Grantland

weeba

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anyone hear how the clicks or traffic has been on Grantland so far?
Google trends for grantland: http://www.google.com/trends?q=grantland&ctab=0&geo=all&date=mtd&sort=0

Grantland was around 1 on June 5, jumped to 6 on June 8, and down to 3 by June 12

Google trends for grantland.com: http://www.google.com/trends?q=grantland.com&ctab=0&geo=all&date=mtd&sort=0

For reference, ESPN is around 200
 

weeba

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Also, a good NPR post on Grantland; http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2011/06/08/137057134/grantland-can-longer-reads-hold-up-in-a-hit-and-run-world
 

weeba

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The Masked Wrestler (writing for Deadspin and Grantland) is David Shoemaker:

http://twitter.com/#!/AKATheMaskedMan

I can't find much more information on him yet.
 

The Talented Allen Ripley

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I'm under 70, and I had no trouble at all recognizing the name Grantland Rice. And what his covering golf has to do with anything is a bit baffling. He was known for a whole lot more than writing about golf. He coined the nickname "Four Horseman of Notre Dame". He's a JG Taylor Spink award winner. He was the first well known syndicated sports columnist in the country. He was a champion of professional sports in a time where sports professionals were looked down upon by the snooty elites of society (including and perhaps especially in the sport of golf).

I'm not saying I speak for everyone under the age of 70, but folks who are going to frequent Grantland.com are also folks who likely have an idea who Grantland Rice was. And if they don't know, I don't think they're going to be bothered or confused by the origins of the name of the site.
All of this. I'm 40. I had heard of Grantland Rice and read his more famous works by the time I was 13 or 14. I don't say that to brag or be a Bonger, I say it because it was the obvious development for anyone who liked to read about sports. I'd think the majority of people drawn to a site like SoSH would at least know who he was. I don't expect that out of the general populace, but there's a self-selecting factor here. At least this thread has provided me with a handy reference list of morons I should now ignore.
 

JMDurron

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All of this. I'm 40. I had heard of Grantland Rice and read his more famous works by the time I was 13 or 14. I don't say that to brag or be a Bonger, I say it because it was the obvious development for anyone who liked to read about sports. I'd think the majority of people drawn to a site like SoSH would at least know who he was. I don't expect that out of the general populace, but there's a self-selecting factor here. At least this thread has provided me with a handy reference list of morons I should now ignore.
I'm 30, I like sports, sometimes I even like reading about sports, but if you had just asked me who Grantland Rice was, I could tell you that he was a writer of some kind. I couldn't tell you the first thing about "The Four Horsemen", who he wrote for, or exactly when he wrote. Maybe we should do a poll, but (false consensus effect aside) I don't think that every non-moron here would necessarily know a ton about Grantland Rice if asked about him out of the blue, particularly if the only prompt was "Grantland."
 

Bucknahs Bum Ankle

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I'm 30, I like sports, sometimes I even like reading about sports, but if you had just asked me who Grantland Rice was, I could tell you that he was a writer of some kind. I couldn't tell you the first thing about "The Four Horsemen", who he wrote for, or exactly when he wrote. Maybe we should do a poll, but (false consensus effect aside) I don't think that every non-moron here would necessarily know a ton about Grantland Rice if asked about him out of the blue, particularly if the only prompt was "Grantland."
The name Grantland Rice is familiar to me but if you had asked me a week ago who he was, my best guess probably would have been he was some kind of NCAA basketball phenom who flamed out at the NBA level. For those keeping score, I'm 37 years old and a moron.
 

The Talented Allen Ripley

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I'm 30, I like sports, sometimes I even like reading about sports, but if you had just asked me who Grantland Rice was, I could tell you that he was a writer of some kind. I couldn't tell you the first thing about "The Four Horsemen", who he wrote for, or exactly when he wrote. Maybe we should do a poll, but (false consensus effect aside) I don't think that every non-moron here would necessarily know a ton about Grantland Rice if asked about him out of the blue, particularly if the only prompt was "Grantland."
But you knew of the name and why Simmons's site would be named after him, which is perfectly reasonable. That's the indicator I'm using, which probably wasn't clear in my prior post.

