Ever since my dad got me The Book of Basketball for Christmas four years ago, I have been a devoted follower of Bill Simmons. Essentially a toned down version of Keith Olbermann, Simmons has an anti-establishment streak that the establishment doesn’t exactly appreciate. However, his combination of sports and pop culture, as well as his ability to handle difficult topics with a humorous touch, have led to Simmons developing a large following. This puts entertainment outlets in a difficult situation: Simmons brings in readers, but he also pisses off pretty much every employer or authority figure he comes in contact with. This came to a head at my favorite forum of all time: Grantland.
Grantland was an ESPN backed website that combined sports, pop culture, news, and some of the most talented writers on the internet to form a melting pot of opinions and pieces. Something that intrigued me about Grantland was the freedom that writers had to choose topics and the laissez-faire attitude Simmons seemed to take with managing his talent. From Zach Lowe breaking down the X’s and O’s of the Spurs offense to Shea Serrano ranking the 10 best horror movie villains of all time, Grantland had a great breadth of topics. Additionally, Grantland melded sports and pop culture in a way that could only happen with Bill Simmons at the helm. I am intrigued by the idea of melding different concepts, especially sports and pop culture because I like to consider myself reasonably knowledgeable and very interested in both topics. I have modeled much of my writing style after writers like Simmons and Serrano, and Grantland was a forum I could completely see myself writing for.