And now for another edition of The Spike Files - the ongoing series of posts, blogs and other bullshit I wish I had gotten paid for but didn’t.
At some point today [same day publishing? what optimism - ed], I heard there was a Bad Article clanging around the ESPN Shatterdome that could be vaguely associated with Jason Whitlock’s forthcoming straight-to-dvd Grantland sequel. Because there is no greater endorsement on the planet than “Trainwreck Embarrasses Blowhard”, I sought the piece out.
Despite having spent an entire day scanning, re-reading and guffawing about Greg Howard’s epic eulogy of the stillborn site, I ended up staring at a blank Google search box like it just asked me to get a vasectomy. For the life of me, I could not remember the name of the site I wanted, desperately, to read. If that’s indicative of the readership base at large, it seems rather problematic for Jason and the Disney Sports higher-ups. Granted, name recognition at this point in the site’s development might be just a drop in the (extremely large and loud) bucket, but it’s a cozy little analogy for how outmatched Whitlock has been this whole time. He can’t even get the damn name right!
No, “The Undefeated” is not the right name. It’s probably the wrongest one there is, given what we know so far about the site. In his piece, Greg quotes an unnamed ESPN source as saying, “The entire site is a preconceived narrative[...] And if you have a site that’s a preconceived narrative, then that site will fail.” By the transitive property, Black Grantland will fail. Somehow, all the money and swagger and properly broken rules in the world won’t put a shine on this turd, and Whitlock’s opinions about whether Martin Luther King is the Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson of organized protest will be banished to whatever dungeon the WWL constructed for espnW and Rick Reilly.
But what if Whitlock didn’t fail? What if he didn’t look at everything every other new media website was doing, jot it down on the toilet, and ask his followers to tweet him a link to it? What if he named his site something else? Something better...or more accurate, at least?
Should he decide to take our advice, here are a few suggestions. Yours in the comments.
Turd On The Wire
Malcolm XXL Media
I Know Why They Caged That Bird (via @Ugarles)
A Couple Inches of Margin
The Double Standard (via @brendlewhat)
The Coates Closet (Only if you can get him to reconsider!)