Grantland

CreightonGubanich

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Pierce is certainly a talented writer, but I find his prose extremely overwrought and tedious. And it's not because I lack an appreciation of the English language; I enjoy that style in other contexts (Updike included). But for whatever reason, I find when Pierce does it, it comes across as forced, like he's shoehorning in obscure references and adjectives not to convey his overall point more clearly, but to give his work what he thinks is some sort of grand tone.
 

JimD

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Justin Halpern's piece today about the Chargers is a must-read.
 

cromulence

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I don't know - I can't escape the fact that it's the guy behind Shit My Dad Says. Viewed in that light, it doesn't really ring true to me - more like how the caricature of his dad reacted, down to some of the phrasing ("He took a swing at this fella and got a beer bottle to the head, like an asshole. Which, for future reference, is the only way you can get a beer bottle to the head: like an asshole". *rimshot*)

Also, his dad sounds like a complete asshole. It's a fucking bottle of bourbon.
 

fairlee76

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I don't know - I can't escape the fact that it's the guy behind Shit My Dad Says. Viewed in that light, it doesn't really ring true to me - more like how the caricature of his dad reacted, down to some of the phrasing ("He took a swing at this fella and got a beer bottle to the head, like an asshole. Which, for future reference, is the only way you can get a beer bottle to the head: like an asshole". *rimshot*)

Also, his dad sounds like a complete asshole. It's a fucking bottle of bourbon.
Yeah, that seems entirely too perfect. And I think most of us in our 30s get that super fans care more about the games than most pro athletes do. And that is on the super fans, not on the athletes.
 

soxfan121

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Rembert Browne's foray onto Juggalobook is worth the read.

I gotta admit - he's much better than I thought initially. I found his deconstruction of Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me" to be incredibly funny.
 

JakeBadlands

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Aug 4, 2005
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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.
LOL, sir.

I think you've made my point.

It has nothing to do with the size of the words, but their volume. The prose is practically purple. It's masturbatory. And the fact that your first reaction to my post is to declare your intellectual superiority to me, well, again: you've made my point. :fap:
 

backpeddling

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Jul 15, 2005
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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.
Is butthurt in Pierce's vocabulary?
 

Reverend

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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.
As to the first bolded, not to speak for JMOH, but I think the real issue was the notion that the point of the prose was intended just so that some people can feel superior; there's a kind of immature self-absorption that reads something like Pierce and makes it about oneself, that comes away from a piece like that thinking, "Oh, so you think you're better than me?"

As to the latter, I think the extra flower of that section was intentional, as he is critiquing the over-wrought nature of the NFL's highly intentionally cultivated image and uses that rhetoric to bring the, for want of a better word, bs of that imagery into high relief. Which is to say that I think Pierce operates at a very high level.


Pierce is certainly a talented writer, but I find his prose extremely overwrought and tedious. And it's not because I lack an appreciation of the English language; I enjoy that style in other contexts (Updike included). But for whatever reason, I find when Pierce does it, it comes across as forced, like he's shoehorning in obscure references and adjectives not to convey his overall point more clearly, but to give his work what he thinks is some sort of grand tone.
Interesting. I never thought of him as being anything but precise, which is to say that I think it does help to convey his point more clearly because the point he wishes to make is itself so precise. But reasonable people can disagree.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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LOL, sir.

I think you've made my point.

It has nothing to do with the size of the words, but their volume. The prose is practically purple. It's masturbatory. And the fact that your first reaction to my post is to declare your intellectual superiority to me, well, again: you've made my point. :fap:
I'm not sure how I made your point (but the LOL and masturbating GIF are HI-larious!) and really, that's not exactly what you argued in your first post. In case you forgot, here's what you wrote:

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!

What you are implying here is that Pierce's main reason for writing this article is to prove that he's smarter than everyone else. Do you really believe that to be true? The guy is in his, what?, fifth decade of writing and the only reason why he's scribbling is because he's trying to prove that he's smarter than other people. That's ridiculous. There's only one reason why you would write that and that's because you don't understand what he's trying to say. The words are too highfalutin to regular folk. And that's bullshit.

