Defector: Deadspin reincarnated officially launches

soxhop411

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Defector: a website with dozens of deadspin alumni has officially launched today with a story of how the site cane to be
View: https://twitter.com/drewmagary/status/1304063073892917249?s=21
 

Bergs

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Jul 22, 2005
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I was never a Deadspin guy per se, but I love what they're doing here. I'm in for a year.
 

ngruz25

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Sep 20, 2005
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I think my browser still wants to send me to Deadspin when I type a "d" into the URL bar, but yeah... I've got a lot of subscription services going already. And this one isn't cheap.
 

Silverdude2167

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Oct 9, 2006
2,720
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Yeah, I get that they need money but they should probably approach this like the athletic with massive deals always running (they just hit 1M subscribers apparently)... even an option to pay $7 a month or something might draw me in.

I have gone to the website multiple times to sign up and then decided against it when I see the options.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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Aug 12, 2009
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Articles like their Celtics/Heat preview piece are why I’m never signing up or giving them money. Let’s start with their explanation for how the Celtics beat the Raptors:
The Celtics are younger and a smidge deeper than the Raptors, both in terms of rotation depth and high-end talent
Err, the Raptors were easily the deeper team this series in terms of rotation depth, and I’d say the Celtics were more than a “smidge” better in terms of top end talent. But at least they balance out their bad basketball takes with generic Boston hate:
Good people reflexively recoil and possibly do some light gagging at the thought of the Boston Celtics playing for a chance at a Finals berth without LeBron James around to spike them back into hell.
Who needs to look into whether a team with Jaylen Brown, who lead protests and speaks with passion and insight about racial and social issues, might be worth rooting for, or Enes Kanter, who has sacrificed so much to stand up to Erdogan. You know, values the website’s politics would generally align with. But who cares, Boston bad, hurr durr.

Lest we say the piece isn’t fair and balanced, at least they hate the Celtics opponent as well. Let’s see what they have to say about Jimmy Butler:
Good people then realize that Boston’s opponent this time is the Miami Heat, led by Jimmy Butler, the Lord King of all cheesebutts, and blast their half-digested breakfast sando all over their morning paper.
Good thing someone is out there, speaking the hard truths, like that Jimmy Butler is a “cheesebutt.” And not just any cheesebutt, but the Lord King of all Cheesebutts!!!! We’re all so blessed they started this website so we can get that level of humor, that level of trenchant insight. Boston versus the king of cheesebutts, what a great angle for a piece!

I guess their avid readers will know that “cheesebutt” is apparently code for drawing fouls:
You, a desperate fool, will point to his pristine 48 percent shooting and miraculous 50 percent clip from beyond the arc; I, a prune, will counter that an incredible 41 percent of his points across nine playoff games have come from the foul line. He has attempted 18 three-pointers against a nauseating 96 free throws. Only the dreaded James Harden has attempted more from the line, and Harden has played two more games and 87 more minutes.
Huh, actual stats. Maybe I misjudged the author, I thought this would be just outrage and hot takes.
The person the Celtics will task with stopping all this is Marcus Smart, who is almost exactly what Jimmy Butler would be if you gave him astigmatism and replaced his megalomania with the world’s deepest inferiority complex.
Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. Smart’s turned himself into an acceptable shooter in the past couple years and was markedly better from 3 point range this year than Butler, but who cares, he’s just Butler with bad eyesight I guess. He also has an inferiority complex or something, despite never complaining about coming off the bench or playing time or anything like that. He gets passionate on the court, so he must have an inferiority complex? They go on to praise his defensive excellence, but first they need to make sure they get some unsupported shots at his psychological makeup, just because.