I don't even take issue with anyone who has never heard of Grantland Rice, especially someone whose exposure to sports journalism began in the post-internet era (although, frankly, I'm not sure why... the internet makes Rice's writing more easily found). But what I do take issue with is someone who finds out why Grantland.com is named Grantland.com and still thinks it's a stupid name.
 

URI

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I'm 30, I like sports, sometimes I even like reading about sports, but if you had just asked me who Grantland Rice was, I could tell you that he was a writer of some kind. I couldn't tell you the first thing about "The Four Horsemen", who he wrote for, or exactly when he wrote. Maybe we should do a poll, but (false consensus effect aside) I don't think that every non-moron here would necessarily know a ton about Grantland Rice if asked about him out of the blue, particularly if the only prompt was "Grantland."
I'm 30, I like sports, sometimes I even like reading about sports, but if you asked me who Grandland Rice was, I could tell you that he was a writer about sports and coined "The Four Horsemen" moniker, and tell you the general time period in which he wrote. I hope most non-morons should be able to tell you the Rice reference when the only prompts are "Grantland", and sports writing with a literary bent.

Grantland Rice and Ring Lardner basically invented sports writing in this country. I might be being unfair in assuming most people who care about sports writing would know that, though.
 

The Talented Allen Ripley

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For everyone's edification, Rice's poem "Alumnus Football" gave us what would eventually become the phrase, "It's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game."

Keep coming back, and though the world may romp across your spine,
Let every game's end find you still upon the battling line;
For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name,
He writes - not that you won or lost - but how you played the Game.
 

dolomite133

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But you knew of the name and why Simmons's site would be named after him, which is perfectly reasonable. That's the indicator I'm using, which probably wasn't clear in my prior post.

I don't even take issue with anyone who has never heard of Grantland Rice, especially someone whose exposure to sports journalism began in the post-Internet era. But what I do take issue with is someone who has no idea why Grantland.com is named Grantland.com, then finds out why, and still thinks it's a stupid name.
It's dumb because its opaque. Most people don't know Grantland Rice. He's not on the top of everyone's tongue like, say, William Randolph Hearst of Joseph Pulitzer of Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite. Modern sports readers and writers are probably more familiar with (and influenced by) the people they read while they were growing up like (and I'm just throwing out famous names, not necessarily my favorites) Peter Gammons, Will McDonough, Bob Ryan, Frank DeFord, Jon Feinstein, Dick Schaap and, dare I say it, Bil Simmons.

I don't think ESPN is interested in created a low traffic, niche site. So it's mystifying why they would essentially brand it as such.
 

JMDurron

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Grantland Rice and Ring Lardner basically invented sports writing in this country. I might be being unfair in assuming most people who care about sports writing would know that, though.
I think it depends on how broadly you define "people who care about sports writing." I probably wouldn't classify myself that way, I just like reading the occasional interesting and/or informative (preferably both) sports article when I am looking for something to fill a few spare moments. Do you define everyone who likes to read about sports "people who care about sports writing", and if so, what does that have to do with the intended audience of the Grantland site?

I think my self-description puts me more in line with what the target audience of the site is than your higher bar of "people who care about sports writing" does, but I don't know that for a fact. I suppose it's pointless to try to analyze how well the site was named in or to appeal to their target audience if we don't know for certain what the target audience is. I will grant (ha!) that it's certainly not a stupid name for the site, it's just a slightly obscure one for the population of internet sports writing consumers.

I do know that I had not heard of Ring Lardner before this thread.

Getting back to impressions/discussion of the actual content of Grantland, I enjoyed Kang's piece on Ichiro/Immigrants and Baseball. The author realizing it is somewhat inappropriate in his case to identify with Ichiro or Jackie Robinson while still doing so emotionally made for an interesting read. He described his conflicting thoughts and feelings well enough for me to get where he was coming from, when I really have no personal frame of reference for comparison. The article seemed to have plenty of opportunity to be overly maudlin, but I didn't think that it was, it was well-executed.

