Grantland

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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If that post from Bill James was the only good thing about Grantland, it would be good enough. That's EXACTLY what I want in sportswriting. Creative, analytical, enjoyable, erudite, everything.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Molly Lambert has to be the worst writer on Grantland, right? Unless they're predominantly placed, I don't read the bylines of the stories I read, so I click on her stuff every once in awhile and it's pure, over-written drivel trying to be witty and smart.

It's nothing but a morass of consanents and vowels arranged in ways to look like words.

I wish that she'd just go the fuck away.
 

gtg807y

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Molly Lambert has to be the worst writer on Grantland, right? Unless they're predominantly placed, I don't read the bylines of the stories I read, so I click on her stuff every once in awhile and it's pure, over-written drivel trying to be witty and smart.

It's nothing but a morass of consanents and vowels arranged in ways to look like words.

I wish that she'd just go the fuck away.
Absolutely, and if you remember she wrote one of the few preview articles (some putrid summer movie preview) that were released before the site launched. It seemed like she was going to be one of the featured writers at first, but appears to have been quickly relegated to blog posts only*. Maybe I'm projecting my views, but I assumed it was because the editors quickly realized she was awful.

*From looking at all her articles, her last piece that wasn't under the "Hollywood Prospectus" label was from last August.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I agree gtg. From my perception I have a feeling that they were going to push her as the female Grantland writer, but her preview piece was so bad that they backed away from her. Furthermore they lucked into getting Katie Baker who is a. a much better writer and b. isn't stupid. IIRC, Lambert's first Grantland piece was something that had to do with sports, right? She hasn't written anything about athletics since then and is stuck covering the gossip/pop beat.
 

Shelterdog

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Molly Lambert is off-the-charts hot for a cultural writer (yes, it's an easy scale, but still).

But I'm sure that Simmons wouldn't let that influence his thinking.
 

JBill

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I agree gtg. From my perception I have a feeling that they were going to push her as the female Grantland writer, but her preview piece was so bad that they backed away from her. Furthermore they lucked into getting Katie Baker who is a. a much better writer and b. isn't stupid. IIRC, Lambert's first Grantland piece was something that had to do with sports, right? She hasn't written anything about athletics since then and is stuck covering the gossip/pop beat.
I think it was about movies, Baker wrote a sports preview piece, which also kind of sucked, but she's obviously shown herself to be very good since then. I think they gave Lambert a chance, she just hasn't taken advantage of it. For my money, she's not the very worst at Grantland, that has been Carles. He's also faded into the background a bit, thankfully.

I think Klosterman hired her, FWIW, but I don't think it had anything to do with her looks.
 

soxfan121

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JMOH, Lambert is and always has been a pop culture writer; she has yet to contribute anything remotely connected to sports - Boardwalk Empire, True Blood & Mad Men recaps, pop music columns and commentary about Hollywood. I'm not a big fan of her writing but comparing her to Katie Baker is unfair. Is she as terrible as Rembert Browne or Carles? These are her peers, not Baker.

And this piece made me laugh. I love a good "I'll cut you" reference.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Ok, you guys are probably correct about Lambert not writing about sports. I probably misremembered, but I think that Browne is a far better writer than her (I like his "Rembert Browne Explains the 80s Stuff") and Carles has one or two things that I've sorta liked.

Molly Lambert is off-the-charts hot for a cultural writer (yes, it's an easy scale, but still).
Wait. What? This may be a bad picture, but off-the-charts hot don't take bad photos.

 

JBill

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Is she as terrible as Rembert Browne or Carles? These are her peers, not Baker.
Out of their bloggers, I like Rembert and Chris Ryan the most. Andy Greenwald has grown on me.

My favorite writer overall there is still Brian Phillips, even though he mostly writes about soccer, tennis, and OSU football, none of which I follow closely.

I wonder if they're going to add another football guy? Barnwell's OK, and I love the Smart Football breakdowns, but I think they should have another football writer.
 

