When the top team in the National League and all of baseball traveled to Motown for a three-game series against one of the American League’s best, I promised ALDLAND would be on site as the Tigers closed out April in the D. The following is my report from the weekend.
An ESPN The Magazine story out next week profiles young American tennis star Sloane Stephens and, in discussing her relationship with Serena Williams, reveals that both women are Blackberry users.
Or, The Disconnection Between Supply And Demand In Corporate America // Are You Afraid Of The Dark (possibility that many consumers actually think this is a good idea)?
Hollywood Nights: The Detroit Pistons’ Season in One Play
Hollywood Nights: Generally, No man is an Island
Hollywood Nights: No World Peace in the Windy City
Hollywood (Disco) Nights: A Hero at the Forum
Hollywood Nights: A Magic Haiku
Hollywood Nights: Z-Bo and Bishop Don The Magic Juan
The subject of the 2013 debut of the Weekend Interview is Charlie Warzel. After we featured his recent piece for Adweek’s Sports Issue, “Deadspin: An Oral History: How an irreverent sports site made the big leagues” earlier this week, Charlie graciously agreed to share his behind-the-scenes experiences and thoughts regarding the article and the state of online sports media.
Be sure to read the article, which opens with, “It all goes back to Ron Mexico,” and closes with, “Strip Club photos: courtesy of Deadspin.” Then check out our conversation, below.
It all goes back to Ron Mexico.
In 2005, The Smoking Gun broke the story of a legal complaint about a prominent athlete who “knowingly failed to advise” a partner that he was infected with a sexually transmitted disease. The athlete, then-phenom Michael Vick, was reported to have used the alias Ron Mexico during herpes testing, a story that quickly spread across the nascent blog culture of the Internet.
Will Leitch, an early, struggling blogger, got the idea for Deadspin after taking note of what he believed to be a failure in mainstream sports media: It wasn’t covering or even mentioning stories like the tale of Ron Mexico—stories that sports fans were eating up. Partnering with Nick Denton’s Gawker Media, Leitch launched a site that would talk to the average sports fan like a real average sports fan, eschewing, as the site’s motto goes, “access, favor and discretion.”
Over the last seven years, Deadspin has grown from a one-man operation run out of a bedroom into a formidable counterweight to the sports media industrial complex of Sports Illustrated, ESPN and other players. Along the way, Leitch and successive editors have exposed star athletes and top media personalities, offended countless readers and managed to make over the culture of sports journalism, all from the outside.
On Jan. 16, the site was the first news outlet to report that Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o’s girlfriend, whose “death” was the basis of one of the more inspiring stories of the past year, was a complete hoax. The story would explode and cement Deadspin’s place at the head table of the sports media world—and the mainstream media’s worst nightmare. … Keep Reading
Yesterday, Deadspin ran a long, alternate-1985-style piece on what the NHL might look like today had it agreed to be purchased by Bain Capital in 2005. The short answer? The MLS. One vision of a Bain Capital-owned league:
With contract offers artificially lowered, European stars and the cream of the domestic talent would presumably go off to Europe for more money. The league would fall back from its warm-weather beachheads and dreams of national appeal; perennial money-losers like the Islanders, Sabres, Blue Jackets—hell, a third of the league hasn’t been profitable in years—might be contracted out of existence. The game might have reverted to a regional pastime for the diehards of the North and Northeast, a feeder league drawing only enough for the league to pay off its debt.
How is this relevant to the NHL’s labor conflicts?
The unsentimental analysts at Bain had exposed the uncomfortable fact about NHL lockouts, then and now: They’re proxy wars between big markets and small markets in which the owners try to wring money out of the players instead of one another. Bain merely put a dollar figure on the divide, and its streamlined NHL would have done the dirty work that the league could never bring itself to do: eliminate those small markets altogether.
The full exploration is available here.
One other item. Although the contributors at this site are scattered across the country, all in different cities only one of which is Nashville, Music City is our historical center of gravity, so this factoid jumped out of the article’s discussion about the market for top players:
Take Shea Weber, who just signed a 14-year, $110 million contract to stay in Nashville. That’s $30 million more than it cost to start the Predators franchise in 1997.
The NFL’s replacement official charade certainly has become a tired to quite tired act. The volume of written responsive outrage is headed that way, too. While it’s good that the media is heeding Jim Leyland’s call for them to hold officials accountable, there’s only so much complaining you can or want to read. This new, weekly feature takes care of the latter problem for you. Each week, we’ll sift through the glut of hyperbolic, whining responses and pull out the best snippets for you.
The players are the only redeeming thing about the sport right now. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had a remarkable night Sunday, carving up a good defense for 335 yards, and then that defense reasserted itself, shutting New England down to just a field goal in the fourth quarter as Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco engineered two marvelous drives to bring Baltimore back from nine points down. Salted throughout all this action, of course, were bizarre holding calls, odd interference calls, some purely psychedelic calls, and a game-winning field goal that was so close that, all his frustrations coming to a boil, New England nose tackle Vince Wilfork looked very much like he might eat one of the referees who were standing under the goal posts.
These a——- don’t even know the rules. . . . Basic rules. I understand when refs f— up rules that are relatively complicated (anything involving an “act common to the game” makes my head go ouchie), but thus far they’ve demonstrated a poorer understanding of the game than Tony Siragusa, and that’s a problem.
This is Goodell’s Heidi game, a forever blemish he’ll never live down. The lockout may not have been his idea but it’s on his watch. Someone might as well start pre-production on a documentary now, the image of those two confused refs in the corner of the Seattle end zone is sure to go down in history.
I think the replacement officials are, like anyone working at a new job, getting better as they gain experience. They need to pick up their game when it comes to relatively minor issues like spotting the ball, but I think that the NFL could use the replacement officials for as long as they need to. They could even use them for the rest of the season, if necessary.
Did we miss a good one this week? Post it in the comments below. Know of something that should be included next week? Send it to us at aldland[dot]com[at]gmail[dot]com, or @aldlandia.