And their hate isn’t just reserved for the actual teams playing, let’s get some shots at the media too:
It gets worse! Gordon “Education Reform” Hayward is likely to return to the court at some point in the Eastern Conference Finals, according to head coach Brad Stevens. I for one look ahead to the Celtics surging toward the Finals and Jason Whitlock’s inevitable column shoehorning Hayward and teammate Daniel Theis into the increasingly bizarre, grievance-based social cosmology he has constructed around the warping gravity of his own 23-pound head, and feel a wild urge to plunge a rotary hammer into my cranium until I am extremely dead.
Ah, getting preemptively upset about someone in the media predictably fitting facts into their pre-determined narrative. Understandable to hate that. Who would ever do something like that in their writing anyways, and why would anyone want to read something like that?
The wise thing to do is to take your mind off the outcomes and focus on the process. The basketball in this series should be very good.
Oh, well, I guess the Eastern Conference finals will be worth watching afterall despite the excess of Boston and cheesebutt because the basketball will be “very good.” How will it be very good?
The Heat and Celtics are two of the best-coached teams in the league. Both teams can play fast and free or they can bear down and grind a good shot out of a long possession against a dug-in defense. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are electrifying players with unlimited potential; Bam Adebayo is the coolest or second-coolest big man in the league; Tyler Herro is doing very bold stuff in big important minutes, as a rookie.
That’s it, one quick note near the end just mentioning the likes of Jayson Tatum and Bam Adebayo, because those guys are certainly less worthy of talking about than taking a deep dive into who, exactly, is cheesebutt. No need to mention the name Kemba Walker or Goran Dragic. Never mind how Miami will or won’t try to replicate how Toronto defended Tatum, or how the Celtics adapted to a zone defense and how the Heat run a ton of zone, or how Miami’s 3-point shooting might see different looks than against the Bucks. Who cares about all that? Boston bad, Butler shoots free throws, cheesebutt, hurr durr.
———
I guess this piece is just everything I don’t like about their house style all rolled together. It’s not insightful enough to be an analysis piece. It’s not funny enough to be a humor piece. It’s not deep enough to be an opinion piece. It’s a piece that takes their two warmed over schticks, Boston bad, Jimmy Butler gets free throws, and tries to construct a piece about their matchup with a minimal amount of thought or new information. It’s just wannabe Drew Margery without a fraction of the talent. I just don’t get the appeal unless you already hate these teams anyways and just want to wallow in it a bit more than you already have access to in great volume on the internet. Which is something, I guess?
 

Leather

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Jul 18, 2005
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It's semi-serious, humor-peppered, crowd-pleasing, sports writing. That's 80% of what Deadspin was, and lots of people like it. If you're sensitive to the anti-Boston shtick, it's not for you.

I mean, I get it; I can barely tolerate Bill Simmons (and I'm a Boston fan!) because of his peccadilloes, but there's no arguing with its success.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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It's semi-serious, humor-peppered, crowd-pleasing, sports writing. That's 80% of what Deadspin was, and lots of people like it. If you're sensitive to the anti-Boston shtick, it's not for you.

I mean, I get it; I can barely tolerate Bill Simmons (and I'm a Boston fan!) because of his peccadilloes, but there's no arguing with its success.
But is it good at being semi-serious, humor-peppered, crowd-pleasing, sports writing? What’s the funniest line in that piece? What’s the best serious (semi or otherwise) insight about the actual games? I get that they have a style, but that doesn’t mean the execution is there. Margery generally pulls it off because he’s funny and he does some research, this piece just comes off as such a lazy version of that. I get that people like it, and going after easy targets like Boston or Jason Whitlock is a surefire crowd pleaser, but I don’t think that makes it good or quality writing.

I think Bill Simmons is a perfect comparison. To the extent he’s still making Teen Wolf references all these years later, he should get criticism about it, despite his success.
 

Leather

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But is it good at being semi-serious, humor-peppered, crowd-pleasing, sports writing? What’s the funniest line in that piece? What’s the best serious (semi or otherwise) insight about the actual games? I get that they have a style, but that doesn’t mean the execution is there. Margery generally pulls it off because he’s funny and he does some research, this piece just comes off as such a lazy version of that. I get that people like it, and going after easy targets like Boston or Jason Whitlock is a surefire crowd pleaser, but I don’t think that makes it good or quality writing.