The Social Chair

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Lambert had a rough start but I've liked her stuff recently. She's pretty funny to me and I know she's very popular in certain circles, but I could totally see a disconnect for people of a certain age.

Their twitter feed said they hired Alex Pappademas full time. That guy is really funny.
 

Shelterdog

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Ok, you guys are probably correct about Lambert not writing about sports. I probably misremembered, but I think that Browne is a far better writer than her (I like his "Rembert Browne Explains the 80s Stuff") and Carles has one or two things that I've sorta liked.



Wait. What? This may be a bad picture, but off-the-charts hot don't take bad photos.

Off the charts hot for a cultural writer. Which is like a seven. (Or a 2 on the DukeSox scale).

http://youngmanhatta...lambert_150.jpg

It's also a totally sexist and unfair thing of me to say that she got hired for her looks. Her resume is good and maybe she interviews well. I just don't understand how she got hired based on her writing.
 

Dehere

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Off the charts hot for a cultural writer. Which is like a seven.
Man, this does not speak well for the pool of cultural writers out there.

You know who's cuter than Molly Lambert, and more insightful and just a better writer? Virginia Heffernan from the Times.

Anyway, back to Grantland. I thought Jay Caspian Kang's piece on Jeremy Lin was surprisingly quite good. I haven't liked anything I've read from him previously and I was reluctant to even click the link. I only checked it out because I was at the end of a long commute home and was out of things to read. Turned out to be one of the better things I've read on Lin so far.
 

soxfan121

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Yeah, Chris Ryan's weekly EPL wrap-up has become a must-read for me. I enjoy Ryan's work.
 

page 2 protege

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JBill

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It may be because Grantland is shitty to navigate or because I'm fucking stupid (probably this), but it took me awhile to stumble upon Max Silvestri's We Found It On Watch Instantly series. His stuff is hilarious.
Even better were his Celebrity Cook-off recaps for Grantland: http://www.grantland...-off-apocalypse

"Look, maybe Aaron Carter has never done any meth. Probably, right? All I'm saying is that also maybe he's done ALL of it."
 

JBill

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Jap Caspian King's piece today on Linsanity and the fucked up headlines/tweets was really solid.
That was very good, between this and his first Lin piece, he's had the best take on Linsanity and all its angles that I've seen. And I wasn't really a big fan of his writing before this.

In contrast is Pierce's Lin article for Grantland:

It's just that I'm supposed to have a "take" on this whole Jeremy Lin business and, frankly, I don't have one. So I'm going to write up my take on not having a take.
That's an actual quote from the column. That sure makes me want to continue reading...
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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That wasn't Pierce's best, to be honest. And it was a day later than his stuff normally runs.

I think that he got writer's block and tried to bust his way out of it.
 

dirtynine

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It's interesting though, to think about whether there's a difference between having writer's block and legitimately not having anything to add to a story. If you're a columnist, I guess they're one in the same.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I called it writer's block because if he had another idea for a story to write, he would have written it. Framing a piece by admitting that you don't having anything to say about a subject is what writers do when they're on deadline and can't think of anything else to write about.
 

JBill

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They really do an excellent job with these oral histories. This one is about the Pacers-Pistons-fans brawl:

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7612311/an-oral-history-malice-palace

Lots of good quotes, I enjoyed this exchange:

Jackson: After we calmed down, [Artest] looked at me like, "Jack, you think we going to get in trouble?" Jamaal Tinsley fell out laughing. I said, "Are you serious, bro? Trouble? Ron, we'll be lucky if we have a freaking job." That lets me know he wasn't in his right mind, to ask that question.

Pollard: That's 100 percent true. We laughed our asses off about that. "Yeah, Ron. Yeah, there are going to be some problems, buddy. You hit a fan." I couldn't believe it. He was in shock that what he had just done was bad. I don't know what his mentality is like on the inside, but outside looking in, you can sit there and say, "Wow. That's trippy that somebody can go through that type of experience and wonder if there's going to be repercussions."
 

