This is part of my 2011 wrap-up series, A Few of My Favorite Things, in which I discuss what I enjoyed this year, regardless of when it was released.
Sports and pop culture web site (debuted 06/2011)
When Grantland is on, it’s almost thrilling how much it syncs with my brain and how happy it makes me. The edges of the sports world and the pop culture world blur together. The systems and statistics and structures of sports overlap with the narratives and emotional appraisal and critical thinking of arts and entertainment writing. The writers ramble on in too much detail, come up with crazy theories, rank things pointlessly, celebrate tiny passions (and I mean all of that in a good way). It’s usually fun and it’s usually smart.
Of course, the man in charge of it is the one who popularized the all-encompassing writing style that Grantland: Bill Simmons. The site is his grand project, and he seems to view it as the culmination of his professional life.
I was hitting 40, and I was like, “What do I want to do long-term?” I always wanted to create a site that was sports and pop culture. 30 for 30 had a big impact because I loved how that was about finding, empowering and working with these incredible directors, and I thought the same thing could work for writers. I researched different sites and looked through all of my favorite magazines and tried to find people who were on their way up.
(from The Hollywood Reporter)