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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Big Lead: Joe Posnanski is Leaving Sports on Earth for NBC Sports

“The lesson to learn might be that we screwed this thing up.”

Less than a year after leaving Sports Illustrated for the MLB/USA Today startup Sports on Earth, columnist Joe Posnanski is on the move again: He just agreed to a contract with NBC Sports.

The District Attorney Posted: January 29, 2013 at 12:56 PM | 54 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: joe posnanski, media, sports on earth

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 29, 2013 at 05:59 PM (#4357745)
JoPo is becoming the Edwin Jackson of sports writing.
   2. Eric Ferguson Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:02 PM (#4357750)
I've really never found a compelling reason to proactively visit Sports on Earth. I'd say this news is a net neutral.
   3. ursus arctos Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:03 PM (#4357751)
It's as if he just can't settle down since he left the Kansas City Star; Sports on Earth seemed the perfect platform for him, and I wonder about its future following his departure (especially given opinions like 2).
   4. Shock Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:03 PM (#4357753)
I was going to say octavio dotel. But he's better than these players.

Rickey?

And does this mean I have to update my damn podcast feed again?
   5. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:06 PM (#4357755)
You can take Rickey's name off the list, so that's 49% right there.
   6. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:07 PM (#4357756)

The link just circles back to BTF.

From Awful Announcing;

Maybe he'll be the first move of many as NBC looks to fortify their NBCsports.com outlet, which is mostly a non-factor outside Pro Football Talk.


Is this true? I love the NBC Sports Talk app. It's quick hitters across sports on different topics and I find it very easy to use and informative. The baseball articles are usually as good as anything else I read and I like their soccer and hockey coverage.


   7. Topher Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:08 PM (#4357758)
@2

When Posnanski switched, I updated my rss feed. Unless it is has changed, you couldn't subscribe to him -- it had to be to the entire site. I'd say the content is good, but nothing all that special. I do read content I wouldn't otherwise, but I probably only read about 15% from the other writers.
   8. Topher Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:10 PM (#4357759)
I'm really curious what this new job is for Posnanski. He's a very good writer. He's a rather mediocre talking head. It would be a shame if this move involved more of the AV Joe instead of his written word.
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:13 PM (#4357762)
I have never heard of Sports on Earth...
   10. The District Attorney Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4357766)
Wow, I sure made a mess of that. Profuse apologies.

Meant for this to be the link.
   11. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4357773)
I have never heard of Sports on Earth...


Best description I've heard of it is "Grantland without the pop culture stuff." Not sure where I heard/read that but it's pretty accurate. I agree with Topher, it's not great but it's not bad either. I'd say there is one column every day that I find interesting.
   12. asinwreck Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:25 PM (#4357776)
Is the next step Current TV for the 43 seconds before it becomes Al Jazeera? Posnanski's trying to catch up to Keith Olbermann on the media merry-go-round.
   13. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:26 PM (#4357779)
My problem with Sports on Earth would be that I wouldn't check it for weeks at a time unless a Poz/Tanier link sent me there. When I was there, I tended to enjoy the stuff they had, though.
   14. ursus arctos Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:37 PM (#4357786)
6, I share your positive view of certain elements of NBC SportsTalk, but I don't see how their "twelve posts a day" model would really work to Posnanski's strengths. It isn't really a long form friendly platform (particularly the app), and even Poz's blog posts tend toward the long form.
   15. Gonfalon B. Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:41 PM (#4357793)
   16. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:42 PM (#4357794)
Sports on Earth


Is that one of the blandest, stupidest names around, or is it actually some sort of clever in-jokish reference that completely went by me? (I suppose neither scenario precludes the other.)
   17. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:44 PM (#4357797)
I cleaned up the intro.

-- MWE
   18. The District Attorney Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:47 PM (#4357801)
Mike, awesome. Can you fix the Andrew Zimbalist one right below it as well? :-)
   19. Eric Ferguson Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:51 PM (#4357804)
RIP, Mike Awesome.
   20. The District Attorney Posted: January 29, 2013 at 08:09 PM (#4357834)
Depressing that my gut feeling even before I checked was "that dude's gotta be long dead."
   21. bobm Posted: January 29, 2013 at 08:29 PM (#4357841)
The Reggie Sanders of sportswriters
   22. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: January 29, 2013 at 09:02 PM (#4357849)
"Grantland without the pop culture stuff."

