The Ringer

johnmd20

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That was a funny column and the picture of Brown's butt subtly twerking is phenomenal.

#teamtwerk4
 

Clears Cleaver

Lil' Bill
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Aug 1, 2001
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Feels like the Ringer is starting to come into its own. It doesn't have Simmons to carry it in its infancy like Grantland did, but I found some enjoyable stories in the last couple days.
 

EvilEmpire

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Snodgrass'Muff

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They have a very solid MLB podcast as well. Good operation all around.

Edit: Whoops, didn't realize this was page 2. Already been mentioned. Consider me a +1. Today's episode with Dave Cameron was great, as was last week's with Tom Tango and Darren Willman talking Statcast.
 

JBill

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They're churning out so much stuff between pods and articles I honestly can't find it all, but here a few I've enjoyed lately:

Danny Chau I think usually writes about the NBA, but I loved his piece about hot chicken (warning, you will crave it after reading the piece):
https://theringer.com/the-burning-desire-for-hot-chicken-bf87446b4dda#.9q4cpbsmm

Lindsay Zoladz on nostalgia and the iPod: https://theringer.com/an-ode-to-the-ipod-classic-629e89681c6e#.tritwmu3f

Kevin O'Connor with a Joel Embiid profile: https://theringer.com/joel-embiid-process-76ers-132abb28d20d#.x6gaf88mi

Last link has an embedded mockumentary by the Ringer on Embiid's instagram videos, it made me laugh. (Shea Serrano: "Lebron. Is. Trash.")
 

Grin&MartyBarret

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I just listened to the first NBA Show podcast with the new host, Chris Vernon.

I'm not familiar with him, but color me unimpressed. He just came across as very old-school sports radio to me, and between he and Kevin O'Connor a lot of their NBA takes felt, well, not very smart. The contrast between the NBA Show and the Lowe/Arnowitz Lowe Post which I listened to right after was really stark. With all of the young NBA talent out there -- Nate Duncan, Zach Harper, Andrew Sharp, Ben Golliver, Jared Dubin, etc -- it seems sort of surprising to me that The Ringer hired Chris Vernon.

Maybe he'll grow on me, he certainly has strong credentials, but he just sort of feels off-brand for the Ringer.
 

Kliq

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I'd like to think that eventually Lowe is going to come to The Ringer; I just get the sense that he and Simmons are really tight and love working with each other. The only thing I could see derailing them is money and ESPN could pay him the big bucks (which they should).
 

mandro ramtinez

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I'd like to think that eventually Lowe is going to come to The Ringer; I just get the sense that he and Simmons are really tight and love working with each other. The only thing I could see derailing them is money and ESPN could pay him the big bucks (which they should).
Lowe just signed a multi-year contract with ESPN this summer for solid dollars based on this article. If he's joining the Ringer, it's won't happen for some time.

http://deadspin.com/zach-lowe-re-signs-with-espn-after-strong-pursuit-by-bl-1784278292/amp
 

Kliq

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Thanks for that. While I'd love to see him with Bill again; his work has not suffered since moving to ESPN.com. He still writes lengthy thoughtful articles and his podcast is still great.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I just listened to the first NBA Show podcast with the new host, Chris Vernon.

I'm not familiar with him, but color me unimpressed. He just came across as very old-school sports radio to me, and between he and Kevin O'Connor a lot of their NBA takes felt, well, not very smart. The contrast between the NBA Show and the Lowe/Arnowitz Lowe Post which I listened to right after was really stark. With all of the young NBA talent out there -- Nate Duncan, Zach Harper, Andrew Sharp, Ben Golliver, Jared Dubin, etc -- it seems sort of surprising to me that The Ringer hired Chris Vernon.

Maybe he'll grow on me, he certainly has strong credentials, but he just sort of feels off-brand for the Ringer.
I don't know about Vernon, but I think O'Connor is very good.
 

Cellar-Door

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I don't know about Vernon, but I think O'Connor is very good.
O'Connor is very good, Vernon is basically a radio host. Sure seems like he's been brought in to host a bunch of shows on various sports, give mediocre sports radio opinions and keep the thing moving for the more talented people who co-host or are guests.

Also on ringer today:
Mark Titus (who was always pretty awful) did a shitty article about why Darko should have been a cult hero, without mentioning Freedarko, a site that launched a ton of guys' careers, and which it would be really difficult not to come across if you were pulling stuff to write a Darko as cult hero piece.
 

Grin&MartyBarret

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Gave another NBA Podcast a listen, and it really didn't do much to sway me on Vernon. In fact, I actually like him less now than I did prior.