Weinreb's piece on the Fox Box, and the consequences of it, was somewhat interesting, but a tad over the top. I personally still ask or answer the question "What's the score?" on a semi-regular basis, because not all TVs are large enough to make the Fox/Score Line viewable at a distance. Plus one is not always facing the TV/smart device/computer screen, so one asks somebody else to relay the information. It seemed like a stretch to me for Weinreb to try to make an innovation in the presentation of sports scores into a larger statement about 21st century society.

I enjoyed Barnwell's piece, if only for the fact that it is a writer actually acknowledging and emphasizing that Moneyball was NOT about on-base percentage. Any ESPN-related entity that puts that information out there gets a small check mark in my book. It didn't break any new ground, but it gave me some numbers to chew on that I would not have bothered to look up on my own, and his line about not becoming a Mets fan was amusing enough for me.

The site has enough interesting pieces for me to hit up once I've caught up on SoSH, perhaps once or twice a week. It's not an everyday thing for me, but I'm not sure that it is supposed to be.
 

Corsi

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Are they ever going to allow user comments on the site? I know that allowing anonymous comments generally doesn't lead to constructive discussion, but many of these columns warrant conversation, particularly today's Jay Caspian Kang piece on the cultural/societal impact of baseball, vis-a-vis the immigrant/minority population.

I've always felt a bit funny about how baseball approached race, and felt the annual Jackie Robinson tributes were the residue of white guilt. But as a white person, I don't have the proper (or any) perspective when it comes to the acculturation of baseball.

Anyway, I hope that Grantland somehow allows commenting down the line. If handled correctly, the level of discourse could be what ultimately sets the site apart.
 

Spacemans Bong

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It's dumb because its opaque. Most people don't know Grantland Rice. He's not on the top of everyone's tongue like, say, William Randolph Hearst of Joseph Pulitzer of Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite. Modern sports readers and writers are probably more familiar with (and influenced by) the people they read while they were growing up like (and I'm just throwing out famous names, not necessarily my favorites) Peter Gammons, Will McDonough, Bob Ryan, Frank DeFord, Jon Feinstein, Dick Schaap and, dare I say it, Bil Simmons.

I don't think ESPN is interested in created a low traffic, niche site. So it's mystifying why they would essentially brand it as such.
Many people don't know who Hearst, Pulitzer, Murrow (definitely these three), Cronkite, Gammons, McDonough, Ryan, DeFord, Feinstein, Schaap or Simmons are either. We live in a country where significant portion of the population claims not to know that Joe Biden is the Vice President. I suspect for those people who don't know they probably could not care less who Grantland is, but they're in such a bubble anyway that they don't have a negative response either. The branding argument is overrated; short of calling it "Bill Simmons's Multimillion Dollar Vanity Project, But He's Still A Regular Sam Adams-Pounding Murph Like You", they can't brand it in a way that's going to affect people one way or the other. Content is king, and so far Grantland's doing pretty well in regards to that.

Saying all of that, I still think more people know who Grantland Rice is than you think, especially among the "I care about good sportswriting and take time to argue it passionately on bulletin boards" set. Living up to Rip's use of the Bonger meme, I knew who Rice was as a kid too, mainly because I consumed media that mentioned him and his writing. He was the Golden Chronicler of the Golden Age of Sports, so I'll be honest and say it never even entered my mind that people would not know his name on such a mass level, or know his name and think it was pretentious and snotty. In that regard I actually think using the Esquire cover from Gay Talese's profile on Joe DiMaggio is just as bad.

Also, I think it's telling that he was the only old sportswriter whose name the layout editor could think of. It ain't called Ringgold or Lieb or Heinz.
 

URI

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I think it depends on how broadly you define "people who care about sports writing." I probably wouldn't classify myself that way, I just like reading the occasional interesting and/or informative (preferably both) sports article when I am looking for something to fill a few spare moments.
Then what I said doesn't really apply to you.

