ESPN’s Bill Simmons has a new blog, called Grantland, which will feature longer articles than is usual in a blog, mixing sports and popular culture. The title obviously is a reference to Grantland Rice, the early 20th century sportswriter who is perhaps most famous among golfers for his promotion of Bobby Jones. Rice also elevated to mythic status such figures as Jack Dempsey, Babe Ruth, Bobby Jones, Bill Tilden, Red Grange, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, and Knute Rockne.
Simmons writes of the new site:
We had four goals for this site. The first was to find writers we liked and let them do their thing. The second was to find sponsors we liked and integrate them within the site — so readers didn’t have to pay for content, and also, so we didn’t have to gravitate toward quantity over quality just to chase page views. The third was to take advantage of a little extra creative leeway for the right reasons and not the wrong ones.12 And the fourth was to hire the right blend of people — mostly young, mostly up-and-comers, all good people with good ideas who aren’t afraid to share them.
It’s a nice idea, and I’ll be checking in to see how it develops. Truthfully, Grantland is the sort of site for which I’d like to write.
A Grantland Rice quote on golf: “Golf is twenty percent mechanics and technique. The other eighty percent is philosophy, humor, tragedy, romance, melodrama, companionship, camaraderie, cussedness, and conversation.”