Deadspin, of All Places
The bankrupt battle hymn ‘stick to sports’ will be the new tagline
Within the Deadspin archives, you can find a fossil record of blog media’s defining tics across the last decade. It was, in turns, ambitious, game, reactionary, re-reactionary, accountable, stupid, disorganized, incompetent, prescient, very stupid, regrettable, necessary, resourceful, exhausting, and perfect. For a few years, every movie review referenced the Entourage movie.
More than the portfolio pieces, which stand up to those of any contemporary sports publication, these fleeting, stupid posts that filled up the blogroll most days represent what it was like to work there, and more broadly, what it was like to work at a blog.
Now those posts will be replaced with whatever humiliating undeath awaits at the discretion of the soggy robber barons who brought you such hits as, “Aw, snap! Something went wrong while loading this webpage,” and Deadspin as you know it goes on the pile of fashionably sunset publications. “Stick to sports,” the battle hymn of the people who knew how bankrupt the sentiment was, will be the new tagline.
It’s a crime that Deadspin, of all places, will slouch on in service to sticking to sports.
Nothing is more 2019 media than being overrun by private equity frat boys and having your closest ideals weaponized against you. Better yet, have the barefaced murder euphemized by onlookers, as making “a lot of sense” as long as you ignore the facts and context. Especially in death, both sides must be heard.
I always imagined Deadspin would meet an incomprehensible fate by wrongly accusing the owner of the Chicago White Sox of high crimes, or at the hands of a lethally malfunctioning karaoke machine. Self-sabotage was always a specialty. But while many other luminous dead publications were allowed to crumble under the weight of their own ridiculousness, Deadspin was always burdened with the overwhelmingly competent Gawker sales team that not only understood the site but how to sell it to an eager clientele. If it was going to die, it would have to be by murder or gaslight. Same as everyone else.
The rise and fall of fast-twitch, pirate feed video, the adoption of and betrayal by Facebook, the pivot to video — Gawker Media and Deadspin along with it rode the same doomed waves as the rest of media. The only difference was a pathological need to call bullshit. It’s a crime that Deadspin, of all places, will slouch on in service to sticking to sports. But it’s only at Deadspin that the terminal cancer infecting the industry could be met with the appropriate response: Go fuck yourself.