Grantland was home to some of the smartest, goofiest, most informed, most insane writing anywhere on the internet. It made very serious things seem silly, it lent gravity to the absurd. It wrote about sports in a way that appealed to non-sports people. It became a daily destination for thoughtful, entertaining reading. I will miss it greatly.
The NBA season has just started. There are few places outside Tom Ziller’s Good Morning, Let’s Basketball that a person can find well-written, insightful, daily commentary on basketball.
The site made me want to be a better writer. It showed me how to do it. I’m still trying. I’ll miss the guidance.
Spend your Saturday reading some of its best stuff.
Out in the Great Alone by Brian Phillips – This story about the Iditarod remains the gold standard for how web and magazine writing can be merged into something new.
The Front Lines of Ferguson by Rembert Brown – Brown, who was more a pop culture writer than anything else on the site, tells a stark, personal story about being at Ferguson, MI in the intimidate days after Michael Brown.
Yankees Suck! Yankees Suck! by Amos Barshad – Barshad’s story about the hardcore kids who made a small fortune selling “Yankees Suck!” shirts at Fenway Park reads like the treatment for the best Martin Scorsese movie never released.
The ‘If I Fought This Rapper, Would I Win?’ Chart by Shea Serrano – The tip of the spear in terms of the site’s off-beat, insightful coverage of the rap world.
The Malice at the Palace by Jonathan Abrams – A vital read for anyone even remotely interested in the NBA.
Wu-Tang, Atomically by Amos Barshad – This piece is remarkable, if only for how it sheds a light on the modern life of the Wu’s lesser members.
The Glorious Plight of the Buffalo Bills by Ben Austen – As a Western New Yorker by birth, this story about how a football team consuming a town hits very close to home.
The End of the Hoop Dream by Jordan Ritter Conn – This story, about a would-be agent and the semi-pro basketball players jumping at a 1-in-a-million shot at a basketball career, is heartbreaking.
This isn’t even close to being all of it. There are hundres of stories by Zach Lowe and Molly Lambert and Katie Baker and Steven Hyden and Chuck Klosterman and Jay Caspian Kang that I will revisit over and over again.
It was a daily read. It was a very good website.