Dehere

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Just read the transcript and thought BS did a great job. Obama knows his basketball.

I'm disappointed in the Obama presidency but anytime I see or read him in a setting like this I'm reminded of how much I like the guy. He just seems like a guy that had he never gone into high-profile politics you'd love to have him as a neighbor or a colleague.
 

Clears Cleaver

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Molly Lambert is off-the-charts hot for a cultural writer (yes, it's an easy scale, but still).

But I'm sure that Simmons wouldn't let that influence his thinking.
Lambert was a Klosterman hiring and it may have been entirely due to his desire to have sex with her
 

teddykgb

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They really do an excellent job with these oral histories. This one is about the Pacers-Pistons-fans brawl:

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7612311/an-oral-history-malice-palace

Lots of good quotes, I enjoyed this exchange:
Really was very good, and Jermaine O'Neal doesn't exactly bathe himself in glory in the article, one of the few guys who seemed less convinced than others that he did nothing wrong. But he did at least make up for it a bit in the end with his comments about the city. It's really weird to hear those guys talk about how they were worried about getting killed and all that stuff. It makes enough sense, i guess, but it also seems like a bit of an overreaction. Quite a chorus of it in the story, though, so there must be something to it.
 

SuperManny

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Really was very good, and Jermaine O'Neal doesn't exactly bathe himself in glory in the article, one of the few guys who seemed less convinced than others that he did nothing wrong. But he did at least make up for it a bit in the end with his comments about the city. It's really weird to hear those guys talk about how they were worried about getting killed and all that stuff. It makes enough sense, i guess, but it also seems like a bit of an overreaction. Quite a chorus of it in the story, though, so there must be something to it.
This video is awful quality but it is the longest version of the fight that I could find and includes a breakdown by ESPN afterwards. While I think they may be overstating the threat to their lives I'm sure at the time they all felt extremely threatened.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-169695640295285298
 

Toe Nash

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The Wire "tournament" they have going on is kind of dumb in a lazy way, kind of like making lists: it doesn't involve a lot of effort on their part and generates a lot of discussion, and no one can really be right or wrong. But what's bugging me is that they set up the bracket wrong.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7646862/smacketology-#8212-tournament-determine-wire-greatest-character

The #1 and #2 seeds are supposed to be on opposite ends of the bracket so that they don't meet until the semi-finals. They way they've set it up, the #1 and #2 could meet in the second round.
 

Grin&MartyBarret

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The Wire "tournament" they have going on is kind of dumb in a lazy way, kind of like making lists: it doesn't involve a lot of effort on their part and generates a lot of discussion, and no one can really be right or wrong. But what's bugging me is that they set up the bracket wrong.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7646862/smacketology-#8212-tournament-determine-wire-greatest-character

The #1 and #2 seeds are supposed to be on opposite ends of the bracket so that they don't meet until the semi-finals. They way they've set it up, the #1 and #2 could meet in the second round.
Maybe I just have odd taste, but there's some weird seedings there, right?

How is Serge Malatov a 6 seed? They think he has a better chance of wining than Bubbles, Brother Mouzone, or Cheese?
 

Toe Nash

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Maybe I just have odd taste, but there's some weird seedings there, right?

How is Serge Malatov a 6 seed? They think he has a better chance of wining than Bubbles, Brother Mouzone, or Cheese?
I agree with this point, too.

I think they fixed the problem with the matchups. It's really frustrating that they still don't edit things until they are already published, and change them an hour later or so.
 

JBill

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Nah, the soup tournament they had going on was dumb, this is great, but I agree with the wacky seedlings. Clay Davis a two seed is way too high.
 

Fishercat

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The 2-7 upset potential is so out there. Mike will probably topple Cheese as will Prop Joe over Frank, but two police-side favorites (Kima and Bubs) as seven seeds against Marlo and Clay?

