Deadspin defectors debut

kfoss99

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2009
1,604
I subscribed, today. Treating it like a magazine subscription. Roth's writing is spectacular. I like Magary and some of the other Deadspin crew. Reading sports takes has to be better for me than following politics.

And I feel like supporting people who bring me some joy. Became a Patreon member of a favorite podcast and gonna scrounge to get the online edition of my local paper.

Glad to hear they're doing alright, so far. Written content has to be better than most of The Ringer.
 

jimv

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 5, 2011
1,122
In the context of trolling a VC bro they published some site stats -

Defector.com said:
Today is the 100th day since the launch of Defector.....
  • Defector has over 34,000 paying subscribers.
  • 10,000 page views a day? Defector had over 366,000 page views just yesterday. We do that all the time. It’s no big thing for us.
  • I do not feel like counting up how many posts Defector has done
They've been rolling recently - Ratto still killing it, the Williams-Sonoma hater's guide is always fun and the Letters to Santa post was just crushing
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
31,530
Part of Ratto on the Hall of Fame

It has always been the unofficial position of this squalid little corner of the internet that the Hall of Fame should be first and foremost a museum of the history of the game, all of its credits and debits placed in an orderly fashion for the absorption of the masses. It mostly is that for people who visit, but around this time every year all that is superseded by its exclusive bronze annex, a rural version of the Prado where there are paintings from Antonio Maria Esquivel of the Santa Isabel de Hungria dressed as a Cleveland Spider that you can pose before for selfies. But since nobody wants to agree on what the Hall ought to be between those two options, let’s ignore the argument entirely and give everyone what they actually want—hardcore farce. Snarky, mean-spirited, hate-fueled comedy straight from Cerberus’s doghouse.

If the character clause matters, throw out everyone but Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Henry Aaron, Willie Mays, and Bill Veeck (there are others of course, but I can’t type these names all goddamn day). If it doesn’t matter, give us dull, fuming Curt Schilling through a decisive vote of the men and women he so detests, sending him into the place he so desperately wants to be. Let the plaque read in part, “He was inducted in 2022 with 79.7 percent of the vote by the very same fucking writers he once offered to kill like the roaches they are, the misery-caked weaklings.”
 

Mystic Merlin

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 21, 2007
47,883
Hartford, CT
Magary is already trotting out a BOSTON FANS SUCK AND SHOULD EAT SHIT column? I figured he would ease his way into it at the Defector, but here we are!

I really want to know what specifically happened to him at college because the intensity and stability of his resentment and hatred is uncommon.
 

Senator Donut

post-Domer
SoSH Member
Apr 21, 2010
5,703
Magary is a lifelong Vikings fan who openly rooted for the Packers in the NFC Championship. Brady lives rent-free in his head.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

Throw Momma From the Train
Moderator
SoSH Member
May 20, 2003
36,235
Deep inside Muppet Labs
Magary is already trotting out a BOSTON FANS SUCK AND SHOULD EAT SHIT column? I figured he would ease his way into it at the Defector, but here we are!

I really want to know what specifically happened to him at college because the intensity and stability of his resentment and hatred is uncommon.
He did write a column essentially admitting that his hatred of Tom Brady is stupid and futile and that it's time for him (Magary) to give it up.
 

Leather

given himself a skunk spot
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
28,451
It's a business, and the hate-on-Boston business will be good for at least another decade.
 

Leather

given himself a skunk spot
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
28,451
Oh, for sure, but I do think Magary has the talent to not indulge in it. Maybe he doesn’t want to or cannot help himself.
I've long held that it's shtick. I think he feels a responsibility to the other folks on Defector (like he did with Deadspin) to put up click-bait for the good of the site because he's probably the #1 draw. He's a bright guy and writes about other topics with a thoughtful distance; I find it impossible that he's genuinely that upset about sports anymore (except maybe when it comes to his own teams).
 

nattysez

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 30, 2010
8,893
I Ieally want to know what specifically happened to him at college because the intensity and stability of his resentment and hatred is uncommon.
I think it was attending Exeter that turned him off to "Boston."

