Until this year Will Leitch had never written a blog; he didn't even have Internet access in his Manhattan apartment. But the former Sporting News editor, 30, was a fierce sports fan, and he felt the blogosphere needed a site with a more irreverent point of view. So in September he launched Deadspin, a bitingly funny blog that is to sports what Wonkette is to politics. Billed as "sports news without access, favor or discretion," Deadspin makes a virtue out of its outsider status: From his living room Leitch, who works with an associate editor, offers the kind of humorous takes that fans are more likely to hear at the watercooler than read in the paper. There are also tales (and photos) of athletes' off-the-field misadventures, much tweaking of media personalities and even the occasional news flash. (The site broke the news of Yankees outfielder Matt Lawton's failed steroid test in November.) It can't all be taken as gospel, but commentary and entertainment are the goals, not stats and hard news. "I thought sports seemed ripe for someone to pinprick it a little bit," says Leitch. Many others agree: After drawing 250,000 page views in its first month, Deadspin had more than a million in November.
THERE WAS one place to get Barry Bonds news during his six-month injury hiatus: BarryBonds.com. The slugger wasn't communicative with his bosses, so updates on his personal website were the main source of info on his condition. Alas, the pro-Bonds spin on the items was reminiscent of Pravda. "The rehab is coming along great," he wrote on June 10--three months before he returned to the lineup.
Bookmarked Site in NBA Front Offices
If it's not on HOOPSHYPE.COM, it's not happening in the NBA. The clearinghouse for league dish is a must-read for execs and media.
Hazardous to Media Egos
Originally devoted to chronicling the vocal missteps of a certain ESPN baseball analyst, FIREJOEMORGAN.COM now skewers sports pundits in all fields. It can be vicious, off-color and--unless you're one of its targets--hilarious.
CHUCK SOLOMON (BONDS)