Bill Simmons new website Grantland launches today at noon. I've always loved Simmons writing, especially when he strays away from the NBA and goes into pop culture. Hopefully we'll get more of this out of him for his new site.
OT: Simmons new site, Grantland
for leading me to a site under construction...
Try it again, it's up.
you need to read it correctly and see it says at NOON today.....it's noon somewhere, just not here....
I love Simmons but he's constantly trying to reinvent himself when he's perfectly fine as a sportswriter. It started when he went to write for the Jimmy Kimmel Show, then he got the Sports Guy's World page on espn.com and started doing ridiculous cartoons, then went on to those insufferable podcasts, and now he's got a new pop culture web site. He should just stick to writing sports columns. That's where his bread is buttered.
from the previews they posted of the grantland content, i was far less than impressed.
Klosterman's article that is up about the junior college game in North Dakota was a great read. Not too interested in all the pop culture stuff though.
Why are they insufferable?
Because of the sound of his voice.
I think the content, especially if you are an NBA fan, makes the basketball podcasts pretty informative and entertaining.
With modern technology, you'd think they'd be able to modify the voice.
At first I didn't like the podcasts, but now I listen to just about every one of them. His voice isn't that bad it just takes some getting used to, and they are GREAT for when I'm at work doing coding etc. I honestly look forward to them more than the columns just because I can multi-task with them.
The only thing about the podcasts I don't like is when he's with Klosterman, ironically. That's on Klosterman though.
I don't mind listening to the Klosterman ones as long as I'm doing something else and the podcast is in the background, because I can't listen to it too intently due to the rambling.
I stay away from the NBA and fantasy podcasts (Mark Stein/Rick Bucher), because I really don't know anything about either and none of it makes any sense to me. I tried to listen to these, but they are a perfect cure for insomnia for me. The fantasy guy from Football Outsiders (Aaron Schatz) talks very softly and it's just snooze time for me.
I do like the Carolla ones, (the Pedif Isle one, which is one of the first 3 podcasts, is very funny). The JackO ones are good, too; Red Sox/Yanks gets way too much publicity already, but it's fun to listen to them because you don't feel clueless. The guy they need on there more is his friend Gus that he used to play video games with. That guy is great.
Gus is the Vikings fan, right? He's wonderful.
You're really missing out on the NBA podcasts. It's Simmons' bread and butter.
I really like his mega podcasts in general. Chad Millman is kind of useless but Simmons loves gambling so much it's ok.
I like when he talks to JackO and Joe House. Also, his bits with Cousin Sal guessing the lines etc are great.
People get bored. I give him credit for continuing to go outside of his comfort zone and trying new things. Hopefully this site provides a good mix of both sports and pop culture so you can pick and choose the topics on which you are interested in and still get some classic Simmons writing.
over $3Million per year. He's doing fine at whatever he wants.
Calling it "Grantland" just reeks of arrogance on the part of ESPN, though I've read that Simmons himself did not want to call the site that.
Grantland Rice is considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest, sportswriters of all time. People still quote his writings 80 years later.
and aspiring for the website to be as memorable is arrogance?
It can be interpreted as Simmons claiming that he is the next Rice. They should call it something else but keep the tribute quotation at the top.
It's definitely not Simmons claiming that he is the next Rice, he doesn't even like the name:
The site will be a separate publication, with Simmons in editorial control. Ultimately, though, it’s owned by ESPN, and the parent company has already made its presence known, choosing the site’s name, which Simmons is less than enthusiastic about. He worries that it sounds pretentious, he told me, but the higher-ups at ESPN “loved it, and they’ve been so supportive of the site. You’ve got to pick your battles.”
Although apparently he would agree with the arrogant comments, but it's not him being arrogant.
So some people who are pessimists and are tuned to see everything as a negative will see it that way.
It could also be seen as a tribute to - from my limited knowledge - one of the great sports journalists who helped transform sports writing from a glorified box score into a more sophisticated writing style that the general public outside the sports world could enjoy.
I personally don't think it necessarily fits the content, but I do like the idea that it honors a famous sportswriter.
I had no idea who he was and am now more knowledgeable on Mr. Rice once Grantland was introduced months ago. So there's that.
For what it's worth:
I remember the stand at ThermopylaeThe Greek Guard made one day;I remember the legions that Caesar usedTo shatter the Gallic sway;And I remember across the yearsTwo banners that crowned the crest,When Yale was king of the conquered East,And Michigan ruled the West.At night in my humble den I dreamOf the glories that used to be ?Of Hannibal taking the Alpine Trail,Of Drake on the open sea;And then I wander the ancient waysTo dream a dream I love the best,When Yale was king of the conquered East,And Michigan ruled the West.--- Grantland Rice
Why is it called Grantland?