The seeding as a whole are wacky. Too many to really go over all of them, but considering how central Daniels was to the plot, a six seed against McNulty in R1 is nuts. The absence of Carver seems odd to me. Serge getting in over several other people, nevermind as a six seed, is nuts.
 

johnmd20

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The 2-7 upset potential is so out there. Mike will probably topple Cheese as will Prop Joe over Frank, but two police-side favorites (Kima and Bubs) as seven seeds against Marlo and Clay?

The seeding as a whole are wacky. Too many to really go over all of them, but considering how central Daniels was to the plot, a six seed against McNulty in R1 is nuts. The absence of Carver seems odd to me. Serge getting in over several other people, nevermind as a six seed, is nuts.
Daniels a 6 and McNulty a 3 are both horrendous. Bunk as a #1 is also pretty shitty. Wallace as a #4? He died in season 1. Snoop is too high at #3, Cutty is too high at #5, Bubbles is a joke at #7. I guess you will always have complaints but it's like the person setting up these seeds didn't even watch the show.
 

NatetheGreat

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Bunk should clearly be a 2 seed, and I don't see any way Mcnultry isn't a one. Serge is like, an 8 seed, if that. Clay Davis is definitely gonna get a lot of love based on "sheeeiiiittt" alone, but one catch phrase does not a 2 seed make. Sobotka may also be underrated, though season 2 isn't the most popular season so its not that off strictly on popularity.
 

CJM

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I'm liking the East Bawlmore bracket a ton, though. Lester v. Stringer and Bodie v. Marlo are great matchups in the second round. I think I'd make the argument that Bodie deserves to come out of that bracket.

And how can you hate on Snoop at #3 in that bracket? She's the Cadilllac of hitwomen.

In other Grantland news, Pierce continues to swing for the fences by asking us all to own up to our national bloodlust. It's nothing particularly revelatory: we'd prefer not to face our primal delight in the NFL's inherent violence. He does imply that football may have crested in popularity, as participation at earlier ages dwindles due to health and economic concerns.

He also demonstrates again his fine descriptive eye:

Think of all the silly pretensions those revelations deflate. The preposterous prayer circles at midfield. The weepy tinpot patriotism of the flyovers and the martial music. The dime-store Americanism that's draped on anything that moves. The suffocating corporate miasma that attends everything the league does — from the groaning buffet tables at the Super Bowl to the Queegish fascination with headbands and sock lengths while teams are paying "bounties" to tee up the stars of your game so they don't get to play anymore.
Bonus points for The Caine Mutiny reference.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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So i just read today's Smacketology about the Wire and couldn't disagree more with Jay Kang...

Jacob, I totally agree. Bubbles almost didn’t make the field, despite being the sole representative of the addict community. He certainly wasn’t gully, but his guilt over Sherrod’s death and the tenderness he showed Telly from Kids was the necessary, ultimately heartbreaking counterpoint to all the guilt-ridden glamor of The Game.
I think Bubbles was one of the best characters in the show, and in my Bracket, I have him in the elite 8 against Bunk, and I have yet to be able to decide who should move on.

Plus he thinks that Daniels might not have even deserved to be in the tournament, but "Boris" does? And Levy is awesome?
 

JBill

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Much better and more thorough rebuttal bracket by Ken Tremendous:

http://www.grantland.com/blog/hollywood-prospectus/post/_/id/44995/the-mike-schur-rebuttal-bracket-and-some-smacketology-faqetology
 

gammoseditor

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Much better and more thorough rebuttal bracket by Ken Tremendous:

http://www.grantland.com/blog/hollywood-prospectus/post/_/id/44995/the-mike-schur-rebuttal-bracket-and-some-smacketology-faqetology
And in that same link they lay out how they formed the crappy grantland bracket and it was about as dumb and insane as you'd expect.
 

JakeBadlands

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I'm liking the East Bawlmore bracket a ton, though. Lester v. Stringer and Bodie v. Marlo are great matchups in the second round. I think I'd make the argument that Bodie deserves to come out of that bracket.

And how can you hate on Snoop at #3 in that bracket? She's the Cadilllac of hitwomen.