Do you define everyone who likes to read about sports "people who care about sports writing", and if so, what does that have to do with the intended audience of the Grantland site?
No, I define everyone who likes to read about sports as people that like to read about sports. I define people who care about sports writing as people that care about sports writing.

I think my self-description puts me more in line with what the target audience of the site is than your higher bar of "people who care about sports writing" does, but I don't know that for a fact.
I think the target audience is sports fans, especially the ones that love the synthesis of popular culture and sports. Basically, the people that read Deadspin in the Leitch years.

As an aside, one issue that I can see forming with Grantland is the "West Wing Syndrome", which is they various authors and editors spend a lot of time trying to educate the unwashed cretins who happen to read. Given Simmons' hardon for classic sports writing, and the title, I don't think that's a far leap.

I suppose it's pointless to try to analyze how well the site was named in or to appeal to their target audience if we don't know for certain what the target audience is. I will grant (ha!) that it's certainly not a stupid name for the site, it's just a slightly obscure one for the population of internet sports writing consumers.
Which actually brings me to the aside again. "Grantland" isn't really obscure, just generationally removed. I would say that the ratio of Grantland readers who have heard of Rice and haven't is in the same ballpark of modern football fans who know what team Jim Thorpe played for and who don't.

The press release with the name in it kind of leads me to believe that if asked, Simmons et al would say that you can look up who Grantland Rice was.

I do know that I had not heard of Ring Lardner before this thread.
I'm more pissed off you haven't seen or read Eight Men Out than anything else.
 

Curll

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It's dumb because its opaque. Most people don't know Grantland Rice. He's not on the top of everyone's tongue like, say, William Randolph Hearst of Joseph Pulitzer of Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite. Modern sports readers and writers are probably more familiar with (and influenced by) the people they read while they were growing up like (and I'm just throwing out famous names, not necessarily my favorites) Peter Gammons, Will McDonough, Bob Ryan, Frank DeFord, Jon Feinstein, Dick Schaap and, dare I say it, Bil Simmons.

I don't think ESPN is interested in created a low traffic, niche site. So it's mystifying why they would essentially brand it as such.
Excellent points. ESPN and Disney do not do niche. They do mass market appeal. Even the fact that there is a discussion that Bill Simmons' sports site may be "elitist" is an indication that Grantland is a horrid name. The repeated use of "moron" in this thread is an excellent example of what the community at that site would be like. If you're not "in the know", you're a "lesser" user. That does not generate money or traffic. Everything about the site screams niche and exclusive. It is not inviting, it is not a "warm" viewing experience, and I'm sure the bounce rates would indicate that.

I'm not sure if they think they can generate a West Wing type of audience, older and wealthier, and sell directly to them. But, that is a very risky maneuver for a multi-billion dollar company. Especially since Simmons does mostly comedy and pop-culture and his core audience still expects "The Sports Guy" not "The Guardian of Sports Journalism".
 

Shelterdog

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I'm not sure if they think they can generate a West Wing type of audience, older and wealthier, and sell directly to them. But, that is a very risky maneuver for a multi-billion dollar company. Especially since Simmons does mostly comedy and pop-culture and his core audience still expects "The Sports Guy" not "The Guardian of Sports Journalism".
I'll bet this is what they're trying to do-marketing execs went with an old WASPy-sounding name because, to use the only one word oxymoron I know, it seems "classy." Grantland Rice might be well known here but I can't imagine he's well enough known to be the name of a site that wants a million+ readers.

(Boiler rooms do the same thing-they're always called something like Wellington International).

According to Deadspin the people involved wanted a name like TheGOAT or Wheelhouse or something like that, which would give the project a very different feel.
 

Curll

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I'll bet this is what they're trying to do-marketing execs went with an old WASPy-sounding name because, to use the only one word oxymoron I know, it seems "classy." Grantland Rice might be well known here but I can't imagine he's well enough known to be the name of a site that wants a million+ readers.

(Boiler rooms do the same thing-they're always called something like Wellington International).

