ESPN has unveiled some big details on the long-forthcoming sports website Bill Simmons, its star “Sports Guy” columnist, has been quietly building for the network.
The “sports and pop culture” site, Grantland.com, is slated to launch in June. (The name refers to Grantland Rice, “the legendary sportswriter who helped elevate sports into American culture during the early 20th Century.”)
Simmons and ESPN have assembled a team of big-time writers — including Chuck Klosterman, Malcolm Gladwell and Dave Eggers, who are listed as consulting editors — and lesser-known bloggers for the site, which will be edited by Dan Fierman (most recently a senior editor at GQ) with deputy editors Lane Brown (formerly editor of Vulture) and Jay Caspian Kang.
The site will house every Simmons column and podcast (“The B.S. Report”) for ESPN; Simmons will serve as Grantland's editor-in-chief.
“I grew up loving The National, Spy Magazine and Inside Sports,” Simmons, who was a co-creator of ESPN’s excellent “30 for 30” series, said in a release. “Those three publications meant an inordinate amount to me, and I’m hoping that people will feel the same about this site.
As we planned it over the last 18 months, my No. 1 goal was to figure out how to capture the spirit and creativity of 30 for 30 and transfer it to a website. We wanted original voices, and we found a bunch of them already. We’re going to take chances, come up with a few premises and ideas that you haven’t seen before, and be consistently entertaining day after day. You will never know what to expect when you come to the site — in a good way. That’s our ultimate goal.
Simmons added: “We will not throw up 100 posts every day. We’ve figured out a way to highlight the best things we publish and make it easier for people who might not have a chance to visit the site more than three or four times a week to find everything they want.”