I read somewhere that they named it after Grantland Rice, an early 20th century sportswriter
Did one of Rice's most famous quotes at the top of the page give it away?
off and on for the past 6 years, since he started back at ESPN. That was my first real introduction to him -- didn't know of him when he was on his own blog. I've enjoyed a lot of the 30 for 30s he's been involved in. The Jalen podcast was entertaining. He's clearly a very creative guy.
I'm definitely going to give this website a shot. I may not like all the pop culture stuff, but if his general plan is to find good writers and "let them do their thing" then it's probably worth some of my time.
I particularly liked this quote from his introduction, not because of the f-bomb, but because it illustrates how this site will be a departure from his writing from ESPN, and how much creative liberty they are providing him:
I dropped an F-bomb earlier and it felt pretty organic, you have to admit. If I dropped a second F-bomb to celebrate dropping the first F-bomb? Probably a little gratituous. Then again, fuck it.
I'm hoping this is a sign of lots of entertaining material to come.
The fact is there's a subset of the population who uses the f-bomb very naturally in a way that was originally intended to be a "fuck you" to people who want to pretend it's super offensive but has now morphed into a part of the vernacular. Simmons falls into this crowd. I really like that he's able to let loose with them on this site.
Honestly it was a nice letter from the editor and the writing they have up there right now is all good. I didn't like Katie Baker's article but I found Molly Lambert's hysterical and Klosterman and Jacoby really brought it for the launch.
Reeeeally looking forward to this.
Like Simmons when he's a sportswriter. Can't stand him when he fills on PTI though. He just doesn't seem natural on TV.
He fills in on PTI from time to time and perhaps he isn't that great (I don't think he has he voice for it). But he acknowledges that he's not he best and when he makes mistakes. He always seems grateful for the opportunity and he generally just seems happy to have the chance to do something new.
I'd rather watch someone more raw and honest like Simmons on TV than listen to some idiot like Jim Rome or Skip Bayless go through their shtick.
This website will be a good one.
(Even though I don't watch any reality TV, the article regarding a reality star fantasy draft had a hilarious scoring system. )
Ya, at least Simmons has a clue. I don't really like Rome or Bayless either. Wilbon and Kornheiser are meh. I don't mind the ATH crowd because it's supposed to be silly. I've really gotten into Dan Patrick's show on FSN lately and I've been waking up early to catch Mike and Mike. I used to watch a lot of First Take since there's nothing else on around that time, at least until Maury starts.
While I've been a fan and eagerly await his writing, I think it has gotten a bit stale and can't listen to the podcasts.
A little while ago there were 2 preview articles that were very boring so I lost any hype about the site. I'll give it a shot but am not expecting much.
I found Molly Lambert's summer movie preview hysterical. I didn't even finish the one Katie Baker wrote though.
If you haven't read this on the site, take some time with a nice drink and, of course, a sandwich. Genius even for the 99% of us that don't watch reality tv.
Good god. This probably doens't have too much to do with him but the front page design is wretched. I like the column design a lot (with the footnotes) but they need to do something with that front page.
Klosterman is a hell of a writer and awful on podcasts. His article on there right now is pretty great.
I'm looking forward to the site and think it will be a success.
I used to love his columns when he first started. They were funny and informative, but I think- to use a term he used to write- he "jumped the shark." His columns now are lazy. They are less informative, less interesting and less funny. He obviously spends less time on them than he used to spend. His focus is elsewhere.
I don't like podcasts of any kind. His are no different. One gets a little useful information out of his 30 minute gabfest. It is basically a radio show. He is a better writer than radio personality. There is no audio on MGoBlog, yet there are people here constantly. I would be interested to see the numbers who read Simmons v. the numbers who listen to his podcasts. I hope Grantland is better, but the 2 preview articles were terrible. I was thinking that you would want your best stuff as a preview. Hopefully, that is not the best stuff from the site.
are "terrible" or are just negative without any explanation.
So you just don't pay attention to MGoPodcast?
As for your question about readers v. podcasts: I seem to remember them being pretty close. I think his podcasts average like 600k listeners or so compared to 700k for his columns.
"Jumping the shark" originated at Michigan
The columns I referred to as terrible were long and boring. I barely finished the movie preview and quit reading the other half way through.
If they're going to let simmons write stuff like this: (about Lebron and Game 5 from last year where people were trying to figure out why he didn't care)
The most popular (never proven): that a teammate slept with his mother.
Then he really does have full editorial control and this isn't just about f-bombs and trying out a sidebar for footnotes that's really rock solid.
I came here to post this article. Great read
I have read Simmons since his own web site YEARS ago. His original column on Roger Clemens is the Anti-Christ is a personal favorite. He also did a great one on running the Boston Marathon. (I've lived in Boston for decades so we've known about him for a while out here.)
Always thought that he was a precursor to Brian Cook and Mgoblog -- at least because he wore his hometown sentiments so visibly and yet could be entertaining and informative.
Mitch Albom says "HI!"