Edited because I forgot he was at Colby for a year. So maybe that was a really bad year.
 

Leather

given himself a skunk spot
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
28,451
Even stranger, it wasn't college - it was attending Exeter that turned him off to "Boston."
Well, in fairness, it turned him off to Boston fans (and Boston by association). And he didn't hate it so much that he didn't go to Colby.

And I can absolutely see a sensitive, smart, kid from Minnesota who doesn't know anybody at a fairly conservative prep school like Exeter feeling alienated and resenting the more local people who dominate the social scene (not to mention the whole uniformed prep school culture, which is very New England) even if it's somewhat misdirected. I think he's even gone on record saying he wasn't ready to be there and reacted poorly. That said, it would hardly be surprising that some rich preppy kids from the Boston suburbs may have been assholes to the chubby rube from Minnesota.
 

dirtynine

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 17, 2002
8,576
Philly
I think when Magary goes after “Boston”, he’s really going after some combination of elitism and prejudice. (avatars: Simmons and Barstool, respectively). It’s stuff he hates, conveniently personified by a city. And I can’t fault him for hating those traits, though he does paint with a very broad brush.
 

Sandwich Pick

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2017
797
Well, in fairness, it turned him off to Boston fans (and Boston by association). And he didn't hate it so much that he didn't go to Colby.

And I can absolutely see a sensitive, smart, kid from Minnesota who doesn't know anybody at a fairly conservative prep school like Exeter feeling alienated and resenting the more local people who dominate the social scene (not to mention the whole uniformed prep school culture, which is very New England) even if it's somewhat misdirected. I think he's even gone on record saying he wasn't ready to be there and reacted poorly. That said, it would hardly be surprising that some rich preppy kids from the Boston suburbs may have been assholes to the chubby rube from Minnesota.
This sounds like a dark, alternate version of 90210.
 

PedroKsBambino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
32,698
Oh, for sure, but I do think Magary has the talent to not indulge in it. Maybe he doesn’t want to or cannot help himself.
I think the reality is that Magary is no different than Shank, just a slightly different mix of effort and talent. He's not as good a writer as Shank when they are both trying hard, but he works a bit harder to change up his moves (which certainly matters!) At the end of the day, though, he's generally using his abilities to generate hate-clicks and shitstir rather than really analyze or inform. I get that some people like the snarky attitude and to each their own...but what I read from some is a lot of dissonance from people who somehow like the act when Magary is doing it and hate it when Shank is doing it. Truth is, it's the same act just done slightly differently.
 

Leather

given himself a skunk spot
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
28,451
I think the reality is that Magary is no different than Shank, just a slightly different mix of effort and talent. He's not as good a writer as Shank when they are both trying hard, but he works a bit harder to change up his moves (which certainly matters!) At the end of the day, though, he's generally using his abilities to generate hate-clicks and shitstir rather than really analyze or inform. I get that some people like the snarky attitude and to each their own...but what I read from some is a lot of dissonance from people who somehow like the act when Magary is doing it and hate it when Shank is doing it. Truth is, it's the same act just done slightly differently.
I think when it comes to his I-Hate-Boston pieces, that's true, but he does a lot of writing about other topics, from pop culture (Kid Rock cruise, Duck Dynasty) to politics (lots of stuff on living in Trump's America), not to mention a handful of novels, that at this point are really his bread-and-butter much moreso than his by-the-numbers clickbait. Most of his sports writing is essentially him putting on the mantle of Big Daddy Drew from the Kissing Suzy Kolber days, which is the writing equivalent of a band playing it's biggest hit from a decade ago during the encores. It's an essential part of what he is, but it no longer defines him.

EDIT: that said, I wish he'd stop, because it is the worst writing he does and it's been tiresome for at least 5 years. And he's not a dumb guy, and he seems pretty self-aware, which is why I assume he's doing it basically as a favor, or a sort of "one for them, one for me" type of thing.
 