He had Tim Bontemps on and they were discussing the Knicks, who Vernon is high on this year. Bontemps basically made the point that the Knicks lack any depth, and that the pieces don't work all that well together -- which is the point everybody is making, and is extremely valid. And Vernon basically just laughed him off. Didn't support why he thought the Knicks where going to be good, just literally laughed Bontemps off and in particular criticized Bontemps insistence that Derrick Rose was one of the worst players in the league last year. He actually, literally, told Bontemps to shut up.

Meanwhile, Derrick Rose ranked 438 out of 462 eligible players in terms of RPM last season.
 

kenneycb

Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play
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Dec 2, 2006
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Tuukka's refugee camp
I similarly loved this background on the Hank Scorpio Simpsons episode, one of my favorites, though still probably behind the softball one. Which randomly reminded me of the scene of Whitey Ford getting pelted by pretzels. A sad day for baseball, indeed.

https://theringer.com/the-simpsons-character-who-predicted-silicon-valley-villainy-42dacec839ad#.j47czkom2

And speaking of Serrano, the Brock Osweiler one from the start of the season belongs in the OBJ thread in BBtL.

https://theringer.com/where-will-brock-osweilers-first-texans-pass-go-8cd92ea5185c#.9bq9lbu46
 

Sir Lancelotti

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Jul 31, 2006
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Rany Jazayerli contributed the best political longform i've read on the Ringer, pretty even handed critique of Obama's foreign policy and the Syrian crisis.

He's pretty much a freelancer, but i've been a big fan of pretty much all the content he puts out, usually solid baseball analysis. His stuff on the Royals championship run from a KC fan perspective was right up there with anything Joe Pos put out. Here's hoping Simmons can make him a more regularly contributor, i find Lindbergh's and Baumans's baseball stuff to be dry and uninteresting.

https://theringer.com/syria-barack-obama-legacy-853644abdd1b#.f3x8s6ol7
 

HoyaSoxa

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Dec 4, 2003
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Is it just me, or has The Ringer had some really good articles over the past few weeks (none of which were written by the CEO)? I enjoyed Bryan Curtis on Obama's sports legacy, Mays on the Patriots running backs and LeVeon Bell, the Tuck Rule oral history, lots of good NBA stuff, and, the aforementioned Rany Jazayerli critique of Obama's Syria policy.

Notably absent is Sam Donsky, who seems to have disappeared since November. I also expected them to tone down the politics post-election, especially after the Favreau crew started out on their own, but they seem to have more political or politics-adjacent content than ever, and a lot of it is even pretty good.
 

Kliq

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If you haven't played the interactive tanking game you should. It's the best idea they have ever had.
 

Kliq

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I wholeheartedly agree. I just wish the game was longer.
I could spend several hours on that game.
I haven't been able to quite master it. I got the superstar in the first draft but the next year I had the sixth pick and got the "player who dies tragically before training camp".
 

heavyde050

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I haven't been able to quite master it. I got the superstar in the first draft but the next year I had the sixth pick and got the "player who dies tragically before training camp".
I thought I won because I got fired after a few seasons and took a job in Silicon Valley. I basically did the Hinkie.
 
Jul 15, 2005
1,923
Chicago
noticed that WHDH is bringing on Kevin O'Connor onto Sports Xtra to talk NBA

not sure what to make of it: can't make it big time at CSNNE/WBZ or Ringer NBA getting notice by local media
 

Kliq

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I definitely don't go on The Ringer as much as I did Grantland, although I do like that Bill is back writing once a week. The biggest plus has been KOC, who is a really good NBA guy and has filled the Zach Lowe-role very well. Shea usually is good for something light and Tjarks is good. I also like Hayley O'Shaughnessy, who I didn't know much about before The Ringer but has turned out some solid stuff.

The thing about The Ringer is that it is clear that the writers are encouraged to experiment and pursue their own ideas. This can sometimes lead to really interesting stuff, but often times I find myself rolling my eyes at a headline or a story. That might also be because I find the media's obsession with certain quirks in pop culture annoying and The Ringer covers a lot of that.

They have also openly embraced being a left-wing kind of site, which is fine but without the Keepin it 1600 guys around they don't have anyone with real political chops and often times whatever political points are being made are tied into some story about sports or pop culture. To me it comes across as the singer who starts talking about politics before they play one of their hits; nobody wants to listen to that kind of content, just play the damn song.
 

ElUno20

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Our President got his political acclaim being an Obama birther and savage on Twitter, we've long passed the "stick to your lane" thing.

