Posts Tagged ‘Will Leitch’

By Rich Jensen
Guest blogger

“quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”

“Who guards the guardians?”

I’ve seen a number of articles condemning or – inexplicably – defending the Richie Incognito mess in Miami. The latest news is that Incognito felt ‘betrayed and blindsided’ by Martin’s recent actions.

While William F. Lietch has done a credible job explaining the problems with the ‘lockerroom culture’ and Incognito in particular, I’ve been generally dissatisfied with the articles on the subject, largely because the arguments they muster against what went on in the Miami lockerroom can be marshaled just as easily against what Martin did in reporting what went on to Miami management. (more…)

As I type this parts of South Dakota and Minnesota are under a severe winter storm warning. Yes, on April 19. Sometimes I really miss Minnesota. Other times…

This week’s links:

* So many stories from a horrific week, but S.L. Price wrote about the Boston Bruins’ first game at home after the Marathon bombing.

* Patton Oswalt delivers an impassioned Star Wars filibuster for an episode of Parks & Rec.

* And if you didn’t read Oswalt’s Facebook post after the bombings, check it out.

* For you morning TV fans, read how Matt Lauer was a mean person and got Ann Curry kicked off Today.

* From The Onion: Internet comes up with 8.5 million leads on potential Boston bombing suspect.

* Check out the comments on Deadspin where people share their favorite Rasheed Wallace moments.

* A longread from Mark Bowden in Vanity Fair about a murder mystery in Texas. 

* Legendary Division III coach Frosty Westering died and Chuck Culpepper writes a great tribute on Sports on Earth. Westering’s Pacific Lutheran teams won the 1999 title and faced John Gagliardi’s St. John’s Johnnies four straight years in the playoffs, great battles between two of the country’s unique programs.

* The San Diego Padres president blames Zack Greinke for the big brawl between his team and Greinke’s Dodgers. Includes Rain Man reference.

* This might merit a longer post at a later date: A list of 40 workspaces that inspired famously creative people. I think I speak for all (middling) writers when I say that place is one of the most important and underrated part of the process.
One of my latest go-to spots: The gym. Seriously.

* This week’s podcast of the week: The Will Leitch Experience. The former Deadspin writer (and guest on The Fury Files) has started a daily pod in conjunction with longform project Sports on Earth. To be honest, I haven’t had time to listen to it yet. But that didn’t stop me from adding it to my iPhone podcast library – a meaningful sign that I expect it to be good.

Greetings from sunny South Africa. I have no idea what day it is but our links run each Friday so I know that will stay the same. The trip here nearly ended in Johannesburg, where I got sick in not one but two airport bathrooms. But, I soldiered on, sneaked in some rest and made the connecting flight to Cape Town, where my senses and health have returned, even if my sense of time has not.

* Wait, New York could get 38 inches of snow? Or nothing? Boy, sorry I’m missing that. Hold on, have to check what time we’re leaving Friday for the beach where my brother-in-law is getting married.

* Wait, a mom won’t sign a kid’s letter of intent to Arkansas? 

* I’m stealing Terry’s thunder here, but here’s a podcast between Bill Simmons and the always enjoyable Chuck Klosterman. Find another Podcast of the Week, Terry!

* Deadspin ranks the 47 Super Bowls by watchability.

* TV here. A basketball player on my beat – South Dakota State point guard Nate Wolters – made big news Thursday night by scoring 53 points, the most by an NCAA Division I player in a non-OT game in four years. I taped a podcast with the team’s play-by-play voice afterward.

* Apparently, basketball fans needs to get to know Zach Lowe. Former Fury Files guest Will Leitch helps you do that.

* Big news in soccer/football/footie this week as Fox acknowledged that it will groom beloved screamer Gus Johnson to call the 2018 World Cup. We can already hear the results … “I’m Lionel Messi and I get buckets!”

Welcome to the latest edition of the Fury Files, the favorite Q&A of people who think the world really is ending on December 21. Check out previous editions with Tom Linnemann, John Millea, David Brauer, Joe Posnanski, Pat Coleman, Kevin Van Valkenburg, Michael Kruse, Chris Jones, Chris Ballard and Roland Lazenby.

