Naturally we had to cover the June 8 premiere of Bill Simmons’ website Grantland and will continue to chronicle major developments in the site’s history, including those instances when someone forgets to pay a bill and the domain goes dark, as it did briefly over the weekend. But the site is only 12 days old, and yet countless sports bloggers and web sites have weighed in with their initial impressions, thinking the insular world of sports writing can justify the endless publication of opinions about a fluid, fledgling website. More has been written about Grantland in the last 12 days than will appear on Grantland in the next 12 years.
The latest entity to toss in their two cents is the Poynter Institute, the venerable journalism body that serves as ESPN.com’s current ombudsman. Why they felt compelled to comment now is beyond me, and if it weren’t our job to read what the they had to say about Grantland, we certainly wouldn’t. Why? Because the site is 12 days old, and we’ve played games of Monopoly with longer shelf lives than that.
To briefly summarize what Kelly McBride of the Poynter said, and what 100 percent of all Grantland observers have also said in so many, many words, Bill Simmons’ new website has the potential to be a valuable new forum for long-form sport journalism, and includes some great pieces, some not so great pieces, and will probably work out the kinks when it’s been existence for more than, say, a freaking fortnight.