Bill Simmons’ eagerly anticipated new website Grantland premieres at noon ET under the ESPN umbrella. The site will feature an impressive assemblage of sports and pop culture writers including Chris Jones of Esquire, Chuck Klosterman of Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs notoriety, Malcolm Gladwell of The New Yorker and Katie Baker (previously of Deadspin).
How will the website premiere? Will it post one new story every half hour? Go live with plenty of fresh content right off the bat? Here’s hoping Rip Torn is not involved in today’s festivities. Actually I take that back — I hope he is involved, because that’s the kind of inane weirdness my Wednesday needs.
At any rate, there’s been plenty of speculation about how well this venture is going to do, thanks to the drama surrounding the possible hiring of Deadspin writer Tommy Craggs and to a recent profile of Simmons in The New York Times Magazine in which he expressed reservations about the undertaking and how he might have decided against it if given a second opportunity.
But all that’s going to quickly be forgotten if Grantland is a success. And considering the stable of writers they have put together, it’d hard to imagine how they could fail. As long as the writers don’t criticize their ESPN godfathers — and really, what’s there to criticize about ESPN? — then this venture will be a groundbreaking paragon of journalistic integrity.