Almost every time I have gotten on the internet in the past four years, I followed the same routine. I immediately open five tabs, then enter the following URLs:
It is safe to say that I’ve spent most of my internet time on these sites. But sadly, I am back down to just four tabs because ESPN shutdown Grantland.com.
The official statement issued by ESPN reads,
Effective immediately we are suspending the publication of Grantland. After careful consideration, we have decided to direct our time and energy going forward to projects that we believe will have a broader and more significant impact across our enterprise.
Grantland distinguished itself with quality writing, smart ideas, original thinking and fun. We are grateful to those who made it so. Bill Simmons was passionately committed to the site and proved to be an outstanding editor with a real eye for talent. Thanks to all the other writers, editors and staff who worked very hard to create content with an identifiable sensibility and consistent intelligence and quality. We also extend our thanks to Chris Connelly who stepped in to help us maintain the site these past five months as he returns to his prior role.
Despite this change, the legacy of smart long-form sports story-telling and innovative short form video content will continue, finding a home on many of our other ESPN platforms.
Or in other words, ESPN didn’t think Grantland.com could survive without Bill Simmons.
I’m sure it’s obvious that Grantland’s meshing of sports and pop culture was a big inspiration for this blog. So, in honor of one of my all-time favorite websites being shut down, I would like to post links to my two favorite Grantland.com articles… mainly just so I will know where I can always find them.
Never has an article made me laugh more than this. I remember calling my brothers just to read them the passage about the Crossfire commercial. I could barely limp through a sentence because I was laughing so hard.
Of this commercial, columnist Rembert Browne wrote:
Four notes on the greatest game neither you nor I ever owned, Crossfire:
1. My belief is that there was a Crossfire set on every street in America, but no two neighboring homes had the game. Why was this? Not sure, but I think the game was priced at $4,000. I couldn’t have less data to prove this, but I think I’m right.
2. Whoever is slapping the bass in this Crossfire commercial can’t possibly have fingers anymore. I’ve never heard anything more intense.
3. I think Crossfire was my introduction to rock and roll. And you thought being raised on Zeppelin was awesome.
4. I would bet my life savings that when this commercial states, “It’s sometime in the future …”, they were thinking about 2012. I think this might be what post-rapture America looks like. Just listen to the lyrics: “Crossfire, you’ll get caught up in the Crossfire. Crossfire. CROSSFIRE.” Wow. Have we planned for this yet? Someone forward this video to Herman Cain immediately.
He can’t possibly have fingers anymore? Classic.
Grantland.com frequently told stories through oral histories. Of all the oral histories they published, this piece written by Jonathan Abrams was the best. From the research and interviews, all the way down to the writing and editing, this is just a great example of top-quality journalism.
I will always remember being at home, watching this game with my dad. I will always remember thinking that this was the worst thing to happen to the NBA. And because of this article, I will always remember the details of what happened that night.