I think Bill or one of the channel 33 episode was even about this specifically. There is no more criteria for talking/being active in politics. It's all one now.
 

Kliq

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I don't care; if I wanted to hear actual analysis I wouldn't really bother to listen to someone whose job is to write about network television. It's not for me.
 

johnmd20

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I don't care; if I wanted to hear actual analysis I wouldn't really bother to listen to someone whose job is to write about network television. It's not for me.
So don't read those columns. I mean, what the hell do you want? Right now, politics has infected everything. But you want a website that writes about almost everything not to cover it?
 

Kliq

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So don't read those columns. I mean, what the hell do you want? Right now, politics has infected everything. But you want a website that writes about almost everything not to cover it?
That is why I said I don't read it that much.
 

Kliq

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The Ringer did a breakdown of the Top 100 episodes of The Simpsons. It is a lot of fun to read and the author did a good job researching all sorts of nuggets and background info to memorable lines/scenes/appearances.

My only complaint is that no episode after Season 9 is on the list. I understand that the show was at its peak from Seasons 2-9 and everything after hasn't been as well received, but to think there are 400+ episodes after Season 9 and not a single one of them ranks in the top 100 is kind of hard to believe. I can think of plenty of episodes that are great since 2000.
 

johnmd20

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The Ringer did a breakdown of the Top 100 episodes of The Simpsons. It is a lot of fun to read and the author did a good job researching all sorts of nuggets and background info to memorable lines/scenes/appearances.

My only complaint is that no episode after Season 9 is on the list. I understand that the show was at its peak from Seasons 2-9 and everything after hasn't been as well received, but to think there are 400+ episodes after Season 9 and not a single one of them ranks in the top 100 is kind of hard to believe. I can think of plenty of episodes that are great since 2000.
Behind the Laughter, for sure. But I can see the argument for only sticking with the first 9 years. It makes it more focused. A decent idea would have been to do a Top 100 for the first 9 seasons and then maybe a Top 20 for the rest of the seasons.

Anyway, it was a great list and was really enjoyable to read. If you're a Simpson's fan, it's a must read. Their choices were pretty solid, overall. I don't quibble with any of it. The craziest part of the list is that the episodes in the 50 to 100 range are all so incredible. The pinnacle of comedy on TV.

And they aren't even in the Top 50.
 

Kliq

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Behind the Laughter, for sure. But I can see the argument for only sticking with the first 9 years. It makes it more focused. A decent idea would have been to do a Top 100 for the first 9 seasons and then maybe a Top 20 for the rest of the seasons.

Anyway, it was a great list and was really enjoyable to read. If you're a Simpson's fan, it's a must read. Their choices were pretty solid, overall. I don't quibble with any of it. The craziest part of the list is that the episodes in the 50 to 100 range are all so incredible. The pinnacle of comedy on TV.

And they aren't even in the Top 50.
Maybe I didn't read it correctly, were they only doing the first nine years on principle? I thought the author just didn't include any post-s9 episodes because none of them were worthy.

Behind the Laughter is great; although I get why some people don't like it. I really enjoy their story episodes; I like Treehouse of Horror and some of the great ones like the tales of Revenge, tales of the seas and tales of love, with the latter featuring a parody of Sid and Nancy. But I get why people don't like those episodes.

I'd argue that the Evita parody episode "The President Wore Pearls" is as good as any other Simpsons episode.
 

johnmd20

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Maybe I didn't read it correctly, were they only doing the first nine years on principle? I thought the author just didn't include any post-s9 episodes because none of them were worthy.

Behind the Laughter is great; although I get why some people don't like it. I really enjoy their story episodes; I like Treehouse of Horror and some of the great ones like the tales of Revenge, tales of the seas and tales of love, with the latter featuring a parody of Sid and Nancy. But I get why people don't like those episodes.

I'd argue that the Evita parody episode "The President Wore Pearls" is as good as any other Simpsons episode.
No, I wasn't clear. I'm just saying the Ringer should have done the top 100 of the first 9 seasons (as they did anyway) and then maybe the top 20, as a separate list, of the rest of the episodes, 1997 to 2017, just to give a little taste of what the show has done for the last 20 years.
 

