The folks over at Deadspin have left the building. They quit, rather than being subject to the oppressive agenda set by their corporate overlords: "Stick to sports." While it is quite true that Deadspin is predominately a web site filled with sports content, including Major League Soccer updates, and has a masthead that reads, "Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion."
I write about sports, even though my masthead says something about short attention span theater. My audience will, from time to time, weigh in on the subject matter upon which I choose to prattle. "We like the funny stuff," say many. Others like to remind me that they prefer it when I tell stories in which they themselves appear. It is not very often that I get a request for "more sports." Of course, none of these folks are paying for the privilege of reading my prattlings. Which may explain why the Deadspin staff started feeling the heat after one of their writers, Laura Wagner, decided to write an article biting the hand that nominally fed them. The upshot being that it seems as though the content-makers were less than satisfied with the new CEO laying off a number of employees all the while filling executive positions with cronies from his previous stints at Forbes and Playboy. For those of you unfamiliar with those two publications, they do not feature sports as their bread and butter.
Which doesn't mean that the line gets blurred from time to time. Sports paints a pretty wide stripe down the middle of our country, sometimes we find ourselves on one side or the other and on those happy rare occasions we find common ground smack on that stripe.
Last week, when the "president" decided to pop by Game Five of the World Series, the crowd turned more or less as one and booed. For that moment, the wide world of sports and the not quite as wide world of politics coalesced. Baseball fans resented the insinuation of this great orange distraction into their national pastime. The fact that their derisive cheers were louder than that for the opposing team suggested that we, as a nation, care about a number of things all at the same time. We don't need to have our news, weather and sports separated in the manner we find in TV dinners. And maybe we don't need the corporate pinheads from Forbes silencing editorial viewpoints that may make it difficult to get a tee time at Mar-A-Lago. And for those who quit Deadspin in solidarity, I offer this cribbed version of the Olympic Motto: "The most important thing in the journalism is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."
Keep fighting the good fight.
The Nationals won the World Series, four games to three. And even though he wasn't in attendance, the "president" was still booed during the video presentation of the game in Washington D.C.