Last edited:

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
31,530
https://defector.com/here-is-just-one-more-reason-why-pedro-martinez-rules/

Thursday night on MLB Network, former pitcher Pedro Martinez demonstrated how during his playing days he would compound the deception of his pristine throwing mechanics by switching grips from a fastball to a changeup—one of the most devastating circle-changeups in the history of baseball—in the middle of his delivery. Some sucker standing on second base, hoping to tip off his overmatched teammate in the batter’s box, would spot the fastball grip when Martinez came set, but then Pedro would slide over an extra finger and tuck the ball deeper into his hand while cocking it back. You can hear it in the voices of Pedro’s co-hosts, but just to be clear: That is fucking outrageous.
Behind a paywall but potentially readable in private/incognito mode.
 

Mystic Merlin

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 21, 2007
47,883
Hartford, CT
Cool tidbit. His fingers are shockingly long and flexible for a guy of his height, and he certainly found a way to maximize every bit of his talents with ingenuity.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

Throw Momma From the Train
Moderator
SoSH Member
May 20, 2003
36,235
Deep inside Muppet Labs
That's a great article. And I'm laughing at the comments after it expressing shock that the Defector pricks actually wrote two pro-Boston articles in a week (Sale was the subject of the other one). They still haven't changed their rooting interests in the slightest.
 

Leather

given himself a skunk spot
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
28,451
Cool tidbit. His fingers are shockingly long and flexible for a guy of his height, and he certainly found a way to maximize every bit of his talents with ingenuity.
I remember seeing pictures circa 2001 that he somehow was able to have callouses at the very tips of his fingers, because he was able to hold onto the ball for that extra 1/4 of an inch before letting go, and it gave him extra speed/control (I forget the exact details).
 

ManicCompression

Member
SoSH Member
May 14, 2015
1,482
It's weird because they seem to be a successful business, yet I I can't think of a single story from Defector in the last two years. Deadspin used to regularly have viral stories that would permeate into the mainstream (Manti Te'o, the NFL's breast cancer scam, etc). One look at the infrequency of updates in this thread kind of backs that up.

Not saying what they're doing is wrong or anything, it's just interesting how they sacrificed notoriety for fixed income. It's a niche product that may incrementally grow, but the vast majority of us who don't feel like shelling out the subscriber fee will never hear about their content.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2001
24,994
It's weird because they seem to be a successful business, yet I I can't think of a single story from Defector in the last two years. Deadspin used to regularly have viral stories that would permeate into the mainstream (Manti Te'o, the NFL's breast cancer scam, etc). One look at the infrequency of updates in this thread kind of backs that up.

Not saying what they're doing is wrong or anything, it's just interesting how they sacrificed notoriety for fixed income. It's a niche product that may incrementally grow, but the vast majority of us who don't feel like shelling out the subscriber fee will never hear about their content.
I subscribe to Deadspin and I read it just about every day and I agree, there's nothing big coming from that site. I think that's okay in that they're more reactive than active when it comes to sports news. In other words they comment on stuff more than they break stuff.

But at least once a week I'm like, "Why am I subscribing to this?" and most of the time it's because it's $8 a month and I'm like, "well, I guess this content is worth $2 a week" and I go about my day. But if I'm being honest, if the subscription rises, I'm probably out. Magary has reached a level for me where I'm bored, I usually like Roth but I feel like he's working hard to overwrite everything and aisde from Ray Ratto, everyone else is kinda the same faceless, semi-cynical writer.
 

ManicCompression

Member
SoSH Member
May 14, 2015
1,482
But if I'm being honest, if the subscription rises, I'm probably out. Magary has reached a level for me where I'm bored, I usually like Roth but I feel like he's working hard to overwrite everything and aisde from Ray Ratto, everyone else is kinda the same faceless, semi-cynical writer.
This is why I never subscribed in the first place. It started to feel like I could write their articles for them because they have nothing new to say, no interesting angles to shine a light on. It became too repetitive and it doesn't help that they all have pretty much the same voice/POV.