Pierce is probably the best writer on the Grantland staff by a country mile, so asking him to dumb down a story, is not why he was hired. He was actually hired to do what he's doing now, bring Grantland's prose up a few notches. And this is an honest question, if this is what you hate most about Grantland, who else writes like him? Because I'd like to read more writers like him.

BTW:

Americana -- (often used with a plural verb ) books, papers, maps, etc., relating to America, especially to its history, culture, and geography.

Americanism -- 1. a custom, trait, or thing peculiar to the United States of America or its citizens.


2. a word, phrase, or other language feature that is especially characteristic of the English language as spoken or written in the U.S.
3. devotion to or preference for the U.S. and its institutions.
4. anything, as a custom or word, peculiar to America.


In this case, Pierce is using the third definition of Americanism and is using it correctly.

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...
Oh for Christ sakes, just stop it. Pierce's piece was showing the hypocrisy of the NFL and specifically the powers that run the league. He is not casting any judgment on the players and the fans. And he's 1000% correct. Roger Goodell talks about the safety of the players being paramount one minute and the next minute, he's talking about an 18-game schedule. One minute Goodell is wrapping himself in the ideals of the American way and the next minute he's fining players because their socks are an inch too low. NFL productions show their fans hours and hours of "big hits" and predicate their marketing on players being warriors who play a violent game and then they act aghast when the same players put bounties on other players.

And none of this is exactly stop-the-presses stuff. All sports are exercises in hypocrisy, but no one closes their eyes and react to it quite like the NFL.
 

Reverend

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I've decided to only read writers who are dumber than me.


Edit: I think it's working--I feel great about myself!!
 

Reverend

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Where should I mail my drafts to, then?
I still haven't fully digested your drunk PM about Steve Jobs--which is still the single the best thing I've read on the subject, by the way (although I admit I have not read the biography).
 

Leather

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Jul 18, 2005
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"Cur"? Whatdya think you're better than me?

"Douchebag" not good enough for ya?
 

JakeBadlands

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You keep making my point, JMOH, especially with this patronizing bit about the definition of "Americanism."

I made a comment about the article that you're free to disagree with; in fact, Ripley made a good counter-argument, that perhaps the florid style of the article was a commentary on the equally over-the-top nature of the NFL itself. Fair point.

You, though, referred me to "Tucker Max' [sic] latest screed," and to the dictionary. Again, a personal attack on me and my intellect. Why? It has nothing to do with the merits of the article. Your central thesis continues to be "you don't like Pierce because you're stupid and/or threatened by his intellect." I've posted less than half-a-hundred times; what do you know about my intellect or my interests?

My personal conjecture is that your behavior is explained pretty well by people like Chomsky and McLuhan, and by applying the signaling theory of evolutionary biology to message boarding. You want the tribe (the rest of SoSH) to recognize your a.) intellectual superiority, and b.) your status as moderator. And a no-name lurker is easy to beat up on.

But that's just some pompous, highfalutin', bullshit spit-balling I picked up reading Tucker Max and watching re-runs of the Ricki Lake Show.

(Edited for typos, because Safari really isn't enjoying the reply function)
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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You keep making my point, JMOH, especially with this patronizing bit about the definition of "Americanism."

I made a comment about the article that you're free to disagree with; in fact, Ripley made a good counter-argument, that perhaps the florid style of the article was a commentary on the equally over-the-top nature of the NFL itself. Fair point.

You, though, referred me to "Tucker Max' [sic] latest screed," and to the dictionary. Again, a personal attack on me and my intellect. Why? It has nothing to do with the merits of the article. Your central thesis continues to be "you don't like Pierce because you're stupid and/or threatened by his intellect." I've posted less than half-a-hundred times; what do you know about my intellect or my interests?

