Wednesday was a win for something that has consumed my attention for a decade. It was also a major loss for something else that has done the same.
Let’s start with the loss.
I am—along with thousands of other people—losing the website that has been, for the most part, my very first stop on the Internet, every single morning for a decade. Deadspin has been dying for about two months, but now it is, well...dead. Sure, the masthead is still there, but it’s not the site I fell in love with all those years ago. Almost everyone I like to read is gone, including (as of this morning) Drew Magary, whose stuff is what lead me to Deadspin (via Dan Steinberg’s DC Sports Bog, if I’m not mistaken). David Roth, whose scathing commentary on our Big Wet President is must-read stuff without fail, appears to still be with the site, but one would have to assume that will end shortly.
There are still Gawker (it will always be Gawker) sites that I read. I started with the Gawker family waaaaaaaaaay back in the early 00s with Wonkette. I still read io9, and Jalopnik. I’m “ungrayed” on almost every site in the family, with the exception of Jezebel. And yes, I spanked it to Fleshbot, occassionally.
Things will never be the same, though. Deadspin was the flagship site, for me, even more so than Gawker ever was, though your mileage may vary—and yes, that is the hottest of takes. Deadspin was never about the name on the masthead; it was about the people. The writers who churned out absolutely amazing piece after piece. Men and women who fucking got it, and made sure we did, too. The commenters—some of whom went on to become awesome writers!—were as much a part of the fabric of the site as anything else. As a whole, Deadspin—perhaps more so in its later years—was about standing up to the machine, flipping the bird, and screaming “fuck you!” even as the machine rained down hell on you. As someone who really enjoyed the last season of Angel, that’s something I could easily get behind.
It’s all gone now.
Deadspin is dead.
Long live Deadspin.
Now for the win!
The WASHINGTON MOTHERFUCKING NATIONALS are your World Series Champions. Let that sink in, folks. You’ve heard how they went 19-31 through the month of May. You heard about how their best player left them for a division rival, and they weren’t going to be shit without him. They almost fired their manager. They almost shipped the only guy left from the ‘05 inaugural season off to greener pastures, in an effort to get him a ring. They still (as of this morning) have not backed up the brink truck to a guy who is most definitely in the MVP discussion. The team I have loved for a decade—much like Deadspin—pulled off a miracle, last night. In what has to make the Michael Wilbons of the world curdle with disgust, Washington DC has become a town of (sports) champions. A tweet I read last night summed it up nicely:the Capitals won a Cup, the Mystics won the WNBA title, and now the Nationals have won the World Series. It is a GREAT time to be a DC sports fan, particularly for those of us in the region who are tired of constantly being told we’re not “real” sports fans because we don’t live in New York, or Los Angeles, or Boston, or Chicago. Get off your fucking high horses, assholes, because it’s really tough to bow when you’re on a horse.
The road here wasn’t easy, for fans. We endured some truly shit seasons, along with some great ones that ended horribly. Some great players wore the Curly W over the years; some bums did, too, but we tend to view them through rose-colored lenses because of what they meant to bringing the sport back to the District. Our farm system raised some really good players—one of whom exercised his right to leave and take what was, at the time, the biggest payday in the sport. I wish him well in Philadelphia. I wish he had been wearing the Curly W last night. Same with Jayson Werth, for that matter. Same with a lot of guys (but not you Papelbon).
Ten years ago, two great things came into my life. One of them is, for all intents and purposes, dead. The other just rose to the pinnacle of its segment of society.
One hell of a Wednesday.
I’ve tendered my resignation from Deadspin. You can listen to the Deadcast if you want to learn more about why, or you can ask me in a few days or something.
— David Roth (@david_j_roth) October 31, 2019