It’s been rumored for months regarding this new “secret” project that Bill Simmons a.k.a. “Captain Blowhard” has been working on. Over the last couple of months, we’ve heard of several writers who have been tapped like Katie Baker of Deadspin, Chuck Klosterman among others. Now we have official word from ESPN on the name of the site (Grantland, as in sports writing legend, Grantland Rice) and the roster of writers. This is going to be a mixture of sports and pop culture and whatever else the Blowhard wants on the site.
And in addition to articles, there will be podcasts featuring the writers from the site. This is Blowhard’s baby. We’ll see how this proceeds.
Grantland.com– Conceived by ESPN’s Bill Simmons – to Debut in June
Bill Simmons, in association with ESPN, announced the first wave of writer and editor hires for Grantland.com, the much anticipated sports and pop culture web site. Conceived and led by Simmons – the most popular writer on ESPN.com and host of the No. 1 podcast The B.S. Report – the site will be home to every Simmons column and podcast and feature an accomplished and diverse lineup of the Internet’s leading writers and editors. With Simmons as editor-in-chief, Grantland.com is scheduled to launch in June with a mix of original columns, long-form features, blog posts, and podcasts. The name of the site honors the legacy of Grantland Rice, the legendary sportswriter who helped elevate sports into American culture during the early 20th Century.
Working closely with Simmons will be Dan Fierman, most recently a senior editor of GQ and previously a senior editor at Entertainment Weekly. Fierman will be the lead editor and a contributor to Grantland.com, working with deputy editors Lane Brown (former editor of Vulture.com, New York magazine’s culture and entertainment site) and Jay Caspian Kang (an accomplished fiction writer and contributor to theAtlantic.com and theawl.com).
Consulting editors to the site will include:
- Chuck Klosterman, a best-selling author of books, a former columnist for Spin, Esquire and ESPN.com, and a feature writer for New York Times Magazine, Esquire, GQ and Spin. Chuck will be writing about sports and culture exclusively for Grantland.com;
- Malcolm Gladwell, the international best-selling author of The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers and a feature writer for The New Yorker since 1996;
- Dave Eggers, founder and editor of the independent publishing house McSweeney’s and bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize finalist for his memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.
In addition, Grantland.com will feature the following writers:
- Michael Weinreb, author of the much-acclaimed books Bigger Than the Game and Game of Kings, as well as a feature writer for ESPN.com’s E-Ticket and GQ;
- Katie Baker, a contributor to the New York Times Magazine, Deadspin, Gawker, and Mediaite.com, who worked for Goldman Sachs for six years before deciding to write full-time;
- Molly Lambert, a popular blogger and most recently the managing editor of This Recording;
- Chris Ryan, who has written about soccer for GQ, The Village Voice, and the Wall Street Journal;
- Robert Mays III, an award-winning feature writer, who most recently worked at the Boston Globe;
- Bill Barnwell, managing editor of Football Outsider and a statistical consultant for Major League Baseball, who has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and ESPN The Magazine.
- Patrice Evans, creator of The Assimilated Negro (TAN) blog and author of the forthcoming book Negropedia. He has contributed to The New York Times, Gawker, EbonyJet.com and other major outlets.
Grantland.com will also feature a wide range of full-time writers, contributors and celebrity guest writers, who will be announced prior to launch.
“I grew up loving The National, Spy Magazine and Inside Sports,” said Simmons, who authored the No. 1 New York Times bestseller, The Book of Basketball, and was a co-creator of ESPN’s Peabody Award winning series 30 for 30. “Those three publications meant an inordinate amount to me, and I’m hoping that people will feel the same about this site.
“As we planned it over the last 18 months, my No. 1 goal was to figure out how to capture the spirit and creativity of 30 for 30 and transfer it to a website. We wanted original voices, and we found a bunch of them already. We’re going to take chances, come up with a few premises and ideas that you haven’t seen before, and be consistently entertaining day after day. You will never know what to expect when you come to the site – in a good way. That’s our ultimate goal.”
In addition to its content, Grantland.com will be set apart from information-rich sports and news sites with a simple and elegant graphic style designed by renowned magazine designer Walter Bernard. Said Simmons, “We will not throw up 100 posts every day. We’ve figured out a way to highlight the best things we publish and make it easier for people who might not have a chance to visit the site more than three or four times a week to find everything they want.”
And that is it. I restrained myself from writing something really nasty.