According to Deadspin the people involved wanted a name like TheGOAT or Wheelhouse or something like that, which would give the project a very different feel.
Yeah, the site launched sponsored by Lexus. So, that's pretty telling.
 

Dehere

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I'm not sure if they think they can generate a West Wing type of audience, older and wealthier, and sell directly to them. But, that is a very risky maneuver for a multi-billion dollar company.
I would argue that it's not risky at all and that's exactly why ESPN is doing it.

Risky for ESPN would be outbidding NBC for the rights to the Olympics. What's the downside on Grantland? If it completely and totally falls on its face how much can they lose? $5-10m? It's a prestige play for them and if it works it potentially gives them an online outlet to do multiplatform deals with a different class of advertisers, Lexus being a good example.
 

Curll

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But what you said was "so telling" wasn't true. Let's not act like the site is the Robb Report.
Actually, it is. Simmons specifically mentioned a "luxury car". And, it is telling since they aren't just beer and insurance ads like the vast majority of ESPN's advertising. They are clearly looking for a different audience.
 

Freddy Linn

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Where it rains. No, seriously.
Actually, it is. Simmons specifically mentioned a "luxury car". And, it is telling since they aren't just beer and insurance ads like the vast majority of ESPN's advertising. They are clearly looking for a different audience.
Lexus has been a massive sponsor across ESPN's platform for a decade, including such high-brow medium as ESPN the Magazine. They were the sponsor of the Monday Night Football halftime show. Their sponsorship is a natural extension of a long-standing relationship, and they aren't reaching new eyeballs, but continuing to advertise to the people who are already exposed to their messaging in spades (Lexus spends as much on sports advertising as Coca-Cola).

It's not like there are Range Rover ads on the site.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Actually, it is. Simmons specifically mentioned a "luxury car". And, it is telling since they aren't just beer and insurance ads like the vast majority of ESPN's advertising. They are clearly looking for a different audience.
The question in my mind is, SO WHAT? Why is that a bad thing? Why does it matter in the least?

Either the site is something you want to read, or it's not. No one's holding a gun to your head to read it against your will, nor is the server space and bandwidth it's taking up preventing something else, something more of interest to the masses, from being offered on the world wide internet.
 

Kevin Jewkilis

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Excellent points. ESPN and Disney do not do niche. They do mass market appeal.
For almost two decades, Disney owned Miramax and released a string of films with very limited market appeal. It's a huge media conglomerate with a lot of holdings including a lot of niche products. There's plenty of room within the Disney family for pretentious fare.
 

Carmen Fanzone

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Modern sports readers and writers are probably more familiar with (and influenced by) the people they read while they were growing up like (and I'm just throwing out famous names, not necessarily my favorites) Peter Gammons, Will McDonough, Bob Ryan, Frank DeFord, Jon Feinstein, Dick Schaap and, dare I say it, Bil Simmons.
Modern sports readers and writers would do well to be more familiar (and influenced by) people such as Red Smith, Murray Kempton and Jim Murray than provincial writers like Gammons, McDonough or Ryan. Even readers and writers under 40.

The Boston guys mentioned brought about the age of the insider, notes-driven sportswriting that is the antithesis of what I think Grantland is going for. They are/were information compilers and assmeblers more than writers.
 

dolomite133

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Modern sports readers and writers would do well to be more familiar (and influenced by) people such as Red Smith, Murray Kempton and Jim Murray than provincial writers like Gammons, McDonough or Ryan. Even readers and writers under 40.

The Boston guys mentioned brought about the age of the insider, notes-driven sportswriting that is the antithesis of what I think Grantland is going for. They are/were information compilers and assmeblers more than writers.
On the other side of the coin, those guys were straight up reporters who got out of the way and simply gave the reader good information. Thats good writing too. There is an art in informing the reader in accurate, brief and clear fashion without saying "look at me!"
 

triniSox

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Michael Schur and Nate DiMeo's cricket retro diary reminds me how much I miss Fire Joe Morgan
What did people think of the article? I'm a big cricket fan and I thought the diary was tremendously funny especially the sidenotes.