My personal conjecture is that your behavior is explained pretty well by people like Chomsky and McLuhan, and by applying the signaling theory of evolutionary biology to message boarding. You want the tribe (the rest of SoSH) to recognize your a.) intellectual superiority, and b.) your status as moderator. And a no-name lurker is easy to beat up on.

But that's just some pompous, highfalutin', bullshit spit-balling I picked up reading Tucker Max and watching re-runs of the Ricki Lake Show.

(Edited for typos, because Safari really isn't enjoying the reply function)
Meh. I'm bored of talking about this.
 

JimBoSox9

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I don't know much, but I'm fair sure JMOH doesn't give two shits about what "the tribe" thinks of him. I mean, if he did, he'd post smarter stuff, amiright WHAMMY!
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Dr.Leather is unfinchingly polite and has an appetite for poutine that you wouldn't believe. Plus, he hates Nicaraguans.
 

BS_SoxFan

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Based on a lot of the comments in this thread, I've done all I can to avoid Molly Lambert's writing on Grantland. This morning I made the mistake of reading her "recap" of the season premier of Mad Men. It reads like a 4th grade book report. "Then Don did this. Then Megan did this. Then Roger did this." She is really awful, especially when compared to someone like Alan Sepinwall who, you know, actually provides some analysis of the episode, as opposed to just providing you with a shitty scene-by-scene retelling of the show. First and last time I'll be reading any of her Mad Men-related stuff.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Recently, there have been two things that have bothered me about Grantland:

1. Didn't Simmons make a big deal about 28 games in 28 days at the Staples Center? Wasn't he or one of his writers going to cover every game there? He did three days in a row and I haven't seen anything since then.

2. Why do they keep burying Jonah Keri's baseball previews? It's getting annoying.

Speaking of annoying disappearances, there was a wrestling column last week that I couldn't read at the time I saw it and was coming back for it. However, I can't find it any more. Was I imagining the piece?
 

JBill

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Aug 17, 2001
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Here are the 28 days later articles, they're being published on the sports blog: http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/category/_/name/28-days-later

You can go to the "contributors" link if you know the specific writer to look for their last published piece. Wrestling piece: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7722435/on-john-cena-rock-conversation-heavy-road-wrestlemania-xxviii

I am similarly bummed Molly Lambert is doing the Mad Men recaps, I thought it would be Andy Greenwald. I enjoyed the Mad Men Power Rankings, and hope they keep that up, but will not be reading the recaps.
 

FungosWithJimy

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I am similarly bummed Molly Lambert is doing the Mad Men recaps, I thought it would be Andy Greenwald. I enjoyed the Mad Men Power Rankings, and hope they keep that up, but will not be reading the recaps.
My only issue with Greenwald is that he has that "I hate everything I'm reviewing" aura about him. I like critical analysis, but he seems to take it to a whole new level.
 

soxfan121

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I wonder how long Sepinwall's contract at HitFix runs - seems like the perfect addition to the Grantland roster.
 

TheGazelle

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Here are the 28 days later articles, they're being published on the sports blog: http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/category/_/name/28-days-later

You can go to the "contributors" link if you know the specific writer to look for their last published piece. Wrestling piece: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7722435/on-john-cena-rock-conversation-heavy-road-wrestlemania-xxviii

I am similarly bummed Molly Lambert is doing the Mad Men recaps, I thought it would be Andy Greenwald. I enjoyed the Mad Men Power Rankings, and hope they keep that up, but will not be reading the recaps.
Grantland still does a terrible job of putting articles in front of you unless you know where to look or are on the site 5 times a day. I know they reworked it once, but I think they still have more work to do.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Here are the 28 days later articles, they're being published on the sports blog: http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/category/_/name/28-days-later

You can go to the "contributors" link if you know the specific writer to look for their last published piece. Wrestling piece: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7722435/on-john-cena-rock-conversation-heavy-road-wrestlemania-xxviii

I am similarly bummed Molly Lambert is doing the Mad Men recaps, I thought it would be Andy Greenwald. I enjoyed the Mad Men Power Rankings, and hope they keep that up, but will not be reading the recaps.
Thank you for that J. I swear that I looked at the "You May Have Missed It" link three or four times over the last two days and couldn't find the wrestling piece and I couldn't remember the author's name (I wasn't sure if he wrote under "The Masked Man" or his real name). As for the 28 Days thing, I'm not sure why they're burying it.