In other Grantland news, Pierce continues to swing for the fences by asking us all to own up to our national bloodlust. It's nothing particularly revelatory: we'd prefer not to face our primal delight in the NFL's inherent violence. He does imply that football may have crested in popularity, as participation at earlier ages dwindles due to health and economic concerns.

He also demonstrates again his fine descriptive eye:

Think of all the silly pretensions those revelations deflate. The preposterous prayer circles at midfield. The weepy tinpot patriotism of the flyovers and the martial music. The dime-store Americanism that's draped on anything that moves. The suffocating corporate miasma that attends everything the league does — from the groaning buffet tables at the Super Bowl to the Queegish fascination with headbands and sock lengths while teams are paying "bounties" to tee up the stars of your game so they don't get to play anymore.
Bonus points for The Caine Mutiny reference.
This kind of writing is exactly what I hate about Grantland. Could he lay that prose on any thicker? "Silly pretensions," "preposterous prayer circles," "weepy tinpot patriotism," "dime-store Americanism [did he mean Americana?]," "suffocating corporate miasma," "groaning buffet tables." Jesus H., man. We get it; you're better, smarter, and more enlightened than these proles. You don't have to whip it out and smack us in the face with it. And also football fans (and Americans!) are fat!

I think a lot of these things are silly, too, but this piece only exists so he and his readers can revel in their wistful judgment of the football-viewing masses. Alas, that they have not reached our Olympian heights of intellect and masturbatory blogging...
 

Toe Nash

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This kind of writing is exactly what I hate about Grantland. Could he lay that prose on any thicker? "Silly pretensions," "preposterous prayer circles," "weepy tinpot patriotism," "dime-store Americanism [did he mean Americana?]," "suffocating corporate miasma," "groaning buffet tables." Jesus H., man. We get it; you're better, smarter, and more enlightened than these proles. You don't have to whip it out and smack us in the face with it. And also football fans (and Americans!) are fat!

I think a lot of these things are silly, too, but this piece only exists so he and his readers can revel in their wistful judgment of the football-viewing masses. Alas, that they have not reached our Olympian heights of intellect and masturbatory blogging...
To be fair, that's mainly Pierce and his style. It is extremely bombastic and supercilious, but some people like it (Just like some people like John Updike's overwrought prose in "Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu"). I agree that it's probably offputting to the majority of Grantland's readers who I assume go there because of Simmons.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Pierce's piece posted on Monday's Grantland was awesome. If you feel that words are too highfalutin and over written, then I'm sure you could find Tucker Max' latest screed somewhere on the internet. Because honestly, Jake, your post says more about you as a reader than it does about Pierce as a writer.

And no, he didn't mean Americana. He meant Americanism.
 

Shelterdog

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Because honestly, Jake, your post says more about you as a reader than it does about Pierce as a writer.
You don't think Jake is just a Hemmingway-loving guy who likes his whiskey straight and his prose taut?

Pierce is a really self-indulgent stylist but there's nothing wrong with that if you've got the chops. And Pierce does.
 

Toe Nash

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Pierce's piece posted on Monday's Grantland was awesome. If you feel that words are too highfalutin and over written, then I'm sure you could find Tucker Max' latest screed somewhere on the internet. Because honestly, Jake, your post says more about you as a reader than it does about Pierce as a writer.

And no, he didn't mean Americana. He meant Americanism.
There's no reason to assume someone criticizing Pierce's prose is unintelligent or non-literary. Unless this post is tongue-in-cheek.

There can be something wrong with that kind of prose. It obviously speaks to a very specific audience (people who understand or are willing to look up the big words) and it turns off some readers. At its best it's precisely choosing words to say exactly what you mean, but at its worst it's merely a signal that the writer has a big vocabulary. Pierce generally is the former, but as I noted I wonder how many readers who went to Grantland because of Simmons just kind of glaze over at that kind of stuff and miss Pierce's overall point, which is a worthwhile one.

Those were by far the most flowery few sentences in the whole piece, though.