I did think they made some sweeping conclusions about the endgame of cricket being non-exciting. There are plenty of games with close finishes and in the World Cup (India-England for example, England-Ireland etc.). The baseball analogies were funny even though a little off at times.

Pretty good stuff though.


 

Gravistar

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On the other side of the coin, those guys were straight up reporters who got out of the way and simply gave the reader good information. Thats good writing too. There is an art in informing the reader in accurate, brief and clear fashion without saying "look at me!"
Wait, are we saying that the Globe sports section of the 80s and 90s didn't call attention to itself? That they just told the facts in an objective fashion? Because the Globe I remember from my childhood was notable for its horrible puns (which as a kid was the first thing we would make fun of at school) and blatant homerism (reading Bob Ryan was exciting because he injected the thrill of victory into the tone of his reporting), not to mention the festering entity that was and is Dan Shaughnessy. The Globe for me in those days was about getting information about how to feel about Boston sports, and how to feel connected with what other people were feeling. I always associated that purple prose with excitement, and it was why I would read a sports section. The reporting of, say, Peter May, was usually beside the point, though even he was capable of this kind of lede for Bird's last great game (the 152-148 2OT win over the Drexler Blazers):

Larry Bird only added to his status as Maker of Miracles with a 49-point effort that virtually everyone in Boston Garden felt was 1 point more than he deserved. But who's counting? And the Portland Trail Blazers did nothing to shed their reputation as the NBA's version of Maynard G. Krebs.

It took both of those ongoing plots, plus more twists than Lombard Street in San Francisco, to finally produce a winner yesterday. In a game that took longer than the Orange Bowl halftime ceremony, the Celtics outlasted the Trail Blazers, 152-148, in double overtime, ending a three-game skid and snapping Portland's...
***

The cricket article was pretty hilarious. I also know nothing about the rules of cricket, and I only have a dim sense of how important it is for people born in Commonwealth countries (part. South Asia). Even though it was a little crude (Three Osama jokes...really? Not sure your core audience appreciates that), I thought it was a lot funnier than the recent retro-diaries Simmons has produced. Either that, or I just like Vicodin jokes. The duo reminded me a bit of the guys from Cheap Seats, only less irritating.

The new Lambert piece was much better. I can definitely imagine repeating that bit of knowledge (about the "vulnerable hip-hop song") in conversation sometime. There was also a degree of snark/irony that I thought was kind of interesting (along the lines of, "do you really believe that these songs are confessions, or are you just playing along with the fake genuineness of hip-hop lyrics because it's more fun/interesting?")

The Klosterman piece (from yesterday I think) was good too -- it seems like Klosterman is really the motor that's driving the site now. Another good premise, in the same unintuitive territory where he likes to grind out his arguments, though maybe even smarter than his halfcourt timeout piece.

I wasn't really impressed by the Rounders-Poker piece or the golf piece, even if the contributors are impressive for their resumes.
 

dolomite133

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Wait, are we saying that the Globe sports section of the 80s and 90s didn't call attention to itself? That they just told the facts in an objective fashion? Because the Globe I remember from my childhood was notable for its horrible puns (which as a kid was the first thing we would make fun of at school) and blatant homerism (reading Bob Ryan was exciting because he injected the thrill of victory into the tone of his reporting), not to mention the festering entity that was and is Dan Shaughnessy. The Globe for me in those days was about getting information about how to feel about Boston sports, and how to feel connected with what other people were feeling. I always associated that purple prose with excitement, and it was why I would read a sports section. The reporting of, say, Peter May, was usually beside the point, though even he was capable of this kind of lede for Bird's last great game (the 152-148 2OT win over the Drexler Blazers):
I think Carmen and I were comparing them with the Grantland Rice-era writers.
 

Carmen Fanzone

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There is an art in informing the reader in accurate, brief and clear fashion without saying "look at me!"
For God's sake, do yourself a favor and pick up a book of Red Smith's columns.