I have Grantland in my Reader. It seems like half the articles are pop culture.
   23. Gonfalon B. Posted: January 29, 2013 at 10:10 PM (#4357874)
Most of the time at Grantland seems to be spent brainstorming things that have 32 or more sub-things, so that they can do an imaginary bracketed knockout tournament of them.
   24. DL from MN Posted: January 29, 2013 at 10:18 PM (#4357878)
I also have never heard of Sports on Earth. I have heard of Grantland but only because their articles have been linked here.
   25. DL from MN Posted: January 29, 2013 at 10:19 PM (#4357879)
Is Gleeman still with NBC Sports?
   26. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 29, 2013 at 10:37 PM (#4357888)
Is Gleeman still with NBC Sports?

He still does stuff for Rotoworld which is an NBC property.
   27. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: January 29, 2013 at 10:40 PM (#4357891)
I'm still, technically, with Designated Sitter; although I haven't posted anything in a while. When I do write, it's mainly been fiction and humor lately.
   28. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 29, 2013 at 10:43 PM (#4357893)
Is Gleeman still with NBC Sports?


Yes, he and Calcaterra both.

-- MWE
   29. Eric Ferguson Posted: January 29, 2013 at 10:51 PM (#4357899)
Grantland's also big on power rankings. So I put together my own Grantland power rankings:

1. Masked Man
2. Jonah Keri
3. Bill Simmons
4. Steven Hyden
5. Rembert Browne
[Gap]
6. Bill Barnwell
[Gap]
7. All the 20something writers who have basically the same style and write about basically the same stuff.
[Gap]
[Gap]
8. Charlie Pierce
9. Anyone with a beard.
10. Anyone who tries to make me read something about soccer or hockey.
   30. Austin Posted: January 29, 2013 at 11:01 PM (#4357908)
I think Rany should be on that list somewhere pretty high up, although he's a fairly infrequent contributor.
   31. Eric Ferguson Posted: January 29, 2013 at 11:14 PM (#4357920)
If he posted more frequently, I'd probably have Rany in the Barnwell tier. (Related: As a Royals fan, I got tired of keeping track of whether Rany was or was not writing about the Royals at any given time.)
   32. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: January 29, 2013 at 11:40 PM (#4357946)
#29 is ranking Katie Baker too low.

eta: and Brian Philips. Straight up sports bigot right there, dissing on soccer and hockey.
   33. G.W.O. Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:55 AM (#4358023)
I agree with #32, plus add Louisa Thomas, who occasionally writes about tennis, and is very good.
   34. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:59 AM (#4358032)
If we're talking about their columnists right now, their basketball guys (in particular Zach Lowe, who is that rare columnist who mixes good stats analysis with scouting and high readability) are very good.
   35. Craig Calcaterra Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:06 AM (#4358048)
Stuff:

Posnanski will be doing his normal thing for NBC. Long form stuff when he wants, some shorter bloggy things when he wants. He may do some video and TV, but he's being hired to be Joe Posnanski.

Gleeman and I are still at NBC. And re:#14, I resent the "twelve posts a day" thing. We do AT LEAST 25-30 most days. How dare you.

Oh, wait ... I see what you're saying now. Yes.

Seriously though: Posnanski is gonna be doing his same old thing. His stuff may show up on the various "Talk" blogs as is subject-appropriate, but if he wants to do 6,000 words on Biff Pocoroba or whatever, he's gonna do 6,000 words on Biff Pocoroba.
   36. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 30, 2013 at 09:10 AM (#4358058)
I find the Masked Man's "let me explain kayfabe for the eighteenth time, plus I'm not going to be funny at all" shtick among the worst at Grantland. The "Hollywood Prospectus" stuff, also very bad.

Brian Phillips is easily their best writer, and it's not close. I like Katie Baker and I wish her beat was anything other than hockey. I learn stuff when I read Zach Lowe, which is fun.
   37. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 30, 2013 at 10:08 AM (#4358084)
and even Poz's blog posts tend toward the long form.


I enjoy Poz's work as much as most anyone, but this is a euphemism at best. His posts "tend toward the long form" in much the same way that GRR Martin's descriptions of jellied eel "tend toward the long form." Joe wouldn't hurt for an editor with a scalpel, regularly applied.
   38. Greg K Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4358116)
GRR Martin's descriptions of jellied eel "tend toward the long form." Joe wouldn't hurt for an editor with a scalpel, regularly applied.

Speaking of which, the University of Regina is putting on "A Conference of Ice and Fire" starting February 9th if any of you happen to be vacationing in Saskatchewan this winter. I'm sadly several thousand miles away, but knowing the folks running it, it should be fun. The meals are going to be Westeros themed as well apparently.
   39. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4358118)
JoPo is becoming the Edwin Jackson of sports writing.

