Leitch on 4/30/08:
We cannot imagine any reasonable human being watching that display and saying, "doggone it, that raving man has a point!"

DJM on 5/1/08:
I come not to bury Bissinger, nor to praise him. I come to say, however, that he did have a point...

So here's my hope: the next time somebody asks Leitch to defend blogs, he say something like "I don't speak for all blogs. I speak for my blog, which is often juvenile and deals with certain aspects of public humiliation because I think they're funny, newsworthy, and our business." Or something. And then we can have the debate over whether pictures of quarterbacks at birthday parties or at clubs are funny, newsworthy, and any of our goddamn business.

Bissinger is a total idiot. He's also not totally wrong.

Leitch today:
The best sports blogs are based in truth and passion, and, yeah, sometimes that truth and passion come out in profane bursts, and sometimes they involve quarterbacks doing beer bongs. So freaking what? Did Buzz Bissinger really convince people there was something wrong with that? Or was everyone just faking in the first place?...

We're proud of the work we've done here. Some of it has been stupid and juvenile; some of it has at least attempted to be intelligent; some of it has been masturbatory. If you liked it, awesome, we were glad to have you. If you didn't, there are tons of other options.

Of course. WILL: OF COURSE. A thousand times of course.

However, this means that Will agrees that Bissinger did have a point [again, a very very poorly made point, but a point nonetheless]. And since Leitch is presumably a "reasonable human being" I think it's fair to ask: Will, what the hell was that argument you were making earlier?

SML has some thoughts about blog credibility that I'll let him fill in here. I'm glad to see that the honest response has finally come out, which is "We're having fun and fuck everyone who doesn't like it." As long as we're on honest ground now, we can talk about that argument like grown-ups. Pretending that it wasn't the case wasn't helping a goddamn thing, like most everyone was doing by shaking their heads about the crazy old man and his crazy ideas. He had. A fucking. Point.

"I don't give a shit!" is a fine response.

"He's a loon!" is not.

Glad to see that we've gotten to this point. But it really shouldn't have taken this long.

SML aside on credibility: Just a quick thought on Will Leitch's semi-attack (or at least a friendly lob at The Big Lead for their quote in the LA Times article on not running a post with the Kobe Bryant rumor):  It seems to me that TBL was making a case that, now that he is a big blog with a big readership, he needs to maintain some (journalistic) credibility.  I don't see why that offends or bothers Leitch so much. 

I think TBL has always tried to be a more journalistic site than Deadspin (though Deadspin is now playing catchup in that game), making it's name on interviews with sports writers (the Whitlock interview remains the big break-through).  It certainly takes popular blog elements (link dumps, pics of girls in bikinis, drunk athlete posts) but it combines it with these journalistic tendencies.  So Jason McIntyre does have a reason to attempt to maintain some credibility. 

To be fair, I think Will Leitch's point was directed more at Jason stating that "two years ago I would have run with [the Kobe affair story]".  Leitch's specific comments on this seem to be aimed at the change in McIntyre's mind over the hypothetical two year period:

But seriously: If you have a vision for a site, don't you have to just follow through with it? Why would you change your vision for a site just because more people are reading it?

Of course "visions" can change in two years.  The market changes.  You adapt.  Specifically, there is more of a backlash against blogs (and "real" media, too) nowadays that post rumors that turn out to be false than maybe there was a few years back.  Will Leitch himself caught a lot of flack for posting the rumor that Albert Pujols was directly linked to HGH (via Jason Grimley's trainer).  So I guess the question to Will Leitch is this:  Would you still post that rumor if it came up today?  Or have you maybe learned a bit about the blogging world?  Maybe you've changed that aspect of "your vision"? 

Seriously, I don't get how not posting a rumor now like you might have two years ago indicates a change in your overall blogging philosophy... The Big Lead doesn't seem too much different now than it was two years ago.  But it has adapted over the years, has as Deadspin. 


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