I think Carmen and I were comparing them with the Grantland Rice-era writers.
No. I wasn't.

None of the writers I mentioned were Rice contemporaries. Smith died in 1982, Kempton in 1997, Muuray in 1998.
 

OzSox

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What did people think of the article? I'm a big cricket fan and I thought the diary was tremendously funny especially the sidenotes.
I grew up with cricket (I'm Australian) and watched the game in question live, and I liked the article as well. I must have laughed out loud three or four times, but then again I've also always found Ken Tremendous to have a great ability to be 'laugh out loud funny' in his writing back to the FJM days.

As a former sports journalism major, I've found Grantland to be pretty fabulous so far. And I don't find at all that 'being on the Internet' somehow makes me unwilling to read a story of magazine length. I just read the 5-page Stanley Cup story and was pretty engrossed by it.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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I thought the cricket piece was hilarious, and it sort of had to be twice as good since the set up was fairly cliche (Ha! Let's look at how stupid cricket is!). Those guys are great at being over top, ripping on people, but maintaining likeability because they rip on themselves so much and never come off as pompous or condescending or smarmy.

That's exactly the kind of piece I was expecting: huge and long and involved and entertaining for more than just 30 seconds. In terms of web metrics, a lot of people are paying attention to time on site and the time on site for Grantland must be off the charts. Not every advertiser is looking for pure page views. Many want an audience that's invested and doesn't just arrive via search, read something quickly, and leave. Grantland readers are going to have it book-marked, come specifically to the site to see what's new, and when they get there, probably stay for a long time. That kind of captive audience can be worth more than zillions of page views on a place like Deadspin where the site visit may only last 1:30.
 

sibpin

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Fresh off the boat
Footnotes still suck. I prefer the mobile site, which fills the text width and puts the footnotes at the bottom, where I don't have to bother reading them. Wish they'd just go away altogether.

Navigation still sucks. I've become so used to browsing blogs that a non-chronological homepage of contents throws me off. Not a fan of the BLOG PREVIEW image. At least Search by author is okay.

I think this was Lambert's best piece yet, but I still feel like I'm reading college newspaper material. 0-for-3.

Other than that, the writing here has been marvelous, and Simmons has been writing as frequently as anybody could have hoped for.
 

Bdanahy14

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 23, 2002
1,835
Swampscott, MA
As much as I didn't like Bill's first B's column - I thought he did a pretty damn good job this time around. Really liked the last three paragraphs.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6669763/a-black-gold-day-boston-finally
 

Spacemans Bong

chapeau rose
SoSH Member
Notice he went off the team is cheap angle too.

It was very good, as was the article about the Cup itself.

I liked the cricket article, and as a cricket fan I felt like they gave the game a fair chance, which is all anybody could ask. You don't really watch cricket on the edge of your seat like those guys tried to, but other than that I didn't feel like the cricket fan was being condescended to.
 

Mystic Merlin

Member
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Sep 21, 2007
47,721
Hartford, CT
His first footnote gave me a chuckle:

[font="Arial][size="2"]When I handed this piece in, I wrote this paragraph as if it were Game 7 of the 1974 Finals (it was actually Game 6). We fixed this right after the piece posted. There's a lesson here: don't trust your memory without looking something up if that something happened when you were 4 1/2 years old.
[/size][/font]
[font="Arial] [/font]
[font="Times New Roman"]GEE, YOU THINK. It only took a decade or so! Of course, presumably any memory after 4 1/2 years old can still be relied upon.[/font]

And I can safely conclude that the footnotes blow. He - and many of the others - don't know how to use them. There's literally no reason why half of these footnotes shouldn't simply be inserted into the text or cut altogether. It's lazy, lazy writing.

[font="'Times New Roman"]I also can't pass on this one:[/font]
[font="'Times New Roman"]
[/font]
[font="'Times New Roman"]
[/font]Orr resonated with locals in a way Bill Russell never could; as my father explained later, you stayed home to watch him.



Gee, I wonder why.
 

