American sport. He’s taken the classic, consistent precision of central midfield play and turned it into a slam dunk contest."