HoyaSoxa

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Did anyone listen to The Ringer MLB Show from May 11, with Tim Zue of the Red Sox? It's all about using data and analytics on the business side of the team, and probably nothing too groundbreaking for anyone who follows these trends, but I did think it was well done and he did a nice job of acknowledging that his job is to bring in more money for the franchise while also directing it back to improving the team and the fan experience as a result. I know Tim a bit and he is a great guy with a very cool job, so I have talked with him a fair amount about this stuff, but he is not typically out in the public eye too much, so I was impressed with how he handled an hour long conversation on a national podcast (albeit a very friendly one). I am curious about how others perceived it.
 

cheech13

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https://theringer.com/golden-state-warriors-style-nba-finals-aea745e3ac9d

Mark Titus is consistently awful but this might be the most egregious example yet. Who writes a "get off my lawn" article when they are still in their 30s? College basketball is, by and large, broken and shouldn't be held as an example of the right way to play. Kids should be learning the value of outside shooting, passing, screens and suffocating on-ball defense. That's way more useful than walking the ball up and working 30 seconds to get some low percentage 2-point shot.
 

allstonite

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https://theringer.com/golden-state-warriors-style-nba-finals-aea745e3ac9d

Mark Titus is consistently awful but this might be the most egregious example yet. Who writes a "get off my lawn" article when they are still in their 30s? College basketball is, by and large, broken and shouldn't be held as an example of the right way to play. Kids should be learning the value of outside shooting, passing, screens and suffocating on-ball defense. That's way more useful than walking the ball up and working 30 seconds to get some low percentage 2-point shot.
I don't think he was 100% serious. He says he doesn't actually think they're bad for basketball and he loves watching them but his point is also valid. I said this in a Port Cellar but I've been to a few of my little cousins' games past winter. I've watched probably ages 8-14 and it can be pretty awful. Some kids think they're Curry and just launch 3's. I was going to make the LaMelo Ball comparison but it's already in the article. There's no strategy or screens so it's not like they're learning actually how to run an offense like this.

This is a very small sample size and it's not like Rhode Island is a basketball hotbed so maybe a place with better coaching handles it better. I also don't think it's horrible because it's cyclical. A similar thing happened with Jordan (and the And-1 tapes) when I was growing up and everyone wanted to Iso.
 

cheech13

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But having played basketball in the 1990s I can say that the influence of Jordan was equally bad or worse. Everyone wanted to score 30 points a game and make highlight plays without ever caring about fundamentals or winning games. Practicing dunks on a seven foot rim was horrible as most kids spent all their hours doing that instead of dribbling or shooting. He has no sense of perspective.
 

chonce1

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Apr 23, 2010
185
I hate to get all pedantic, but "liberal" or anti-Trump makes more sense than "left wing." I am left-wing and I assure you me and John Favreau would have radically different opinions on most things. In America most Democrats are, like most Republicans, drowning in Wall Street/Pharma/Media money. The "left," is well left of the party, in my opinion. (Sander's offers something of a bridge between the two, but it is a shaky one that may not hold).

I definitely don't go on The Ringer as much as I did Grantland, although I do like that Bill is back writing once a week. The biggest plus has been KOC, who is a really good NBA guy and has filled the Zach Lowe-role very well. Shea usually is good for something light and Tjarks is good. I also like Hayley O'Shaughnessy, who I didn't know much about before The Ringer but has turned out some solid stuff.

The thing about The Ringer is that it is clear that the writers are encouraged to experiment and pursue their own ideas. This can sometimes lead to really interesting stuff, but often times I find myself rolling my eyes at a headline or a story. That might also be because I find the media's obsession with certain quirks in pop culture annoying and The Ringer covers a lot of that.

They have also openly embraced being a left-wing kind of site, which is fine but without the Keepin it 1600 guys around they don't have anyone with real political chops and often times whatever political points are being made are tied into some story about sports or pop culture. To me it comes across as the singer who starts talking about politics before they play one of their hits; nobody wants to listen to that kind of content, just play the damn song.
 

ElUno20

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Jul 19, 2005
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Is there just no place for grantland style long form/deep dive pieces on sports and entertainment anymore? Why is the ringer's goal to write pieces on the dumbest things ever? Like LeBron squatting? Or a damn parade?

Would it have been so hard to try and replicate grantland?
 

Clears Cleaver

Lil' Bill
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Is there just no place for grantland style long form/deep dive pieces on sports and entertainment anymore? Why is the ringer's goal to write pieces on the dumbest things ever? Like LeBron squatting? Or a damn parade?

Would it have been so hard to try and replicate grantland?
They go where the money is and right now that's podcasts. Basically everyone on the Ringer is affiliated wa podcast. It funds the writing, which, as we know, has very little economic value these days
 

ElUno20

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They go where the money is and right now that's podcasts. Basically everyone on the Ringer is affiliated wa podcast. It funds the writing, which, as we know, has very little economic value these days
That blows me away since their podcasts are pretty average.