OT - The Athletic

Submitted by winterblue75 on January 13th, 2019 at 3:30 PM

Wondering if anyone subscribes to The Athletic. Is it worth it? I see links to articles that people post on Twitter before the paywall kicks in, there seem to be many interesting articles, but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet. What do subscribers think?



January 13th, 2019 at 3:34 PM ^

Brendan Quinn's coverage of UM/MSU hoops alone is worth the price of admission.

The new beat guy for Michigan football has turned in some gems as well.

I don't read too much national stuff, but the UM coverage is worth the price for me.



January 13th, 2019 at 6:35 PM ^

I had a subscription but I canceled not because it wasn't good, but I just don't read that much about sports in general outside of mgoblog. But Quinn's articles are really tempting for me to rejoin. 

Also just a note because it will probably appear here but if you don't want to pay that's fine. But don't act like not paying for other people's work is some moral stand ya cheap bastard. 

Nervous Bird

January 13th, 2019 at 3:35 PM ^

Good question! I'd like to hear from some subscribers, as well. I'm generally loathe to pay for content online, but I have seen some interesting articles on that site.


January 13th, 2019 at 4:03 PM ^

I would encourage you (and everyone) to stop acting like on-line content should be free.  Budget $20 a month to a handful of your favorite sites and watch them get better.  It's not much but collectively will make a huge difference to improve the horribly wounded journalism profession.


January 13th, 2019 at 6:13 PM ^

The political journalists aren’t tabloid reporters, TMZ is not the Freep or the Ann Arbor news. As someone who worked in journalism the issues are largely unrelated to content. It started with the loss of classified revenue due to Craigslist, followed by the recession, coupled with papers not knowing how to monetize the internet initially, leading to the disastrous decision to make everything free off the bat. Because once you give something away, it’s really hard to charge for it later.

i like the Athletic  and gladly pay for it


January 13th, 2019 at 3:35 PM ^

Brendan Quinn's basketball coverage is worth the subscription price by itself IMHO. 

Their coverage is unique. I enjoy it. No regrets. Keep your eyes open, there are always deals to be had for new subscribers. 


January 13th, 2019 at 3:36 PM ^

It is still a growing website. It is really good in my opinion for college football and basketball. It has a few big names like Rosenthal and Glazer for MLB and NFL. Overall, though for the price I would say that it is definitely worth it because quality is high. 


January 13th, 2019 at 3:44 PM ^

I believe there are free trials. Get one and read Quinn's latest. He said within feet of Beilein at their game against Illinois and just watched him the entire game and just wrote a timeline of JB's mannerisms and what he says to players/coaches during the game. What made JB jumped out of his chair ready to strangle someone. What made him just sit there calmly and coach his guys through it.

It was a very fascinating angle for a story that you just don't see every day.

Another favorite was the story of Cody Stavenhagen's. He is the football beat guy. It is a longform article about Shea Patterson's grandpa making the Detroit Pistons roster for a season. Just incredible journalism.


January 13th, 2019 at 3:39 PM ^

It's worth it. Quinn is great, the football guy is solid, and they have really good national reporters for college and pro sports. 

I think I paid something like $24 for a year. They have deals like that intermittently which makes me wonder how well they're doing frankly, but I'll take the $2/month. 


January 13th, 2019 at 3:40 PM ^

Funny, I started a similar thread myself not long ago. I would say it's worth it.  I miss Grantland, but having the Athletic subscription, a umhoops.com subscription, and the ringer somewhat make up for it.


January 13th, 2019 at 3:44 PM ^

It's definitely worth it, IMO. It's $3.99 a month. The access to Bruce Feldman's stuff in itself is probably worth the price. IMO, Feldman writes the most relevant stuff of any national writer. (I also like his podcast with Mandel, "The Audible," even though Feldman is much more interesting as a writer than he is as a speaker.)


January 13th, 2019 at 3:47 PM ^

Definitely worth it. I really only read Michigan stuff and MLB stuff and both are very good. Jayson Stark’s columns on crazy baseball info is worth the price alone.


January 13th, 2019 at 3:49 PM ^

i bought it a few months ago.  super cheap.  it was like $30 for the year.  so i figured what the heck.  you won't get much new info on UM but if you like reading about professional sports and other schools, it's a good source all on one website.


January 13th, 2019 at 4:00 PM ^

The UM coverage is very good. It’s not as predictive or forward-looking in nature compared to 247 with their recruiting experts and insider connections, but if you’re looking for solid, objective analysis or the occasional profile on current coaches or players, you’re not going to find better writing elsewhere.

If you’re a fan of the other Detroit sports, the coverage of the Red Wings and Tigers is top-notch and far better than anything on the Freep/News/Mlive. The Lions coverage is good with Chris Burke, but the Lions actually have really good beats like Kyle Meinke, Justin Rogers, Dave Birkett, etc that you can read elsewhere... However, I think the Pistons coverage is poor, as James Edwards III is (A) too close to the organization (with his father being a Bad Boy) to critique them objectively and (B) his Lansing State Journal ties regularly shine through (he’s buds with Graham Couch); plus, he’s a DCFC slappy and writes fluff about them in the summer months.

