Here's Why Grantland Should Worry About Deadspin

simmons daulerio

Pretty quietly, a website is becoming a go-to place for sportswriting on the internet.

No, not Grantland, Deadspin.

All the recent rhetoric has focused on Bill Simmons‘ new site — and for good reason, since the talent is impressive — but AJ Daulerio is creating a formidable opponent at the Gawker Media property.

Deadspin, known for dick pics and scandal — has always had bigger aspirations. Those are starting to come to the forefront, moreso with the hire of Tom Scocca as managing editor. The move give Tommy Craggs, who had a job with Grantland rescinded after writing a post eviscerating ESPN, more time to write instead of edit. Craggs is one of the most poignant critics of sports and sports media alive.

Add Craggs’ more frequent byline to a roster that already includes the comedic genius of Drew Magary, excellent longer pieces by Luke O’Brien, and the growing talents of Barry Petchesky, Jack Dickey, and Emma Carmichael, and you have an impressive little group.

And then there are the guest stars. Hamilton Nolan makes his money as a media reporter for Gawker, but his boxing stories are wonderful. Former NFL player Nate Jackson‘s posts are intelligent and informative. Occasional takes on the NBA from disgraced referee Tim Donaghy are as well. Deadspin also traffics in amazing stories, which are perhaps not the pinnacle of writing but they are something you’d find in plenty of men’s magazines.

If you want to compare Grantland and Deadspin, there are some nice tale of the tape story lines — Simmons v. Daulerio; Scocca v. Dan Fierman, Petchsky and Carmichael v. Katie Baker and Molly Lambert, Craggs and O’Brien v. Lane Brown, Jay Caspian Kang, Alisha Ricardi, and the other editors; Deadspin’s guest stars v. David Eggers, Malcolm Gladwell, et al., Magary v. Chris Jones as best-known contributors — but that is breaking the story down a bit too far.

Suffice it to say that the majority of the time, Grantland will house the superior sports writing. There’s too much money, too much skill, and too much time investing in the project for that not to be the case. (Hell, Craggs said as much last week.) Moreover, the goals of Grantland and the goals of Deadspin are different.

But all we’re saying is don’t sleep on Deadspin. It’s better than it’s very been, and only getting better.

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