Just kind of feels like they're all going to fade into irrelevance over time if they don't start doing content that has a broader reach.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

Throw Momma From the Train
Moderator
SoSH Member
May 20, 2003
36,235
Deep inside Muppet Labs
I subscribe to Deadspin and I read it just about every day and I agree, there's nothing big coming from that site. I think that's okay in that they're more reactive than active when it comes to sports news. In other words they comment on stuff more than they break stuff.

But at least once a week I'm like, "Why am I subscribing to this?" and most of the time it's because it's $8 a month and I'm like, "well, I guess this content is worth $2 a week" and I go about my day. But if I'm being honest, if the subscription rises, I'm probably out. Magary has reached a level for me where I'm bored, I usually like Roth but I feel like he's working hard to overwrite everything and aisde from Ray Ratto, everyone else is kinda the same faceless, semi-cynical writer.
This is what killed the old Deadspin for me and why I never subscribed to Defector.

There's only so much snide NYC-based cynicism I can take before the whole experience runs sour and I reached my limit on that a long time ago. I get that writing is very often a young person's game but Defector's writers, while talented, are all far too similar in terms of style. Every story is "Here's why this thing that you like is actually horrible and you're wrong to enjoy it." Fuck that noise.
 
Last edited:

Van Everyman

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2009
27,740
Newton
I subscribe to Deadspin and I read it just about every day and I agree, there's nothing big coming from that site. I think that's okay in that they're more reactive than active when it comes to sports news. In other words they comment on stuff more than they break stuff.

But at least once a week I'm like, "Why am I subscribing to this?" and most of the time it's because it's $8 a month and I'm like, "well, I guess this content is worth $2 a week" and I go about my day. But if I'm being honest, if the subscription rises, I'm probably out. Magary has reached a level for me where I'm bored, I usually like Roth but I feel like he's working hard to overwrite everything and aisde from Ray Ratto, everyone else is kinda the same faceless, semi-cynical writer.
Do you mean you subscribe to Defector? I'm not aware of a Deadspin subscription (or why anyone would want one).
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2001
24,994
Do you mean you subscribe to Defector? I'm not aware of a Deadspin subscription (or why anyone would want one).
Yes. Sorry about that. I meant Defector.

SJH, we've talked about this before but I can take cynicism and I can take them poking holes in the games they watch (I think that's pretty much their mission statement), but it's the same story over and over again. It would be wise for them to hire someone with a different POV. That means hiring someone who doesn't write like them, who looks at sports slightly differently. I'll take their cynicism over BarStool's idiocy every day of the week, but the expiration date is starting to come into focus.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

Throw Momma From the Train
Moderator
SoSH Member
May 20, 2003
36,235
Deep inside Muppet Labs
Yes. Sorry about that. I meant Defector.

SJH, we've talked about this before but I can take cynicism and I can take them poking holes in the games they watch (I think that's pretty much their mission statement), but it's the same story over and over again. It would be wise for them to hire someone with a different POV. That means hiring someone who doesn't write like them, who looks at sports slightly differently. I'll take their cynicism over BarStool's idiocy every day of the week, but the expiration date is starting to come into focus.
I also don't mind them taking the piss once in a while, but it's the relentless drumbeat of it that drove me away. I watch sports to enjoy things and temporarily escape my mundane life, I don't need moral lessons every second of the day.
 

ManicCompression

Member
SoSH Member
May 14, 2015
1,482
I think one of the main issues is that they don't really write about sports. Like the Ringer has some great basketball coverage where they go really in depth about the defensive struggles of certain teams, or how players are improving on the court from their rookie year. That's never going to tire out. Old Deadspin/now defector doesn't have that muscle, they just write about cultural issues related to sports and frankly there are only so many lanes you can go there and almost none of them are that new or interesting.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
31,530
I think the biggest issue is that we all got older.
Coincidentally, Ray Ratto (who someone mentioned upthread) and Dave McKenna, who are likely among the oldest Defector contributors, remain among their consistently best contributors.
 