Lastly, access to the national writers is awesome, so if you care about a sport as a whole, you’ll always find something good to read.

Toe Meets Leather

January 14th, 2019 at 10:18 AM ^

It is really the only DCFC coverage out there, though, which is surprising considering the popularity of the team.  I know the fanbase is still extremely small compared to any other pro or college team in the area but it seems to me there is a general interest from people in metro Detroit that do appreciate some coverage of the team. 

Worcester Wolverine

January 13th, 2019 at 4:10 PM ^

They do some really good journalism, in general, and all their regional outlets are staffed by some very talented writers. I live in New England, and I remember they snatched up a bunch of the region's best sportswriters, all the ones who weren't locked down by big publications like the Globe. 

I think they're worth the subscription. Only caution I would throw in is that I've heard some stuff about them possibly "pivoting to video" for some of their content, which I'm really not a fan of, but different strokes. 


January 13th, 2019 at 5:34 PM ^

Looks like they are adding video, not replacing writing with video:


That said, I question if the site will be sustainable long term.  Tons of people signed up at discounted rates and if you look at responses here, plenty of people ended up finding they don't read it enough to stay subscribed at the full price.  With things like twitter, blogs, and local papers it can be hard to find time to actually read the long form articles that seem to be the main attraction of The Athletic.  I've found the same with other supplemental news sources like The Economist or The New Yorker.  It's just hard to find time or focus to read longer pieces.

KC Wolve

January 13th, 2019 at 4:24 PM ^

I got the 40% off deal several months ago and opened the app quite a bit the first couple of months. I barely open it now. I like the content, but it just doesn’t make my rotation. Between twitter and other news sites and blogs I visit, I mostly forget to even open it. Sometimes I will see something on twitter and read the article, but it’s rare. There is just too much “free” content out there. I didn’t mind paying at all, and agree that we shouldn’t expect “free” news, but until all of the free stuff goes away, I probably won’t renew. 


January 13th, 2019 at 4:54 PM ^

I did subscribe; I have been a little disappointed so far.  Not enough daily coverage of the teams for my liking.  More feature type pieces.  I'll go through the year and see if it's worth renewing.  


January 13th, 2019 at 4:56 PM ^

It's good, but I wouldn't feel like I was missing out on anything if it suddenly went out of business. Very much reflects conventional wisdom on NCAA football and basketball coverage. I'd probably find it more valuable if I cared about more pro sports. Brendan Quinn's coverage is indeed. excellent. 

Hotel Putingrad

January 13th, 2019 at 4:57 PM ^

It's good writing. Comments are somewhat moderated, and the cost keeps the revolting trolls away. If you have the attention span and live in a market other than where your favorite teams play, it's worth it.


January 13th, 2019 at 5:12 PM ^

Best sports writing available.  Besides following UM (B Quinn is superb), there are several teams across the 4 pro leagues I follow.  Many enjoyable human interest stories as well as well done analytics.  Reminds me of SI from decades ago.  Has become home for many well regarded writers.


January 13th, 2019 at 5:27 PM ^

I haven't been getting my money's worth, but that's on me. Probably best paid for content out there if you are going to pay for anything, except umhoops.


January 13th, 2019 at 5:28 PM ^

I subscribe, I like Seth Davis, Stew Mandel is annoying but his national articles are informative about other schools. I am a Wild fan, so Michael Russo, and Brendan Quinn were the original reasons to subscribe, and they added the bubble watch guy from espn, I usually read multiple articles a day there, so I think it’s a great value. They have Ken Rosenthal, Jayson Stark, Glazer, and other good national guys. 


January 13th, 2019 at 5:43 PM ^

I got a great deal on it during the NCAA Tournament run last year and I have not regretted the decision.  Quinn is a really great writer, and, hey, bonus, Faux Pelini.


January 13th, 2019 at 7:28 PM ^

Yeah, it's worth it, especially because it's so cheap. They are always running 30-50% deals of some sort.

Brendan Quinn is great for basketball. Michigan's football beat writer is mediocre, in my opinion. But he focuses more on reporting and not on analysis, so his content is different than what I'm looking for. But that's more than made up for by writers like Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel and others. 


January 13th, 2019 at 9:07 PM ^

I will second, third, fourth, etc. everyone's comments about the quality of Brendan Quinn - absolute gem of a journalist.  $4 a month or whatever the cost is is completely worth it, there are a few garbage writers (Jim Bowden for MLB fans) but the content is phenomenal as a whole.  Of all the subscription content websites available The Athletic is by far the best bang for your buck.


January 13th, 2019 at 10:56 PM ^

If you like Michigan basketball, there is no better content than that provided by Brendan Quinn at The Athletic.  Worth the price alone.  The new football guy is okay, and they have some decent national guys (Seth Davis puts out a ton of content for college hoops and Stewart Mandel does the same for college football).  Got some good Red Wings coverage as well, if you’re into that.  And Faux Pelini does a weekly column that’s usually pretty funny as well.