"Stick to Sports" narrative killed one of the most prominent sports websites of the past decade

Not sticking to sports: I am going to miss Deadspin

Deadspin

Last week Deadspin, one of the premier sports blogs over the past 15 years, went down in a blaze of glory. For me and many other fans of sports, satire, and silliness the events of last week feel like the loss of a friend. What is worse though, is that it is a loss at the hands of the ridiculous "stick to" commentary that has unfortunately entered our discourse. If you aren't familiar with what happened, the implosion went down like this:

Deadspin and its parent company Gawker, had been involved in a number of highly controversial stories over the past few years which resulted in a number of lawsuits which eventually took down Gawker. Deadspin, along with a number of its sister sites survived but the sites were acquired and sold to different groups a number of times over the past couple of years. This past week the actions of the most recent ownership group, G/O Media, unfortunately brought about the the end of the site as we know it by issuing a "stick to sports" edict to the Deadspin staff. If you know anything about Deadspin you know this did not go over well. Readers of the site know that some of the best parts of Deadspin have nothing to do with sports. No its stories that rank breakfast cereals, share unfortunate poop stories, or touch on the trials and tribulations of being a dad. Deadspin unquestionably produced great sports content, however it is the other "stuff" that really makes Deadspin what it is. Following this corporate demand, the staff revolted and immediately filled the homepage with their best non-sports stories, all of which had the not-so-ironic tagline of "Stick to Sports" plastered on the cover photo of each story. This did not sit well with the powers that be at G/O Media and brought about the immediate firing of the site's editor who had been with Deadspin since the site's beginning. Over the next three days the entire staff of Deadspin resigned, completely neutering the site of everything that made it great. While the site is technically still up and running with new writers there is no doubt that it is for all intents and purposes dead, and for this I am sad.

We all have our favorite little spots on the internet, a sanctum from the stresses of daily life. A place that we instinctively and almost subconsciously type into our browsers as soon as we log on to the internet. Deadspin was one of those places for me; when I type the letter "D" into my browser it auto-fills with Deadspin. I would spend entire class periods in law school on Deadspin and even more time once I started working a full time job. If I was bored it was one of the first places I went.

I realize though that not everyone loved Deadspin and they found themselves embroiled in controversy on regular basis making more than a few enemies. Could their writers be somewhat insufferable at times, yes, but really who among us isn't. Did they say things that they probably shouldn't have, yes, but who among us hasn't. Were they childish, absolutely, but again, who among us isn't. I didn't necessarily agree with all of their takes, but I still read because maybe at the end I would learn something or be entertained (God forbid that someone continues following a site with takes that they sometimes disagree with).

However, I will miss Deadspin the most because it was a major factor in bringing me here – writing on SportsMap. While I am certainly not as talented as the Deadspin writers their style of irreverent writing spoke to me and gave me a template to build my own written voice from. Additionally, through Deadspin I discovered a sister site called The Vane which was more or less Deadspin for weather. Being the weather geek that I am this was a mind-blowing discovery for me. Were there actually people who would read weather related content that wasn't just a bland local forecast? Apparently there were, and I wanted to be part of it. I began writing on a personal blog that never gained many readers but helped me develop a writing style I was comfortable with. Eventually I managed to hook on with Houston Sports and Stuff (somewhat of a predecessor to SportsMap) and when SportsMap came along I was lucky enough to have the powers that be (Fred) allow me to continue.

These days the "stick to" mindset has become way too prevalent. We are all humans with varying interests and some of those interests may even be * GASP * outside of one's stated profession. I see the "stick to sports," stick to weather", etc. commentary way to often now and I just don't get it. It is the "stuff" in life that makes it interesting and I fear we as a society are losing sight of that. Lets be honest, no one wants to be around the guy who only can talk about one topic, so why is this not true in our online lives? The "stick to" mentality is unfortunately becoming another buffer that people are using to insulate themselves from information that makes them uncomfortable or that they don't agree with. This mindset killed one of my (an millions of others') favorite places on the internet and it is just sickening to me. Even though it has cost me one of my happy places, I applaud the Deadspin staff for standing up for their principals and sticking it to "stick to sports" guy.


