Bill Simmons’ Grantland Launches

Here at FishbowlNY we’ve been eagerly anticipating the launch of Grantland, the sports/pop culture website from Bill Simmons. A little before noon it launched, and it’s got some good stuff so far. There’s a welcome by Simmons, a baseball piece by Esquire writer Chris Jones, and a fantastic article about a forgotten – yet somehow legendary – basketball game by Chuck Klosterman.

And that’s it. Just three articles. Okay technically there’s four, but we’re not counting the post about a reality TV fantasy draft because the entire concept is stupid, writing an article about it is even worse.

For all the hype behind Grantland’s launch you’d think there would be more content, but as Simmons tells Media Alley, he’s focusing on quality over quantity:

I mean, obviously we want people to read. But the thing is I don’t want one person to check ten times a day; I’d rather have 10 people check once. I think the problem with where the Internet is going is that because everybody’s so trapped with getting page views that they’re gearing stuff toward multiple, multiple, multiple posts per day.

That’s a great approach, but it’s also one that only someone like Simmons can afford to have.

He’s ESPN’s number one man and the company is backing the website, so Simmons doesn’t have to worry about Grantland posting weak numbers. It’s a great postition to be in, but somehow that seems lost on Simmons. He sounded apathetic about Grantland when discussing the project with The New York Times Magazine:

Simmons sounded as if he was having some regrets about Grantland. ‘It hasn’t been as much as fun as I had thought,’ he told me. ‘I’m not sure I would do it again.’ Too much of his time was being spent in the office, dealing with administrative tasks, which was encroaching on his column.

This is before Grantland even launched, so hopefully he’s feeling a little more upbeat about it now. If the three posts on the site today are a preview of what’s to come, Simmons will have no choice but to be excited, because everyone else will be too.

UPDATE: Simmons tweeted that there will be more content added later today.