Want a taste of a new website devoted to Chicago sports? Take this link to the Athletic Chicago, a website just launched by a couple of young business partners in San Francisco, Alex Mather and Adam Hansmann, but populated here by some familiar names in Chicago sportswriting.

The founders have signed on Jon Greenberg, Scott Powers, and Sahadev Sharma, all of whom used to write for ESPN Chicago, which, says Greenberg in a hello note to readers, has evolved since it was launched in 2009 “into something pretty great.” 

So the Athletic Chicago is taking on serious competition. It’ll be a pay site, but you can kick the tires and read some stories for nothing.

“We know what we want to do and that’s cover the local teams with local reporters,” says Greenberg. We want to use numbers to help tell the stories, to tell the truth. But we won’t talk down to fans. We won’t try to bluff you with statistics you won’t understand. You will like visiting our website and looking at our visuals. Style matters, in our view. But substance keeps you coming back.”

Digital journalism has been down this path before. Jonathan Eig assembled an array of interesting writers when he launched Chicagosidesports.com in 2011. But today the site sits idle, its stories preserved in digital amber.