This week’s guest is writer Will Leitch. I’d put a magazine or website name in front of writer, but Leitch works for such a wide variety of publications, it’d be impossible to put just one title there. Leitch is a contributing editor at New York Magazine, where he usually writes about sports but displays his versatility on a regular basis, like when he interviewed Spike Lee. Earlier this year he became a contributing writer for the new website Sports on Earth, a fun site that includes contributions from writers like Joe Posnanski, Chuck Culpeppper and Gwen Knapp. There he writes about a variety of topics. A defense of Joe Buck? A story on the Nets-Knicks game? A piece on the beleaguered Arizona Cardinals? They’re all on Sports on Earth.

Leitch is a regular contributor to GQ, where he’s written in-depth profiles of Michael Vick, Derrick Rose and Jeremy Lin. It’s not all about sports, though. With longtime friend Tim Grierson, Leitch regularly reviews movies for Deadspin. Leitch is the founding editor of the Gawker empire’s sports site, which he left for New York magazine in 2008.

A native of Mattoon, Illinois, Leitch is a passionate fan of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team and the Arizona Cardinals football team, who earned his undying loyalty when they were losing games in bewildering fashion in the Midwest instead of the Southwest. Leitch graduated from the University of Illinois and is still in love with the football teams and basketball teams. He might still have a Kenny Battle poster hanging in his bedroom and at some point in his career — either for Slate or a weekly paper in Illinois — he’s likely written 3,500 words about why Jack Trudeau to David Williams was the most underrated quarterback-receiver combo in NCAA history.

His enthusiasm for his favorite sports — for the players, the teams, the games, the moments — remains one of his greatest strength as a writer, but he’s also great at writing. And he can handle it any form, from long magazine profiles to short opinion pieces on the web. In addition to all of his other work, Leitch is the author of four books, including his most recent, Are We Winning? Fathers and Sons in the New Golden Age of Baseball. If you need more of his writing? There’s always his Tumblr page. Or Twitter.

Here, Leitch talks about Spike Lee and Woody Allen, the 1987 World Series (Twins!), Letterman, the difference between magazines, websites and books, what motivates him as a writer and a lot more. Thanks a lot for your time, Will.


We’re going to try something different this week, introducing multimedia elements into our weekly review of stuff that’s worth your time. Why? Because just as Gov. Jesse Ventura ain’t got time to bleed, TV ain’t got time to read – at least, not as much time as he’d like. That’s hard to do while you’re sitting in a car, driving to an assignment.

Plus, it’s fair to say that America in 2012 does not live in print alone. Let us know what you think:

* Although I know next to nothing about English Premier League soccer and miss about half of the jokes, the Men in Blazers podcast on the Grantland Network is certifiably awesome. It’s two futbol experts from across the pond discussing, yes, games, but also also styles and personalities and culture. They’re smart and funny and have delightful accents. Honestly, they’re enjoyable enough to entice me to pay more attention to the EPL. We should all do our jobs half as well as these blokes.

* Jordan Conn, whom I had the pleasure of meeting last spring, hit a home run with his profile of Mo Isom, an aspiring kicker at LSU who has overcome an eating disorder, the suicide of her father and a serious car crash. Oh, and Mo is a she rather than a he. Fascinating stuff.

*A social-experiment piece in The New York Times claims that working four-day weeks can make people more productive, as can dedicating a month to creative thought. Frankly, I can’t imagine having that much time to dedicate to new ideas. Sounds wonderful … and impossible in most industries.

* Big moment for TVFury this week – although not as big as expected – in that an NPR show in Hartford, Conn., read a post in which TV defended energy drinks, and subsequently invited him on the show. He got 5 minutes instead of the expected 20. Sigh. Still, here’s a link to the replay.

* Fury here. Hollywood lost a great director this week when Tony Scott took his own life. He directed Top Gun, True Romance, Crimson Tide and many, many other entertaining films. Here’s a Chris Jones piece on Scott’s death, along with a piece Jones wrote about Scott a few years ago.

* Will Leitch of New York magazine wrote a bit on everyone’s favorite TV sports pundit, Skip Bayless. At this point, Skip’s sports proclamations are sort of like PETA publicity stunts but he still gets people upset.

* Meant to link this a few months ago, but worth it now. A letter from legendary editor Maxwell Perkins to F. Scott Fitzgerald about the book that ultimately became The Great Gatsby.

* Mike Francesa has a meltdown about the Mets. An epic rant. Ah, sports talk radio.