ART BY JESUS RODRIGUEZ

Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio and Sports. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio show at www.nerdthugradio.com!

GOOD DEED OF THE DAY

The Houston Community Warriors are hosting a dinner to support the Houston Foodbank, there are tickets available for sale and you can just make donations if you'd like. The Houston Food Bank is here for those in need, keeping people fed when so many people these days have seemingly turned their back on the world, these guys feed people. Help them feed people, please.

OF COURSE HE IS

I didn't know this but when he was about 26 years old Joe Pesci, yeah that Joe Pesci, was a singer. He had an album out called "Little Joe Sure Can Sing." That is very much a 1960s album title if I ever heard one, and in 1998 he released another album. I bring this all up because he's back with another album called "Still Singing" which is a great album title whenever you release it. On the album there's a duet with Adam Levine, *sigh* yes, that Adam Levine, called "Baby Girl" and it's on the internet for googling and listening to. It isn't the worst thing you've heard all week I promise and honestly the internet is a weird enough place that I really see this getting traction. He's going for a crooner, old school Vegas lounge act singing style and it isn't bad and you can definitely tell its him singing. Please if you need to distract yourself for five minutes today you should check this song out, it feels like it's from another era.

HUSTLER

J Lo is making the media rounds trying to pretend like she doesn't care if she's nominated for an Oscar or not and in recent interviews she suggests that she didn't get paid to star in her film "Hustler" which she also produced. Isn't that the point of producing films though? Like if you're a movie star who is going to produce the movie that you're in, isn't the point of that because you are going to reap a big windfall on the back end by cutting costs by not paying a big name actor (yourself) to make the movie. Rather than get a $20 million dollar check to be in someone else's movie, you pay $50 million to own the entire film and keep the lion's share of the profits which are hopefully a lot more than the $50 million you put in. I know it sounds good to say out loud but she produced the film for crying out loud, of course she didn't pay herself. Seems obvious, but maybe not.

SNYDER CUT

In the comic fandom world there is this weird movement where lots of people are clamoring for the Snyder Cut of the Justice League movie. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, first of all be proud of yourself because this is a dumb one. Zack Snyder was the director for Justice League, which was his third foray into the DC universe after directing Man of Steel and then Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. Now neither of these movies were critically beloved or overwhelmingly recognized as well-crafted stories but they made good money and he had a linear concept for the movies and therefore Warner Bros studio tasked him with making Justice League, and creating a trilogy of sorts, now there were tons of issues and problems with the movie and the studio wasn't liking what he was showing them in meetings and there were problems, then sadly his daughter took her own life and Snyder stepped back to deal with issues at home. Joss Whedon was brought on to finish the film and lighten up the tone, the resulting reshoots blew up the budget including Paramount refusing to allow Cavill to shave so Warner Bros had to digitally take out a moustache that Henry Cavill's character in Mission Impossible had now grown because reshoots went so beyond what was scheduled. So in $25 million dollars of reshoots, there's a Superman with a weird lip. Anyway the movie comes out and it is hated by lots of people and is viewed as a failure and from there the DC movies have kind of ground to a halt and the connected universe seems to have been blown up with Wonder Woman making period piece movies, Aquaman staying in the movie universe, and a new Suicide Squad and Birds of Prey being "loosely connected" in the sense that Margot Robbie is back as Harley Quinn and she shared a scene with Ben Affleck's Batman in Suicide Squad. You get all that? Basically the version of the movie that was released broke the universe it was so bad. Well now fans and the actors themselves are clamoring for the release of "the Snyder Cut" as though his version is a better film and allegedly the studio is in talks to find a way to release it somehow, perhaps as a special feature on an upcoming anniversary release. I hope they do and I hope its somehow worse and all of these crazy people have to eat so much crow, not like they will, but a guy can dream.

NOT THAT YOU ASKED

Just found out about a really great charity that I'll be doing an event with next month and I don't want to steal the Food Bank's thunder so I'm going to wait until after this week but honestly, this might be my favorite charity yet… stay tuned!

Feel free to check out my brand-new comic book Another Day at the Office or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help people struggling with cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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