I think Bill Simmons is a perfect comparison. To the extent he’s still making Teen Wolf references all these years later, he should get criticism about it, despite his success.
I don't know; I certainly don't blame you for not shelling out cash to read it. I'm not. But complaining about Deadspin not being analytical in its preview of a Conference Championship between two mostly-disliked teams is like complaining that your cheesesteak isn't a T-Bone.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I've decided not to give them any money; while I wasted tons of time at Deadspin over the years, by the end I was exhausted from their snark and "you can't enjoy anything because everyone is awful" pieces. I really liked Ratto but the new site appears to be more of the same. I just don't have it in me to subject myself to it again.

And the anti-Boston shtik undoubtedly draws eyes but I'm sick of it. This is admittedly personal but it permeated every single aspect of the old Deadspin and they're going to do more of the same. I'm beyond done with a bunch of New Yorkers shitting on Boston all the time, even if some of it's deserved. I don't want to consume the snark. I'm old and tired and in pain all the time and I need fewer things in my life that piss me off (which probably raises the question of posting on the main board here, but I digress).

Snark is exhausting because it assumes the joke is already made and goes directly for the pile-on afterwards. They have talented writers, I wish they'd avoid more of it, but hey, it's their fully-owned website now and if that's what pays the bills then Godspeed.

EDIT: the comments are more of the try-hards than ever before. I do wish the site luck but I've moved into a phase in my life where I don't want what they have to offer.
 
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Smiling Joe Hesketh

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OK, I went over to look. I mean here we've got an unexpected team battling their way into the Stanley Cup final with their backup goalie putting on a show every night, and here's their piece:

The Dallas Stars have lurched their way into the Stanley Cup Final.

The majority of minutes in their Conference Final series with Vegas was pretty dull to watch, but thanks to a few well-timed bursts of scoring, the Dallas Stars have won the West in a mere five games. Despite that impressive feat, they’ll likely head into the Cup Final as severe underdogs no matter who they play, and as rude as it may sound, it’s hard not to feel like we deserve better than what they have to offer.
I watched that entire series and the very last thing I would use describe it was "dull." It was damn exciting, and tense, and had tons of storylines. Dobby is stealing the games every night and they got tons of timely and overtime scoring from their captain and a whole bunch of Finns and Defector is "Yawn."

Aug 9: Pavelski goal with 32 seconds left
Aug 13: Oleksiak goal with 40 seconds
Aug 16: Pavelski goal with 12 seconds, Radulov goal in OT
Sept 4: Kiviranta goal with 3:30, again in OT
Sept 10: Radulov goal in OT
Sept. 14: Kiviranta goal with 3:47, Gurianov in OT

Defector: "Yawn."

Funny thing is that the Blues did this very thing last year and Old Deadspin loved them. Maybe that's because Barry wrote those pieces and he didn't write this one, but still.

This is what I mean by "you can't enjoy anything." It's snarky. It actively takes away enjoyment of sports. This is not what I want to fill my life with.

Others may differ and that's cool. But I'm not giving them my money.
 

Scoops Bolling

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OK, I went over to look. I mean here we've got an unexpected team battling their way into the Stanley Cup final with their backup goalie putting on a show every night, and here's their piece:

The Dallas Stars have lurched their way into the Stanley Cup Final.



I watched that entire series and the very last thing I would use describe it was "dull." It was damn exciting, and tense, and had tons of storylines. Dobby is stealing the games every night and they got tons of timely and overtime scoring from their captain and a whole bunch of Finns and Defector is "Yawn."