Beomoose

is insoxicated
SoSH Member
May 28, 2006
21,609
Exiled
Thoroughly enjoyed both Cup and Bruins columns today. I must say I'm rather pleased that Grantland didn't turn into Golfland today after ESPN turned itself into Golf2. Doubly pleased they didn't pull a "SportsNation" and spend more time asking if the riot detracted from the game than talking about the fucking game.
 

JBill

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 17, 2001
2,028
Footnotes still suck. I prefer the mobile site, which fills the text width and puts the footnotes at the bottom, where I don't have to bother reading them. Wish they'd just go away altogether.

Navigation still sucks. I've become so used to browsing blogs that a non-chronological homepage of contents throws me off. Not a fan of the BLOG PREVIEW image. At least Search by author is okay.

I think this was Lambert's best piece yet, but I still feel like I'm reading college newspaper material. 0-for-3.

Other than that, the writing here has been marvelous, and Simmons has been writing as frequently as anybody could have hoped for.
Yeah I'm not really liking Lambert's pieces at all, oh well. But I actually prefer the footnotes right next to the article on my computer than on the phone, I hate having to click on it and navigate away from the main text, and I can't make myself ignore them.

I enjoyed this footnote, from Simmons' article.

How crazy was it that people started calling Luongo "LeBrongo?" If you had tried to explain to me in May 2010 that, within 13 months, LeBron James would be the most hated athlete in sports, and also such a playoff failure that his name was now being used as a derisive nickname for a skittish hockey goalie, I would not have believed you.
As for the style, I'm confused because Simmons said in his intro piece that they would be debuting the blogs next month, but there are all these "blog preview" pieces...why aren't they just part of the blogs right now? Don't really get it, maybe they are still working out design issues and the blog preview pieces will eventually be moved.

As for the longer pieces, I've been Instapapering some of it because I can't keep up, including the cricket piece. But "too much interesting stuff to read" is a nice problem to have.
 

teddykgb

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
11,285
Chelmsford, MA
I like the footnotes on the side as well, i think that was a good design choice. I can pop over to them, read them, come back much easier than if they were at the bottom and destructive.

I thought the Lambert piece was the best she's done, but it still lacked a little something. Really interesting idea, didn't need like 8 sentences each on Minaj, Wayne, and Drake....those forays didn't really add much into her point. Nonetheless, entertaining enough, just probably could have been a bit better.
 

Bdanahy14

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 23, 2002
1,835
Swampscott, MA
The Lord Stanley article literally gave me chills the entire time. Are any of you familiar with Kent Russell? That was a fantastic article.
 

Trlicek's Whip

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 8, 2009
5,608
New York City
But I actually prefer the footnotes right next to the article on my computer than on the phone, I hate having to click on it and navigate away from the main text, and I can't make myself ignore them... I've been Instapapering some of it because I can't keep up, including the cricket piece. But "too much interesting stuff to read" is a nice problem to have.
Question for you: does Instapapering articles from Grantland preserve the footnotes/sidenotes? I've been printing the longer pieces out and they don't include the footnotes in a printer friendly version.
 

Burt Reynoldz

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 14, 2008
1,866
The Dub Dot Heezy.
I like the footnotes on the side as well, i think that was a good design choice. I can pop over to them, read them, come back much easier than if they were at the bottom and destructive.

I thought the Lambert piece was the best she's done, but it still lacked a little something. Really interesting idea, didn't need like 8 sentences each on Minaj, Wayne, and Drake....those forays didn't really add much into her point. Nonetheless, entertaining enough, just probably could have been a bit better.
Funny, because I read that Lambert piece and thought it was completely terrible - just garbage.
 

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
SoSH Member
May 18, 2007
8,477
Manchester, N.H.
I'm not sure if this or the B.S. thread is the right place for it, but since the Draft was on Grantland.

Did anyone catch the Simmons/Jacoby/Connor Schell podcast? It got uncomfortably tense and Simmons sounded like he was about to cry over Schell getting two late round steals due to draft snafus. Yikes. Awkward...