Eight* Stylized Facts About Deadspin (*Actually Nine)

  1. Deadspin helped me bond with the senior, by then emeritus, professor my chair convinced to be on my dissertation committee. My professor, originally from the Bronx, was a life-long Giants fan (football, of course, but also baseball from way back when; he’d long since adopted the Yankees, despite complicated class stuff). I decided that I would learn how to enjoy football, and couldn’t support the Washington team (the natural fit having grown up in Maryland), so I picked the Giants to watch. Why not. Deadspin’s mockery of Eli Manning and blistering critiques of the NFL coexisted with appreciation for the nuances and genuine enjoyment of watching a game. It showed me that you could love a team and hate it at the same time, and the two and a half years that I watched NFL games (and uh listened to the Giants broadcast on the radio) gave me a not-awkward entry point to talk with random people wearing their teams’ hats and jerseys. That was sport content that I will always appreciate.
  2. Maybe more importantly, Late Night with Deadspin was where I first saw the video for Mother by Danzig.
  3. Emma Carmichael, on tennis commentators refusing to explain why they thought Serena Williams and and Sloane Stephens should get along. Also, that time she dressed up like a Juggalo before an ICP concert.
  4. Barry Petchesky on everything, but especially on the fact that pelicans will mess you up, and by all rights a fantastic sports mascot. How about this rumination on making the sausage of investigative reporting?
  5. Albert Burneko as the anti-Smitten Kitchen and anti-Bon Appetit. Adequate Man and the point that no one needs to be precious about cooking to do it well (and for gods sake stop with the ‘whisper of this’ and the ‘slick of that’ it’s not porn). His pep talk about doing a birthday party for kids was a life-saver, and his writing about politics essential reading.
  6. Your Team Sucks! The perfect illustration of why the Patriots sucked for me was watching well-heeled New Englanders in expensive and boring clothing pick a fight with a janitor at BWI airport the Monday morning after their team had beaten the Ravens at [checks notes] M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens are also the worst, but wait until you’re on the plane to Logan before dishing, Massholes. Drew Magary doesn’t, like, lack for publishing outlets, but goddamn I will miss how he complemented the rest of the crew at Deadspin.
  7. Deadspin didn’t ‘Stick to Sports’ because that’s a blinkered and political choice in itself. To go back to the football point from bullet 1, Deadspin also captured the queasy balance between enjoying a game and feeling morally culpable for doing so. I don’t watch football anymore, and while there’s more than enough to indict the NFL (its sexist, racist, and classist politics, in theory and practice, are front-runners here), my lizard-brain, which also enjoys of military histories of WWII, misses it.
  8. Deadspin was a respite from much of my indoor kid milieu, professionally and in-law-ly, and the best entry point to conversation with so many people (my dad, Jim Crotty, other dummies who liked the Giants on the customs line at JFK). I miss it so much.
  9. HOW COULD I FORGET THEIR BERATION OF DAN SNYDER. No, really, the Washington team is the worst, because its name is racist, but also, in a photo finish second, because of Dan Snyder.

Exeunt, followed by a bear.

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