Strike4

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
4,071
Portland, Maine
But so did they. Magary, Barry, Lauren, Redford, Ley....they all got older too. But they still write like edgelord 20 somethings. You have to show growth in yourself as a writer too.

Roth remains great though.
True. I just mean that we as an audience have seen shifts in our lives where many of the things that were fun and engaging then do not remain so later. I lived in NYC and we'd all circulate a new Magary link on gchat and then talk about it on Sunday whilst out at a bar catching games and catching up. I was only a casual NFL fan but that was fun. Then you have kids and move and you're certainly not in a bar on Sunday afternoon with your buddies anymore. You're at soccer games and raking leaves. And Magary might be good still but you've moved on.

It's the way it goes - not everything is going to have a cultural moment that lasts forever. Time and place etc. It's like when my dad talks about M.A.S.H. and I'm like go away old man. We're watching The O.C. here.
 

page 2 protege

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2005
235
NYC
I think them getting older, not writing as well, or us getting older and appreciating different types of writing is probably all true, as always the actual story is probably more complicated than the attempts to argue it. Writers don't write to themselves, they write to a target, so even as their writers age, their content is delivered towards an agreed upon target, and that target was/is primarily the Gawker/Edgelord (they call it lawyer) demographic, who appreciates most snark, but every now and then likes to read a Ratto/Roth. That's how they made their reputation, that's what was presumably their strategy at Defector, sticking to what they know worked for them.

There's probably two things working against them now, a) writers like magary are getting older and their snark is less fun, more embittered, this is where you truly need to think about writer turnover as a business strategy (at a certain point, many people just can't speak to young people anymore), because they don't fit the goal of your brand anymore, and b) their original audience (older millennials, young gen x) is aging out of the need for a ratio of 80/20 snark/quality, and may appreciate the inverse of it. The mitigating factor is, that core audience, is probably the majority of their revenue because they have more money than younger people. I would love to see their revenue broken out by age to be able to determine if their success is sustainable or will be short-lived.
 

Yelling At Clouds

Post-darwinian
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
3,619
Admittedly, I mostly read the Bag and not the football stuff, but I don’t think Magary is “that grouchy bitter guy” anymore, if anything, when he tries to write that way it doesn’t really work as well (the most recent Jamboroo being a pretty good example). There definitely are writers on Defector’s staff who are that level of grouchy, though, like Chris Thompson and Albert Burneko.
 
Last edited:

hube

New Member
Apr 4, 2010
261
I've paid for the site since it started and still read a bunch of articles daily. For my tastes, Magary is the only one whose sports takes have gotten stale - though I still really like his non-sports content. Could they use some other voices? Yes, I agree with that point.

I disagree with the edgelord comments - there's snark, but this is not the same tone as Deadspin and I'd say a lot of the writers that overlapped have intentionally self-reflected on their need to push those same edgy lines that Gawker/Deadspin (or even KSK) did post- lawsuit/Trump/rise of the fascists.

On the whole it's a tamer site, but for the way I enjoy sports (not very seriously at all) it's worth my money.
 

hube

New Member
Apr 4, 2010
261

semsox

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 14, 2004
1,750
Charlottesville
On the less sport-specific side, as a Great British Bake-off viewer, I've been enjoying Chris and Kelsey's attempts to recreate the technical challenges
 

dirtynine

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 17, 2002
8,576
Philly
:confused:

https://mailchi.mp/defector.com/become-an-our-kinda-guy-3908553?e=de7f61934c

We may not be long for this world. The blogging rages onward. We embrace our fates. At least this fungus has seared purpose and focus into human lives that so rarely find it. We ask only that you contribute your dollars to sustain our basic infrastructural needs and support our terrified families, as we might toil blankly into the night. This fungal puppet-master demands that every fiber and sinew in our bodies elicit an insight, a laugh, or a terrible pun from our beautiful readers. Please become one of them. Please subscribe to Defector, the altar on which we sacrifice our lives, without regret or option.