A few years ago, I was part of a three-man panel at the Y on the upper west side. The topic was blogging and the sports world. Matt Cerrone, whose Metsblog was picked up by SNY last year, and Will Leitch, the founder of Deadspin, and I spoke in front of a modest crowd. Allen Barra was the moderator. Will was charismatic, funny and exceedingly bright, and while I’m only an occasional reader of Deadspin, I’ll not soon forget the impression he made on him that evening. (Here I was thinking that I was going to be the charismatic, charming one!) Mostly what I remember about Will is his stance regarding the traditional media. Essentially, Will said that in the modern age of the Internet and satalitte TV, the role of the traditional beat writer has become marginalized to the extent that fans don’t really care what those reporters provide. While I wasn’t completely sold on Will’s theory, I sure found him convincing.
Leitch expands on his thinking in his new book, God Save the Fan: How Preening Sportscasters, Athletes Who Speak in the Third Person, and the Occasional Convicted Quarterback Have Taken the Fun Out of Sports. There is a serious-minded political agenda in this breezy volume which takes the mickey out of just about everyone, particularly the folks at the Worldwide Leader, ESPN. But the writing is not pedantic or boring because Leitch is too busy being funny–another tough trick to pull off for a couple of hundred pages. Somehow, he manages to find just the right tone, and the book is a gas. I found myself laughing out loud often–something that rarely happens to me–and was left with a similiar feeling than the one I had when I met Will at the Y–that of being duly impressed.
Worth checking out.