Thanks again.

To Gazelle's point, I wish that Grantland grouped their articles in a similar fashion to how Deadspin does its Blog view.

And Molly Lambert is by far, the worst writer on that site.
 

JBill

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Thank you for that J. I swear that I looked at the "You May Have Missed It" link three or four times over the last two days and couldn't find the wrestling piece and I couldn't remember the author's name (I wasn't sure if he wrote under "The Masked Man" or his real name). As for the 28 Days thing, I'm not sure why they're burying it.
What they need is a subject archive in addition to a daily archive, that would make things much easier to find, especially if you don't know the author name. I don't think they're burying the 28 days things, I think it's more that Simmons wrote the first few, and almost everything he writes gets front page treatment regardless of what it is, so it seems like it disappeared.

My only issue with Greenwald is that he has that "I hate everything I'm reviewing" aura about him. I like critical analysis, but he seems to take it to a whole new level.
I felt this way at first too. I think it's really that he just loathes the Walking Dead, he is pretty fair otherwise.

I admit I've warmed up to him after listening to a couple of podcasts he's done for Grantland. I thought he was just hyper critical for the sake of being different and ornery, which turned me off, but he's pretty thoughtful and measured. That's why I was hoping he'd recap Mad Men, not Lambert.
 

Gravistar

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I think the writer who's most impressed me lately (maybe because of how much he's improved) is Jay Caspian Kang. All his NBA writing lately has been spot-on. The Harrison Barnes and Cousins vs. Wall pieces were great and made me reevaluate how I think about those athletes. I like how he writes about his hometown SF teams, and while I'm not that crazy about his American Idol obsession, it seems like he's now an indispensable part of the site.

He's basically the anti-Lambert. (Can't they just make Lambert write music reviews or something? I can't stand the tabloid thing she does, or her True Blood recaps.)
 

TheYellowDart5

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Lambert's recaps are already bad thanks to the fact that they're nothing but a literal list of what happened in the episode with no opinion. But they're made infinitely worse by the thoughtful, well-written recaps produced by Alan Sepinwall at HitFix and Todd Van Der Werff at the AV Club. They both run circles around her.
 

johnmd20

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Lambert's recaps are already bad thanks to the fact that they're nothing but a literal list of what happened in the episode with no opinion. But they're made infinitely worse by the thoughtful, well-written recaps produced by Alan Sepinwall at HitFix and Todd Van Der Werff at the AV Club. They both run circles around her.
It is a wide chasm between Sepinwall and Lambert. Even Television Without Pity's recaps crush what Lambert has to say, even though TV Without Pity does recaps in a "this is what happened" kind of outline. At least there is some commentary that is funny on Pity. Lambert is just difficult to read because it's mostly chaff with very little wheat.
 

JimD

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Sepinwall was pretty much the Bill Simmons of TV recaps - his must-read Monday recaps of The Sopranos in the Newark Star-Ledger were the first of their type I can remember.
 

Shelterdog

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Sepinwall was pretty much the Bill Simmons of TV recaps - his must-read Monday recaps of The Sopranos in the Newark Star-Ledger were the first of their type I can remember.
Sepinwall used to be on the BS report. I assume he was recruited by Grantland but didn't head over for whatever the reasons.
 

DegenerateSoxFan

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Good piece by Jonah Keri on McCourt walking away from the Dodgers franchise with his debts paid off and about a billion bucks in his pocket. How this shitbird wins out is one of those things that make me hope that there really is an afterlife where people get their just deserts.
 

BS_SoxFan

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Also enjoyed Barnwell's piece on the closing and razing of O'Shea's Casino and the weird holding pattern a lot of the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip find themselves in with the economic downturn.