I was unaware that pillow contracts are given to sportswriters.
   40. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:19 AM (#4358122)
Straight up sports bigot right there, dissing on soccer and hockey.


I can't even stand to watch soccer - why would I want to read about someone else watching it?
   41. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4358127)
He may do some video and TV, but he's being hired to be Joe Posnanski.


Craig, are you trying to say that you're a pederast and you need someone to make excuses for you?
   42. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4358158)
In the past year, Posnanski has worked for Sports Illustrated, USA Today/MLB, the Paterno family, and now NBC Sports. That is a bit town bicycle-ish.

Sports on Earth is too blah. Grantland is way too full of itself. The Masked Man stuff used to be cute when it was a Deadspin Wrestler of the Week feature. Nostalgia and backstory is better than trying to treat pro wrasslin' somewhat seriously.
   43. Gonfalon B. Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4358203)
The best thing Grantland ran was Mark Harris' "Oscarmetrics" column in 2012. Harris has officially "recused" himself from writing about this year's Oscars because his husband wrote the screenplay to "Lincoln," and I certainly hope he's back doing it at Grantland or elsewhere in 2014.
   44. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4358208)
Brian Phillips is easily their best writer, and it's not close.

It's weird, because I'm a huge football (and tennis!) fan and therefore should love Phillips and the thought he puts into his posts, but I don't know, I can't seem to enjoy him at all. Maybe it's because I come from a totally different place regarding my fandom (I've expounded at length somewhere on these boards about how I hate offensive play and love defence, for example) or because I intuitively compare everyone to Jonathan Wilson or something, but I'm not really a fan of Phillips'. I'm not sure exactly why.
   45. Perry Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4358211)
Brian Phillips is easily their best writer, and it's not close.


Seconded.
   46. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4358220)
Sports on Earth is too blah. Grantland is way too full of itself.


So a by the numbers sports site is too blah, but a sports and culture site that tries to spice it up a little is too full of itself. You do realize that Goldilocks was a high-maintenance pain in the ass, right?
   47. Ron J2 Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4358264)
#38 I trust they'll avoid a red wedding theme day. But just to be on the safe side I won't be attending
   48. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4358314)
Speaking of which, the University of Regina is putting on "A Conference of Ice and Fire" starting February 9th if any of you happen to be vacationing in Saskatchewan this winter.


Watch out for Tractor Jack! (On second thought, it might still be too cold.)

-- MWE
   49. Toolsy McClutch Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4358333)
Wow, this thread is gold to me.

First off, I'm flying to Regina tomorrow and had no plans, so I was excited about the Song of Fire and Ice conference. Unfortunately it appears I'm going to miss it by a week. Now I'm backing to drinking alone in my hotel room.

Secondly, Zach Lowe has quickly become my favourite hoops writer. He's got a good writing style, and his enjoyment of the game really comes though. I think he does an excellent job of communicating plays, I can visualize what he's writing about and I think that's pretty impressive.
   50. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:45 PM (#4358346)
You do realize that Goldilocks was a high-maintenance pain in the ass, right?


Regrettably, the Mister High Standards username is already taken.
   51. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:08 PM (#4358426)
NBCSports...I dunno. I read it near-religiously, but many of the posts deliberately make mountains out of molehills in order to troll for hits.

And PFT/Florio is a disaster. They routinely remove LOTS of comments. Anything that is the slightest bit critical or controversial, they remove.
   52. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:25 PM (#4358447)
Toolsy:

What brings you to the Queen City during this delightful cold snap (-43 Celsius with the wind chill)?

edit: -45 F, for our American readers.
   53. The Good Face Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:30 PM (#4358516)
I enjoy Zach Lowe's stuff; I don't actually know enough about basketball to know if he knows what he's talking about, but it feels truthy enough.

The guy who was responsible for the Derek Jeter diaries deserves a raise, that stuff was brilliant. Jonah Keri is solid. I used to like Simmons, but it feels like he's been mailing it in for a while now; like most writers, I suppose he eventually ran out of interesting things to say.

Otherwise, Grantland is pretty mediocre in my eyes. Some good stuff, some utter crap, lots of meh.
   54. Eric Ferguson Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:13 PM (#4358652)
What bothers me the most about Grantland is that there is some stuff I really, really like and then there's some stuff that is just, "Hey, we watched TV and here's what we saw!" or "Hey, we read an article and here's what it said!" If they increased their quality/post ratio (QPR), I would be even more jealous than I already am. At its heart, it is (or should be) a venue for long-form sports non-fiction. At its best, it is.

(Obviously, I'd listen if they called, so a lot of this is just sour grapes.)

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