The Bill Simmons-conceived sports and pop culture website, Grantland, went live yesterday. A faction of the great ESPN conglomerate, Grantland—named (perhaps a tad presumptuously) after legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice—intends to shrug off the hit-it-and-quit-it mentality of sportswriting, instead focusing its efforts on long-form writing from a heavily curated hodgepodge of fiction, sports, and magazine writers. Although Simmons commented in a recent New York Times article that the whole experience of shepherding the site hasn’t been as much fun as he had anticipated, the ambitious venture has been impressive thus far and has yielded entertaining pieces by Andy Greenwald, Tom Bissell, Chuck Klosterman, Dave Eggers, and of course Simmons himself.
The Eggers piece that went up today, “Wrigley Is Wrigley, and Nothing Else Is,” examines the allure of Wrigley Field and the Cubs from the desensitized fan’s perspective, even as the team is getting trounced. The article’s Wrigleyville rooftop setting is similar to what Reader contributor Ted Cox reminisced about in a recent Mudville column. Seems a little curious, don’t you think?