Aug 9: Pavelski goal with 32 seconds left
Aug 13: Oleksiak goal with 40 seconds
Aug 16: Pavelski goal with 12 seconds, Radulov goal in OT
Sept 4: Kiviranta goal with 3:30, again in OT
Sept 10: Radulov goal in OT
Sept. 14: Kiviranta goal with 3:47, Gurianov in OT

Defector: "Yawn."

Funny thing is that the Blues did this very thing last year and Old Deadspin loved them. Maybe that's because Barry wrote those pieces and he didn't write this one, but still.

This is what I mean by "you can't enjoy anything." It's snarky. It actively takes away enjoyment of sports. This is not what I want to fill my life with.

Others may differ and that's cool. But I'm not giving them my money.
On this note, I wonder if Defector will struggle because of how the zeitgeist has shifted from that cynicism that Deadspin did so well in the aughts, to the "wholesome" fad that's taken over. What they did obviously worked out incredibly well before, but I do wonder if sticking to that formula is still a recipe for success anymore.
 

Kliq

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Mar 31, 2013
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I don't think there is a "wholesome" fad in online commentary, but I do think the cynicism that made Deadspin popular hasn't aged well, if only because cynicism, for a variety of different reasons, has become more of a default position for many people, so it doesn't stand out as much anymore.
 

Leskanic's Thread

lost underscore
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Jul 16, 2005
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It's also possible that more and more people are seeing the our decaying world and a corrupted society as, at least somewhat, an end-result of standard internet cynicism. If nothing matters, then why care? Why vote? Why not believe in this or that conspiracy or let some group be targeted for death and torture? Nothing matters, man.

That's obviously a huge leap...but right now, when things are as bad as they are, even a hint of cynicism or nihilism turns me off. There's too much that does matter.
 

joe dokes

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I don't think there is a "wholesome" fad in online commentary, but I do think the cynicism that made Deadspin popular hasn't aged well, if only because cynicism, for a variety of different reasons, has become more of a default position for many people, so it doesn't stand out as much anymore.
To me (cynical before it was popular!) what stands out is that the writing, cynical though it may be, is very good. YMMV. Magary, McKenna, Moskovitz, Nathan and Ratto stand out.
 

nighthob

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Jul 15, 2005
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It's semi-serious, humor-peppered, crowd-pleasing, sports writing. That's 80% of what Deadspin was, and lots of people like it. If you're sensitive to the anti-Boston shtick, it's not for you.
Deadspin Lite is comedy for the humor challenged. They're literally Madlibs. Check that, Madlibs are funnier because at least there's an occasional surprise.
 

Leather

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Jul 18, 2005
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Deadspin Lite is comedy for the humor challenged. They're literally Madlibs. Check that, Madlibs are funnier because at least there's an occasional surprise.
As someone said above, they became far too reliant on snark. Like its close cousin sarcasm, it’s a really shallow form of commentary that only rises to the level of truly funny if it’s deployed in the right circumstances, and not too frequently. Too much and it’s just a bunch of malcontents nodding at each other.
 

nighthob

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Jul 15, 2005
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As someone said above, they became far too reliant on snark. Like its close cousin sarcasm, it’s a really shallow form of commentary that only rises to the level of truly funny if it’s deployed in the right circumstances, and not too frequently. Too much and it’s just a bunch of malcontents nodding at each other.
Snark can be funny, when it catches you off guard. The problem is that their snark is utterly predictable. Show me the topic and the first line of a Deadspin/Deadspin Lite article and I can write the remainder in less than ten minutes.
 

CarolinaBeerGuy

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Mar 14, 2006
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Snark can be funny, when it catches you off guard. The problem is that their snark is utterly predictable. Show me the topic and the first line of a Deadspin/Deadspin Lite article and I can write the remainder in less than ten minutes.
Here ya go:


Old Man Goran Dragic Has The Juice For The World-Beating Miami Heat

Goran Dragic led the Heat with 25 points in their Game 2 comeback win over the Boston Celtics Thursday night.